Question of the Week Number Two: April 22, 2021

Figs were hurt badly by February’s cold in many parts of Texas. This is what gardeners are seeing across our state. But will their tiny buds turn into new trees?

“It appears that my fig has been hurt badly by the freeze, but I’m seeing new growth. Can I leave it? Will it regrow?”

You can certainly leave it to let it regrow. The freeze didn’t kill the plant’s root system, but it probably did injure the conducting tissues in the trunk. The new shoots that the plant sends out in the next several weeks will be your best measures.

Can this small shoot of new growth produce an entire new fig plant capable of bearing? We’ll know better within a few weeks.

The good news is that your plant will be genetically identical to the mother tree. Figs are rooted from cuttings, so all parts of the plants have the same genes.

Continued Below

Don’t apply fertilizer for a few weeks. Let the plant regrow at its own rate. If you see that it’s healthy and vigorous, then you can apply small amounts of nitrogen to it to promote limited new shoot growth. As that develops you can add more. Just give it ample time to “harden” before next winter arrives.

It will be a couple of years before the plant has enough woody growth to produce your next fruit.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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