Oh! So fristrating. Figs are not growing. Help?

meyermike_1micha(5)August 8, 2012

I just don't get it!

I feed then regularly, they are in the sun for a good 9 hours a day in pots, and yet the fruit is not getting any bigger after a month!

The fruit just stays green and stays the same size, as if they have stalled all growth. Please, does this happen to anyone else?

This is for sure, the one in the ground will never ripen before the frost either. So frustrating!

The only Fig tree that has given me anything is my Petite Nigro and they are delicious. They are only 2 feet high and sweet. These only get half the amount of sun my regular trees get.

Please help.


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you live in a zone 5 these trees are found in zone 9 and 10+ in there native homes. That said, don't get mad and just give up. You can get figs to ripen in zone 5 but you are limited without a greenhouse. Try plants like hardy Chicago or others that take the cold well and ripen early. Even if your plant won't ripen don't dig it up, even though that's what everyone else will be telling you to do. You can use it as a source of trade to get other fig varieties. Also if it's growing vigorously you may want to keep it as a root stock and graft other cultivars onto it. just google grafting fig trees it will walk you through it. spring is the best time to graft, summer is the best time to take softwood cutting, and fall and winter is the best time to take & trade dormant cuttings. I'll have a few cuttings this fall if you want to trade a few cuttings. I have hardy Chicago and a few others that might work well for you. do you think you could spare a few cuttings from your 2 plants this fall? Have you ever rooted a plant from a dormant cutting? I'll be happy to walk you through rooting dormant cuttings if you'd like or you can google it as well. I know this doesn't help your figs ripen any faster but at least you can have more figs to eat in the future.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:45PM
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You haven't mentioned what fig varieties you are growing. Zone-5 presents some challenges for fig growers, but there are plenty of fig varieties that will ripen delicious figs in your climate. You need to grow those short-season figs.

That said, if you pinch out all terminal buds and only allow 5-8 leaves to stay on each branch, more energy will be diverted into ripening already growing figs. Forget growing breba crops. Next season, pull all breba off the trees, and only allow main-crop figs to develop, and pinch back all new growth to 5-8 leaves.

Use low nitrogen fertilizers. High nitrogen fertilizers are implicated in low fig production. Also, use granular/powdered limestone as a top dressing. Figs hate acid soils, and fertilizers turn soils sour and acidic, and I stop fertilizing by mid-July. Limestone also helps the flavor of figs to develop, and keeps the trees lush and green.

This year, in the heat, my figs just sat there like they were in a coma! Nothing. Now, the figs are starting to get larger. This year was not a good year for my figs...cold Spring, blazing hot Summer...delayed crops. However, they will probably take off within the next few weeks...and you'll get ripe figs. I grow "Golden Atreano", and an unidentified variety that I know only as "Red Italian" that came from Mount Vernon, NY, which makes a small dark red-black, very sweet fig.

Also, if you grow your figs in containers they will complain if you allow the root-ball to overheat. Figs like cool roots. Shade the containers, or sink them 1/3 into the ground, and then mulch heavily up the sides of the pots until the pots are almost covered by the mulch. This will cool off the root zone, and conserve moisture.

Good luck. Hope this helps. Other than the wrong variety in your climate, it's usually culture that is the problem. If you've gotten "Petite Negri" to ripen, you will be able to get other varieties to ripen also.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Don't despair I thought I have the same problem in zone 6 or 7 (nobody knows) but suddenly the figs started to ripen and increase its size. It is not that big 2 and 2 1/2 inches figs are not that bad. I collected 10 today from the brown turkey tree. It is soft moist mouth watering and sweater than honey. My grand kids were eating it like there is no tomorrow and bragged to their friends "Grand PA produces food"

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Play the waiting game. Two days ago, I thought that my figs were at least a month away from the ripening stage. It's been a bad year, and my trees got a late start. This morning, as I watered the fig trees, I looked up and overnight, some of the figs doubled in size, and have turned a rich purple! In a few days, I will have fresh, sweet, figs to eat.

Don't give up.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Hey mike,
This happened to me last yr and this year. My figs go from buds to about half size in a matter of days...then stay that size for it seems like the entire summer. At some point, just before they ripen, they burst to almost double in size, which seems to happen pretty much overnight. At that point they begin to soften and change colors and soon after you're eating them.
It seems like they use up their energy to grow the buds, then spend a while rebuilding their strength to ripen the fruits before the second burst of fruit growth.
Thus, don't fret!
Have others had the same experience?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:07AM
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FYI, Over the weekend I noticed my first fig that swelled so far.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Hey, thanks everyone! I really appreciate the offerings. I think too it might of been just very hot up on the roof and now that it is cooling down a bit, they seem to have resorted to growing again.

Frank, been thinking of you. I hope all is well with you:-)
It's been crazy here.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:05AM
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