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I received a foot long rooted cutting of a fig tree that is hardy in zones 7-11. I have it in a clay base soil in the ground. It currently has two small leaves. I am completely ignorant of how to care for it and would like some advice. I am in USDA hardiness zone 6. Has anyone got an idea of how to grow these?

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Seeing as you don't know the exact fig tree variety you have, just it's hardy in USDA Hardiness zones 7 to 11 and you're in zone 6, I would be inclined to grow it in a large pot/container. Why?

  • Fig tress aren't particular cold hardy (though some varieties are more hardy than others).

  • Growing it in a large pot/container will enable you to move it to a suitable Wintertime location...

  • Will make keeping it to a manageable size a lot! easier (via confining the root system within an enclosed volume and via appropriate pruning).

If you really must have it planted outside permanently (fully knowing you might lose it to Winter damage), I would:

  • Plant it in a large pot/container for at least a year, allow it to get somewhat established before subjecting to full outdoor life.

  • For its first Winter or two, bring it indoors (somewhere that doesn't get below 32°F/0°C).

  • From Spring through to mid (to late) Autumn/Fall place in a sheltered area (protected from the wind) in full-sun.

  • Keep the soil constantly moist through the growing season, especially important during the heat of summer, you don't want the soil to dry-out.

  • Once every 4 weeks through the growing season apply a "mild" liquid fertilizer.

  • At the beginning of Spring 2013 select a suitable permanent outdoor location.

    • Sheltered from the wind.

    • Full-sun (morning sun it important), late afternoon shade isn't a problem.

    • Soil should provide good drainage, overly fertile soils are best avoided.

    • Room to grow into a mature tree: "generally" 20 to 30ft (6 to 9m) high and canopy width of 20ft (6m) minimum.

  • Though you will probably want to prune the tree each year to keep it to a manageable size, seeing as you will need to protect it during the Winter.

  • Wintertime protection can be adapted from information given here on SE, though you will also want to cover the top...

  • A fully dormant fig tree is hardy down to 15°F (-10°C).

  • A good 2 to 3inch (50 to 75mm) thick mulch layer will help keep the soil moist during the heat of summer. Personally I would use compost as the mulch layer, remembering that a mulch layer should never touch the tree trunk.

    • A compost mulch layer will feed the fig tree slowly and naturally, something fig trees prefer.

Below are a few resources you should find helpful/useful:


Good luck! and I hope the above helps somewhat...

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