In Pots or In the Ground for the First Few Years?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)April 8, 2011

Another newbie fig growing question here.

I (think I've) read things in this forum that suggest that young figs are more susceptible to winter damage and death than older figs are. If that's true, would it be wise to keep my new figs in pots and bring them inside for the winter for the first few years. Or will that do more harm than good? Is the real benefit having the figs permanently in the ground as soon as possible?

I'm in Zone 6b and the winter temps regularly get down into the single digits. The figs in question are Celeste, Hardy Chicago and Oregon Prolific.



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Lost two brown figs to cold.
So the figs I have ordered will go in pot for three years. I will get them in 1 gallon(3quart)pot, then re pot into 3 gallon pot, then 5 gallon pot & the fourth year I will plant in garden or re pot into 25 gallon.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 6:26PM
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I am In Zone 7a. All my Figs are planted in pots. I do not re-pot them because I plant the pots in the Garden after Winter is gone then take them back in the house in Winter. When they grow to be big trees and it is impractical to take them in the house, will be planted permanently in the Garden. Another approach I am thinking about is to prune them to keep them manageable for pots. I read on this Board that a guy in Chicago was selling a Fig tree in a pot and the tree was 25 years old. Who knows.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:26PM
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bonechickchris(7A/6B NJ 08731)

I am not a pro in any way. But most of my new fig varieties are quite young. So I have brought them in the last year or so just incase so I do not lose them. I will probably do so for another year or so.

Again, I am not a pro, so I do not know what I am doing is the totally correct way, but I rather take them in the next 2 years rather than take the chance of losing them in the cold during the winter.
Christy :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 12:03AM
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I, also, am new to rooting figs and trying varities.
But, this year, I have actually succeded in rooting a
LSU Gold and a Hollier, now in 3/4 gallon black pots.
To be safe, they will be planted in the garden, pot and all,next month. In Fall, dug up, bought in the house.
Then, next Spring, I will feel much better about complete
in-ground planting! Just trying to save/protect my first two babies !! Fred

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 11:16AM
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All of our cuttings that rooted during the spring are planted in ground, that coming fall. We have figs that have been in ground from 1 year to 5.

We bend them to the ground and then cover with soil. Bubble insulation, and then leaves. We have never lost any plants to cold.

Our reasoning is that the plants have a chance to send roots deep, while the top is becoming large enough to become cold resistant.

The covering of soil takes advantage of the heat from the ground. The insulation helps do that also. But it also helps keep the soil from becoming to wet. Then the leaves offer extra protection.

It got down to minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit this last winter

It took us about 30 minutes to cover 5 one year old figs, last winter. About 30 minutes each for 2 year olds and five year olds.

Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 12:43AM
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