Chicago Hardy Fig Tree Overview
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Chicago Hardy Fig Tree

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TRE-FigCH

Delicious, Reliable Fruit Chicago Hardy Fig Tree

  • Late Season
  • Sweet, Mahogany Purple Fruit
  • Great-Tasting Pink Flesh
  • Excellent Flavor
  • Small to Closed Eye
  • Self-Pollinating
  • Very Productive
  • Can Be Grown in Cold Winter Zones With Protection
  • Does Well in Large Containers
  • Attractive Single Trunk Landscape Tree
  • Consider Keeping as Shrub
  • The Hardiest Fig on the Market

Once you take the step into epicurean edible gardening, there is no going back! Watching your very own homegrown crop ripen on your balcony, patio or planted in a long orchard row is such a satisfying experience.

Starting in late summer, you'll enjoy an abundant crop of tasty figs from the cold-hardiest Fig tree available on the market. Chicago Hardy Fig tree (Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy') is also absolutely gorgeous!

Chicago Hardy Fig developed into an attractive upright shrub or small tree, with distinctively leathery, dark green three-fingered leaves. These leaves are gigantic—growing up to 10 inches long!

They'll give Northern gardens a wonderfully Mediterranean look. Just imagine how sophisticated a containerized pair or trio would look on your balcony or patio.

This is a vigorous, rugged selection from the Chicago area, so it's nicknamed Bensonhurst Purple Fig. Even if you live further south, you'll love it's abundant harvest...even after a tough winter.

You may not notice the green flowers, but you will be thrilled to see a bumper crop of tiny figs appear. Over the season, Chicago Hardy Fig can produce up to 100 pints of super fresh, homegrown fruit.

It's not just a cold-hardy Fig that is easy to grow and maintain, the fruit is great-tasting as well. It is for this reason that the Chicago Hardy has become one of the favorites of home gardeners around the country.

Chicago Hardy Fig Trees are high-yielding and self-pollinating. You only need one for fruit...but you'll want more than that.

In a Fig tree collection, people often say that this tree gave the most delicious, purple-skinned Figs. The fruit can be peeled, eaten fresh, cooked, canned and dried.

Order your Chicago Hardy Fig trees today! You'll love the expert care it's received. Get a big head start on fruit production when you order from the fruiting tree experts at Nature Hills.

How to Use Chicago Hardy Fig Tree in the Landscape

This highly adaptable tree can survive Zone 6 and into Zone 5. But don't let the name fool you!

Chicago Hardy Fig also is also a great choice for the hot climates of central California. With its small to closed eye, Chicago Hardy is a good choice to plant in Texas as well as all along the Southern Seaboard.

This versatile selection can be grown in the ground or in containers with plenty of drainage holes. Enjoy it as a single trunk tree, or prune for size control. It can also be developed into a lower, spreading shrub.

In some colder climates, the tree can freeze to the ground. Don't be alarmed when this happens, though, as it will come back in the spring as a relatively fast-growing plant.

Chicago Hardy Fig has proven to be dependable in producing a crop in the same year, even after being frozen to the ground. Even after die-back, it will produce fruit that same growing season because the Chicago Hardy Fig fruits on new wood. This cycle does not affect its fruiting at all.

Fig lovers are also gaining a successive harvest of fresh figs by choosing several different varieties in marginal regions. Add Brown Turkey and Celeste in a containerized collection. or protect the crown with a wrapping or heavy straw mulch.

Chicago Hardy Figs also do well as container-grown trees, which opens them up for dedicated, hungry backyard orchardists in extreme cold weather Zone 3! Pot them up, and bring them into a dark, cool area inside to go dormant during the winter months.

Figs typically ripen anywhere from August until the first frost in the fall, but you may even see deep purple fruit as early as July. There's no need to wait for them to produce as this easy-to-grow tree will usually bear medium-sized fruit for you and your family in its very first season.

Growing your own figs is a total joy. Starting in early fall, you'll have plenty to enjoy fresh on a cheese plate, or grilled and chopped into salads with a little goat cheese to taste.

It's a snap to grow and delivers a consistent harvest year after year. Gain a nutritious fig harvest for potassium, Vitamins B and C, fiber and magnesium.

Create your own delicious preserves and baked goods to share. Modern homesteaders are dehydrating, canning and freezing whole figs to extend their useful life for up to a year.

They also make unforgettable landscape plants. Rely on their low branching and showy foliage to act as an effective privacy screen.

Plant several in a beautiful row behind your patio seating. You won't have far to walk to harvest, and you'll be quite pleased how it will spark conversation with curious guests.

Add them as a unique hedge along your property line. Allow them to spread to their mature size listed on the Plant Highlights, or keep them pruned for size control in a high density planting.

Be sure to watch our YouTube videos and check out the Garden Blog for plenty of great information how to get the most fruit from even a small space garden. Summer pruning is key to this time-tested technique.

With their large, tropical-looking leaves, Fig trees are highly ornamental. Use them in a courtyard as a specimen shade tree.

Chicago Hardy Fig is also a terrific choice to give as a gift. This choice represents the next step after Houseplants for many young gardeners.

Foodie friends will certainly appreciate one or two for fresh ingredients and their special decorator look. Can you imagine a more appropriate Hostess Gift?

We have lavished expert care on these trees for years. Go ahead and get excited when you track your order and see that sturdy box from Nature Hills delivered on your doorstep.

Open it up and fall in love with your new fruit trees! Water them well and follow our planting tips for a long love affair with fresh figs.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Provide Fig trees either full sun or partial shade. They require at least four hours of direct sunlight a day, with a preference for morning sun.

Fig planting culture also requires well-drained soil, along with good air circulation around your trees. Elevate them in raised beds, or keep in containers if your soil stays soggy for a long time after rain.

During planting, add Nature Hills Root Booster to support the feeder roots over their entire life. Take your time when planting Fig trees and handle their roots with care.

Supply a moderate amount of water on a consistent basis for your Chicago Hardy Figs, no matter if they are kept in containers or grown in the ground. Even moisture is especially important during fruit development to prevent splitting, although the tree itself does display some drought tolerance.

Mulch over their root systems to a depth of three inches, and spread to three feet past the canopy in order to keep the roots moist and cool. Then pull it back away from the trunk by several inches for proper air circulation.

In early spring, remove any dead wood. You can also shape your tree and improve its performance with renewal pruning to remove a few of the thickest, oldest stems.

Pick ripe figs when the skin turns dark purple and the fruit becomes soft when you gently squeeze it. Use garden shears to harvest...or hand-pick your crops with an upward tug.

People all across the country want to increase their food security. Durable Chicago Hardy Fig tree makes it easy to accomplish that goal across a wide variety of hardiness zones.

Add the satisfying fruiting Chicago Hardy Fig tree to your edible landscape for delicious fruit and a gorgeous showpiece. Just hurry to place your order, because our limited inventory sells like hot cakes.

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Shipping

To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 14.95
20 - 49.99 17.95
50 - 69.99 19.95
70 - 99.99 24.95
100 - 129.99 29.95
130 - 130+ Approx 25%

Click here to see our full rates

Chicago Hardy Fig Grown for Flavor and Adaptability

The name alone indicates that this variety is widely adapted. It's not just a cold hardy Fig, it is a great tasting, too. It is for this reason that the Chicago Hardy has become one of the favorites of home gardeners around the country.

Numerous stories exist of how Fred Born, a member of the North American Fruit Explorers organization, came about this unique selection. One has Fred Born receiving Fig cuttings from an Italian grower in Chicago. Another story has Fred hearing about the variety and upon seeing and tasting the selection, asking for cuttings.

In either case, Fred Born went on to name the variety and share it with his many Fig growing friends, including well known fruit specialist, author, and nurserymen Michael McConkey, of Edible Landscaping. He claims to have been given the Chicago Hardy in about 1970, which by all accounts makes McConkey one of the first to receive them. Today, McConkey reports the variety to be one of the best selections he has, both in flavor and dependable production.

The wide range of adaptation comes in its ability to thrive in the hot climates of Central California and to ripen a crop in coastal climates around the country. Because of its small to closed eye, Chicago Hardy is a good choice in Texas and the Southern Seaboard.

It has proven to be dependable in producing a crop in the same year, even after being frozen to the ground. The colder zones 5b, 6 can grow it by protecting the crown with wrapping or heavy straw mulch, and zones 7 and 8 can grow them in a more protected location - satisfying the home gardeners in these parts of the county wishing to grow a Fig.

It joins the list of successful varieties of Figs being grown in the marginal regions throughout the county. Varieties like Desert King, Brown Turkey, and Celeste come to mind. These are also additional varieties to consider when expanding your Fig collection.

PLANT HIGHLIGHTS

Chicago Hardy Fig Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-10
Growing Zones 5-10
More Information
Botanical Name Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 9 - 12 feet
Mature Spread 5 - 7 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Type Well Drained
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Green
Foliage Color Green
Harvest Time Late Season
Pollinator Friendly No
When To Prune Early Spring
Fragrant No