simsedwardOctober 2, 2012

I live in Southeast Michigan....its getting colder. Winters will definitely dip below freezing and we will see several months of snow.

This is the first season my fig tree has produced. Last year I overwintered it in an unheated garage and it did great this spring and summer, but it is such a short growing season here.

I was thinking about bringing the pot in the house for the winter to see if I could get a jump start on next year's production. Has anyone ever overwintered a fig tree indoors?

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I have the same problem short season. I winterize my figs in unheated garage. I think bringing fig trees in heated house the trees will be missing the sun. I am thinking about green house to extend my season.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:48AM
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Hi folks,

This is a great opportunity to experiment with growing an indoor fig tree. I live in Florida, so my fig trees do not need any protection at all for the winter. But I will go outside right now and cut two branches. I will root them and pot them and do all I can to keep them in my living room over the winter, hoping to even keep them leafy and growing if possible.

I will not use grow lamps, but will keep them near to windows and regular indoor existing light sources. I will be sure to use two different varieties for this interesting project.

Has anybody tried this before? Am I wasting my time on this?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:02PM
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The plant will grow inside if there is enough light but the fruiting capability will be compromised. The plant has to go through dormancy period of rest for its normal potential.
To give it an early start, you may let it go dormant in a cooler place and bring it inside to a well lit place after five or six weeks of dormancy.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Keep in mind that the leaves of many figs emit a cat urine aroma of varying strength. I took mine into the sunroom 2 days ago because of a cold storm front moving in. We got a couple inches of snow last nite, with possibly more to come the next couple nights. Point is my sunroom reeks like cat piss thanks to Flanders. Now if you are a cat lover your house may possibly already smell like this and you won't even notice. On the flip side of this, I started my figs out of dormancy this early spring in the sunroom; there was no urine aroma, and more of a pleasant almost coconut aroma.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Fig trees need enough sun about 8 hours per day to produce fruit. The leaves uses the sun to produce Carb and suggar and send it to the roots which in turn send it to the fruit. If you grow a fig tree in door it will be ornamental. Figs do very poor in shade.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:57AM
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Hello Ottawan and foolishpleasure,

The idea is not to get fruit in the winter, as the fruit is always seasonal, but to keep a tree indoors and hopefully even leafy thru the whole winter. The odor might be the biggest problem, I dunno.

I keep reading that trees need a period of dormancy, but that is not the case here in Florida. Last winter was so mild that my trees kept most of their leaves, yet I did get my two seasonal crops in, and in fact, the current crop is the best season ever. I've got gobs of ripening figs out there right now on my eight in-ground trees. The supposed need for dormancy might be over rated. Since I have 5 varieties, and four are fruiting right now, that my trees remained awake and leafy all last winter seems just fine. Harvest starts in a week.

Just sayin'.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:59PM
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I'm glad this thread is already started and still active. I have similar questions and can add our limited experience to the mix. We're not much of a gardening family, but my wife does like figs, so we decided to give it a try.

We bought a bare-root fig tree in the spring last year. Because we were told it would not survive outside through the winter here in northern Vermont without considerable work on our part, we planted it in a large ceramic pot. We kept the fig inside until about June and then moved it just outside the south wall of our house for the summer. From what we have read, that location is nearly ideal for the fig because it is protected by the house from nearly all the winds and gets full sun. That fall, we moved it back into the house and kept it in a south-facing window for the winter, moving back outdoors around June of this year. The fig did great all summer, but did not produce any fruit. I don't know if this is because it needs more time to establish itself or what. The fig is now losing its leaves, so I'm about to move it back inside, but I wonder if I should be doing something else to give it more dormancy or the "chill hours" that I've heard about from my California family members.

Here's some background on my house to explain what I can and can't do. I live in an underground house. The whole south wall is glass, so we get lots of sun from early January when the fall clouds clear up into the spring when the spring rains come. We don't have a garage, so I'm trying to think about where else the tree could be made dormant if I wanted to go that route. The big question is, how cold does it need to get. We do have a back room that is dark 90% of the time. It has no windows and is lighted only when I need to get something from the freezer or I need my tools. That part of the house is almost always in the 60s. We store our wood for the winter in the other half of the back room, so it is also dark most of the time. Because there is an outside door to that area, the temperatures are a little lower, but not below 50.

So, did I do the right thing last winter in keeping it active? I think I remember that it lost its leaves in the fall and then put out new ones in early winter. We even saw some tiny fruits on the tree (perhaps eight or ten), but they fell off before they came close to ripening. Alternatively, should I pack the tree away in one of those back rooms? If so, which would be better, 60s or 50s?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:32PM
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I agree I am not trying to get the tree to set any fruit, just to survive the winter and get an early jump next spring..

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:41PM
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I'm trying different options this winter, several babies to experiment with. I've planted one in the ground, and fenced around northeast to protect from winds. I've wrapped the trunk and will be heaping on wood chips-somewhat burying it. I plan to plant a couple, mulched deep, in the hoop-house. And the rest will come into the cellar till spring.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:34PM
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HELLO If you want your tree to go into dormacy the temperature in its environment can not go over 40. Your tree will start producing next season. IT TOOK MY TREES 2-3 years to mature and produce. Also during the season you have to clip the end of the growth so the tree will produce instead of wasting energy for vegetative growth. I don't allow my Fig trees to go more than 6-7 feets. I Have 6 trees in raised bed and 8 trees in pots and all produced. The ones in raised bed which I cover with green house cloth are bigger and has more branches. The one in pots are easy to maneuver because I have the pots resting on pipe base with wheels like the ones I use for trash cans, I keep moving them to sunny spots because I have lots of shade trees in my yard.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:06PM
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We have 3 dwarf fig plants in pots and will winter them in the garage after putting them in larger pots. What is the best to plant them in? Potting soil or potting mix. I have part bags of both and it looks like they are about the same. I heard that they should go through a couple of light frosts first. We live in the Reno area at 4800 feet and are still having morning temps from 43 to 53 degrees.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 7:30PM
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