Q. How do I care for my fig tree in winter?
WINTER CARE: Figs can tolerate temperatures lower than freezing if "put to bed properly." After leaf drop, wrap the tree tightly with natural twine, followed by a burlap wrap and then a tarp (roofing paper). Some gardeners use old linoleum; however, avoid wrapping plastic directly on the shrub. To insulate the tree, you can use salt hay or shredded leaves in the interior of the wrap and in the tree well. Then cap off the tree (place a pail on the terminal end of the tree if you can; if not, don't worry--the tree may be too tall).
CONTAINER CARE: The benefit of container planting is that no winter wrapping is required. Just bring the potted plant into an unheated garage that will remain above freezing. Water sparingly once a month during winter; do not soak. The tree is dormant and requires only that its roots do not dry out completely. A small castered planter saucer can make the moving job easier--simply place the plant on the saucer and wheel it into the garage. If moving the pot into a sheltered area is not an option, then protect it as you would a planted tree.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service