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Tropical Plants: Who's bringing in what this fall?

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jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

September 8, 2012
5:17 AM

Post #9268731

I'm wondering what everyone is bringing in for the winter, I plan on bringing in my banana which I went out and purchased a fixture & bulbs for, so I think that will work out. I'm also going to bring in an e ear & a canna which will go in a south facing window, after our first frost I will bring in the other canna bulbs & e ear bulbs and store them for winter. It's been a horrible summer with the humidity and I for one am looking forward to some cool brisk air LOL...
Christine

This message was edited Sep 8, 2012 7:17 AM

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 8, 2012
12:59 PM

Post #9269074

Just keep your head down today, Christine! Looks like you have some pretty exciting weather going through there.

You can leave your cannas out until the nights are getting quite cool, say into the 40's. Mine have even survived some light frosts although the tops die right back. Then I just mulch them, but you can dig yours and keep them indoors in a cool, dry place for winter.

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2012
3:24 AM

Post #9269591

dyzzypyxxy, the storm wasnt as bad as they predicted, it did bring in some cooler air and it feels delicious... Thanks for your advice
Christine
Eclipse
Norwalk, IA
(Zone 5b)

September 10, 2012
7:34 AM

Post #9270669

I have 500+ pots to bring in...SIGH!!!! :-)

Kyle
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 10, 2012
8:27 AM

Post #9270741

Some things never change. :-)

Kyle, you need to start posting pics of your pots.

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2012
3:26 PM

Post #9271201

Kyle, how in the world do you begin, and I'd love to see pic's of your plants also, I cant even imagine having to bring in that many and where to put them ?????
Christine

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

September 11, 2012
11:37 AM

Post #9272053

I noticed your concerns about bringing in plants soon and I must say I am right up there with everyone trying to outguess this weather. We go from 90 in the daytime to 60 at night and last night it went down to 40 which was 53 in the closed greenhouse. I saw it coming so I took the stock plants of the Jasmine Maid of Orleans, the Star and Royal Jasmines, and several smaller tropical plants I know could not stand that sudden change if it went down to 40 last night as predicted. Tonight we are going to put the Aimee Gardenia Trees in the greenhouse and set up the heater, take down the fan. Honestly, it is so difficult to know what to bring in because it will get warmer before the first frost comes I am sure. The camellias and the mandevilla are still out but I am really concerned about them depending on tonights temperature drops.
I have very few other garden plants that come in. Most of my others are iris, and those hardy things you can grow up here. Good luck and I am so glad no one had damage from that blasted storm that just went by. JB

jaimelemon

jaimelemon
St. Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

September 18, 2012
7:46 AM

Post #9278738

I have gone a little crazy this summer and amassed a collection of small citrus trees. I have a Meyer lemon, Key lime, Bearss lime, Variegated Pink Eureka lemon, Ponderosa lemon, and Minneola tangelo. I also have a small, braided gardenia tree that I will be bringing in also. I was planning on lining them up next to my southern-facing picture window. Needless to say, my living room will look like a jungle (but will hopefully smell wonderful if/when I can get them to bloom. :)

I was thinking about supplementing with a grow light, but am unsure what to get or where to get it. I would like a bulb that will screw into a typical light fixture that I already have, I don't want to have to buy another lamp if I don't have to. What do you guys recommend?
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

September 22, 2012
5:19 PM

Post #9283387

wow kyle..all potted up.. wow..
only thing i have potted up are my amorphophallus's.. they will get uppotted..washed and then
stored dry for winter ..
i have 30+ bananas..some are over 16' now..sigh..i can feel my aching back now..LOL
over 100 EEs.. a few gingers.. a TON of cannas..mostly musafolia..which FINALLY took off and
got tall.. some even bloomed.. go figure..:)
i usually dont dig things until after the 1st hard frost...but "try" to avoid waiting to long and snow
shows up.. thats not fun..very messy.. yuck..

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 22, 2012
5:34 PM

Post #9283396

Jamie, just my opinion but for 5 citrus plants, even if they're relatively small, one grow lamp isn't going to help much. You need a full-length (at least 4ft. but an 8ft. would be much better) fluorescent fixture hanging close over the plants, with grow bulbs in it to give those little fellows the kind of light they'll need to bloom indoors.

The drug enforcement cops will be visiting you if they see that kind of light coming through your windows, LoL!

The single bulb grow lights need to be within about 6in. of the plants' leaves to simulate sunlight. I have one on my kitchen counter right now (it's too hot outside for seedlings) and if it's further away from the little tomato seedlings than that, they get pale, and spindly, stretching towards the light.

jaimelemon

jaimelemon
St. Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2012
11:10 AM

Post #9284969

Dyzzy - thank you for the info. I am hoping that the real sunshine coming in through the window will do the trick, but after reading your info, I am really scared. Most of what you read says that if you put them (Meyer lemon and key lime, specifically) in a sunny window, they should bloom just fine. I have my fingers crossed. An 8ft light is not do-able in my case, so I will just have to hope and pray for the best.

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 24, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9285038

Jamie, sorry to have worried you. I just wanted you to know that a single grow bulb in a lamp isn't going to help much with that many large plants. If you already have one, put it on one plant - less than a foot away from the foliage is best - for the whole winter, at least 2 or 3 hours per day in the late afternoon. See if it makes a difference.

If your window gets several hours of unobstructed sunlight each day, it might be enough for your citrus plants. Trouble comes when you get stretches of cloudy weather. I think you should give it a try this winter, and see how the plants do. Then you'll be able to judge whether you want to invest in a fluorescent light to augment the sunlight from the window next year. IF they don't bloom, or if they put on leggy growth or pale leaves, then you need to add lighting.

What you have to think about is where these plants naturally grow outdoors. What are the conditions? Here in Florida where all those citrus grow, bloom and fruit in people's back yards, most of them will get 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight per day even in December. The further north you are, the less intense the sun is, and the shorter the days are, too. If it was easy to grow citrus fruits in St. Louis, everybody would be doing it, right?
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 6, 2012
12:13 PM

Post #9297579

Golly, I brought in a bunch of alo's and colocasia. Several brugs. Ferns. Bouganvilla...all big stuff. *sigh*...can you say "hernia"???

A bunch I didn't bring in...a bunch of alo and colo's i'm going to just take out of the pots and store in peat moss or something. I've started just keeping the biggest and nicest and hang the rest.

I suppose I could post a pic of the inside of the g'house. Kyle, I don't have nearly as much as what you have though...gads, 500 pots. I would be dead hauling all that in. LOL
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 7, 2012
9:51 PM

Post #9299157

looks like its time for me to start digging .. we had a frost this morning..
? for u all.. i have a big pot that i want to keep the plant in..it needs good steady heat
i have it on a heat mat..but i want to increase the heat to the soil more..
my idea is of wrapping the outside of pot with termostat controlled heat cable..
its a 22" across pot.. im thinking of using electrical duct tape to hold the cables
to the pot..
ive even thought of just wrapping the pot with a heat blanket..but i dont know
how safe that would be..
?? thoughts??? ideas???
much thanks..
sigh..summer is over..

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 8, 2012
6:59 AM

Post #9299376

There is heat tape available that people 'way up North use to wrap water pipes to keep them from freezing. You might want to check with Home Depot or online for it. Much more efficient than using an electric blanket. I think your electric bill would be through the roof if you kept an electric blanket running all winter.
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 8, 2012
7:14 AM

Post #9299397

lol.so true on the electric bill.. thanks for heat tape idea..
unfortunately..heat tape only heats up to around 50F. as you mentioned..
to keep pipes from freezing..

lanakila

lanakila
Holly Springs, NC
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2012
8:15 AM

Post #9299467

Brought my plumerias in for the winter last night. It'll be sad to see their big green leaves fall. They are only 2 years old, so they aren't huge yet, but I'm not looking forward to lugging them in a few years. Can anyone recommend a better way to move them than by hand? Furniture dolly? Handtruck?
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 8, 2012
6:52 PM

Post #9300094

oh my aching back..LOL
got a few in today.. 4 ensete maurelli.. 1 ensete glaucum..wheel barrow full of canna musafolia (finally they took off)
all my amorphophallus.. several EE's..and moved my amaryllis under cover..
tomorrow..out again..dig more..
we have to love these plants (in northern areas) ..why else would we give ourselves so much
work..LOL...
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2012
12:49 PM

Post #9300742

still digging and hauling in nanners,EE's and cannas..
if i do a few hrs a day..i know i'll get it done..
yea..thats it..i will get it done..LOL
:)
super day today too.. just barely 70F..sunny..
wonder if we'll ever get any rain..
sigh.. im anxious to see what the NOAA forcasts end of this week..
they put up an updated long term forcast "guess" around the 10th of each
month.. they are pretty good at this stuff..
anyways.. taking a break..then back out to do more digging..

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2012
5:35 AM

Post #9301319

Since I've taken in most everything already, my garden looks so sad. I still have the E.E.'s & canna's out waiting for the first frost to knock them off and then I have the wonderful job of cleaning off & drying all the bulbs for next year. All the back breaking work is worth it. Now we can begin our plans for next year's gardens.
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2012
5:17 PM

Post #9301854

isnt that the way it is jasminsmom..
i got a bunch more in today..we may have rain this weekend..and id like to beat the weather..
so its not so messy..
weve had our hard frost..but hasnt froze last couple days..
a couple areas of my gardens are cleaned out..like you said.. its so empty..
here we "usually" have a semi dry november..so i try to haul in compost ..add it to areas
dig in.. plus leaves..when they decide to drop.. this yr ..im thinking its going to be early..since
it was so dry here all summer.. some trees are actually dropping leaves already..
ahh next yr... :)
marie_kap
Williamstown, NJ
(Zone 6b)

October 18, 2012
4:35 AM

Post #9308631

I am in Southern NJ and I have Banana trees that said they were hardy here as long as they were mulched well. Right now they are in pots. I was wondering if I cut them back placed the pot in a large garden trash bag and filled it with leaves, put it on the east side of the house, would this insulate the plant well enough?

I too have EE to cut back, but so far they are still looking pretty good.

My one giant EE is blooming now so I don't want to cut it back yet.

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

October 18, 2012
5:52 AM

Post #9308682

I'm still waiting for my ee's and canna's to die back,our first frost let them live a little bit longer.
Thats a good question about the banana, I dont think it would survive the bitter cold but we'll wait and see what the others think. I'm waiting for these to die back
Christine

Thumbnail by jasminesmom   Thumbnail by jasminesmom         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 18, 2012
6:28 AM

Post #9308719

Marie, I'm sure the banana would not be insulated enough doing what you suggested unless it's a very warm winter like we had last year.

The ground retains warmth long after the air is freezing. So plants in the ground have their roots insulated and warmed by the mass of soil around them, and then are kept warmer by a thick mulch on top. If you don't want to remove your banana plant from its pot, sink the pot right up to the rim in the ground to get the insulating effect. Firm the soil around it really well, then put about a foot of leaves and other mulch on top.

South or west side of the house is better than the east side in winter if they get any sun. On cold days, the later the sun is on the building the warmer the adjacent garden will stay through the night. My house in Salt Lake City had a bed on the south side of the house that had plants stay green all winter sometimes, because the brick wall of the house acted as a heat sink and kept the bed warm through most cold weather. It was at least a zone or two warmer than the rest of the garden!

Even here, the south side of the house is much warmer - it gets sun into mid-afternoon. I can usually keep cannas blooming all winter on the south side when they've died right back to the ground in the other areas of the garden.
marie_kap
Williamstown, NJ
(Zone 6b)

October 18, 2012
4:36 PM

Post #9309170

Thanks a lot for your input. I was thinking about putting the pots in the ground. Now I know i will for sure. I can do the south side next to the house. Will a large over hang ( from my Roof) that prevents a lot of water hurt them? I am so new to banana trees and I don't want to kill them.

Thanks again.
Marie

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 18, 2012
5:57 PM

Post #9309216

Marie, to keep the bananas dormant through winter, what you want is to keep the plants cool, but not freezing, and not dry but not soaking. Just barely moist is best.

Might be good to protect them from rain and snow, actually. Cold water from winter rain, or melting snow could cool off the surrounding soil faster than where it stays fairly dry.

Just check as the weather's warming up again to make sure they don't dry out too much. Then water sparingly with water from the inside faucet.

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2012
5:33 AM

Post #9309557

Marie, check out bananas.org so you will know the best thing to do, it's a great site
Christine

jaimelemon

jaimelemon
St. Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

October 21, 2012
4:12 PM

Post #9311532

Another newbie question here. We are about to have a 5-6 day stretch of weather in the low 80's and sunny. My plants have already been in for 3 weeks. Is it worth it to move them back out for a week, or is it too stressful?
Also, I would just like to say thank you for all the help, my first summer at Dave's Garden has been awesome!! :)
marie_kap
Williamstown, NJ
(Zone 6b)

October 21, 2012
5:45 PM

Post #9311618

I did not find out much there, but thanks.

I might just cut them back and bring them in the house.

dyzzypyxxy

dyzzypyxxy
Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2012
6:33 PM

Post #9311649

Jaime, citrus trees down here that are planted outdoors take that kind of stress through the winter all the time. We'll have a run of cold weather for several days, then it will go back to being beautiful and sunny with highs in the 70's or near 80 and lows in the 50's. A cold front in the winter here drops the temps by 20deg. in the course of a couple of hours.

If you're sure the nights won't get too cold for the plants (30's would be bad) then I'd definitely get those little guys out in the sun again! Just don't forget about them when the weather turns back to fall!

Elaine

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

October 22, 2012
4:58 AM

Post #9311928

We will be warming up for the next week also but I for one will not put myself or all my plants through a move again, they are just starting to adjust to being indoors. It's a tough call Jaime, good luck with what ever you decide to do :>)

Marie, I think cutting them down & bringing them in will be you best bet..

Christine
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 22, 2012
7:35 AM

Post #9312063

It's supposed to be so nice I'm thinking of going and opening the big overhead door in the g'house...hmmmm...if I do that maybe all those wretched boxelder bugs will fly away. Ya think? No, I didn't either. :>)

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