After worrying away the first part of Winter, I am happy to see that all of my little fig trees were only resting when they started dropping leaves. They had their bit of dormancy, and now they are coming back seemingly strong and healthy. I have four types of two varieties of ficus carica. Three are 'Chicago Hardy' figs, and the one single is called 'Petite Negra'.
As I've mentioned, one of the 'Chicago Hardy' plants was destined for planting at my parents, and will go in the ground in the Spring. They can grow rather large, but in Zone 5 it is common for them to die all the way back in Winter. The reason they are great for a Northern climate is because they will re sprout in Spring (as long as they are well mulched) and produce fruit on new wood.
The 'Petite Negra' grows to about 3' in a container, and is a wonderful houseplant. Next year he will spend some time on the patio, and hopefully get a bit of a growth spurt. He's only two years old, after all.
|Also called 'Bensonhurst Purple', the 'Chicago Hardy' has origins in Sicily, although the legend is that is was found growing in a Chicago yard.|
|Sicily or Chicago, they seem happy growing in the Penthouse window (where they were recently moved from the "greenhouse").|
|A new bud starting to open.|
|These leaves are a little further along.|
|And the one set for planting outdoors is doing amazingly well after the buds appeared a few weeks ago and I set him in this corner of the front windows.|
|the first leaves to emerge have grown huge!|
|And there are figs emerging all along the branches! Figs are a false fruit, as they are actually called a 'syconium', and are really receptacles containing 50-1000 very simplified flowers growing on the inside.|
|The little 'Petite Negra' had a growth spurt, and then tapered off. I'm watching every day for new shoots, or even fruit! This guy can begin to produce before it even reaches 12" tall!|