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How to Winterize a Potted Fig Tree

By Cindy Hill ; Updated September 21, 2017

Fresh figs are delectable, sweet, sticky fruits, first glorified by the ancient Greeks, then spread throughout the world. In warm climates, fig trees planted outdoors can grow to enormous size and yield bushels of fruit each year unless kept constantly pruned back. Growing figs in pots helps keep the trees to a manageable size, and in colder areas, container-growing allows the fig trees to be brought indoors for protection from low temperatures. Protect your fig from winter weather whenever temperatures get close to freezing.

Taper off watering your potted fig beginning two weeks before your average first frost date, or when your local weather predictions indicate upcoming frost.

Allow the fig tree to experience one or two light frosts and all the leaves to die and drop off.

Move the fig tree into a garage or storage area where it will remain at or near freezing for the duration of the winter but will not experience temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove any remaining dead leaves or insects from the tree. Spray the fig tree trunk and branches with dormant oil.

Wrap the tree lightly in burlap and secure with twine. If the area in which you are storing your fig gets regular daylight, put dark fabric over the burlap and secure that with twine as well.

Check the soil in the pot and water with rainwater occasionally, but only if the soil seems dried out.

Unwrap the tree when temperatures again go above 32 degrees. Move the tree to a warm, sheltered location outside using a dolly. Water with rainwater mixed with liquid fish emulsion fertilizer at the full strength recommended by the fertilizer label.


Things You Will Need

  • Wheeled caddy or refrigerator dolly
  • Burlap
  • Black fabric
  • Twine
  • Rainwater
  • Dormant oil
  • Liquid fish emulsion fertilizer


  • Choose from the growing list of available dwarf fig varieties for greater ease in growing figs in pots.

About the Author


A freelance writer since 1978 and attorney since 1981, Cindy Hill has won awards for articles on organic agriculture and wild foods, and has published widely in the areas of law, public policy, local foods and gardening. She holds a B.A. in political science from State University of New York and a Master of Environmental Law and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.