Is it possible to grow a fig tree in ground in zone 5?

samuelforest(5b Montreal)December 2, 2011

Hello everyone, I was just wondering if it's possible to grow a fig tree in ground in zone 5? I planted mine in ground for this winter, it's a try OK I put some heavy protection (winter protection cover around all the branches+a tent with winter proctection cover around with leaves in the tent+ 7 bags of leaves all around tree). I'm not dumb, I took some cuttings before attempting this and some rooted, again it's a try otherwise I'll need to overwinter my fig tree indoors.

Question, will a zone 9 to 10 hardy fig tree will be more prone to fruiting if overwintered indoors instead of zone 6 hardy overwintered indoors?

Just share your attemps in zone 5 in ground or in pots.

Thanks in advance

Samuel Forest

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Sammul, we grow around a dozen or so fig plants in ground in a zone 5 location, Connecticut.

Hardy Chicago 5 to 6 years in ground, Violetta Bayernfeige three years, Hardy Hartford, Marseilles Black VS, Ronde de Bourdeaux, and Sal's Corleone, and Brooklyn White all two years. Sal's EL, Kathleen's Black, and Danny's Delight one winter in ground.

All were bent to the ground and then covered with about 4 inches of soil and then aluminum insulation and another 2 inches of soil.

We have never lost a fig plant yet, to winter cold.

Hope that helps.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:45PM
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I am in zone 5 near Kansas City. I have grown one fig in the ground here for about 8 years. I have put two more in the ground and the rest are grown in containers.

The one that has been in the ground the longest gets trimmed down to four feet tall. I put a wood box around it and stuff it with leaves with a light bulb inside. It is a 15 watt bulb that I turn on when it dips below 8 deg f later in winter.

I have put two new figs in the ground and am pruning them the "Japanese way" which is a long horizontal branch with a short trunk. Easy to cover with a tarp filled with leaves and secured to the ground with bricks, stones, etc. That is the new experiment and it should work based on what others have done successfully in this colder climate.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 12:29AM
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samuelforest(5b Montreal)

Bob, so you cut the roots on one side, then you lay down the fig tree and cover it with soil? Have you ever have rot problems? When do you remove this protection?

Ingevald, do you have a diagram of how to prune it in the japenese way?

Thanks for the ideas BTW.
Samuel Forest

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 9:55AM
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Because our trees were planted at a 45 degree angle, next to south a facing basement wall, we don't have to cut any roots

We simply push the plant down to ground level. Some times some roots might make a cracking/popping sound. Or at least some time you can hear them popping, from the plant being forced down. But, this does not seem to hurt them.

We have a Violetta Bayernfeige that was making a popping sound from the roots, last fall when we were pushing it down. But, it did not seem to hurt it. It grew to around 8 to 10 feet tall, this past summer.

Hope that helps

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 7:27PM
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I made an older posting on the other fig forum that has many links on the Japanese methods - interesting pictures, etc. I don't know if all of the links are still working. If you are not able to find adequate information, send me a note.
Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese fig growing methods

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 11:30PM
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samuelforest(5b Montreal)

Thank you very much Ingevald, I don't know if it's too late ,but I hope it will survive to this winter with my protection. I tasted his first figs and they were delicious yellow,golden inside and so sweet.

Samuel Forest

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:35PM
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I have a fig just planted in the ground that comes back every year. It dies back then sprouts back up. It has never made any fruit. There was one year about five years ago that it didn't die back. The stems live through the winter. It has been doing this for about fifteen years.
It was a fig I bought from Gurneys that never made any fruit it was just a house plant.
I have several other figs that I over winter in a green house that do produce figs.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:55AM
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samuelforest(5b Montreal)

That's interesting that it survive to winter like this.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:11PM
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Bob - when do you take off the covering?

How far back do you trim before covering, if it grows 8-10 feet during a season?

Do you wait until a light frost to cover & leaves drop or does that not matter?


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:50PM
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We, take the coverings off around late April for the Violetta Bayernfeige. We take the coverings off the others around the first of april.

We don;t trim the Violetta Bayernfeige. since it's the breba crop we are after.

We wait until the leaves fall. around Thanksgiven time, into early December.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 3:30AM
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I'm looking for fig tree cuttings to root that will grow in zone 5 and up. I would be glad to pay the postage for them. Please contact me. Thanks! and God bless!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Hi, Dan796:

I hope you get to see my post here before Nov 1 of 2012
because that is the deadline date for the free fig cuttings
offered by USDA.

The website is:

Act quick as:
"Orders for dormant cuttings or budwood must be received by November 1st,
and are shipped in January/February" as quoted by this website.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:12PM
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I am in zone 5 very interested in eventually trying growing in grownd .Please all zone 5 growers stay in touch .thanks Austin

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Hi, baust55:

I am in zone 5 Ontario, Canada and in past Sep
I moved my indoor fig (more than 5 years old) to the ground.
My almost 4 feet little fig tree is quite convered up so I
hope it will survive the winter cold.
Right now, it is almost buried in the snow. The snow is melting

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:02PM
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I just checked my in ground Lattarola fig. I didn't cover it and no protection at all since it was an extra tree and I wanted to see how it would do. The ends of the branches look a bit dry but if that's all that happens the rest of the winter then that would be great. Some of the tips still look promising.
The tree was planted the summer before and protected the first winter but this year was the real stress test. My lowest temps were at least -5F that I know of. Hope that info can help. I'll post the full outcome in Spring.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:31PM
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