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  • A Question About Dormancy

    Hi Everyone.
    I'm really new to figs, and this past April I finally bought my first two trees from Bass (Makedonia Dark and Italian Bronze). After that initial purchase, I kind of went out of control and bought a ton of cuttings online. So my question is this:

    Can I let the plants that I started from cuttings go dormant, or are they too young?

    Here are a few details.

    -Cuttings were started on June 24th.
    -Rooted, then moved to plastic cups.
    -Transferred to 1 gallon trade pots on August 7th.

    I poked around a bunch online for the answer before I made this post, but I'm still not sure. I might just be paranoid.

    Thanks for your time, and I apologize if this has been answered before and I missed it.

  • #2
    I forgot to mention I'm located in zone 6... Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

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    • #3
      It is possible to let them go dormant. It depends on how cold they will get in winter storage. I had a few summer started cuttings I overwintered in my garage, and they came back just fine in the spring. I had mine potted in 2-gallon pots, strung some Christmas lights around my trees, covered them with a tarp, and I had a space heater to keep my trees above freezing through the bitter cold stretches. I probably over-engineered my protection as I'm prone to do. I think others have overwintered 1-gallon trees in their garages with less protection.
      Johnny
      Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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      • #4
        Thank you for the response. I really appreciate it. I was planning on keeping them in my unheated basement which never goes below 32 degrees... I just wasn't sure if it was ok because the wood was still super green and young.

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        • #5
          If your basement isn't going below 32 degrees, there probably won't be much if any damage to the green wood. You still have a little time left in the season to lignify the wood. If your basement doesn't go below freezing, the other concern is how warm is it your basement. If the temperatures stay above 45ish degrees for an extended period of time, your trees might break dormancy early. That could be a plus or minus depending on your plans.

          Also, you're going to have keep the potting mix damp by checking on them once every few weeks. Mine were in my garage, so I just tossed some snow on my pots every so often. You could probably get away with throwing a couple of ice cubes on top of the pots when they start feeling dry.
          Johnny
          Stuff I grow: Google Doc

          Comment


          • JohnnyK
            JohnnyK commented
            Editing a comment
            It usually stays pretty cold down there, but I can't say for sure what the high temp would be... maybe 50. I guess I could put a thermometer down there and open a window for a bit if it starts to get too warm. Also, thanks for the ice cube tip. I'll definitely do that.

        • #6
          Hello JohnnyK,

          Yes, the 1 gallon containers can be allowed to go dormant. Fig trees will go dormant when temperature fall below ~ 40*F but can wake if the temperatures rise above ~ 45*F. The temperature for younger trees should not be allowed to fall below ~ 34*F due to the increased chances of damage to the unlignified (green) wood. The best temperature for storing all dormant fig trees is between 32* and 40*F.

          There are lots of posted and published info about 25*F being the lowest safe temperature for older dormant fig trees but if the temperatures fall into the 20's the dormant trees may be damaged. Also the lower the ambient exposed temperatures the longer the trees take to wake in spring. Good Luck.

          BTW, I've wintered dormant rooted cuttings in 4" containers without any die back at 32* to 40*F.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

          Comment


          • JohnnyK
            JohnnyK commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for the response. It was clear and laid out well... just like a lot of your other posts I've seen in the forum. It takes the guess work out of what is an "ok" temp for older trees as opposed to younger ones. Between you and Johnny( jkuo) I'm a little less worried about going into the winter season. Thanks guys.

          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            You're welcome.
            Jkuo's comments about watering the dormant containers is very important... They should be checked and kept moist/damp throughout the dormant period, also the smaller containers will usually dry out faster than the larger containers.
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