How do you water your fig while dormant?

meyermike_1micha(5)October 17, 2010

How often do you water your fig tree while in dormant stage? Mine will be in a cellar with temps in the 50's in a dimly lit area..The basement does get very dry..It is 4 feet high and in a 5 gallon pot..

Do you let the soil fru out for weeks, or water as soon as the mix dries out?

Do you water just a little bit, or water until it escapes from the bottom of the pot thoroughly?

Thank you much...


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I winterize my Fig Trees in the Garage and I water them very little may be half 8 ounce cup each month. I make sure the temperature in the Garage does go beyond 45. 50 us too high for a dormant tree. The Book says the ideal range is 35-42. With Higher temperature they may sprout you don't want that to happen while dormant.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 5:36PM
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Hi Foolishpleasure..

If I keep it in complete darkness, would it still sprout at those temps?

On one of my threads, someone actually has temps in the 50's like me and they said their trees do well, and then start to get leaves come about Feb..



    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 8:02PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Soil temperature is the driving force behind the onset of spring growth, Mike. Darkness won't affect whether or not the tree grows. Left in the dark at temperatures above 45*, the tree will push etiolated growth until it exhausts it's energy reserves.

I water dormant trees with snow, as I keep them in the garage and snow is usually handy. Trees want to be damp, but not wet while resting.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 8:54PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

What do we do if we don't get snow?? LOL!

Mike, great question, you just beat me to posting. lol.

I have a ton of question's for my tree's winter care, are you ready for them? ;)

Being in a warmer climate & no snow ;)(please don't hate me. lol) what is the best way to care for and water mine? I won't be moving them to a sheltered area like you guys.

They will all be in containers. Right now their still in the 5gal.container they came home in, which i'm not too crazy about.

Tags read hardy to 10-0 degree's. We RARELY see much lower than 30 degree's.

Are they going to go dormant, or just slow down?

Now, I just went blank on my other questions, so i'll get back to them if I remember them. lol..

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 1:01AM
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I hate you Friend and I hate all people who live in warm climate and don't get snow. Just trying to be funny. I love you all. May be I can sell you some snow. In your Climate your trees do not need any winterizing just leave them alone. I am not an expert but I do lots of research. From my reading the trees has an accurate clock which measures the length of the day. When the day gets shorter they go dormant. That is why the the growing season in Main is shorter than the growing season in California and Arizona. I am in between the two extremes. Last year we had so much snow in Maryland when I remember it I get chills. That why I get my Figs inside but my Apricots and Blueberry love cold weather.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 4:17AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Jodi - they will go dormant & remain dormant for a short time before passing unnoticed into quiescence, where they will remain until a few 45* days in a row forces the onset of spring growth. If I was you, I would bury the pots when leaves fall, and leave them in the ground until danger of frost has past. The cool soil will help prevent the onset of growth earlier than you might wish - before danger of freezing is behind you.

Also, the 10-0* is really pushing it, even for trees in the ground, but especially so for unprotected trees in containers, not that you need to worry where you are.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 1:56PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Foolishpleasure~~ You are funny! lol.. and no, I don't want any snow, that is why I live in Tucson. ;) Actually we get plenty in the mountians, an hours drive, even have ski resorts. :)
And thanks for reminding me about the length of day. :) I'm new to trees of all kinds this season!
This will be my first winter having them.

Hi Al~
Now I'm going to be difficult and not by choice. lol..

But to bury the pots, really isn't an option here. Gravel landscape, plastic underneath, and brick hard dirt to boot, and the best place for these guys, has pipes underground. SMALL YARD !!:(

Plan B? :)

Do you think Hubby would notice if I got rid of the boat? lol..

Our area is prone to the onset of spring growth early, even for the in ground tree's. We get a warm spell in Feb. and everything goes nuts and starts to grow, then usually one last big frost in March.
So I kinda expect everything to grow sooner than planned.

Is that 45* for the daytime highs?

And do I just work to keep them moist? our rains really flip flop in winter.

Thanks for all your help! :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Wow, this is fantastic..Thank Al for this info..Quite interesting these trees...YOu ahve said some very unique things to help me along with my first try at this..

Foolishpleasure: I am with you on that! we still have till the end of the week before the cold comes at us again...I think though that many in the much warmer climate would kill us for just a steal of some of our cold weather to help their

Jojo.....I have an idea...

Since the snow is only an hours drive up north, you could always drive to the half way point where you know that it gets cold, but not enough to kill your tree, just chill it.
Bring a shovel with you of course and make sure no one sees you since they might think you are going to bury a dead body, while you you walk into a secret place in the woods, and bury your tree in a hole till your ready to grab it again..Only you will know where it
Make sure the hubby goes with you to be safe..


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 3:55PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hello Everyone!

Mike, when did you get a fig, and what kind?
And you too Foolishpleasure, what kind? I love hearing what others grow.

I have 3 now.
Black Jack
Black Mission and just got Kadota last week.

I'm sure some may be in envy of your cooler weather, but not this one. LOL! My tree's will just have to learn to deal with our crazy weather like me. :)

My apricot is confused and bloomed this week. ROFL!

Hide my tree's ! LOL!! No, don't think i'll go to that extreme. ;)
Take hubby? Nah! This kid can take care of herself. :) Dynamite (sp?) comes in small packages. ;)


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:47PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

JJ - Plan 'B' = put them on the north side of your home and make sure they don't go dry over the winter. It won't get cold enough where you are to do them harm.

The 45* I referred to was soil temperature. Several consecutive days of soil temps higher than 45* will stimulate your trees to growth. After the onset of growth, most of your trees cold-hardiness, that is, the ability to withstand freezing temps, will be lost, so you'll need to protect them carefully.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 9:20AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Is there a plan C? LOL!

O.K... I'll see what we can do to get them in the back yard. We'll have to remove some of the fence to do it though. LOL!

I guess it will be interesting to see how they do.
Thanks for clearing up the 45*.
The poor things may not go dormant, or be on a roller coaster ride of temps. We've been known to have very mild winters.

My friend Carol was laughing at me about this last night and told me to run out with trays of ice for them several times a day to keep the soil cool to keep them dormant. LOL!


    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 9:33AM
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You know how they have HEAT matts?

Why not invent COLD matts, one you can wrap around your pots so the southerners can grow any plant they want that requires cold root temps for a period of time?Just plu it in as it cools the container down to almost freeze temps!




    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:28PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

You invent one Mike.. I have my hands full these days. lol..

There is someone in the neighborhood with a nice fig in the ground, but it's the tree's first cold season, so courious to see how it goes for it.

Take care,

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 11:19PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

I have made cool mats for dogs.

It's that water crystal stuff sewn between layers of cotton fabric. Get it wet, and you've got evaporation cooling.

It won't take you down to freezing, but it will definitely cool. I've had to take them off my dogs in 100 degree heat because the dogs were getting chilled.

Try wrapping the pots with it. Let us know how it works.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 3:21PM
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