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  • Managing indoor figs

    I have about 10 fig trees under grow lights and propagating some additional cuttings right now. My question is, I have one (a Black Madeira) which is about 13 inches tall plus a 7 inch pot (20 inches). All my others are smaller. And the Black Madeira is growing faster, presumably because it is much closer to the light and has a larger root structure. If you had seen it when I got it you would understand why I did not want to try to force it into dormancy and frankly I feel it is too late now. Anyway, I can't just keep raising the light because of the Black Madeira and leaving the smaller plants in the dust. Also, my objective was to get it to next spring in good condition, not try to grow it to 4 or 5 feet tall. So, I pinched the main vertical stem. But it regenerated and i had to pinch it again. Now it's looking like I have to pinch again. Plus the other two growing branches are quickly catching up and I will soon have to pinch them. It feels like Wack-A-Mole. Can the plant take this all winter?

  • #2
    Do you have a pic to post? Sounds like it is growing aggressively, which is great.. If only it were April or May! Lol! I feel your pain with trying to figure out the lighting situation.. I recently bought a Brogiotto Nero (from none other than our main man Wills 😁) and it has really taken off. I too am afraid to try to put it to sleep for the winter since it has gained a great deal of fresh green growth that would undoubtedly not survive a frost.. I just bought one new desk lamp that is fitted with a 100k equivalent fluorescent bulb in the 6500k range.. In addition to the south facing window it resides in at the moment, I supplement with that lamp now for a few hours at night.. So far so good.. But all winter long? Maybe not. I was thinking of moving the whole shabang into my basement that is about 50-55 degrees.. They wont go into dormancy down there but I'm hoping to just maintain them.. Keep the growth to a minimum & then bring em back upstairs early to get a jumpstart in early spring.. Hopefully I'll get a stroke of genius & figure out the lighting situation by then.. Lol!

    So what temp is the room you are currently keeping your plants in?
    My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY

    Rooted Cuttings Available 2021:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...fxsT1DuH8/edit

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    • #3
      Last winter, I "over-wintered" some small figs in my basement under two 4 foot shop lights. One kept it's leaves all winter, another dropped one or two and another dropped them all. It's 50-55 during the winter in my basement so they all went partially dormant and were not actively growing.

      This past spring when the temps started to rise I repotted them and moved them to my GH. They all took off and grew well this year.

      While you can "grow" figs indoors in the winter you need a pretty hi intensity light to make sure they do not get too leggy.

      For me, having them go partially dormant in a cool basement works.

      Some folks like Scott (COGardener) have over-wintered figs in a warm, light intense indoor GH with good success.

      I hope you find out what works best for you.
      Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

      Comment


      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        Where do you get gnatrol?

      • don_sanders
        don_sanders commented
        Editing a comment
        You can get it on eBay.

        Use 0.25 to 3.25 teaspoons (0.9 to 7.3 grams) per gallon of water depending on severity of infestation for 3 weekly treatments according to the data sheet.

      • drew51
        drew51 commented
        Editing a comment
        Not sure how gnats got in the discussion, though I thought I would mention I use hydrogen peroxide, about 1 tbs per gallon, or more. I have not seen fungus gnats in years. 99 cents for 16 ounces. It also oxygenates the roots, and will kill other fungi, like the damping off fungus.

    • #4
      Thanks for the replies.

      This batch is in an atreum window facing south and on a heat mat with 6500K Lights over them. I could move the Black Madeira to the basement but my basement is finished and kept at 69 F. Because I have heard about this particular variety being difficult I am a little hesitant to move it from a situation where it is obviously flourishing.

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      • Jamie0507
        Jamie0507 commented
        Editing a comment
        I definitely can see why you are concerned with it being so happy & growing so nicely. I'm new to this fig growing game myself, but I have definitely heard the BM can be really finicky from many different members. I like Kevin's idea of making airlayers in lieu of pinching! You could then sell that airlayer or gift it to some lucky friend or family member..

      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        one other thing, if you're giving it a lot of fertilizer, you may want to cut back on that.

        That also might slow the growth a little.

      • drew51
        drew51 commented
        Editing a comment
        When I have small and large plants under lights I use boxes and such to raise the smaller ones to the light. Also I can angle the light somewhat too. I use the easy ratchet carabiner light hanger cords to lower and raise lights.

    • #5
      Or keep raising the light for the BM and prop the little guys higher with something under each pot to keep them closer to the light. Might not look great, but might work
      Ed
      SW PA zone 6a

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      • Jamie0507
        Jamie0507 commented
        Editing a comment
        Sounds like my grow room! Lol it's definitely NOT pretty but dang it the lil guys are growing pretty well so far! Plus I just keep that door permantantly shut.. I refer to this room as.... "The Mom Cave" 😁

    • #6
      OK. I appreciate all the replies. I just hope come spring it is still in the mood to keep going like this. If so I'm going to need some new pruning shears.

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      • #7
        Since the Black Madeira is growing so fast you could do an air layer for an extra tree and then you could lower your lights for the other trees. You can never have too many trees.
        Wishlist; Green Michurinska, St. Rita
        Tony
        Sarver, PA Zone 6A.

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        • #8
          OK. Please look at my air layer. Definately on green, barely lignified limb. Not sure how it works with that.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.

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          • #9
            How do you fix the pictures to not be sideways?

            Comment


            • cjmach1973
              cjmach1973 commented
              Editing a comment
              When I click on the page a second time, it goes to an all white page, and is right side up

          • #10
            If you took the pics with phone in verticle position try taking pic with phone in horizontal position. That's what worked for me.
            Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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            • #11
              By now the plant should be old enough to go dormant. Gradually expose it to coooler temps and less light unless you want to grow it all winter.

              What zone are you in and what's your current weather like?
              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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              • #12
                Blackfoot, the air layer looks good. With vigorous growth you should see roots showing in 4 to 6 weeks.
                Wishlist; Green Michurinska, St. Rita
                Tony
                Sarver, PA Zone 6A.

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                • #13
                  Bob C. I am in zone 7A, South Jersey. It was 32 degrees last night. I would prefer to not try to make this plant go dormant. I just went through something similar to this with an Antonio Black. 2 months trying to get it to go from actively growing under grow lights to outdoor 24/7 and lignified wood and ready to go away for the winter. For me and this plant I just think the window is passed,

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                  • #14
                    Happy New Year to everyone! This morning I observed my 1st root on my air layer of Black Madeira. A nice New Years gift. That's 7 weeks. Honestly I didn't think it would take that long. It occurred to me that it may have been because it's a relatively small root enclosure and is inundated with light. So I made an attempt to shade it with newspaper to help it along. My wife laughed when she saw it. http://www.dotphoto.com/ViewAlbum.asp?AID=6724990&IID=274387765

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                    • #15
                      Blacfoot, it's best to cover the plastic around the air layer with aluminum foil or something else to block the sunlight from heating it up and frying the roots. If it was outside in full sun it probably would of killed any roots trying to grow but being indoors in winter probably helped and the roots were able to grow. Keep it covered and it should fill up with lots of roots in no time now.
                      Good luck!
                      Wishlist; Green Michurinska, St. Rita
                      Tony
                      Sarver, PA Zone 6A.

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                      • #16
                        Do figs really needed a dormancy period? My Black Madeira and Figo Preto still have green leaves and figs that are turning dark slowly. I’ve thought about bringing them inside too to see if the figs would ripen faster. Would this work?
                        I turn my dining room into a sun room with a high powered sun lamp for the two months of winter we have here in SoCal. I bring in all my tropical plants that are outside for the rest of the year. The local hydroponics store sells a 4’x4’x6” tray to protect the floor from moisture and it doubles as a rain catcher in the spring and fall. The shorter plants that need more sun are placed in the center under the sun light on an inverted trash can or large pot, with the larger plants around them. The sun light and heated house keep the room warm without an extra heat source which is a problem with the outside plastic tent greenhouse. It’s wonderful to have a sunny green growing space when it’s cold and dark outside.
                        The main problem I’ve found with the sun room is that the bugs take over pretty fast. Spider mite webs are already forming. Happy ants are busy setting up their scale “cows” as fast as I can rub them off. Spraying is too toxic to do indoors. Plants have to be positioned carefully or the light will burn them. I have to manually plug/unplug to turn the light on and off because the cheap timer melted and fried the electrical socket. I don't want to risk this again with an expensive timer. The ballast makes a buzzing sound that my son hates, but I don’t hear it when the doors are closed.

                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                        Mara, Southern California,
                        Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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                        • #17
                          Tony, I probably should have done that from the beginning. Probably would have produced roots faster. The only thing is that I poked toothpicks through the plastic in various places for aeration. I think putting tin foil would defeat that. I did notice though green algae though and that would not have happened if shaded/covered properly.

                          Mara. My Black Madeira plant is not getting a dormant period this year. It did stop growing almost though. It's green and all but it definately put the brakes on. It has supplemental lighting but it's in a south facing window so I wonder if its taking its cues from the sun.

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                          • #18
                            Well here is an update. Turns out this is not a Black Madeira LOL!. I am sure just an honest mistake but a yellow fig(I think it's a yellow fig , we'll see very soon)? Ha ha ha. Not sure why I think its so funny. Very interested to see what it really is!
                            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

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                            • Rewton
                              Rewton commented
                              Editing a comment
                              The leaves look like Celeste. Sorry!

                          • #19
                            Beginning to ripen so when I get a ripe one I'll cut it and post a pic. If it taste good I will be happy.

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                            • #20
                              OK. Here are a couple pics. Anybody have an idea what it is? Not bad tasting. Good seed crunch. Medium sweetness. Taste like peach with figgy finish.
                              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

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                              • AscPete
                                AscPete commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Its Celeste...

                            • #21
                              Looks like a Celeste

                              Tastes like a Celeste

                              It is a Celeste!

                              Sorry it didn't turn out to be a Black Madeira like you thought it was.
                              Wishlist; Green Michurinska, St. Rita
                              Tony
                              Sarver, PA Zone 6A.

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                              • #22
                                Ha ha. It's Ok it's not Black Madeira. I have a couple Figo Preto and one is really doing well.And,,,about 15 other varieties which most are doing well. Lots of figs coming up this season. Only three varieties from last season. All the rest are new, grown from sticks over the winter.

                                Whew! Lot of work though. I spend a good hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes watering each morning. And that is my streamlined version of watering. Plus making SIPs. That takes a lot of time. They do work very well though.

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