Organic Chicago Hardy Fig Tree
2-gallon size potted plant
Chicago Hardy Fig is a Brown Turkey sport, with large brown-skinned figs with pink flesh. They are self-pollinating, and above ground wood is hardy to 10F. They have done very well in the Bloomington, IN (zip 47401) area, where I have sold them for a number of years locally. Out here at our farm, I keep them in large pots (ranging from 5-20 gal). Our valley is too cold for them to be planted in the ground without any winter protection. In pots, I can move them into a cold frame or basement where they can overwinter (after going dormant and losing their leaves in the fall). My 5-10 gal grown figs usually give between 12-15 figs each, with the 20 gal figs giving closer to 30 figs each. In USDA zones 6-12, they can be plated outside without any extra protections. For USDA zones 4-5, I suggest growing them in pots or cold-frame houses that can be kept above 10F during the winter.
They love heat and water during the growing season, and will take good amounts of fertilizer. I top dress ours each spring with about a cup of organic fertilizer (5-4-5) for each pot. When May arrives, I start with the liquid feeding schedule, weekly, that I recommend for the blueberries and raspberries (see the Plant Care page for more info). During the August and September months when it is very hot, their pots get watered every day to keep the fruit at optimal flavor and size. For USDA zones 4-5, they make a great potted plant, and for USDA zones 6-12, they can be managed to become a small shrub or large tree (between 6′ tall on up to 25-30′ tall in the Gulf States).