I have a friend who lives in Salyersville, KY. He has never seen a fig tree or fresh fig. He says the only fig he has seen is a Fig Newton. Can a fig tree grow outdoors in his area, and if so what variety should I buy for him?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Kelly: It is time for your friend to experience a true fig! Here in Kentucky there are a couple of varieties that are reliably hardy for us. ‘Chicago Hardy’ and ‘Brown Turkey’ both do very well in terms of hardiness and production. They require full sun (a minimum of six hours) and nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. If given these growing conditions, these large shrubs will thrive and produce quite a bit of fruit. If we have a really cold winter they may die back to the ground but they will return the following spring. South Carolina has a longer growing season than we do in Kentucky and the plants themselves will not be as large as you are used to, but the fruit is just as tasty and well worth growing.