Chicago Hardy Fig Tree

(336 customer reviews)


Begins shipping mid-April.

Pollination Not Required

Begins shipping

Pollination Not Required

Also known as Bensonhurst Purple Fig or Hardy Chicago Fig

About Chicago Hardy Fig Trees

The Chicago Hardy Fig tree is known for producing luscious brown-purple figs, even in freezing climates! The glistening deep pink interior color is reminiscent of strawberry preserves, so pretty on a plate.

Beginning fruit gardeners love this tree because it’s easy to grow and produces so many delectable figs. In colder growing zones, Chicago Hard may die back after a hard freeze (like a perennial) and re-emerge the following spring. If you plant the tree in a container, it can simply be moved inside during the colder months.

Fruit is borne early on the new growth. Figs that grow on older branches will come in early summer months. In addition to its cold-tolerance, Chicago Hardy can also take the summer heat. It is self-pollinating and does not require the presence of another fig tree to produce.

It’s an ideal patio plant because of its dramatic broad leaves and handsome fruit, which starts out as spring-green and slowly ripens into its familiar purple color.

Using the Fruit and Leaves

Fig trees (ficus carica) have been prized for their sugar-sweet fruit throughout history. Wonderful eaten fresh, figs are also a lavish ingredient in salads and desserts, or as an element of a cheese or charcuterie board. Chefs incorporate them in both sweet and savory dishes and love their versatility. Figs can be dried, canned or even frozen.
Figs are high in vitamins A and C, and are a good source of calcium, fiber, potassium, iron and magnesium. Even the leaves can be put to use as a wrapper for grilled and steamed foods (which gives them a subtle smoky flavor), or you can dehydrate the leaves and pulverize them for tea.

Growing Chicago Hardy Fig Trees

All fig trees require full sun (at least 6 hours a day) to produce fruit. Established trees prefer even soil moisture, but can tolerate some drought. Work in a yearly top-dressing of compost (6mm (1/4″)) to continuously enrich the soil and help feed the tree the micronutrients it needs. A springtime application of 10-10-10 fertilizer will increase your crop and ensure that the tree is properly nourished.
If grown in the ground, the Chicago Hardy Fig can reach 3-9 m (10-15′) tall—it’s a naturally dwarf size. If you’d like it to be even smaller, grow it in a container, which will limit its size. Light pruning will also help manage the size and shape the tree.

There’s nothing like a fresh fig—and you can grow them yourself, even if you live in a cold climate. The tree will give you loads of fresh figs for many years. Buy one today and fresh figs will soon be yours!

Overwintering Fig Trees in Cooler Climates

If you experience temperatures below freezing, then additional winter protection is necessary for best results. Potted figs should be placed in an insulated, unheated, preferably dark room or cool basement. Water them monthly until just moist so the roots do not dry out completely.

For fig trees planted in-ground, insulate as much as possible by getting creative. Use chicken wire and burlap or surround with straw bales stuffed with leaves. The pliable branches can be bent in to preserve as much as the plant as possible. What is not covered, will likely die back. Figs fruit on new growth and the insulated roots will send out new growth, even if the top dies.


Fruit ColorPurple
Fruit SizeMedium
Ripens/HarvestJuly through frost
Soil CompositionLoamy
Soil pH Level6-6.5
Product TypeGreen Good
Genus DescriptionFicus
Species Descriptioncarica
Soil MoistureWell Drained
Years to Bear1-2
Shade LevelFull Sun
Years to Bear1-2
Hardiness Zone Range5-10

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your tree matures, it will be approximately 4.6 m – 9m (15 – 30′) tall x 4.6 m – 10.6 m (15 – 35′) wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these trees 10.6 m – 12 m (35 – 40′) apart to ensure room for growth.

Ship Height

4x4x10″ EZ Start® Pot Ships .5 m – .9 m (1′ 6″ – 3′) tall with advanced root system.


This variety is self pollinating.

In many cases, you may still want to plant pollinating partners to increase the size of your crops, but with self-pollinating varieties doing so is optional. You’ll get fruit with only one plant!

How do I find my Hardiness Zone?

Canada’s Plant Hardiness Zones will tell you which plants will do well in your particular climate. Each zone is determined by the lowest average winter temperature recorded in a given area. Hardiness Zone information is included on all tree and plant product pages, so you know instantly whether a certain plant is likely to succeed where you live. Natural Resources Canada provides helpful options to find your zone:

Find your zone by province and municipality »

Find your zone using an interactive map »

336 reviews for Chicago Hardy Fig Tree

  1. Chris Carson

    The tops of the Chicago fig tree do not survive Indianapolis, IN zone 6A winters but grow back from the roots every year to approximately 6′ tall. As the the tops die back every winter we get almost no fruit. The tree is great but don’t expect fruit.

  2. Brenda H

    I bought a tree from Stark Bros about 10 years ago. After the first two years, it have never failed to produce a lot of fruit. I guess it is the most reliable fruit tree that I have ever purchased. Thank you

  3. Mario Canlas

    Started with one tree and it bore figs the next year. The figs were very good (texture/taste) so I sent for 2 more trees. As always StarkBros packing/shipping system is excellent. Our trees are in 18 inch pots and are placed in the greenhouse in Fall and they just go on.

  4. Vonja Kirkland

    The Chicago Hardy has large medium sweet figs -grows well in this area.

  5. Amanda Dorten

    This tree is planted and doing so well!! I’m super excited to baby it this winter and see how it does! Loving Starks Customer service so much right now!

  6. NANCY Thieda

    I have had my two fig trees for about five years now. Every year, I get a crop, it may be small the first year or two, but this fifth year I am going to have figs galore! My tree is loaded. I have one tree that is under a greenhouse cover during the winter and that produces so many figa it’s not even funny. The one that is outside in the elements produces about half as much. So if you are in a warmer climate this tree is for you! I love it, I just need to find more fig recipes!!!Near Detroit MI, where we get subzero temps.

  7. Daniel Bilodeau

    Stark Bros made a mistake in canceling the first Chicago Hardy Fig I ordered (2020), so they decided to make it right by sending one free of charge. It did take a year, but they did make good on that. When it came, however, it had been damaged in transport, so they sent ANOTHER ONE to replace it. The new tree arrived in good condition and is picturesque. Thanks Stark Bros!

  8. Jessica LaMonica

    Zone 6a. Thought it died with a cold winter and several late freezes. I did not protect it at all. Turns out it only died back to the roots. Several shoots are up now and looking great. Excited for figs.

  9. Sandy Nallanagula

    I got this plant last year in March, there was no grow though summer. I Called them couple of times and they asked me to check the stem, when I cut it was not brown or any dead signs, it was still green but no growth yet all. Waited till Nov 2019, it didn’t grow single leaf.


    I was looking for a fig that could make it through the Winter here in East Tennessee without freezing back to the roots. When I read about the Chicago Hardy fig and saw pictures of it with snow on the fruit, I thought maybe this was the fig I was looking for. However, our first heavy frost killed all the leaves and fruit and a few nights in the twenty’s killed the limbs back to the ground. Also, the fruit turned out to be small compared with Celeste and Celeste seems to be just as cold hardy. I am giving my Chicago Hardy fig one more year to see how it does. If I am no more impressed than I am now, I will remove the fig tree.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *