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5 Best Cold Hardy Fig Trees for USDA Zone 6


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If you’ve ever had the opportunity to drive past a grove of fig trees, you know the excitement of seeing a cluster of burgundy-violet fruits hanging in plain sight.

But, since you already know your USDA planting zone, you also know that one of the most common gardening mistakes is not knowing which type of trees will thrive in your garden.

Zone 6 boasts a forgiving climate where winters aren’t too cold, and summers are tolerable. With average minimum temperatures between 0°F and -10°F, USDA Zone 6 is home to a wide range of plants for gardeners to select.

If you’re ready to bring home a tree, here are some best Zone 6 fig trees you can plant today.

5 USDA Zone 6 Fig Trees to Plant Today

1. Celeste Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Celestial’)

Celeste Fig Tree
Image via Nature Hills

Standing somewhat tall in parts of MD, CA, GA, and PA, the Celeste Fig Tree is a sight to behold during the summer when the fruits ripen for harvest. The tree thrives in full sun (at least six hours daily), partial shade, and well-draining loam soil.

While the tree isn’t very large, you’ll still need to ensure you have at least 12 feet of available space in your garden to plant this tree. In the summer, the tree’s deep green foliage sets the stage for its sweet buttery-smooth fruits that boast deep sunset shades when ready for harvest.

Celeste Fig Tree’s fruits can be eaten fresh without peeling the skin. However, the tree produces milky white sap that can cause phytophotodermatitis, so it’s essential to wear protective gear before pruning or harvesting.

Also, keep your cats, dogs, and horses away from the sap. As for pruning, always prune fruit trees when they’re dormant. That said, this drought-tolerant tree doesn’t require frequent heavy pruning.

The Celeste Fig is self-fertile, which means it doesn’t need a pollinating partner to bear fruits. However, the tree attracts songbirds, insects, and wasps, so you may want to keep a close eye on the fruits!

If you’re planting multiple Celeste Fig trees, you’ll need to plant them at least 10 feet apart for healthy tree growth. During winter, insulate the root with burlap or other materials that’ll prevent the bitter cold from arresting growth.

For trees growing in containers, move them to a well-lit patio and cover them with a frost blanket to keep in warm.

Other Common Names: Celeste Fig, Sugar Fig

Growing Zones: 6-11

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall, 10-15 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: This fig tree flowers in spring. The fruit displays in fall and is ready to harvest in summer.

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

2. Brown Turkey Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey’)

Decorating gardens and yards around NY, NJ, and GA, the Brown Turkey Fig Tree can even be grown in containers in Zone 6. But that’s not the only reason why many gardeners prefer Brown Turkey Fig.

With this tree, you get harvests twice a year! The first Breba crop can be harvested between late spring and early summer, and the main produce can be picked sometime in early fall.

This heat-tolerant Zone 6 tree attracts bats, beneficial garden insects, small mammals, and birds but can be toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

The Brown Turkey Fig produces a milky white sap that can cause phytophotodermatitis in humans, so it’s recommended that you wear proper gear before handling the tree. For this reason, it’s better to prune this Zone 6 fruit tree in the winter when it’s dormant.

The bronze-colored fruits of this tree can be eaten straight from the branch (after a thorough wash!). The fruits are subtly sweet with a rich texture and mild flavor and make great additions for home preserves, canning, or drying.

As far as pruning is concerned, this tree requires aggressive pruning to keep its growth in control and boost fruit production.

The Brown Turkey Fig thrives in full sun (at least six hours daily) and well-draining and moist loam soil high in organic matter. It is self-fertile and doesn’t need a pollinating partner, but you’ll need at least 12-24 feet of available space to plant this beauty.

Other Common Names: Brown Turkey Fig, Fig Tree

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall, 12-15 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: This fig tree flowers in spring. The fruit displays in early fall and late spring, and early summer.

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees



3. Chicago Hardy Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Chicago Hardy’)

The Chicago Hardy Fig tree is a favorite among IL and TX gardeners and for a good reason. This tree can be grown in containers that you can move inside during bitter-cold winters.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to shelter the tree indoors when it’s too cold. This tree is a favorite because it is extremely cold-hardy, and with the proper care in the winter, it comes back stronger than ever in spring, ready to start producing delicious figs.

In the summer, the Hardy Chicago turns heads with the amount of purple-colored fruit its silver branches can hold. Each season, this tree produces 100 pints of delicious figs! So whether you eat them fresh, toss them in your salad, add them to your oatmeal, make desserts, can, or dry them, rest assured you’ll have enough to last until the new batch is ready!

Considered one of the hardiest fig trees on the market, the Hardy Chicago is self-fertile, which means it doesn’t require a pollinating partner to bear fruits.

Apart from bearing delicious fruit, this tree makes a great Zone 6 privacy tree thanks to its low branching and lush foliage. As far as pruning is concerned, it’s best to prune this tree in early spring to remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing other branches.

Otherwise, you can prune it in winter when it’s dormant. For Zone 6 gardeners, it’s recommended that you protect the crown by spreading a heavy layer of mulch in late fall. Remove the mulch in spring or when you see new growth from the base of the trunk or roots. Pruning dead wood in spring will promote the growth of new foliage and fruit.

Other Common Names: Bensonhurst Purple fig, Hardy Chicago

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall, 9-12 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: This fig tree flowers in spring. The fruit can be harvested late summer.

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Desert King Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Desert King’)

Mostly found in gardens around KS, CA, and parts of WA, the Desert King Fig also produces fruits twice a year. It’s important to note that the Desert King is one of the most productive fig trees on the market. Each branch bears anywhere between six and eight fruits, so you can expect five to seven kilograms of figs per tree.

The White King thrives in full sun (at least eight hours during the growing season) and prefers well-draining loam soil. However, the tree is highly adaptable and can tolerate all soil types.

Native to CA, the Desert King grows fast but will produce fruit two years after planting, so it’s essential to exercise patience and continue to care for and maintain the tree while it gears up for production.

Somewhere during the summer, you’ll find clusters of yellowish-green fruits dangling from the branches of the King, waiting to be harvested. The fruit’s blazing red sugary interiors make for excellent snacks, desserts, and jams and can be utilized in various other recipes and smoothies.

In addition, the White King can withstand extremely low temperatures and has some resistance against strong winds.

The tree is self-fertile and doesn’t need a pollinating partner to bear fruits; however, adding another tree will significantly increase your harvest. Also, since the tree can grow tall, you’ll need at least 15-20 feet of available space to grow it in your garden.

As for pruning, if your tree is becoming too large too fast, trim it down in spring, but don’t trim back all the terminal branches, as that would affect your fruit production. Ideally, trim one out of three branches and prune lightly in winter when the tree is dormant.

Other Common Names: Desert King, White King, King

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall, 10-15 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: The fruit displays in early fall, late spring, and summer.

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

5. Olympian Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Olympian’)

Olympian Fig Tree
Image via Nature Hills

Adorning orchards around WA, PA, and GA, the Olympian Fig Tree is a sight to behold in summer and early fall. It bears deep purple-colored fruits, each the size of a tangerine, with bright red interiors and pale yellow edible seeds.

Discovered by biologist Denny McGaughy in Olympia, Washington, and introduced in 2014, the Olympian produces fruits twice a year, featuring an early breba crop followed by the main crop sometime in summer.

Native to WA, the Olympian will produce fruit two years after planting. The tree thrives in full sun (at least four hours daily), partial shade, and a well-balanced fertilizer during its fruiting phase. The tree is self-fertile, meaning it doesn’t need a pollinating partner to bear fruits; however, adding another tree will provide you with a bountiful harvest every year.

The Olympian Fig tree prefers to grow in loamy, well-draining soils that’s rich in organic matter but can tolerate other soil types.

Although fig trees generally don’t attract pests and diseases, you may want to keep a close eye on ants and birds who love figs just as much as you do! If ants or birds are damaging your fruits, spread insect trap coating around the trunk to repel ants and netting to keep birds out.

Each branch bears anywhere between six and eight fruits, so you can expect five to seven kilograms of figs per tree. To grow this in your garden, you’ll need at least eight to 10 feet of available space for healthy tree growth.

As for pruning, to maintain the tree’s size, prune in summer; otherwise, you can prune the tree in winter when it’s dormant.

Other Common Names: Olympian Fig

Growing Zones: 6-10

Average Size at Maturity: 12-15 ft tall, 8-10 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: The fruit displays in late spring and summer

Available at: Nature Hills

Sweet, Round, and Tasty

USDA Zone 6 provides you with a variety of trees you can grow in your garden. From apple trees, to flowering cherries, the list is endless when it comes to decorating your garden and landscape with evergreen trees.

If you’ve already picked your favorite fig tree, it’s time to measure the available space in your garden before bringing it home. Unlike most plants, trees require plenty of ground space for healthy growth.

While fig trees are forgiving and can tolerate many soil types, providing them with loamy, well-draining soil will positively influence your harvests.

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