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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - July 04, 2008

From: Arcadia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Cold hardy non-native fig tree for Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do you know the best cold hardy fig tree that will grow and fruit in Dallas, Texas?

ANSWER:

Since Ficus carica is not a native of North America, we have no information on it in our Native Plant Database. We did, however, find an excellent website Fig Fruit Facts Ficus carica. This site even includes a list of cultivars. The fig is indigenous to western Asia and grows best and produces best-quality figs in the Meditteranean and dryer, warmer-temperature climates.

This Florida site Ficus carica lists some cold-hardy specimens by cultivar name. The fig is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10. Dallas is about Zone 7a. With winter protection, can be grown as far north as Zone 5. When fully dormant, fig trees can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 deg to 15 deg F. Even if frozen, figs often will resprout from roots and produce a crop the following summer. For Dallas, do not order or purchase any fig trees that are specifically California cultivars, as they are pollinated by a tiny wasp that cannot survive the weather in Texas.

 

 

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