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Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy'
Chicago Hardy Fig (large)

$75.00 $97.50
This size 5 in stock Product ID: 789209

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CULTURAL CONDITIONS

Plant Min Zone: 5b

Plant Max Zone: 11b

Sunlight: Full Sun, Part Sun

Water / Rainfall: Low, Average, High

Soil Quality: Average, Rich

FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE

Bloom Season: Insignificant

Flower Color: Insignificant

Berry / Fruit Color: Reddish Purple

Spring Foliage Color: Green

Summer Foliage Color: Green

Fall Foliage Color: Green

Evergreen Foliage: No

Winter Interest: No

Scented Flowers: Yes

PLANT TOLERANCES

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Wet-Feet Tolerance: Low

Humidity Tolerance: High

Wind Tolerance: Medium

Poor Soil Tolerance: Clay Soils

GROWTH AND MAINTENANCE

Height: 3' - 5'

Width: 3' - 5'

Growth Rate: Fast

Service Life: Long: 5-10 years

Maintenance Need: Low

Spreading Potential: Medium

Yearly Trimming Tips: Shrub Normally Winter-kills so trim to 3-6" off Ground in Winter or Early Spring: Blooms on New Wood.

PLANT USES AND LIMITATIONS

Plant Grouping Size: Specimen Planting of 1-3, Small Grouping of 3-5

Best Side of House: South Exposure, West Exposure

Extreme Planting Locations: Resistant to Rabbits

Ornamental Features: Multiple Seasons of Interest, Easy to Eat Edibles, Large Tropical Foliage / Flowers, Exceptional / Colorful Foliage

Special Landscape Uses: None

Possible Pest Problems: None

Plant Limitations: May get Occasional Winter-kill, Needs Thick Winter Mulch, Late to Emerge or Leaf Out in Spring

Description

The common fig (Ficus carica) is native to an area extending from Asiatic Turkey to northern India. In Kansas, plant in a protected area near the house on south or west side but will survive in other locations in full hot sun. As an edible, ornamental plant, figs are an attractive bush-like plant with sandpapery green sometimes deeply lobed leaves. There is a slight and pleasant aroma when brushing against the foliage. Fruits are dark purple to maroon. Figs love full hot sun and are very drought tolerant but will produce more fruit if watered during the summer. Expect fig tree to die to the ground each year and start growing in May a bit later than other plants. Regrowth is rapid and established figs will have dozens of 5-6' water sprouts loaded with a few hundred fruits by September. You will always get a late summer/fall crop because fruit can come from new wood. If growing as a potted patio plant, grow in full sun with plenty of water during the summer. Then in late fall before temperatures get below 20 degrees F, move into a cold garage or basement over the winter with minimal watering. Do not allow the pot with rootball to freeze solid or go below 15 degrees for more than a few hours. By March or April, the fig will be trying to grow and you may put back outside (protect from late frosts) and you will also have a spring fruit crop. Eat fresh, freeze for fruit smoothies, or dry in sun or food dehydrator. In our trial gardens in Lawrence, KS (zone 6a), several established specimens planted 5-10 years ago and mulched 1-3" with wood mulch survived -17 degrees F. During the arctic blast of February, 2021, lows down to -17 degrees F on Feb 16th, 2021 were recorded. The longevity of this cold blast was also impressive: 10 days on a row with highs of 10-15 degrees F or lower, 8 nights of lows in the single digits and negatives, and 36 straight hours of 0 degrees F and mostly lower. 'Chicago Hardy' is considered to be one of the hardiest edible figs producing reliable fruits. It's stems are hardy to 10°F and the roots are hardy to -20°F. Sometimes if prolonged September cold-fronts occur and temperatures are too low at night, green fruits will disappointingly stop ripening. Look for a hot planting location microclimate such as a West or South wall to encourage fruit to ripen. Ripening does not continue to progress if harvested early (when fruit has any green coloring present).

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