I Love The Brown Turkey Fig

Sep 29, 2018 | Love This!

Name: Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey

Type of Plant: This fig tree is one of the hardiest but it best grown in pots in the Northeast if you want to harvest figs.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: An easy plant to grow as long as you’re willing to pull the pot into a garage or other area where the temperature won’t drop below 35 during the winter. Those who have a large enough greenhouse can keep the plant indoors, but it’s fine of the tree to go dormant as long as it’s not frozen.  

 A Word to the Wise: The bigger the plant, the larger the pot you should have it growing in…keeping in mind that you’ll need to use a dolly or other assistance if the container is too heavy.

Some people have trouble with birds or other critters getting the fruit as it ripens. If this happens to you you’ll need to use netting to protect your crop. As the fall proceeds we find that wasps and bees are more interested in our figs than the birds are, so before harvesting fruits we need to give the plant a shake to be sure we don’t grab a stinger along with a fig.

Water your plant deeply – the frequency will depend on how hot the temperatures are. Fertilize with a general organic such as Flower-tone.

Harvest the figs when they are a dark brown and the outside “cracks.”

All through September and into October there are figs on our counter. We often pick four every morning and sometimes up to a dozen in a day.


Grow your fig in an attractive pot and it will be a visual treat as well as a plant that produces delicious fruit.

It is always a treat to pick a fresh fig for breakfast or dessert.

Here are the fig trees in our garage. We stage all the plants down the center of the garage so our cars will fit on both sides. These figs just got pulled in (usually the end of October – this photo is from 2017) The plants drop the yellow leaves and are dormant until late February. Starting in early April we’ll pull these pots close to the garage door so that occasionally, on warm days, we can open the doors and let the new leaves have some “real sunlight.” Then they come out the third week in May. We only water these pots once or twice in the winter – since they don’t have leaves until late March they don’t use much water.


  1. Audrey Osborn

    How cold does your garage get during the winter? Is it insulated – any heat? Ours is attached to the house, but I believe it gets really cold during a cold spell. Bad idea to overwinter there? We do have a crawl space under the house, would that be better? We do have bedrooms upstairs that we don’t heat during the winter, keep it warm enough upstairs just so the water pipes don’t burst.

    • CL Fornari

      Our garage is attached but not heated. There is a heated room on top of it, however. In really, really cold weather the garage goes to about 38 to 40, but not below freezing. Have you ever stored liquids in the garage and have they frozen? That would be your indication that it gets too cold. The upstairs bedroom would be OK as well but you’d have to lug the pot up there every fall, and back in the spring…once the fig gets large that would be difficult!

  2. Mary Ann

    I have a heated sunroom to keep it in the winter. The temp is around 65 in there is that ok?

    • CL Fornari

      As long as it’s not too large for that space, it should be fine.


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