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Over-wintering indoor question

Posted by rgvnewf z5 NL,Canada (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 12:38

I purchased three Chicago Hardy figs in the spring of 2012. I potted them in to larger pots and grew them outside for the 2012 growing season. When they dropped their leaves in the fall, I moved them into a dark cool basement. Two things I need to know:
1.) When do I move them back outside. I live in zone 5 (Newfoundland, Canada) where our last average frost date is early June.
2.) Should I be providing any water while they are dormant. If so, how much and how often.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Over-wintering indoor question

  • Posted by kngskid Georgia zone 7b (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 14:51

Hi Rob, I grow my figs in containers and over winter them in the garage but I live in zone 7 and I can not comment on when you should move your figs back outside but for sure you should water them while they are in storage. My figs are in 12 inch pots, 16 inch pots and 18 gal pots, the largest pots get one gallon of water every three or four weeks and the others about a cup or two. I keep the roots damp and never let the soil become powdery dry. The trees have done well year after year.

RE: Over-wintering indoor question

How cold does your garage get in the winter? I'm overwintering some fig trees in my attached garage now, but it seems to stay in the mid 50s all winter. I water them, like you do, and thankfully they haven't awaken yet, but I feel like they might wake up too soon with those temps. What do you think? I'm in zone 7. Thanks!


This post was edited by frankcbd on Thu, Feb 7, 13 at 14:56

RE: Over-wintering indoor question

Hi Frank,

My garage is an in-house garage and I keep the temperature around 45F. This is my first winter trying to get my plants through to the next year, so I'm not quite sure about when they will start to bud out. I hope it does not happen before I can get them moved back outside, but I'm not quite sure when I should be able to do this i.e. wait until all threat of frost is passed or tahe a chance on late spring frosts. Any thoughts out there about when to move them back outside based on frosts?


RE: Over-wintering indoor question

  • Posted by kngskid Georgia zone 7b (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 14:26

I don't know where all the fig experts are but I'll share my experience... My garage is attached to the house and I don't know how cold it gets. I can only say that when it's cold outside I need a jacket if I'm hanging out in the garage but it's always tolerable. As far as the figs waking up or leafing out.... it has been my experience that figs are very hardy. My first year with figs I didn't know that I was suppose to protect them so I left them outside and they survived just fine until we dipped down to 19 F. The next day the branches were black but in March new branches starting coming up from the root ball and the dead ones were removed. The new branches gave a few figs the same year.

The next year I put them in the garage but wasn't sure when to put them outside so while I was waiting for our last frost date to come around (April 15th) it still leafed in March even though it was in complete darkness.

Frank, here in Georgia we've only gotten down to the mid or low twenties and in 2012 we were in the clear by the end of February meaning that we did have low overnight temps but not low enough to kill anything so I'm going to move a few of my mature figs out and hope they wake up to get an early start but I'll bring them back in if out temps are expected to dip to the teens. My younger figs will go out to the unheated poly tunnel at the end of Feb.

Rob, if your figs do leaf in the garage they'll be okay but you'll need to provide either grow lights or sun light. If you allow the leaves to stay in the dark too long direct sun will burn the young leaves and if you do move them out you'll need to be prepared to protect the young leaves from frost. It's quite a balancing act!

Hope this helps!

RE: Over-wintering indoor question

Thanks guys. I appreciate the replies.

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