HARDY PURPLE CHICAGO FIG! Ficus carica purpurea

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This is a rare purple cultivar of the hardy Chicago Fig! We LOVE this fig! Our family has been growing it since I was a child, beginning in Toronto (zone 5) and now in our more northern location (zone 4/5). Though this plant is fully hardy outdoors in zone 7 without protection, some winter protection is required in colder zones if the plant is to remain outdoors. Some people make a structure out of wood and plastic, and we use an unheated greenhouse to protect it from the extremes. The fig plant can also be brought indoors for winter, and withstands heavy pruning. The fig tree is tropical looking, with a horizontal branching habit that is quite attractive. Leaves are very large and thick. The fruit are produced twice each season! Once in the spring, they begin even before the leaves emerge. Then again later in the season, the main crop of figs is produced. The figs begin green, and turn a purple/bronze. They are ripe when soft. Fig trees are easy to grow, and are tolerant of drought and poor soils.

Type: Tree

Height: 15 to 30 feet, can easily be pruned to keep it smaller and will produce fruit at even small sizes.

Location: Sun

Hardiness zones: 7-11, as cold as zone 5 with protection or bring indoors.

Seeds per pack: 5

Germination: Obtain a container with holes at the bottom for water to drain. Sow the seeds on the surface of a pre-moistened sterile seed-start mix. Press the seeds flat, and water using a spray bottle, being careful not to bury the seeds as they require light to germinate. Place the container in a bright location, and keep at 25C/77F. Seeds will germinate within 15-90 days.

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