Hardiness success stories

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

I am interested in either tropicals, unusual, rare forms, or tropical-looking plants in the landscape, and was wondering if others had stories to share as well. I've had the success with the more obvious ones, like cannas, musa basjoo, golden bamboo, elephant ears, etc. but am more interested in others' successes with more rare plants. It sure would be nice to not have to drag all these plants indoors next year. So far, I have found these to be hardy for this part of NC, some with mulch, some with no protection:
Oxalis triangularus (purple shamrocks)
Oxalis "deppeii" (iron cross)
Purple wandering jew or purple heart
Many begonias
Lemon verbena
Several hardy hibiscus
Chaste tree

And I am trialing this year
Ruellia
Cordyline (Ti plants)
Several gingers

I am interested to hear if anyone has success with oleander west of Raleigh, and if anyone has wintered philodendrum selluom, gingers (other than white butterfly) successfully outdoors.



Georgetown, SC(Zone 8a)

I have 2 philo. selloum that I'm letting stay outside this winter. Of course, I'm in Z8, but I'll let you know the outcome. (So far so good. Green as can be. No damage from the two nights in the teens last week.)
Also two Hedychiums (Moy Giant and coccineum) are staying in the ground. They certainly went brown with the hard freeze, but I reallly do expect to see them back in spring.
Finally, one Curcuma Zedoaria and one Curcuma Elata, and these are the one's I'm most anxious about (and the one's I'll have to wait the longest for! :> )

I was interested to see that you had success overwintering the purple heart, since I am also trying that for the first time. Biggest risk I'm taking is Dracaena deremensis, which is under a tomato cage with a sheet tossed over it. So far, it's still green.
Edited to say, I guess I don't have any actual sucess stories...yet. But I'm hopeful.

This message was edited Dec 14, 2006 4:55 PM

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks for responding! The PDN website lists the curcumas as hardy to 7b, so I was going to try those next year. I couldn't quite divide the P. selluom but I plan to try that next year as well. The purple heart dies back but reappeared in spring-no mulch or anything. It's all over the yard now! I left out pieces of Hedychium Flavenscens and Elizabeth, and hoping for the best. Good luck with the Dracaena, will be curious to hear how it does.

Georgetown, SC(Zone 8a)

All the gingers I have came from PDN and I'm trusting in them that these are hardy. :)
I'll also be interested in how your Ti plant does. I have two that I brought inside and they are not very happy (too dry already, I think). Good luck, and 'come on Spring!!"

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

I'm just sort of lurking but I wanted to mention that at the store I work at here in Greensboro (W______t)lol, I noticed a new item in the garden center/Christmas area that I hadn't seen in our store before. They are styrofoam covers for plants and small shrubs. They kind of are shaped like a wastebasket (round type) and you just pop them over your plant and used garden stakes to pin them down. I only saw 2 sizes, the smaller one was about $3.50 and the larger one was about $5. Just thought I'd mention them. I thought about getting one or two but our weather here has been unseasonably warm so I don't want to waste the money or storage space on them right now.

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

Hmmm....don't normally shop there for personal reasons, but I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the tip!

Georgetown, SC(Zone 8a)

Yes, thanks, dmac...I may have to look into those, too!

(Zone 9a)

Your "shaped like a wastebasket" comment had me thinking that maybe a plain old wastebasket or a trash can for larger plants would work as well.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

You're welcome. I hope other stores got them as well. Our weather has been so mild that they haven't sold through very well so that may be the case in other areas too. They are wider around the mouth end and slightly tapered towards the flat top. I don't see why a plastic trash can couldn't do the same thing, stuff with leaves or drape with some kind of tarp or blanket should work about the same.

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

***BUMP***

Wanted to hear how everyone's trials went :)
Deb. I'm curious about the P. selluom, dracena and your curcumas fared the winter.

For me: Hedychium Elizabeth came back and is doing great, the Flavenscens root is still firm, but no growth yet.

Ti plants-show no signs of life but the roots are firmly in the ground still-lol

I had a duranta that came back to life, I was pretty surprised. ;)

Georgetown, SC(Zone 8a)

Oh yeah! I remember this now. :)
The P. selloum got to looking a bit weak over the winter and lost most of its leaves, but it's back in fine form.

The Curcuma zedoaria came up a couple of weeks ago and has "multiplied". :) Oddly, the curcuma elata hasn't shown it's face yet, which is worrying. I kind of dug around and it doesn't seem to have rotted, so I'm hoping it will still make an appearance. Both were mulched heavily and not watered til very recently.

The dracaena lost everybit of foliage. Feb. really did it in, leaving nothing but a 6' stalk sticking up, brown at the tip. But..surprise, it's not dead and is "starting over". A new little green stalk a few inches high. So, it'sll be smaller this year, but that's ok with me.

ALso, I had a snake plant survive as well (mother-in-law tongue? can't recall actual name).
I killed my Ti plants indoors back in January. :(
Deb

Bluffton, SC(Zone 9a)

Watch out for cooking your plants if it you get a warm spell and leave a can or whatever covering it. If you know someone in the food service industry they can get you buckets, pails, etc for free. Lots of items are packed to stay cold but have containers that are normally throw away.

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

I am sooo gonna go kiss that selluom I just put in the ground this weekend, I am so excited now! One less plant to drag in! Good deal on the dracena and the snake plant.

I love Ti plants, but I put my nice ones in too much sun outside and they look bad. I wish they had leafed out from last year...lol.

I got a curcuma elata bulb this year and have had it in the greenhouse until last weekend-it was just starting to have a new shoot when I put it outside-I think they like it when the ground warms well. Kinda like when the Black Magic elephant ears come up. I also ordered some more...lol..I got Aussie Plume and petiolata 'emperor' I think, that one's not here yet.

(Zone 9a)

I've had great luck with a good variety of Ti's (I ordered most of them from Aloha Hoya) but I am in such a warm spot.

The tropical Hibiscus I had in the ground did very well this year, the ones in containers suffered with that last (Easter) cold spell but they are finally coming around again. By next winter they will all be in the ground.

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

You're in 9a, correct, ardesia? Which tis did well for you?

(Zone 9a)

Yes, I am a 9a and the Ti's i have are:

Miss Andrea
Nani
Orange Sister
Kauai Rosebud 2
Keely's Sunset
Kiwi
Manua
Ola'a Beuaty
WIllii's Gold

Miss Andrea and Nani have been in the ground for several years. My success with them led me to buy the others which made it through this past winter with flying colors.

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

The only one of those I have is Kiwi. Not willing to loose that one yet..lol. I still hold out hope that they might leaf out, but I'll post if they do

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

YAY! I spoke too soon. Today I checked my tis and they made it. They are red sister. Now I'm thrilled! Ruellias are doing well, too :)

Georgetown, SC(Zone 8a)

Trop: Yahoo! Alright! Feels good, doesn't it?
Don't give me ideas about trying Ti's again. :)
Deb

(Zone 9a)

Deb, try a little, inexpensive one from a big box store. Put it in the ground now and let it get established.

Hey, I was in your neighborhood today; we had lunch at the Woodlands. WooHoo, they didn't have restaurants like that when I lived in S'ville.

Bluffton, SC(Zone 9a)

Sorry have to ask, what's a Ti?

Georgetown, SC(Zone 8a)

CoreHHI: The ones I managed to kill were the Hawaiian Ti (cordyline fruticosa).
Deb

(Zone 9a)

This is Carol's site (Aloha Hoya here on DG) and where I got most of mine.

http://www.bigislandgrowers.com/products/catalog_list.php?gid=&list_only=&category=ti&start_row=0

Raleigh, NC

My Ruellia, which was gorgeous and hardy last year, did not come back despite heavy mulch. Maybe it would have if we hadn't had those two nights down in the teens this winter....not sure. I've heard they can survive in my zone (7b), but are "iffy"......

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

my ruellia, setcreasea, phil. selloum, all my hedychiums (about 10 var.), some curcumas have come up, a lot of different bananas, brunfelsia came back ( the ytt)-I was shocked at that!, my shell ginger and the variegated shell ginger came back ( another shocker), erythrina herbacea, most of the ee's (red stem coloc, Royal Hilo colo, all the black ones, aloc. persian palm and California)-the only one that didn't come back was the illustris -surprised at that. My hardy oleanders didn't come back, but planted some more this spring. All my palms did great ( have about 7-10 different ones), trying some more this summer.
Thats all that I can think of right now off the top of my head.

(Zone 9a)

Your garden sounds fabulous! The Southeastern Palm Society is meeting at Plant Delights in July and non members are always invited. They often have lots of other tropicals for sale at these meetings and of course, PD will too.

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Ardesia. I didn't realize that they were going to be at Tony's this year-I have been meaning to join for awhile-maybe this will give me the kick in the pants that I need-even though I don't have to join, it is a worthwhile membership to have. Are you coming in July? Are you a member of the SEpalm soc? Do you have palms in your yard? Do you happen to know if they sell any palms at the meeting, aside from what Tony has?

(Zone 9a)

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes, they will probably be selling other palms. At least they did when they were here in Beaufort a couple of weeks ago. It is such a neat organization. Their meetings are really sort of a big tropical plant swap/sale and information exchanges. Everyone brings their extras and sells to each other and then they tour fabulous tropical gardens. I do not know for sure but I am assuming Tony will have PD open for sales to the group.

I think their journal is worth the price of membership, I always learn something from it.

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

Great! Thanks so much for letting me know-I will be there and I hope to meet you then.

Garner, NC(Zone 7b)

Tropicanna,
I've never had any of the tall ruellias overwinter, but the ground hugging purple one overwinters and spreads reliably every year...I probably had it for 6 or 7 years.
Purple shamrocks do very well and usually begin to flower in early spring. The purple wandering jew has just come back for its 3rd season with no protection. It is in a pot and is not moved inside.

Good luck with your hardiness trials!
Bev

Johns Island, SC

That surprises me, tggfisk! Those taller "mexican petunias" can be downright invasive here in Charleston. Had a friend bring me one from Texas, but she didn't know if it was R. brittonia or R. malacosperma. I didn't, either. To be on the safe side, I planted the whole container (1 Gal) thinking that would reduce any spreading. LOL! Those things are all over the place now. In one year. And they're 4'-5' tall! It's a good thing they're pretty, or I'd pull out the Round-up! They're evergreen here, and add a little green to the outside of the greenhouse in winter, so I haven't dug them out yet---but if they don't slow down, they're outta here. Want some roots if I dig them?

Bluffton, SC(Zone 9a)

Just looked over the Ti's etc. I'm book marking this post. I may have use for some of these plants but I'm done planting for this year. Pretty soon I'll start my list for next year. Basicly I have to see how my stuff from this year works out.

Garner, NC(Zone 7b)

Stono~
If you're tossing them out, I could give them another try:) Wanna try the short ones?? They don't run, they just keep spreading outward...but slowly. I just dug my original clump tonight to move it and take it down in size.
Anyone else want some?
And Kara, I said I wasn't going to do this;))...Didn't I??? But...I got almost everything else planted, so it's ok (?)
And ginger Dr. Moy comes back for me every year. It's always June when it does, though.


Bev

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

LOL, did you know? the trading bug leaves a serum under your skin that itches every time a good plant comes around...LOL

Just got Dr. Moy and a whole bunch of gingers this year, thanks for the info that they won't come up until later, or I'm sure I'd be planting something on top of it next year.

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

My Dr. Moy was one of the first to come up ( in early to mid May), it is a nice clump right now-very full. Weird huh how it changes from place to place?

Clemmons, NC(Zone 7b)

Do the rhizomes get long enough to divide for trading, tigerlily? I see mine putting out lots of new growth, but very close to the main stalk, same with Zingiber Mioga

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

here is a picture of it that I just took, and a selloum phil that also came back to the right of it

Thumbnail by tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

here is a closeup of the stalks-which you could dig up and divide, but I think it might ruin the chances for a bloom this year-it was just one stalk when I planted it last summer.

Thumbnail by tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

here is a orange hedychium that is already blooming!

Thumbnail by tigerlily123

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