Reserved for soaking it all in and asking questions - I am in the learning mode from all you SMEs (Subject Matter Experts - a work term in my job title, not that my SME capabilities have ANYTHING to do with plant care LOL). Only tropicals I have are a Plumeria (from Chantell), Brazilian Plume Flower (from Gita), and Night Blooming Jasmine (from Jill)...
Tips for getting them to bloom (learned from some on-line research recently)
Although nicely leafed out, and amazingly still alive after two years in my care, it hasn't had any blooms. Will try this starting in spring:
Fertilize - use a high phosphorus (middle number) water soluble mix such as a 'super bloom' type fertilizer (10-50-10). Feed every other week during the growing season (last frost to first frost)
I worked for a number of years with growers of tropicals and other tender perennials so I follow what worked for us.
All of my tropicals are grown in containers not planted in the ground.
All of my tropicals are overwintered in their pots in an enclosed porch that is not heated but remains above freezing.
elephant ears, colocasia and alocasia
several types of bananas
Currently need guidance on oxalis Thanks for the interest every one.
Purple Oxalis can be allowed to go dormant--indoors--or kept alive as a houseplant--also indoors.
I am not sure it can be left outdoors for the winter--even tjhough I have heard that it "may"make it...
Either way--it will "wake up" around early March and start growing back from the little corms
(if it was dormant)--or just get bigger and better if it was kept as a houseplant.
Outdoors--give it bright, filtered light and water as needed. A bit more shade makes the purple more intense.
If your pot should get knocked over by squirrels (they sure liked to do that with mine!)
just gather up all the spilled, little corms and poke them back into the pot.
Overall advice---ignoring it is bliss with this one. No fuss--no muss! (What is "muss" anyway ????)
edited to add----coleup--ask Donner! She is the one who gave us all this plant.
My tips...don't forget to water the dang things - since the heat dries them out. Put those you can in your bathroom (if you have a window) they'll thank you for the humidity!! Alcohol in a mister bottle works great for the spider mites that will surely make their appearance. And your mosquito dunks or the sprinkles will keep those oh so annoying fungus gnats at bay...
Reserved for info on overwintering Elephant ears. I will concentrate of the varieties I have shared at our swaps. But first some general info.
How to Over Winter Colocasias
I have excerpted passages from an article on the Plant Delights Nursery site Tony Avent is one of the pioneers in tropical introductions that have made them a favorite garden addition for so many in recent years. Indeed, some of the offspring I have shared may be traceable back to Tony, so I'll use him as a 'general rule of thumb' guide from which we can vary and supplement with our own experience. The complete article is available here :http://www.plantdelights.com/Colocasia-Elephant-Ear-Perennial-Plants/products/503/
I am numbering the paragraphs so that we can refer to them in our comments and discussion. Any helpful comments I make will be in italics and designated with an asteric *
"How to Overwinter Colocasia bulbs
1-As the day length shortens, Colocasia switch their energy resources from producing leaves to flower and corm production. The production of leaves will become smaller and the corm will swell noticeably. At this time, most of the current season's roots will die off. It is important to understand this physiological change in order to successfully overwinter your elephant ear. *This timing will vary for each of us each season. But, never fear as a frost will not kill the corms but will turn some leaves to mush!
2-There is also quite a difference in winter hardiness of Colocasia. Colocasia gigantea Thailand Giant Strain is a solid USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, while Colocasia 'Pink China' is reportedly winter hardy to Zone 6. The rest fall somewhere in between. Typically, triploid cultivars are about a half zone hardier than their diploid counterparts. From Zone 8b south, most Colocasia should be reliably winter hardy in the ground without protection. This successful zone of cultivation also extends into Zone 8a, but some marginally hardy cultivars may be slow to return after a hard winter.
3-In Zone 7b, most Colocasia will return without benefit of mulch with a few exceptions. In this hardiness zone, hardy Colocasia may survive, but the large central corm can freeze and rot during the winter, leaving only the smaller offsets to survive. In this case, returning plants may not reach full size during the ensuing season. To overcome this, cover the clump after the first frost with a 1' tall pile of shredded leaves, which works well to protect the main corm. The plants will grow through the leaves when they re-emerge in spring. * I'm in 7b but I'd rather not chance it, so I bring mine in every year. Remember, too that drainage must be excellent in the cold ground or rot is a real possibility with these.
4-In colder zones, the same principle can be used but with a slightly altered technique. Assuming the plant has made good growth during the summer, after the first frost, encircle the base of the plant with a 3' diameter cage of hog wire and fill it with shredded leaves. If left unshredded, the leaves will pack together and hold unwanted moisture against the plant, causing it to rot. When new leaves emerge in spring, remove the cage and filler.
* Ok , here we go!
5-Northern gardeners (Zone 7a and north) will need to bring their elephant ears indoors before the temperatures drop below freezing. Over winter, elephant ears can be grown indoors as potted house plants * This means supplying the warmth and humidity to keep them happy and some will need more light than others Let's call this "Houseplant Method." If you grow your elephant ears outdoors in containers during the summer, cut back all but the top two leaves, then bring the pot indoors before the first frost. If growing elephant ears in the ground during the summer, pot them before frost in an appropriately-sized container and bring them indoors. *Cut back on water and feeding as you would any house plant. Treat for pests etc as necessary. ( More on this under Pests and Diseases if we ever get to that section lol J)
6-Alternatively, the pot can be placed in a cool area (45-60F is ideal) where the plant will not freeze . If there is bright light and ideal temps the plants will grow very slowly and achieve semi-dormancy . * Let's call this "Semi-Dormant Method"Do not over water in winter as the plants are still semi-dormant. * Cooler temps and less light = more dormancy = longer time to wake up and resume active growth but generally quicker than the"Full Dormancy Method"which is similar to how cannas are stored for the winter, bareroot in peat moss, etc.or left in containers or pots and placed in a garage/basement/crawl space where they will remain cool but not freeze. No light required but moisture and drying out must be checked and managed so corms do not dry out or rot.
7-Most of the dwarf non-corm forming species should be kept growing during the winter, along with non-tuber forming selections of Colocasia esculenta including Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ and Colocasia esculenta ‘Nancy’s Revenge’. Colocasia gigantea Thailand Giant Strain is also slow to develop a large corm, so is best kept in active growth. *"House Plant Method" or "Semi-Dormant Method"
8-Varieties of Colocasia that form large corms, such as most Colocasia esculenta cultivars, can be dug up and the corms stored in peat moss for the winter. They need to be kept in a dry, cool, but above-freezing location. Do not store in an airtight container which may allow moisture to build, causing the tuber to rot. * This is our "Full Dormancy Method"
I would love someone to talk about bananas. This year I have one that's just too big to be potted up and brought in. It's currently in the corner of my unheated garage, next to the wall that abuts the house.
Ok Medlarman. I'll start work on "Bananas" tonite.
Hopefully have something similar to what I did on colocasia above.
I believe that Elephant Ears, Bananas and Cannas are the most cold tolerant of the tropicals we can grow in our Mid Atlantic zones 7b to 6a (for the most part). Most others should probably made their way into 'winter quarters' by now.
And have experience with a number of others
1-The larger the banana pseudostem that can be successfully overwintered, the greater the likelihood of that banana to flower and fruit. It takes 18 or more months of active growth (or more) for most bananas to reach maturity. Bananas are rapid growers and the large size they attain after one growing season in our temperate zones make their overwintering more of a challenge because of their size. There are methods for protecting the pseudostems of bananas indoors or in the ground. Of course, some kinds of bananas are hardier or more successful in our area.
2-House Plant Method If container grown, just bring inside as temperatures cool before first frost or dig and pot the plant in the fall and keep it growing indoors in a warm location. During the winter, bananas will grow fairly slowly indoors so care should be taken to provide plenty of light and humidity, and not to over water. Avoid exposing the container to temperature extremes and cold drafts. Banana trees (even the cold tolerant ones) prefer warm humid temperatures for maximum growth. They grow fastest when the daytime highs are 80°F to 95°F (27°C to 35°C). Growth will slow drastically below 57°F (14°C). The tops of the plants will die back to the ground at the first sign of frost. This method works well with 'Truly Tiny' or smaller 'pups' divided from main stem.
3-Semi-Dormant Method Container grown bananas can also be maintained in a semi-dormant stae with the pseudostem intact if temps are kept between 40 to 50ish degrees, providing only enough water to prevent the soil from separating from the sides of the pot. The more consistent the temps, the less the plant will be worn out by growing/not growing as bananas are consistantly growing and do not naturally experience periods of dormancy.
4-Dormant Method - ContainerizedAllow plants to go dormant by slowly withholding water as the weather cools and removing the main stem. Place the container in a cool dark place such as a garage or crawl-space for the winter. Provide only enough water to prevent the soil from separating from the sides of the pot. A dormant banana in a container can withstand temperatures into the mid-30s F (3 °C) using this method. Placing the pot on a piece of styrofoam or rug, or a thermostatically controlled heater can help to modulate temperatures. Avoid cold drafts from opening and closing doors.
5-- Dormant Method - Bareroot The entire banana plant can be dug from the ground after it has gone dormant. Allow to dry. Remove the soil from the roots by tapping. Wrap the plant first in newspaper and then in plastic bags, like it was being shipped. The plant can be stored at 45 °F (7 °C) and ignored until spring. Plant can be stored vertically or horizontally . Because the pseudostem is comprised of mostly water, many gardeners allow the plant to dry for 3 or more days before storing. The plant will weigh about half as much as when first dug.
6-Dormant Method -In Ground Zones 6 and 7. The following is taken from Tony Avent at Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina, zone 7b http://www.plantdelights.com
"Consider mulching the plant in the ground. We prefer this, since it has proven the most successful for us and requires less indoor space. Our procedure for overwintering banana trees in the ground is as follows:
1. Once freezing temperatures have caused the leaves to turn brown and collapse, cut off the top of the plant, leaving 3-4' of pseudostem remaining. It is okay to leave the brown leaves on the plant since they will provide additional insulation.
2. Construct a cage around the trunk using rebar and concrete reinforcing wire (this is a sturdier material than chicken wire). Drive the rebar into the ground 2' from the outermost pseudostem to create supports for the wire. Two or three should be sufficient. Use the concrete reinforcing wire to wrap the stakes, forming a cage. Secure the wire to the stakes with zip ties or string.
3. Fill the cage with shredded leaves. It is important to shred the leaves since whole leaves can hold water, clump together and cause the plant to rot. We rake the leaves onto a lawn area and use a mulching mower to bag them for use. Most municipalities which collect leaves run them though a large shredder, and the result is usually perfect for this purpose. Do not use pine straw, hay, or grass clippings since they do provide the proper amount of insulation and aeration. Without this protection, the plant would die to the ground and need to begin from the soil line in spring.
4. When new banana leaves start to emerge in spring, remove the cage and spread the shredded leaf mixture around the base of the plant where it will continue to decompose and provide rich compost for your banana plant."
Good info here :http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/550365/
#1: An attic ladder turned plant stand to create more room for trops. It is still a work in progress, haven't decided on painting or staining it yet.
#2: An Unknown tropical. It grows to be about 2 feet and is a very vivacious grower. I imagine that's why it was sent as a bonus in the first place a few years ago. I plan to post in Tropicals if the MAGers can't determine it. Unfortunately it hasn't bloomed, probably because it never gets fed. Oh well. If you look closely I have some walking irises in there, I had to cut them off so they may or may not live, if not I'll have some from the mother plant to share. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/177981/ It is very easy as you might suspect and has bloomed all summer and continues to bloom while inside. Mine is yellow, hoped it was the purple/white.
What a cool looking multi-branching ladder. Show us how you arrange your plants on it later on.
Thank you so much for your Colocasia tutorial, coleup. I posted this question days ago on the Aroid forum and not a soul chimed in to offer help. Of the three Colocasia macrorrhiza bulbs I planted in Spring, two are now reduced to their original form and am overwintering the third as a Houseplant. Not really knowing what to do, I did cut all but two leaves back when I brought it in, mainly because a few had become tattered either from the wind or help from our cats. Already a new leaf has emerged. Very happy about that and assume storing the bulbs as per your instructions in number 6 above in peat moss is the way to go. The green growth where the stems were cut back has now hardened, like a callous. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1286629/
Are any of you growing Caladiums indoors without the benefit of a greenhouse? Most of mine are stored, but did bring in our small collection of five Thai Caladiums that now reside on a tray on our lighted plant stand. And what about Callas? Would it be futile trying to grow them indoors over Winter? Or is it worth a try? It would be great to have a tutorial on these bulbs as well or learn from anyone's personal experiences.
Fruity sounds like you are doing fine on the Colocasia. There is a wonderful "sticky" at the top of the Aroid Forum on 'overwintering elephant ears' http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/773186/
Hope your houseplant ee does well for you. If it starts to struggle you can let it go dormant and then store with the others! I think you can do the same with caladiums or callas you are trying as houseplants Would love to see some pics of your Thai caladiums and other trops you grow.
Reminder: Tropical house plants respond better to tepid water than cold H2O.
I'm about tutorialed out so hopefully others will chime in.
heya! I'm still consolidating overwintering plants inside... tucking cuttings or smaller plants into some of the larger pots, putting others into hanging baskets to get them off the floor, etc.
My biggest banana and the huge Black Stem Taro from Coleup are both on the basement floor at the moment, with a good bit of dirt around their corms... 2 smaller bananas have already been potted up for the "houseplant treatment," not sure if I'll pot up the big one or just throw a little water on its rootball from time to time.
In previous years, I've lifted ours and decided this year to leave them in the pots and have stored them in our garage. Except the Thais. Those bulbs are still no larger than the end of my thumb and will try to baby them.
I'll have to take pics of the little gems, coleup. One especially isn't doing well at all, had a bit of bulb rot and have set it aside to dry, hoping it pulls through. The bulbs came from Spring Hill, pricey and disappointing they were so small back in March and still are. It pays to ask how large (or small) a bulb is before ordering if it isn't specified. These are the ones I'm trying.
This isn't a very good photo since it was taken late in the day, but these are the six large pots of regular Caladiums back in July that lived on our side porch, about the only place with partial Sun and have a matchsticks blind to aid as a filter.
Fruity, I've just let caladium pots go dry in winter, and they've done fine stored in our cool basement. For me, that works better than storing them clean & dry... I'm not good at remembering to check on corms (or geraniums) from time to time to see if they need a little misting. Being in the pot with potting mix seems to keep them from getting tooo dry, and it's easy to start them up with a good soak in the water tray come spring.
Yes, Gita the ones that come in bags at the store really aren't the best. Oh don't you just hate seeing all those plants wasted. Order your plants from Bill at http://www.caladiumbulbs4less.com/servlet/StoreFront you will be very pleased with the bulbs. He usually puts out some kind of discount or add in the DG Classified in Jan/Feb. He did mention that he wasn't sure he would do that again next year. But you can always E-mail him and ask about a discount.
My Janet Craig compacta, Dracaena is blooming. I have never seen a Dracaena bloom.
Both of the Hib's are blooming in the GH also. I Thought of bringing one of them in to the house while it is blooming but they are in very heavy pots. I should have a name for this one somewhere around here.
Your Jeanette Craig is beautiful! I bet that was a nice surprise!
A couple of other plants that I have seen bloom in the past (HD G.H.) that was an absolute
surprise were an Aloe and a Snake Plant.
I will also never forget the first time I saw a huge cactus bloom. That was when i was working
for the grower.
Plants are full of surprises---aren't they?
Yes they sure are. It has turned out to be a very nice plant. It came off the HGHA Raffle Table. Wasn't looking too good but Ric picked it out because wanted the pot it was in. The member that had brought it in said that it was a rescue plant and thought someone would be interested in it even though it was looking a bit rough. I cleaned it up, gave it some support a bit of fert, and water. Stuck it in a nice shady spot in the garden and it just looks great now.
Sally, I'll remember that... anything that starts getting too fussy to live with me (literally), I'll be happy to pass along! just like peach-flowering plants! LOL (speaking of which, I found your peach astilbe out in the "nursery corner" this afternoon... can't believe I forgot to bring it along, but then again we were running a little behind that morning)
What a gorgeous Hib bloom, Holly. Actually they both are and think I have the same Dracena, one of those big box store no-name rescue plants a couple of years ago. Yours looks ultra healthy. Darn stink bugs have sapped the life out of many of the leaves on mine and decided there was nothing to lose by cutting the ugly black spots away.
Here are pics of the mini collection of Thai Caladiums. First is Gecko and although the leaves are shiny, they really aren't significantly thicker than regular Caladium leaves but they aren't as papery thin either, if that makes sense. Next is Jungle Princess with very tiny thick cupped bronze-burgundy leaves about the size of a Dime! No kidding and think it would an adorable addition to a Fairy Garden. Molten Lava is the pink one curled like a snail. Last is pointy leafed Glacier Lava which seems to be doing the best with several new leaves emerging. Neither of the Lava's have attained highly marked variegation they are purported to have, perhaps they will in time.
Fruit, is Jungle Princess a miniature variety, or do you just have a tiny "baby" corm of it? Lovely photos!
Gita, yes, definitely check out Bill's caladiums. (caladiums4less.com, I think) Even if he doesn't do a "DG special" this year, maybe he'd give us a volume discount for a group order... and another excuse to get together (although i've started them around spring swap time, it's nice to get them going asap for a longer season of show).
Fruit, do you grow your caladiums year-round as house plants? I've always let mine go dormant for winter... but now I'm envisioning them in a hanging basket, surrounded by coleus cuttings. Give me another place to hang plants, and I start getting ideas... LOL
Speaking of Bill - let me tell y'all the tuberose clusters I got from him this past spring were HUGE!!! I was beyond pleased! Course now that I've mentioned that...I need to pull those and store them for the winter...sheesh...almost forgot.
critter, the Thai bulbs were about the size of the end of my finger last March when they came from Springhill and are probably the same size. There's not much out there about Jungle Princess but after growing mine for 8 months, I expect she'll stay a miniature. Cute as a button.
Hands down, Bill's Caladium are the absolute best and so is his service! All those in the pots above in the pic on November 16th came from him and I always order a mixed batch to give away at our SW Central June RU. They're now stored in our garage in pots, and the Thai's are the only ones I'm growing as houseplants.
Why do Elephant Ears weep? That might sound like a strange question, but the one Colocasia macrorrhiza I'm overwintering is definitely giving off moisture from the leaves and was quite noticeable this morning when I brushed by.
Fruity and Holly, my first thought as to water drops on taro leaves was that it was 'condensation'. Last winter, my containerized plants on my unheated enclosed porch were wetter than usual when I had to bring them in and they really steamed up the picture window! I ran a fan to increase circulation and exhaust some of the humid air from my semi-dormant plants.
No bugs or stickiness, Holly, just appears to be water running down the outside undulations of the leaves. Then droplets collect in the creases and eventually drop to the floor, or down the wall as you can see in the pic.
Among the scientific explanations, another cause the writer also mentions is the soil is wetter than the roots, which may well be the case here, although I have been watering sparingly. We heat with wood to conserve electricity and humidity is very low. Thoughts anyone?
Lemon leaves can handle 70% alcohol spritzed right on them -- and the spider mites can't take it. Neem would probably also work, but the smell of the rubbing alcohol dissipates faster, so that's become my go-to with many plants. Unfortunately, coleus foliage doesn't much like alcohol... it's the leaves with a tougher cuticle, outer skin, whatever the right word is, that can handle it.
If your Lemon Tree is not too big--you could do this.
Encase the pot and soil in a plastic bag--tie it off at the base--exposing just the plant itself.
Fill a bucket with tepid/ warm water and add some "Joy" liquid dish soap.
Holding the plant upside down--and tightly around the plastic to keep any soil from dribbling out--
dunk it over and over in thew soapy water-- even letting it rest in the water for a while.
Repeat as often as you wish.
Then stop the dunking and rinse the plant off really well, dunking it again, also in tepid water
changing it a couple of times. Then--allow the plant to dry out of direct light and replace it wherever you want.
You may need to repeat this a couple of times to make sure.
I do not know if Spider Mites drop down--eggs or whatever--into the soil.
Then you would also want to treat it with a Systemic.
I can tell you that--Rawlings Conservatory uses ONLY "JOY" liquid dish soap for treating all its
plants. NEVER anything chemical. Seems to do the job.
I am thankful for my tropical plants that grow so well with so little care on my part.
Am looking forward to some mango chutney on my turkey sandwich tomorrow.
Heard a report this am about a study of tropical trees being effected by drought. too. Seems that when ther is drought their roots have to work extra hard to absorb and send water up to their leaves. Evidently this effort sees an increase in the possibility of introducing molecules of air into their vascular system that acts much like a blood clot in restricting the flow and damaging a leaf, branch, our entire plant. Will post reference if I find it. Gave me a new understanding of 'evenly moist' and importance there of.
Thankful, too, for non toxic tips. Hope you contain your mites til eliminated Sally.
I took all the loose soil off the top of Lemon Tree's pot, then dunked her in a bucket with Joy, then set her out with sudsy leaves to dry in the weak winter sun. Then sprayed the lower leaves where the mites seemed to be focused.. With pet flea spray lol. Hey, probably alcohol based and has growth inhibitors...I dunno, I guess its dumb to take chances but there you have it.
Good gracious, no wonder pests rarely dare to show the tips of their antennae inside your house!
The main thing with mites, just like with aphids, I think is to be vigilant and re-spray several times, either at intervals (weekly?) and/or when you see the teeniest sign of one. Even when I haven't seen a mite in ages, they'll suddenly appear on a stressed (under-watered, for instance) plant. I'm sure they don't spontaneously generate, but sometimes I wonder where they come from! Your idea of taking off some surface soil was a good one.
I've got a fun report on my bargain cinnamon tree! (Most of its leaves were damaged and half browned, but it had no sign of pests, and the nursery person said she thought it had been first underwatered and then overwatered.) I gave it about 6 weeks to get some new roots growing in its bigger pot. It was starting to show signs of recovery by putting out a few new leaf buds, so I screwed up my courage and pruned back pretty much all of its little branches, which removed the partly-dead leaves. Now it's starting to put out the prettiest little translucent leaves, pale jade-green with a touch of shell-pink. I stuck the cuttings into the pot, of course, and most are still green... so hopefully I'll have some little rooted babies to share soon!
I once used flea spray in desperation once on a branch or two of a small tree. Alas, the tree died from the spray, even though I washed and washed, and rinsed and rinsed it off. (Coated the stomata or what ever so basically I suffocated my little tree. Hope your lemon fares better. Just a note, flea spray did nit kill offending bugs!
Jill thats pretty exciting about the cinnamon tree!
Well Judy, that's too bad. I better go get the thing now before it gets too cold, talk about insult to injury. The variegated ivy wiht the tiny leaves has grown very well! It had a vacation today too. No mites seen, but I did find one very tiny real spider so I left her to eat any mites that might come along to the ivy.
Love that small, variegated ivy! very cold hardy too.
This is many years old--it started in a 3" pot that i planted in containers--then dug up and
re-planted in a 6" pot and so on and on...
Then it got too big and I put it in a HB. And so it still is...Big and beautiful!
Hey, thanks for all the tips. I have some little flying bugs hanging around my plants, mites I assume. They aren't munching, just annoying. I may try the rubbing alcohol trick. Will probably dilute it more then 70% starting out though.
I have a sunporch filled with palms (jelly, sago, spindle, madagascar, cane, cabbage seedlings, windmill seedlings, coconut) 4 palms in the garage (queens, too tall for the 12' ceilings in the sunporch), red abyssinian, dwarf cavendish, bird of paradise, lime tree, plumeria and some elephant ears that I just got a deal on and am trying to keep alive til spring LOL. It's my 3rd year overwintering in the porch, it gets fuller and fuller each year, next year I will have to probably add a greenhouse because I can barely walk through the porch at this point. Always concerned that I'm not keeping it warm enough, not watering enough, watering too much etc. It's definitely one of those things that you have to do some trial and error. You have to know when your plants are communicating with you. Is that drooping leaf just aging, or does it need water? Live and learn, and try not to lose anything too expensive!
lwooters--Welcome!!! Where is Preston? I live in NE baltimore County. In Perry Hall/White Mrsh area.
You probably have Fungus Gnats. They are all over anywhere fresh, moist soil is available.
You can try to cut back on the watering or cover the top of your soil in the pots with sand or small gravel
or "Diatomactious Earth". It is available at Lowes. I do not think Home Depot carries it.
Dangerous stuff--wear a mask and do not inhale it. it is miniscule shards of glass (Silica).
Fungus Gnats lay eggs in the soil--which hatch into larva--which will feed on the plant's roots.
The adults flying around are a pain in the you know what--but, otherwise, they are harmless.
Their life-span is about 2 weeks.
The best way to minimize the adult population is to use the yellow sticky pads you can hang amid your
plants. The Gnats are attracted to yellow and will stick to these pads. Hosta la Visa gnat!!!
You can also water your plants with systemics (Bayer has a good one--3 in 1)--which will kill everything in the soil.
Overall--keeping the surface of the soil dry will also help. Gita
Thanks Chantell now i know why i have mosquito dunks and don't even have a pond lol...
I think my Freydek EE has a leaf fungus. One leaf has a couple large dead patches edged in yellow. Should I cut all the fungus portion off?
My living area is much more manageable this year with the GH heated and housing some of the tropicals.
Usually I have to move most of the Tropicals into an upstairs room where they are over crowded and some what neglected. Then spider mite and other issues really take a tole on the plants. This year with some of them in the GH and only a few that will need to move upstairs I hope to provide a better clime for them and have more success.
Ric dug out the Glad bulbs yesterday and I am preparing them for winter storage.
Now that we have moved in to Spring and the temps are warming (80's today !!) its time to wake them up and begin (when???) the annual migration to the out of doors for the Mid-Atlantic version of the Tropics!
Thought I would bump this thread up as it is a good review and info for how we do our tropicals. Seems we are bringing them in earlier this year because of frost and freeze warnings and extended period of cold forecast ahead.
Sally, I brought your little plumie inside in its pot. I have 1 big one and 2 smaller new ones that I planted in the same big pot together this summer... tried moving the pot after all the recent rain and quickly decided they would have to spend the winter as dormant sticks, so Joyanna helped me dig them up along with some pineapple lily bulbs that didn't bloom this year but did multiply! :-)
KNocked myself out this afternoon bringing in the potted amaryllises (just as well I didn't get them planted in the ground last spring; carrying is quicker than digging!)... and the tropical water lilies (brrrr that's some cold water)... and digging up the red-leaf banana (with a pup!)... and anything else that hadn't been hauled into the garage on Tuesday. Morning room is festooned with hanging baskets, too!
My baby Plumie came inside in a qt nursery pot and I can keep that going. The 5 foot tall one…will get pulled from the pot someday soon. Not sure what this chilly night, under a leafed maple near the house, ail do to it, might get black tips. It has only bloomed for me while growing in the ground, not a pot.
Amaryllis and Hymenocallis pulled last weekend, sun dried two days, wrapped in newspaper loosely, in a box
I'm glad I reduced my tropicals population by half in numbers and 3/4 by volume and weight.
Only 2 bananas this year!
The small office complex upthe street from me has 10 Hardy Banana , Musa 'basajoo' in their landscape. Last week they trimmed all of the leaves off but have left the pseudo stem. Removal of the many leaves will certainly decrease the possibility of breaking off the stem as winds increase. Haven't noticed any other winter protection measures but these are near a building and sheltered so they may not need extra mulch. This is their fifth year in ground year round.
You can get amaryllises to re-start sooner by giving them a little water and warmth. Bottom heat is especially good for jump-starting them (putting them over a heating vent has worked for me).
I think the 'Basajoo' can even die back to the ground and come back fine the following spring. I want to order one (from Santa Rosa probably, or Wellspring if SR sells out) and install it near the outer corner of my deck... I've been increasing the number of tropical-looking plants in that "tropicals" bed so I don't have quite so many to dig in fall! With 2 $5 plants I picked up recently, I'll have 5 Hibiscus moscheutos in that bed, all of which are the newer "indeterminate" hybrids that get flowers in all the leaf nodes, not just at the branch tips. Give them a couple more years, and they'll look quite lush. :-)
Ric and Holly may have a great granddaughter pup of the mama I gave them! I believe they leave theirs in ground with protection, Shelter from wind will see the leaves far less tattered. They want to form a 'grove' The more of the stem, the taller the banana will grow which other than hardiness is why some dig and store them eash winter, See thumbnail pic at start of this thread where bananas are taller than house!
They are doing really great I had a grove of 8 this year from the original you gave me last year. I am going to divide a few next spring to give away. I gave 2 away this year. I cut mine back just a few days ago and piled leaves over them. I planted them near the compost pile not the prettiest location but I knew I could easily over winter them there. Next spring I am going to move a few into the yard at different spots and see how they overwinter without the huge pile of leaves over them.
I am sad to say that it looks like I lost the Australian Tree Fern. It was doing so good this summer really looking good and putting out new fronds. Something happened to it went we took those first 2 week trip. Looked half dead when we got home. I figure it didn't get watered or maybe the cold snap we had while we were gone hurt it but I have been hoping it would start to regrow. So far I haven't seen any signs of it coming back to life but I still have it in the GH and will give it another month or two to see if it revives.
Oh sad on the Australian Tree fern but I'm glad you got to enjoy it And who knows, it may still live. Remember one of the keys is to water the reservoir formed at the base by the fronds. Wonder how Greenthumb is doing with the one I gave he and Pat to care for? I really am drawn to them. Maybe I'll have to put a trip down under on my bucket list! Thanks for trying! And not counting it out even though I know your GH is full.
If the Basajoo put out 8 pups it does like its spot! Bravo! How tall did yours get before you cut it back? Do you still have your Siam Ruby? I hope I get another year out of my Ensete.
Critter, I think 'bottom heat'/soil temp is key to earlier start for caladiums, too. They will sulk like tomatoes if the soil is cold/cool even if the air is warm enough.
Jan, have you found a spot for banana and ee's to overwinter there?
You're right, Coleup. This past spring, shipping was really late on the caladiums, so I just potted them up and hung them outside... but when I've received them sooner, I've potted them in gallon containers and put them on a heat mat inside to jump-start them.
I know I have posted this before---long, long ago...But since this topic
has come up again-- (starting caladiums) --I will dwell into this one more time...
When I was working for a grower--can't tell you the year--or which Grower--
they had the regular, long tables with plants germinating in the Green Houses.
These long tables were covered in a heavy felt , which hung down to the floor.
On the table--they had African Violets growing--and the felt was kept watered--
so the AV's would get the bottom watering they needed.
Below the table--under the overhanging felt--they were germinating all their Caladiums.
The temp. down there was a damp 80*. It worked like a charm.
Bummer! I cannot remember what place this was!
The idea of putting your potted caladiums on your water heater to sprout,
no longer works...as all the water heaters are now so well insulated that not
much heat radiates through the top. Now we need to find other sources of bottom heat.
I have NO heat mats--so it will be challenge... but I will think of something..I always do!
Another thing in my "memory banks" is that caladium tubers have to be planted
at the very bottom of the pots. Then put on a some kind of warm surface to sprout.
Tops pf refrigerators is not so cozy as it used to be either. I'm at a loss to find passive lost heat to use for bottom heat in the house. A sunny windowsill in spring WILL heat up pots nicely, as long as you don't have a cold cloudy spell in the middle of that…gr
Have you tried setting a plant directly on a floor register? It's intermittent bottom heat, coming up only when the furnace is on, but it does seem to speed things up for my amaryllises. (Having a register blocked in the morning room doesn't much affect the temperature downstairs for me, YMMV)
Also, if you have a metal bookcase (or can find one cheap), you can put a pot light on a lower shelf (one of those "uplights" that's meant to sit on the floor and shine light up into your ficus) and it'll heat up the shelf directly above it (assuming you're using an incandescent bulb). More alternatives here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/556/
Critter, your suggestion about the metal shelf/light bulb is exactly what I do. I have used it for 2 years to geminate seeds. Works like a charm! I would say that it does have problems though. You have to be careful that the shelf doesn't get too hot. Also, the area that gets warm enough is very small, maybe 1 square foot. But it's cheap n easy so I can't complain!
Just picked up my first Cordyline today! "Red Sensation". Supposedly, it can tolerate temps in the teens? Anyone have experience with overwintering these?
Here is what Walter Reeves does with caladiums in his zone 7 garden
" Light frost kills caladium leaves outright but the best time to dig the plant is before the leaves disappear. You’ll be able to find them hidden in the soil much easier if you use the stem as a handle to gently tug the corms free as you dig.
Caladiums can also be stored in a plastic tub and covered with perlite. Separate the corms by leaf color and label the tubs carefully. You won’t be able to tell which is which next spring without a label.
Both caladiums and dahlias should be stored in a warm, rather than cool, spot for the winter. A little-used hall closet is a good place. If kept in a cool basement or unheated garage the roots deteriorate and do not sprout easily in spring. Keep the lid on the container until you retrieve it in April."
How much heat would be too much for the caladium bulbs?
My laundry room is quite warm. Not only is it close to the Furnace enclosure-
it also has a heat vent in the ceiling. VERY warm when that is on.
Anything I want to dry quickly--I just hang down there.
I could keep the bulbs in a box on my washer/dryer...Kind of out of the way.
When I do laundry--I can move them temporarily.
Matter of fact--I will put my dug up bulbs there tomorrow.
They won't dry as well in the Shop...
I don't have Dahlias--but i WILL have a pile of canna bulbs dug up.
Got any advice on these?
Usually--have air-dried them outside if the weather is still warm, and then
put them in low cardboard boxes on the floor in the Shop. It is a bit damp there--
but not too much. Sometimes I throw something over them..just a bit...
That red Canna Wind gave us all makes amazingly large root-clumps.
Insanely huge! Also Olga's orange Canna had massive roots...
They are all still in the beds...I'll get to them when I get to them...
Gita, you already have a tried and true method that works for you with cannas, so stick with that. I think between 40 and 50 degrees is recommended storage temps for them. You might enjoy this site on cannas, especially the comments by a PA new gardener who is using his huge canna stalks as part of his Halloween display! Corn stalks! http://ahealthylifeforme.com/2012/11/08/canna-lily-winter-care/
Caladium "storage' from Classic Caladiums says above 60
" Bulb Storage:
Caladiums are tropical plants, and bulbs must be stored at temperatures above 60°F (16°C) with a relative humidity in the neighborhood of 75%. Also, there needs to be good air exchange to prevent build-up of gases. Caladiums are particularly sensitive to the presence of ethylene gas. When storing caladiums, unpack them immediately upon arrival and store them in open trays with proper air circulation. Exposing bulbs to cold temperatures will cause them to sprout slowly and erratically and cold may stunt the crop.
Make sure that bulbs are not stored at temperatures below 60°F (16°C), or above 90° (32°C). Injury due to temperature exposure manifests itself in stunted (sometimes very slow) erratic growth even though the bulb does not show any injury at all." http://www.classiccaladiumsllc.com/caladium_bulb_sizes.htm
Laundry room it will be then...tomorrow...
Since we are talking bout storing bulbs and temperatures---
How about Amaryllis????
I usually put the pots down in the Shop and let the leaves wither off.
Then I leave them be--for about 6 weeks (so Allan Summers said).
When the leaf or bloom tips start to emerge--I bring them up in my LR
and that is where they stay (blooming whenever) until they go outside.
I would say the temps in my Shop are in the high 50's. This is the lowest
of my 4 levels in my 4-level split house.
This area IS 75% underground with cinder block walls (sealed from moisture).
NO heat vent down there--and almost NO light...
BTW--The Shop is also where my Brugs snooze for the winter...and my Clivias.
I DO leave the shop light on for the Clivias during the day...IF I remember...
Good to know Caladium bulbs might like to be warmer than my basement in winter... I've been leaving them in their pots, so I don't really know what the tubers look like in fall, just that they aren't quite as good when they sprout again the following spring. Maybe the problem is storing them too cool.
THe newspaper answered one of my recent questions- well, somebody else asked what I wanted to- Red blotch is a fungal disease on amaryllis that causes red blotches on leaves and bulbs. It will weaken to the plant, though you can pot in fresh soil and give it a chance. You can use a systemic fungicide. Keep infected bulbs away from other bulbs.
I've been told that some red color can also appear on bulbs that have been damaged (cut on the bulb, bent leaf), but that's a harmless condition and not the same as "red blotch." So don't toss a bulb in panic. Thanks for that link, Gita -- concise explanation and good photo showing a depressed area in the bulb, almost like a rotten spot on a potato or pepper. Sally, if the red spot doesn't get larger, elongate, or start looking sunken & "bad," it's probably just normal red pigment. Fortunately, I think actual Red Blotch Disease is pretty uncommon.
hm, well, I'll take a good look…thank you
Although- when you think about it, a cut or bent leaf is damage that would be susceptible to fungus. GIven that one post said you could proceed with caution, I guess it's NOT a perfect time to panic! I'll look at the overall vigor of that bulb. COurse, these things are dwarves compared to what Robin Catbird showed me from the bulb order.
Sally (and anybody else), there are a few 'Flamenco Queen' (remarkable red & white variety, bulb as big as your head!) and one or two 'Misty' (mini pink trumpet) available from the boxes that were double-sent. Chris & I have an easy arrangement about them, so I don't *need* to sell them off, but I wanted to offer them! They're $7.50. They'll "hold" dormant in my basement a good while, too.
My cursory read up on 'red splotch' has it more common than un common Trust your gut! Why 'wait and see' for one suspect bulb? "Wait and See" has given us wide spread Late Tomato Blight, Hosta VX., Rose Rosette. and pretty much wiped out bedding Impatiens! to name a few. Fungus is amongus and highly contagious to boot. While you are at it, discard soil, disinfect pot and do not replant amaryllis in that area as spores remain in soil as well as on bulb .
Wash hands after examining suspect bulbs and don't buy a diseased 'bargain'.
Coleup, good point about not keeping potential trouble makers, but in my experience amaryllises show that red pigment in response to injury very commonly, and if you mistake that for "red blotch" infection you'll toss out a lot of good bulbs. "Red blotch" is more red-brown than the naturally expressed pigment, and the red spots elongate and develop into lesions... when you see lesions, you know you have disease, just like with tomatoes, peppers, etc.
SSG, I'll be glad to put 2 FQ aside for you. Please remind me by posting on the bulb buy thread (or Dmail me)... I'm not at the computer with The Spreadsheet right now!
I'm not putting my amaryllises through dormancy this year. Because they stayed in pots on the patio instead of being planted in the ground, there weren't a lot of broken leaves when they came inside... ususally by the time I dig and move them, there aren't enough green leaves worth saving, so I let them go dormant. When I let them "stay green" (by a basement window, watering fairly regularly with 1/4 strength miracle gro in the water), they still bloom, they just do it on their own schedule, when they feel like it LOL. When I see a bloom stalk coming along, I bring the plant upstairs, and when its show is over, it goes back to the basement shelf.
Hi everybody! Sorry for dropping off for such a long time. Work took over life :o(. I missed you all!
My Colocasias never grew tubers by the time the season was over. They only had big lumps of roots and I never kept them over the winter. I am thinking about preserving the 'Black Stem' and the prescious 'Black Magic' this year. They really are too big to be kept as house plants. Can the roots be kept in peat over the winter? When should I dig them up? After the leaves are killed by frost?
Also, they sent out some of runners that grew into baby plants. Can theeir roots survive in peat? Or do I have to pot them up at this point?
I have missed you--but I also know how much you work.
I have a quick question...
The clustered blue bells--if they are Campanulas--do they need shade
or part shade? I planted the biggest clump just 2 days ago in a part sun spot.
It will be next to my big Azalea but get some sun.
It is the only spot I thought they would grow nicely. Did not want to chance
the "YUK" bed again--as they really struggled there.
Still have to find the right spot for the two smaller plants.
I have been digging out the Iris and amending the soil in the long south bed
then re-planting stuff. In the process--i am digging up all kinds of bulbs.
They are mostly from the Wood Hyacinths--aka Spanish Bluebells.
More to find spaces for. I love these--they are so pretty in early spring.
Have a pot-full of Daff bulbs too.
I have to still re-pot many of the really smaller Iris sections in pots and let them grow out.
Good to pass on at Swaps.
Two big jobs remaining--cutting back the brugs and digging up about 8 big Canna roots.
This nice weather is helping...
All my houseplants are already inside...Long Live the Jungle!!!!
I haven't had good luck cutting back the stem of a banana plant, although I know people who do that and have it sprout out just fine in spring. If mine are short enough, they go into pots in the corner of the dining room for the winter. (Yes, Jim just loves that, LOL.) Otherwise, I dig them and just lay them flat in the basement with some plastic around their roots, spritz in a little water once in a while to keep the corm/roots looking, well, not crisp, but not totally withered. The leaves will die back, or you can cut them off... if you don't cut off the emerging top leaf or the tip of the central stem, they seem to re-start better.
Donner, glad the Black Magic and Black Stem are doing well for you.!
You can dig them now or wait, I'd be tempted to pot up the Black Magic as it wakes up more slowly than Black Stem. If it was in a pot I could encourage earlier emergence than could be achieved by just planting in ground again. I'd do the same with baby Black Stems depending on how much roots they have grown. They do depend on mama for a while, so I might pot them up and let them grow on a little more indoors in coolish place before putting with others in 'dormancy dorm' By the way, we used to propagate new plants by laying 2 inch pieces of those runners on top of planting mix where each 'node' can put down roots.
Since my EEs are all grown in potsof potting soil, they are easy to bring in and stash for winter. The trickiest part for me is not 'first frost' but finding the right amount of pot dryness after weather cools. I trim the big leaves but leave stalks a foot tall and don't bother with little of newly emerging leaves. Some moisture from these will be reabsorbed into the bulbs or evaporate into the air and so far I have never had to water, mist them or had them dry out. The bulbs are meant to store moisture and I believe will absorb the proper amount to sustain life from the fleshy stems and not the roots as when in active growth.
Jan, I do pretty much the same with my bananas, cutting off those gorgeous leaves (must try cooking with them!) but I leave top leaf or two and have never cut the pseudostem because I want next season's banana to be taller than last. It is ok to chop ott stem leaving a foot or so.
Critterologist,. that's what we did to achieve the Ensete banana that towers over the roof of the house in this picture! The root ball was 3' diameter and the stem almost 20 feet tall! It laid on its side in a cool green house until replanted (in same hole) the following year. Took three of us and a Kabuto tractor to move it.
Judy, ok, thanks. I will pot up a small Black Stem and a Black Magic, and hope for the best for the rest of them :-). They really did well this year. I planted the Black Magic in the center of a huge pot of big begonias. The Black Magic was prescious! I nursed the little baby over last winter, and it becamse a very big plant this year :o). Stunning! Thank you very much!
Gita, the Clustered Bellflowers get about 5 hours of afternoon sun in my garden. Sorry to see the unhappy Monkshood in your garden. The 3 babies you gave me are doing great in my garden. They are big and still blooming now. I planted they next to the white Japanese Anemones. They now are blooming together, looking lovely.
My Monkshoods have had this same issue forever. Not sure why.
David said they are, probably to wet--so I dug them up from the bed bu the shed
and potted a bunch in a pot and dug it in behind my ferns in the kitchen-side
Put some on either side of my Proteus in the very small bed by my driveway.
They all have lost their leaves--which shrivel up, just turn dark and fall off.
They ARE blooming--but just not spectacularly. I am used to this...
Your soil is more clay--maybe they like that...MIne is more typical, garden soil.
The Monkshoods can't help being watered a bit--as they share beds with annuals...
Judy--maybe you can dig up some good info on their needs???
That does not sound good to me, Terry. Mine are hard as fresh potatoes.
I pulled up my potted Dr Seuss Brug from the flower bed and potted the pot in a 14 inch clay pot. It looks and smells fantastic and is full of bloom right now. Addy now lays on the deck and uses it for cover to spy on squirrels.
My other big beautiful Peaches/Maya brug got an errant gust of wind and is fairly toppled. She's finishing up a huge load of bloom.
I've been watching a maple tree turn color every day this week. Todays rain knocked off a lot of the leaves, and all from the yellow Ash tree to the right in the picture. Now the lawn is a beautiful carpet of colored leaves.
Dogwoods are loaded with berries this year.
You mean mushy all through? With areas of yellowish-brown-slimy stuff?
I think if the bulb itself feels soft and mushy--it is a gonner.
If it is just a small area, you could cut out the mushy part and let
the bulb heal over.
My caladium bulbs were many and pretty hard. There was a mushy spot
on one of them and I just, kind of, scooped it out with my gloved finger.
I am, actually, impressed with how well they went through the season--
and some of them really multiplied.
Let me see if I can get a picture...they seem to be dry already.
They are all hard and healthy--as far as i can tell. Look good!
Phew--that took a while. Brushed some of the dirt off--they are all dry.
1--The WINNER of making the most bulbs--Aaron! I started with 3.
2--The large Aaron bulbs--closer. So many "eyes'!
3-Another WINNER! The huge NOID bulbs Holly was waking around offering...
This is the one I had in the big pot. ONE bulb!
4--"Buck Rogers--I think I had 3 bulbs to start with?? They were in the tiny
front bed smothered by other large plats. Very shaded out...One was by my shed--
5--The "looser"! "Gingerland"--not sure how many I had..
2 for sure.. Maybe 3 to start with?
I LOVE that red in your maple (?)!!!! What a color!
I also LOVE to see a Dr. Seuss brug that is not 8' wide! Like mine...
They do look cue in a pot.
My Maya is all cut back. Only got about 7 cuttings off the whole thing.
Maybe it is time to root-prune it next spring? Then--look out!
My first cuttings from the Dr. are all inside and leafing out.
When the big bloom flush is over--I will be hacking the Dr. into cutting sizes
and delivering it to Scott in Cylburn. He never put out the effort to come and
get the whole plant. I am a bit pissed about that. BUT--I will, graciously deliver...
Thinking that--perhaps after aia have cut ALL the branches back--maybe (???)
I will be able to, somehow, put the rest of the plant in my car.
IT HAS TO GO!!!!!
Mailing 4 to a man in TX. And 2 of either the other. He read my posting about it.
It is so nice outside! I better get out there and pot up all the smaller iris sections.
That still has not been done.
My Dr. S. today! It is not opening the blooms as fast as before--must be the
cooler nights and the shorter days.