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  • First Fig

    Hi all, I found this forum searching for care tips for an air layering that was gifted to me by a gardening acquaintance who IDed it as a Petite Negri he's had for many fruitful years. Space is a constraint on my balcony greenhouse, and I'll be employing training techniques primarily to maintain a compact form.

    After reading a few posts, I've removed the bottom leaves to encourage a standard. There are roots poking from the bottom, and I anticipate repotting to remove the sphagnum moss from the roots before it can cause rot.

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    Nate
    Ithaca, NY. Zone 6a.

  • #2
    I wouldn't remove anymore leaves. The leaves will fall off on their own after they have done their job and do no contribute to the tree being a 'standard form' or not, that has more to do with pruning the stems or branches instead of the leaves. Your tree should probably be potted up, maybe into a gallon container at this stage. I would be very careful removing it from its existing container to try to preserve as many roots as possible. Your growing medium also looks very wet. It should be kept damp, but not wet to touch. Welcome.
    Brian
    Carolina Zone 7b/8a Wanted: Col De Dame

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    • #3
      Ditto what Brian said.

      I used to live in Ithaca while attending Cornell. I do not miss the cold.
      Phil
      Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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      • #4
        Brian, thanks for the welcome and advice. I promise I have a fairly green thumb, just zero experience with figs. I had read AscPete's post about early training, and the bottom two leaves had crisped up anyway during transport. This fig hasn't received water in over a week, another reason I need to pot up to a better draining mix that I have.

        Phil, winter's not so bad here, only a week or two of -30F wind chill . It doesn't usually get so cold, the USDA just rezoned us to 6a. Living on the Commons, my plants benefit from the city's heat-island effect. The hardest part is keeping everything from frying in the summer sun, but this year I have plans for a living shade screen.

        Any advice on verifying the ID as it grows? I've read Petite Negri can serve as a catch-all cultivar, and I haven't found a guide / dichotomous key on the forum yet.
        Nate
        Ithaca, NY. Zone 6a.

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        • #5
          Any advice on verifying the ID as it grows? I've read Petite Negri can serve as a catch-all cultivar, and I haven't found a guide / dichotomous key on the forum yet.
          There is no dichotomous key for identifying varieties of figs. They are in the same species and morphological variation is great. The best you can do in terms of verifying what you have is to wait till it has fruits and post a photo, and then get opinions from experienced growers. There is of course DNA testing, but that is not precise enough for closely related varieties. And, yes, Petite Negri and it's relatives can be very confusing to differentiate.

          Welcome to the world of figs.
          SoCal, zone 10.
          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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          • #6
            Welcome! If you have enough light to keep it happy and it's not in danger of out growing its welcome, I'd fertilize it. If you can't have it grow too much then fertilize it as soon as it can safely be placed outside. Use houseplant strength fertilizer for now.
            Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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            • #7
              Gina, thanks for the welcome. I look forward to being able to share photos of its fruit for identification.

              Bob, if there's one thing this fig has, it's light. My growing space is a glass-enclosed balcony with full sun until the late afternoon. It already getting warm out there on clear days.

              I potted up and removed the sphagnum moss at the root of my moisture problem today, photos and comments attached. I lost a few roots, but not many.

              I'm trying a different way to attach photos. I'm not sure which is preferred. There are a few more photos on my gardening blog.
              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 4 photos.
              Nate
              Ithaca, NY. Zone 6a.

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