Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fig Tree Revisited

If you happen to remember my post from February, I had a dilemma about what to do with my potted fig tree overwintering in the basement. It had started to sprout in earnest late February; by late March it had huge chartreuse sprouts, some over a foot long. My alarm stemmed from how I was going to get this ever-expanding plant (which weighs about 50 lbs in the pot) up my basement stairs and through two normal-size doorways. The other problem was that this could not happen until I was fairly certain the possibility of frost had passed.

In April, I visited the garden center I purchased it from; they actually still had a similar fig that they overwintered in their greenhouse. In a normal winter, they wouldn't have expected their fig to survive; but this was no normal winter. To their surprise, it too had started to sprout (not as much as my over-achiever, however). They instructed me to cut off these huge shoots (the horror!) and not bring it back out until mid-end April at the earliest (and be prepared to cover it on any frosty nights).
So I took the plunge and hacked off those tender shoots. it suffered no ill effects, and bought me some more time into April. Plus, I could now get it through the doorway.

So here we are in mid-May; the fig is on the deck and appears to be happy as a clam. The new shoots are a much darker, healthier green; obviously those neon shoots while in the basement were not going to make it anyway.  Moral of the story - I think I'm getting braver at this tough love for plants; sometimes (to quote Nick Lowe) it's better to be "cruel to be kind" even in the plant world. But maybe I need to lay off the pruners for awhile; I broke my Felcos today pruning some junipers . . .oh well.

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