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  • Frost Bitten Fig Trees

    I have three fig trees which I had been shuffling in and out this winter trying to keep them dormant. (An Unk, probably Hardy Chicago, an Antonio Black, and a Kathleen Black) I really currently have no where that is above freezing but below room temp. Working on that for next year.

    So these trees suffered two incidents with the cold. The 1st time they were fully dormant and I left them out overnight and it went down to 22 Deg F. Brought them in in the morning and all was fine after they thawed. Then about three weeks later they started budding out. They were just breaking bud and I did it again. Went down to 21 Deg F this time. I thought I killed them. Tips died but after a few weeks they budded out again.

    Well I know they usually sulk when you repot them so I figured I would use this as a strategy to keep them from leafing out too quickly. That didn't work well. They are pushing out leaves at an alarming rate. So I put them out the other day. It was about 40 F but with a very stiff wind. The Unk-probably Hardy Chicago did not like it. It took the color out of the edges of the leaves and those leaves stayed that way. I do not want to stress these plants anymore as I feel I have pushed my luck with them already. My question is, at what temp can you leave them outside and not have to worry?

  • #2
    If they've just budded, I don't like them to get under 50 F. That's just my opinion. Others may feel comfortable going lower.
    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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    • #3
      I'm experimenting myself. I will let them get down to 40 for now. I will see how they do. Tonight it is supposed to go to 45F, right now it's 48, and the leaves are up and look good.

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      • #4
        I moved almost everything out to the portable greenhouse yesterday and am prepared to let it stay out there down to 40F as long as daytime temps are above 60F. Last night was their first night out with forecast low of 41F but it only got down to 48F. when I checked this morning, everything seems happy and healthy. The only things out of place were a couple aloes that were knocked over by a barn cat that I assume found its way in last evening.
        Attached Files
        Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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        • DBJohnson
          DBJohnson commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, that barn cat...the one peering through over the dragonfruit. His name is Tuxie and he's the mouthiest cat I've ever been around. He will talk your ear off but rarely will let you touch him.

      • #5
        Temperature measurement is very misleading. A true 45 degree day is measured in the shade 3 feet above ground with no air movement. If you are able to but your plants in a sheltered sunny spot protected from wind it could easily reach 55 degrees. I feel this is why some people seam to have success at a certain temperature that others are unable to duplicate

        To get to your question - the soft sappy growth of a new shoot wont like the chill of any where near 32 , even 40 is a stretch, but I have been amazed at a plants ability to bounce back and be resilient. would you consider removing the soft tips and leaving them outside - New Jersey will be warming up soon and they can leaf out normally.

        The sun-soaked thermometer reads 80 degrees although the air was in the 20s.

        Ian
        Ian

        Really happy with what I have.

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        • #6
          Ian I think its too late for that. They are outside today but they pushed out leaves very quick. I am not saying they may not bounce back if I clipped them but I just don't want to chance it. A little longer with the fig shuffle won't hurt.

          Plus there is something about a plant leafing out that gives you a hope of spring. Kinda like a dog. It trusts you no matter what and you don't want to let it down.

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          • The Figster
            The Figster commented
            Editing a comment
            Share with us some images to see the extent of the growth. It will help all of us

        • #7
          Ok Here are some pics.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.

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          • The Figster
            The Figster commented
            Editing a comment
            I do not think these plants can be slowed down other than to put them in shade rather than bright sun. Us members blessed with northeastern weather must remember we still have 6 weeks of fluctuating temps.
            If your plants get too far ahead with bright spring sun and we get a cold snap and you forget to bring them in they will get zapped!

            good luck

        • #8
          Originally posted by Blackfoot12 View Post
          I have three fig trees which I had been shuffling in and out this winter trying to keep them dormant. (An Unk, probably Hardy Chicago, an Antonio Black, and a Kathleen Black) I really currently have no where that is above freezing but below room temp. Working on that for next year.
          The minimum requirement to be in this forum is 100 acres outside and 10,000 sq ft climate controlled space indoors. There's some time allowed for those of us still working up to that.

          Anything under ~55 will slow the growth. There's nothing wrong with that at this stage. Anything under about ~38 is unhealthy and even the lightest frost (33 with a breeze, for instance) will kill newly formed tissue. In the fall with fully hardened leaves they'll survive down to 29 or so, depending on the wind.

          I personally would never cut off new growth unless it ends up weak and lanky after a few months. Even then I'd probably try to a/l it.
          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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