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  • Best "age" to transplant a fig from pot to ground

    I'm sure this has been answered many times, but I'm not getting any hits when searching....

    I quoted age b/c I understand that the timing of when a fig is mature enough to go in ground and have the best chance to stand up to harsh winter elements is due more towards it's trunk caliper than its yearly age. My understanding is that one should wait until the trunk' caliper is at least 3" before transplanting a potted fig to the ground. Is that correct?

    My other understanding is transplants should occur earlier in the year so that the fig tree has time to acclimate and grow out it's root system before the winter season. Is that also correct?

    Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

  • #2
    Its been my experience, althought the recommendation is to wait 2-3 years in colder zones (to develop a large healthy root mass), transplanting can be done with1 gallon or smaller trees if the roots are sufficiently hardened and the plant is kept well watered throughout the growing season.

    To survive the "Cold" of winter the young trees require deep mulching to protect the tender roots. I've experimented with planting 1 gallon trees (root balls) 2 feet deep in zone 7 and 3 feet deep in zone 6 with the trees (root balls and protected stems) surviving winter with dieback of only the exposed branches. Good luck.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


    • smithmal
      Senior Member
      smithmal commented
      Editing a comment

      I'm assuming you are using a "garden variety" 1 gallon pot. If you're planting a 1 gallon fig three feet deep, does that mean you have about 1.5' - 2' of soil above your root ball?

    • AscPete
      Fig Phenom
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, they're standard 1 gallon nursery pots.
      ~ 1.5' to 2.5' of soil above the root ball, and mulched with 1' or more Pinebark Mulch or Wood Shavings in winter.

    • Harborseal
      Senior Member
      Harborseal commented
      Editing a comment
      What Pete Said I bury mine as deeply as I can. I fill in the hole up to the growing tips and fill in the rest as it grows but after it's borne figs.

  • #3
    I rooted a Bordissot Blanca in February of 2014 and planted it in the ground that same year. It had a lot of cold damage and nearly died to the ground along with many others after that winter. But it survived and is doing well now. Generally, it is probably good to grow in a container one year (or more) and then transplant to the ground.
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Nantes Maroc