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Whether the fig tree should be overwintered in the apartment, in a basement or garage or outdoors depends on various factors. There are different varieties of figs, which are classified from moderately hardy to frost-hardy at -20° Celsius. In addition, there is the climate area in which the tree is cultivated. And last but not least, the age of the tree plays a role, especially in the local latitudes, because every fig tree should be protected in winter up to the age of ten, regardless of whether it is frost hardy or not.


In the open air

In many regions in Germany, Ficus carica can also be overwintered outdoors, because many varieties are considered frost hardy down to -20° Celsius. Especially in the mild regions, such as in the wine-growing areas along the Moselle and the Upper Rhine as well as in the local coastal areas, the fig tree can survive the cold and frosty months outdoors. However, he must also be protected here in the early young years. So the outdoor tree should be protected as follows in the winter months.

  • Cover young trees up to a meter high with plant fleece
  • a layer of mulch is placed on the ground
  • brushwood mats on the ground also protect against frost
  • protect against waterlogging in rainy winter regions
  • To do this, prepare the soil at the site when planting
  • watering is only done in dry, cold periods
  • do not water during frost
  • The fig is not fertilized outdoors in the winter months
  • older, large fig trees do not need winter protection above the crown
  • here it is sufficient to cover the soil with mulch or brushwood

Before the first sprouting, when the new leaves and shoots appear on the fig tree in March, the fleece should be removed. If you have a little manual skill, you can also build a frame out of wood that fits over the tree and over which the fleece is pulled for the winter. Now carry out the basic fertilization in February/March.

At the corner of the house

Cultivated in a house corner

The fig trees are often also cultivated in a corner of the house in the garden bed so that they are sheltered from the wind. Here, too, winter protection is recommended in the first few years. Because even if the cultivated variety is hardy, the young trees are still sensitive to frost and cold and should therefore be protected in the cold months.

This is done as follows:

  • Cover soil with mulch or brushwood
  • Wrap the fig tree in its entirety with plant fleece
  • can also be attached to a house wall on one side
  • in September gradually stop applying fertilizer
  • do not fertilize after October
  • it still needs to be poured
  • Soil should only be slightly moist
  • pay attention to waterlogging
  • water only on frost-free days
  • Remove the fleece at the beginning of March

When the fleece is removed, Ficus carica should first be slowly acclimated to the sun again. If the solar radiation is too great at the location, it must be offered shade in between, especially around midday. Now the fertilization begins again with the basic fertilization and the fig tree will quickly sprout and form its decorative leaves again.

In buckets, on patios, balconies

Overwinter in a tub on the patio or balcony

Overwintering in a bucket that should remain on the terrace or balcony is similar to that in a garden bed in front of a house corner. Since the roots in a bucket are damaged more quickly, the entire pot should be packed with mats of brushwood. In addition, it should be placed on a piece of wood or a styrofoam plate so that no frost can get in from below. So it's warmer from below. Otherwise, the following should be observed when caring for the winter months on the terrace or balcony.

  • Place the bucket in a sheltered corner or in front of a house wall
  • it is ideal if the terrace or balcony is covered
  • this avoids too much water during the wet months
  • add mulch to the soil
  • wrap the entire tree with plant fleece
  • water moderately to keep the soil slightly moist
  • from September fertilize less and less
  • then adjust completely
  • Start fertilizing at the end of February at the beginning of March
  • now also remove plant fleece
  • Leave the figs in a sun-protected place for the time being

Measures for successful overwintering should be taken before the first frosty nights are expected, which varies from area to area. Otherwise, the twigs and branches will take early frost damage, which would be entirely avoidable.

In the basement, garage

Overwinter in the basement or garage

If you only have a dark cellar or a moderately bright garage for winter storage, you can also overwinter the fig tree here. Because the fig loses its leaves in autumn and therefore does not necessarily need a lot of light during its hibernation.

However, a boiler room is rather unsuitable, as it is too warm here in the cold months when the figs are in the dark. A drying room should also not be chosen due to the high humidity. Therefore, the ideal location and winter care for Ficus carica in the basement or garage is as follows.

  • dark and cool
  • do not fertilize
  • water only moderately
  • Don't let the soil dry out
  • slowly get used to the light and warmth again in February/March
  • Carry out basic fertilization
  • possibly repot

In the conservatory

Overwinter in the conservatory

If you have a winter garden in your apartment, you can also overwinter the figs that were cultivated in the tub here. A bright and unheated conservatory is particularly suitable here. However, the fig should not be cultivated here permanently, as it needs a location in full sun and plenty of air in summer to bear many tasty fruits. When hibernating here at this place, the following procedure should be followed.

  • Move figs with tubs before the first frost
  • From September only fertilize a little
  • but not completely set
  • Water moderately and avoid waterlogging
  • regularly check for spider mites
  • these can quickly attack the fig in winter quarters
  • possibly repot in February/March
  • Carry out basic fertilization
  • relocate to outdoor space
  • Avoid direct sunlight at the beginning

Figs overwintered in a bright, frost-free location should continue to receive fertilizer. However, this is only given very moderately. All others that are overwintered either outdoors, on the balcony or terrace, in the garden bed in front of a house wall or in a dark, cool room should not be given any fertilizer during this time.

In the flat

In the winter months in the apartment?

Placing the fig in a living room during the cold, frosty months is possible, but not highly recommended. On the one hand, it is very warm here even in winter, so that the fig tree cannot really keep its hibernation. Because the fig does not want frost, but still needs cold between ideally 0° Celsius and a maximum of 12° Celsius to keep the hibernation.

On the other hand, it loses leaves and is therefore no longer very decorative for living spaces. However, if no other location is available for the winter months, the following procedure should be followed when hibernating indoors.

  • choose a bright, not so warm corner
  • not directly in the warm living room
  • a cool bedroom is more suitable
  • Avoid direct sunlight through a window
  • do not place in the immediate vicinity of a heater
  • water regularly
  • Soil should stay moist
  • less fertilizer application, do not stop completely
  • carry out basic fertilization in February/March
  • so the fig can sprout again

Since Ficus carica is quite warm and bright when it hibernates in the apartment, it does not necessarily have to be slowly accustomed to a higher temperature after the winter months. Only the sunlight should be increased slowly so that the young, newly sprouting leaves do not burn immediately.

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