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  • What temperature is too hot for figs?

    I never expected that in my climate there could be too hot for figs, but this summer has been unusually warm here, and I had to shade my figs several times because of sudden drooping (despite watering), especially those growing right next to the south wall of my house. Our daily highs in these days were just above 30°C in the shade, that means that more than 45°C built up in front of the south wall, under direct sun. I'd like to know, from where I have to draw a line, for not acting reactively but proactively, with shading.
    Estonia, Zone 5 Wish List 2023 Improved Celeste-Florea-Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley-Teramo-Long Yellow-Iranian Candy-De Tres Esplets-Malta Black-Salem Dark-Olympian-Smith-Green Michurinska + Any tasty super early fig

  • #2
    I’ve only really had a problem with my Panache tree which, like you, is located on the south side of my house. I have 2, one in a half wine barrel and one in a large black plastic pot. They are also on my driveway. Typically, the radiant heat and thermal mass are important to help me ripen the whole crop. But it has happened that a sudden high heat wave has ruined the remaining harvest, rendering the fruit completely bland. I would guess this has only happened when temperatures reached 110 Fahrenheit. I don’t know that it is a max temperature threshold though. It could be relative to the individual climate and how the plants physiology is shocked by sudden unusual heat. So, the high temp may vary, it matters more that a shock is achieved as the plant is not physiologically adapted to the sudden stress.
    I don’t think shading would help in my situation as there is so much radiant heat and thermal mass where I have these trees. Possibly relocating these pots away from the house onto soil in a shadier spot would help me. Not sure what to do if trees are in ground.
    Good luck!
    Napa, CA 9B

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    • #3
      few weeks ago we had 35C+ few days, in my greenhouse sometimes it's 50C all doors open. I had to spray them every few hours to let it drop to 40C. figs tree are still alive now. I do see some black pots on small green figs. I found them didn't grow well if above 35C.
      Richmond, BC, Canada Zone 8A
      WL: List Completed. What do you recommend?

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      • #4
        Thanks, aaron and standalonus! So I'm guessing +40º C is about the limit.
        So far I managed to resolve the drooping by blocking direct sun by placing large diameter plastic pipe between the fig and the sun, for few hours around the noon. But that blocks my walkway and I want to keep this blockage as short as possible.
        Estonia, Zone 5 Wish List 2023 Improved Celeste-Florea-Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley-Teramo-Long Yellow-Iranian Candy-De Tres Esplets-Malta Black-Salem Dark-Olympian-Smith-Green Michurinska + Any tasty super early fig

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        • Badgerferrit
          Badgerferrit commented
          Editing a comment
          Have you tried garden shade cloth?

      • #5
        In general 40C, 104F, would be about as hot as I'd want if in full sun. In the low elevations of SW US anything above 110 in full sun is too hot for best fruit quality. In the shade or in a greenhouse with high humidity they'll take 120 at least for a few hrs a day. I'd really get worried at 130+ but it would probably take 150 to cook them in a short period of time. A closed greenhouse could hit 150 if 100 outside.
        Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
        http://growingfruit.org/

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        • #6
          Thanks, fruitnut! My two figs, closest to the south wall, are clearly enjoying being in a hot spot most of the time, but noontime of a few hottest days has been too much for them. Pomegranates next to them are enjoying even highest temperatures.
          Estonia, Zone 5 Wish List 2023 Improved Celeste-Florea-Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley-Teramo-Long Yellow-Iranian Candy-De Tres Esplets-Malta Black-Salem Dark-Olympian-Smith-Green Michurinska + Any tasty super early fig

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          • #7
            When our temps were 110 to 117 a few weeks ago, it seemed my trees really slowed down. Now that we are that we have had a couple weeks in the 98 to 105 range the tree have really put on a growth spurt and the figs are really ripening fast.
            Ed- Southern Utah 8b - Wish List: Anything that is very tasty, that is common and I don't have.

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            • #8
              On one of my trips to the Middle East it was around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, in the shade, and figs grow there just fine. So I’m going to say as long as they have a regular water source they can live pretty much anywhere short of the heart of a volcano

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              • Sulev
                Sulev commented
                Editing a comment
                Record high temperatures in the Middle East, 54.0 °C (129.2 °F), were recorded in Tirat Zvi, Israel on 21 Jun 1942, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...e_temperatures
                So 130 °F can't be normal there.

              • fig Lebowski
                fig Lebowski commented
                Editing a comment
                According to the thermometer that was in out TOC it said 130* and it said it more than once.

            • #9
              Originally posted by fig Lebowski View Post
              On one of my trips to the Middle East it was around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, in the shade, and figs grow there just fine. So I’m going to say as long as they have a regular water source they can live pretty much anywhere short of the heart of a volcano
              Where you been buddy? Haven't heard from you in a while. Welcome back......
              Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania / Zone 6b

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              • fig Lebowski
                fig Lebowski commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah.. I’ve been staying off social media for a while. Figured I would jump on here and see what’s up with the what’s up…

            • #10
              This year had a week of 100F plus temps with black pots southern facing back yard full sun. Figs did great! I did water 5 or 6ish to cool pots down. They did better than i thought. I did have them close together to shade pots some, not on purpose im short on room. 10 gal pots were side by side no spacing. 20 gal pots had a 10 gal squat pot for spacing inbetween them.
              https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
              WL: Raspberry Latte, Black Zadar. Spokane, Wa. Z6

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              • #11
                This is one of those few areas where I have some experience that might be helpful. I live in Southern Arizona. I have a number of figs in 10-15 gal containers on the east side of my house. We recently had hotter weather than usual (up to 115F/45C) daytime temp for 2 weeks. As long as I kept the figs well watered, almost all of them were OK, except that they stopped growing. Fortunately no fruit dropping either. The two exceptions to this were Yellow Longneck and Flanders. Both of these experience leaf damage/burn; this was treated with shade cloth for the Flanders, and a removal of a branch on the Yellow. Note that these plants had an excess of top growth to support compared to the remaining plants. No losses except for a few leaves. When the temps came down into the normal range for us, growth resumed, and figs ripened and were enjoyed.

                On the south side of my house, young plants in 1gal to 2gal pots were subjected to temps up to 126F/52C air temps. These were either under shade cloth (26% light reduction) or fiberglass (unknown % light reduction, but more than 35%). These plants had a few burned leaves before I protected them with shade cloth, but otherwise were undamaged. I did mist them 2x a day, and watered daily. There was no fruit on these plants.

                My conclusion is that figs are capable of surviving higher temps than almost all of our members will encounter IF the judicious use of shade cloth and watering/misting is followed. High temps by themselves require care, but need not be disastrous.
                Learning to grow figs in Sonoran Desert of Arizona (9a)

                Wish list: Paratjal Rimada

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