Growing Figs – USDA Hardiness Zones 5 To 9 (pt1)

figs Figs are not restricted to the tropics. Some Varieties of Fig will grow and over winter as far north as USDA zone 5 and as far south as USDA zone 9.

LSU Gold Fig Is a large golden fruit with a ruby blush. Fruit ripens from a light green to attractive yellow. Pulp is light red to pink. Ripe fruit has excellent, sweet fig flavor. Delectable when eaten fresh, but also dries well. This tree is a fast growering and a heavy producer.
Louisiana State University introduction.
Grow in USDA zones 7 to 9.
Grows well in containers.
Heat tolerant fruit ripens in July.
Self-pollinating.

LSU Purple Fig Grows glossy purple fruit, enjoy fresh or dried! Fruit is medium sized with a mild flavor, high sugar content, and white flesh. The pulp is light amber to light red when ripe.
Highly productive.
Pest and disease resistant.
Louisiana State University introduction. Hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9.
Grows well in containers.
Heat tolerant. Ripens from July through frost.
Self-pollinating.

Celeste Fig Hardy USDA zones 6 to 9.
Sweet with a smooth rich flavor. Fruit has violet skin and rose colored flesh. Fruit is consumed fresh, also dries well. Closed eye, when ripe helps resist splitting and souring. One of the most widely planted fig trees. Needs winter protection in USDA zones 6 and 7.
Grows well in containers.
Heat tolerant. Ripens in July.
Self-pollinating.

Chicago Hardy Fig hardy USDA zones 5 to 9.
Productive and easy to grow. Bears medium size figs. Drought tolerant once established. Plant will die back in colder climates and resume growth in spring.
Has tendency to bear fruit on new growth. Fruit produced on the old wood will appear in early summer and fruit on new growth will appear in early fall. Fruit has a dark mahogany color. (aka Bensonhurst Purple fig.)
Originates from Sicily.
Grows well in containers.
Heat and drought tolerant. Ripens in July through frost.
Self-pollinating.

Brown Turkey Fig Harty USDA zones 5 to 9.
Is a classic, all purpose fig. Fruit is delicious fresh and in preserves. Dried figs make tasty snacks all year long.
Tree needs protection when temperatures drop below 10ºF.
Needs minimal pruning and may yield 2 distinct crops in locations with a long, warm growing season.
Grows well in containers.
Heat tolerant. Ripens in June.
Self-pollinating.

UK gardeners, the Royal Horticulture Society(RHS) recommends:
‘Brown Turkey’: The classic fig for British gardens, heavy cropping, producing a mass of tasty fruit. Suitable outdoors or in containers.
* Brunswick’: Hardy and good for growing outdoors, with large, sweet fruit.
* White Marseilles’: Large fruit with sweet, translucent flesh. Ideal for growing in containers and outdoors, it produces two crops per year under glass.
* Osbourne Prolific’: Delicious dark purple fruit. For greenhouse cultivation – except in warmer climates.
* Rouge de Bordeaux’: One of the finest for flavor. Needs a warm, sheltered site or conservatory.

Australia Gardeners may want to consider:
* Adam: a large San Pedro type tree usually producing a useful Breba crop around Christmas time in SA and a major crop (which requires cross pollination with a Capri fig) in Feb. Skin is red to purple and pulp champagne to pink coloured
* White Adriatic: an early fig suited to cooler areas like the Adelaide Hills, one crop which ripens February, medium to large fruit, brownish-green skin and pink flesh, excellent fresh and very good for jam. A spreading tree
* Deanna: a large fig suited to the fresh market, green to golden skin with pink pulp, very popular in the USA
* Archipal: a large greenish-yellow fig with a very thin, edible skin and honey-coloured flesh. Early to mid season. One of our best and most reliable bearers at The Food Forest, but splits catastrophically in strong summer rains
* Flanders: a shy bearer, but good quality green skinned fruit with pink flesh
* Black Genoa (San Piero): a medium sized, pear-shaped fruit, purplish skin and red flesh, good for fresh eating but not suitable for drying. Vigorous tree, ripens Dec-Feb
* White Genoa: mid season and good in cool areas with large greenish-yellow fruit with amber flesh, good fresh eating variety and favoured for jam making. Light crop in Dec and more in Feb-Mar, unique flavour
* Preston: seems to have trouble maturing Dec-April, somewhat hairy, large green-brown fruit, white flesh, vigorous grower, high quality fruit resistant to splitting
* Brown Turkey: medium sized, late season (March), brownish striped fruit with pinkish flesh. Excellent for jam. Second crop is main crop. Hardy tree
* Spanish Dessert: late maturing, spectacular dark purple skin and dark red flesh. It has an initially distressing habit of dropping large numbers of figlets on the ground, to the point that you think the tree will lose its whole crop, but as the tree settles down it bears good crops. It has rather luxurious dark green leaves making it a lovely landscape feature
* Yellow Ischi: Small, possibly useable for jam
Excel: small, early season, light yellow skin, amber flesh, limited value for commercial market because of yields but good flavour for fresh eating
* Celeste: commercial variety in USA, violet skin, pink coloured, firm flesh, fairly cold-hardy. Very reliable cropper at The Food Forest
* Persian Prolific: strong grower, mid season fruit, light purple skin and honey coloured flesh
* Cape White: early maturing, ripens Jan, medium-sized fruit, green skin, cream coloured flesh. Great for jam, compact tree
* Smyrna: golden yellow skin and red pulp characterise this special drying, glazing, jam-making fig. It requires cross pollination (caprification) with the Capri fig

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6 responses to “Growing Figs – USDA Hardiness Zones 5 To 9 (pt1)

  1. I am in Mission, Bc Canada zone 8a. What variety is good for that zone?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d love to have a fig in the garden but I always thought it was too cold here in Southern Wisconsin. We’re on the border between zone 4 and 5. Forget Chicago. I need a Packers Hardy variety!

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  3. I was surprised to learn that there are so many fig varieties, and that some are cold-hardy. Here in Southern California (Zone 10-11), Black Mission Figs are popular for the home garden as well as the orchards, and can become absolutely monstrous trees very quickly if not trimmed way back in the fall. I’m very surprised that they’re not included in your list. Here, the BMF provides two crops per season. The first crop grows from the old wood and is harvested in August, while the second crop grows from the new wood and ripens in October/November (depending on the weather). Excellent fruit fresh or dried. Thank you for sharing this information on figs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking time to visit my tiny blog and for your comment(s).
      Black Mission Figs Sorry but I did not see that one when doing my research. However in the plant world I have discovered that often I find the same plants being marketed under different names. This is (I think) an effort to avoid using a breeders Trade Marked ® ™ plant name.
      Happy Spring Gardening

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  4. Love figs but had no idea there were so many varieties and even a Chicago Hardy! I grew up in gardening zone 1a i don’t think the hardy variety would ever stand a chance up north that far. Thank you for such an interesting overview.

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