Wintering Potted Figs in the far north

mandolls(4)September 25, 2011

I have a fig in a pot that I have had for about a year and a half, it was tiny when I purchased it, probably it was from a cutting that was only a few months old. Last year, before I had run across this forum, and educated myself a little, I just wintered it by my sunniest window where it continued to grow all winter long. I put it back outside this spring, and it just keeps growing. No figs, but I didnt really expect any this year.This winter, my plan is to let it go dormant. We have already had a light frost, so some of the leaves have blackened, but most are still alive and healthy.

My question is about temperatures. I have searched on this forum, but I dont see anyone dealing with weather as cold as we get here (occasionally down to -30 F). I will not be able to hold it between 25-45 degrees. My garage will certainly get colder than that when it goes sub zero. I have a workshop area that is a converted attached garage, that I keep the heat at 55-65 most of the winter, and I am sure the concrete slab floor is cooler than that. My question is, should I try to keep it in the garage (colder) as long as the weather is above 20 outside and then pull it into the workshop only when it is colder? or can I keep it in the workshop all winter ? Once it is inside, should it be wrapped to keep it dark? It is big enough that hauling in and out will be a lot of work. It did beautifully inside growing all last winter, but it is huge now and all the advice here says dont do that. I winter over large lantana in pots in the workshop every year, letting them dry out and lose most of their leaves, but they start leaving out again in Feb, next to a window. Any advice is appreciated.

This is what it looked like at the end of last winter.

This is what it looked like a few weeks ago

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pezzuti9(z5 PA)

If I where you I would look into getting a thermastat controled helectric heater. If you get one set it to come on around 19 degrees or somewhat warmer. I picked a nice one up on Craigs list. It could do the whole garage if I let it. I was lucky it does take 220 volt to run it and many years ago I ran a 220 line into my unheated garage to support a through the wall running a A/C unit. I had to make up a heavy duty 25 foot extension cord with the proper plug so I could place the heater closer and facing the trees. Since I have done that I don't cover the trees any more but you might want to consider that for your tree.
I got this heater for 45 dollars. It will run up your electric bill some. You could also make up some sort of small box insulated around the tree. Just make sure it has a hole for ventalation in it. There are many ideas on this forum how one can be constructed.
Good luck

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 10:25AM
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I sorry, but I cannot speak directly to you temp./storage problems, ...but, I can make a suggestion regarding moving this small fig from place to place. The pot doesn't seem too large, so I'd stick the plant on a cheap dolly and roll the tree around. It looks like you're growing this fig next to a cement walkway, so rolling ito your workshop may be the solution.

From what I have read on this forum, Figs should go through some kind of rest period, and maybe if you read about pinching back new growth, - this forum has plenty of information regarding this practice - you may be eating figs next season.

Good luck, and I hope I've helped you.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 6:20AM
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The ideal winter storage location will be between 25F to 45F.
I am in Zone 5a and keep my fig plants in a small celler that stays close to 45F.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:35PM
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