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Best time to transition struggling Chicago fig baby outside?

 
Lily Ann
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I've had this indoor chicago fig for 4 years, and while it's surviving... it's never grown much, produced fruit, or been very happy. It's also never been outside, and recieves partial sun at best. It's been nearly killed by my well-meaning husband when I have gone out of town for extended periods, so I've brought it back from the brink more than once.

I know, I know. I created this situation myself. I'd love to fix it.

I'm in Denton, TX (zone 8a) and am wondering when would be the best time to transition this poor baby outside where it can thrive, and also the best way to do it?

I have a great spot picked out that receives tons of sun, but also some shelter from wind, with a wall to the north about 10 ft away, and a wall to the west-ish about 20 feet away. Full southern exposure.

I don't want to shock the poor thing and kill it. It's never gone fully dormant because it's never been outside.

Given its less-than-ideal life so far, *when* and *how* should I go about moving this baby? We don't get frost until November usually, and often no real hard freezes until January/February. In the last few years, there's been no way to tell if we will have 3 nights of freeze or 2 weeks of freeze.

Thank you so much in advance. I'm new to this forum but it's been a wealth of knowledge already!!
Struggling-Chicago-Fig.jpg
Struggling Chicago Fig
Struggling Chicago Fig
 
Mk Neal
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I can't fully answer your question, but whenever you do move it, provide it some shade while it transitions to outdoor life.  I started a Chicago Hardy fig indoors this winter, and when I put it out on the porch in spring the leaves that got direct sun burned to a crisp. It had enough leaves shaded that it survived and toughened up.
 
Mike Barkley
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I'm originally from centex & grew figs there. My suggestion is to transplant it outside mid September after the dog days of summer are gone. Give it lots of water for about a month after that. Don't panic if it drops all the leaves, just keep watering it for a month.
 
Anne Pratt
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Location: Vermont, USA
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I agree with both bits of advice above.  I would transition it even more carefully, though, leaving it in the pot and bringing it outside first in deep shade, then dappled shade, and giving it some sun as the days get cooler.  

If it has never been outside in the winter, you might want to keep it potted this year, and put it next to the southern side of the house, garage, or barn.  It just seems to me that a first winter after 4 years indoors will come as a shock.  If others with more experience with figs and your climate disagree, though, listen to them!

 
Chris Holcombe
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I generally migrate the new figs outside over the course of 2 weeks starting from 2hrs of sun and adding half to one hour of sun per day. That should keep it from getting sun burned. Hopefully that helps.
 
S Bengi
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Right now is the best time to do it. Its still warm, so it will get time to adjust to the colder winter temp. Not too sure how much sunlight it was getting before but even in direct sun it will still be okay.
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