Getting Fig Through the Winter
I live in zone 4 so I brought my dwarf fig tree indoors for the winter, and some of the leaves have turned brown and fallen off. Why did this happen? Also, will it bear figs indoors? Please give me advice on how to care for it.
Keeping a fig actively growing indoors for the winter is difficult. Many northern gardeners opt to let their plants go dormant. After the first light frost of fall they move the plants to a cool area where the temperatures remain above 20 degrees. Additional protection is needed and plants may die if temperatures go lower. Figs do best and suffer less root rot when grown in drier soils. Water only often enough to keep the unfrozen soil damp not wet. Finding a suitable overwintering location is difficult. Most of our basements are too warm and unheated garages in the far north may get too cold. You may want to set out a recording thermometer this winter to evaluate potential overwintering locations for next year. In the mean time grow your fig in a full sun location. Supplement with artificial light and water only when the soil starts to dry. Over watering is the biggest killer of figs growing indoors. Gradually move the plants outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Figs typically bear two crops a year. The spring crop is often damaged by late spring frost on plants wintered outdoors in northern areas. Those wintered indoors may or may not set fruit. The second and main crop forms on new growth. I have met quite a few northern gardeners who have successfully raised fig plants and harvested a late crop of fruit.