Fig Trees/Bushes in Maryland

Asked May 12, 2018, 6:07 PM EDT

I have 3 fig- not sure if they are trees or bushes- that were given to me about 3 yrs ago. I do not know the species. I think 2 of the 3 bushes are the same species. Last summer we finally got a few figs (20-25 total). There were MANY figs that did not ripen before being killed by frost. Can you please tell me what I should do this spring, summer and winter to get the best fig crop? I have not fertilized or pruned them. Also, any idea what species these are? I will upload pictures from last summer. I will send another post w pictures I took today (May 12, 2018). I'm not sure if some of the branches are dead. Also a few close to the ground appear to have some bark rubbed off--perhaps by an animal?? Thanks, Lisa

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Please check out our fig page.

The biggest problem gardeners with fig bushes is winter injury. In warmer parts of Baltimore Co. (urban and near the Bay) this is less of a problem. Last summer was a good fig year for many because the previous winter (2016-2017) was relatively mild. The two winters before that killed many fig plants to the ground. Root systems almost always survive but fail to produce a crop on the new shoots that emerge from the plant base n late spring.

The gnawing injury to the main stems could have been caused by voles. This often occurs when insulating materials are piles around plants to prevent winter injury.

Prune out any dead, crossing, and damaged branches. Dead branches will crack when bent or you can rub your fingernail against the bark to determine if tissue is green (alive) or tan/grey (dead).

Figs are produced mostly on the new shoots that grow from existing main stems and side branches. It's not possible for us to id your cultivar(s). Figs rarely need to be fertilized and would only require water under severe drought conditions.

Some cultivars do not ripen reliably before frost even under the best conditions. Other factors that affect ripening are site, drought, amount of light, winter injury, and wildlife.