Last year I overwintered >220 pots of EE; ~ 50 varieties.
With all the pests (aphids and spider mites) and dealing with differing watering needs, I am looking to other methods for overwintering.
I have Colocasia, Xanthosoma and Alocasias.
1. I know some of the Alocasias need to be overwintered as plants. Are there any Colocasias or Xanths that also need to be overwintered as plants?
2. Is it better to overwinter EE in pots or as bare corms?
3. I don't have a basement and my garage can get down to 32F (I have successfully overwintered Peruvian Daffodils and Amaryllis as bare bulbs in the garage for several years. But last year I lost all EE I tried to overwinter in pots in the garage except Pink China and Fontanesii).
So, can I overwinter bulbs in a refrigerator at 5C (~40F) or can I buy a refrigerator and set the temp to 10C (50F)?
4. Is there a minimum size for a corm to successfully overwinter?
5. Other options?
6. For overwintering in a GH, what is the ideal temp? Last year I kept it about 75F high/65 low but the plants seemed to exhaust themselves like they were trying to grow but had too little light and too much heat to go dormant.
Very interesting questions, ROX. So sorry you lost so much. Could you set up a space heater in the garage? Just enough to keep it above freezing? The refrigerator is a brilliant idea, I think setting it at about 40 degrees would work... I keep my "regular" old elephant ears as bulbs over winter, did a pot of Illustris last winter, I gave it a little water at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day. It all died back but returned thicker and taller than last summer. I keep caladiums as tubers or bulbs, dry in a grocery bag. I do have a basement, and was feeling sorry for myself cause I don't have a greenhouse... your post has humbled me to be grateful for what I have! My basement may get below 40 on frigid days but I wouldn't expect any bulbs to make it where it is 32... I have a wood stove down there and when we have sub zero weather for more than 2 or 3 days, I'll build a fire just to be on the safe side. I don't think it would freeze, but ALL my hibiscus, brugs, ferns, cactus, passionvines, amorphs, bulbs and corms are down there, so I don't want to take any chances of losing it all...It did grow the C.Thailand Giant down there last year...I watered it sparingly, but more often than my holidays schedule. Lime Zinger will spend it's third winter, it is watered with the T-Giant and does have a lot or all die back, but returns with babies to share. Can you keep your greenhouse around 40 or do you have things that HAVE to be in there at a higher temp? I don't know if I've helped any. Brian (he's at the Aroid Show this weekend :oP) :) or someone will give us some input.
I wondered about no replies, myself, Rox... We can converse about ourselves, I guess. The only thing I can think of about the frig, would there be any/enough air flow? If certain corms need ventilation, I don't know...I've kept tulip bulbs in a frig over winter before... most of them made it until I planted in very early spring...now I'm thinking out loud!... but I keep seeds in the "rotter", hydrator so they will be dark and dry... ??
I have stored large and small regular ee's in a grocery bag just setting on a shelf in the basement... I dig the plant and bulbs, shake as much dirt off as possible, and leave them laying, not all bunched up, once the corm has consumed all the goody out of the leaves the foliage will be brown and you can clean it off and store in the bag...I have some laying on my front porch (has a roof) right now. You may not have enough time if freezing temps come but I know a DG'er who just digs up the bulb, chops off the green, let's them lay out to dry and then stores, but I'm not sure if they just lay on a shelf in basement or a bag... me to about storing Xanth & Alo corms.. Anyone?
Hi Rox-I wrote a long answer to this thread the other day, and then while I was on the phone talking, i switched to some other page without sending the answer! Sorry!
Here is what I said- I got alot of A. California and calidoras back from a landscaper last fall. I cut off almost all the leaves (maybe all but the newest ones) and cut off the roots to about an inch from the corm, and set them in large pots that had slightly damp peat moss and semi-buried the corms in the peat moss and set them under the house in the crawl space. I don't know how cold it gets under there, but I do remember that in late November, the temps dropped to 17 degrees a few nights in a row and at the same time, my heater broke and I had to wait a week for them to get a new one and install it. So it must have been pretty cold under there, and yet the corms didn't look like anything cold happened under there at all. I can tell you that it was pretty cold in here! I have a inset in the fireplace so I was able to keep parts of the house fairly warm, but I bet it was a lot colder underneath the house.
In January, I brought them out and into the grhouse to start growing them out, and they grew fine all spring. I also kept some in pots in the grhouse thru the late fall/winter and they just sort of sat there until Feb or so when they started to kick in.
I stored both very large and very small corms and they all grew.
I worried about the air circulation in a refrigerator too.
My crawl space is actually partially heated (60F), so I think it will be too warm.
I am toying with the idea of keeping the barerooted corms (Colocasia) in boxes with shredded paper on a shelf next to the interior wall of the house. I have a temperature monitor I can set up. If the temp consistently drops below 45 I can bring the boxes inside for a few evenings. [We typically only have a few nights below 25F.]
For the Alocasia: the more topical ones like Frydek I will keep inside near a sunny window. The room can get warm (as it has window on 3 sides and sky lights) but I will try to keep it closer to 65 than 75. I am just afraid that if it is too warm the plants will exhaust themselves. Does that sound right or should I try to keep them warm and turn on lights (I have a few banks of grow lights I could use).
For the more cold hardy Alocasia like Gageana (aka California), I will try your method with damp peat most and also store them on the shelf near the interior wall.
For the Xanths, I still don't know what to do. Ideas?
With the Xanths, I'm pretty certain they can't be stored bare. Don't they have to have some moisture to survive? Maybe try leaving them in the pot and store out there with the colocasias? Water sparingly every month or so? There will be foliage die back at 45 degrees, but this Spring I had very little green left and the pot was loaded after I moved it out and started watering. Gosh, you have so much! Maybe we just need to move to the tropics! lol Somebody was exploring a huge planter for inside, earlier this year, was that you? I'm like you though, I hate dealing with creepy crawlys during winter, they can wipe out everything and once you get them, seems it's a constant grueling battle until it's time to move them out again.
I want to move back to NC. I came kicking and screaming (not quite but almost).
Yes. I do plan to have the big planter. But to give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem, see below. So basically I can save 5 or so for the big planter and then I still have to deal with the rest:
I have 60 colocasia that each are > 3.5 feet tall and wide.
I have 10 Xanths that are each >3.5 feet tall and wide. One is even larger.
I have 1 Alocasia that is 8 feet tall.
And I probably have another 30 EE that are around 2 feet tall.
[I also have ~30 amaryllis and Peruvian daffodils and 4 passion flowers.]
So, if you need any EE. Let me know and I'll see what I can do. I would be very happy to ship out a few this Fall for postage.
Well now, Rox, how in the heck did you get yourself in this predicament? ;) I may have a combined total of 30 or so col, alo, xanths... just a few over 4 ft... 7 or 8 brugmansia, 18 or so tropical hibs, 5 passionvines, 3 kimberly queen ferns, Peruvian dafs (didn't bloom this year), a couple pineapple lilies, few pots of caladium, and the house plants I put outside in the summer... it ALL comes in and now that I've listed it out, I know I'M off my rocker! lol I WAS going back down to KY to see Brian's jungle this fall, (visited in June when things were just starting to take off) BUT, I'm deciding against the fall trip, cause, I mean my gosh, I know I wouldn't be able to just look! I just ordered 2 lauterbachiana's cause DebinSC is SUCH and enabler! lol Well,... I have some EE's I need to get ID'd and tagged... in all the excitement at Brians, I got out of there without tags... for sure I have illustris, pink china, black pearl, nigra, rubra? pinkish stems, hilo beauty, nancy's revenge, regular old EE kind, Thailand giant, coffee cups, and some others, I've forgotten the names...Oh, and the Amorphs! Those are cool, tho cause they store as a bulb or in the dried out pot. Guess, I have my own predicament, too... but it's finding time to get it all ready to lug... I'll need to take a couple days off work, I'm sure. Oh, and canna's... I'm going to have to get a dumpster in here and make the whole basement my winter plant room ! I MAY just have an addiction affliction going... I didn't realize it till I started listing it all out! So I guess, although I appreciate the for postage offer... unless you have something I didn't mention... lol
This year I aquired alot more plants than I had last year and I am so concerned about over wintering them. Last year the cannas and what aroids I did have I just gatherd together on one side of a storage shed and covered them with a winter cloth I bought at Lowes. Others I cramed into my unheated plastic greenhouses. They survived but they looked awful when spring came around. My question is when u say storing the corms and tubers do u cut off the top part of the plant and just keep the root. It will kill me to cut the beautiful foliage but if that's what I would have to do to I guess I would. I've been given some instructions on how to house them in makeshift larger greenhouse and Im going to try that too but I dont want to loose any of the aroids I've been able to obtain this year.
oh gawd...aunt b and roxmale...you experts now have me scared...what the heck am i doing?? ...this is my first year with ee...can i just keep growing them like normal inside? or do they need to go dormant? (wringing my hands nervously)
See I'm not the only crazy one. You are well on your way!
I have a lauterbachiana. It isn't happy. It keeps one leaf, grows anothers, kills the first, etc. If you find the trick to make it happy, let me know. If you ever want to trade a Black Pearl, please let me know.
Here's a partial list of what I have.
Alocasia Borneo Giant
Alocasia Frydek Aurea Variegata
Alocasia Hilo Beauty
Alocasia Macrorrhiza albo variegata
Alocasia Macrorrhiza Black stem
Alocasia Mark Campbell
Alocasia Odora "California"
Alocasia Plumbea black stem
Alocasia Plumbea white stem
Alocasia Rugosa *
Colocaos Black Ruffles
Colocasia Big Dipper
Colocasia Black Magic
Colocasia Chicago Harlequin
Colocasia Coffee Cups
Colocasia Pink China (pink stem)
Colocasia Red/maroon Stem
Colocasia Yellow Splash
Xanthosoma atrovirens albo marginata
Xanthosoma Blue Giant
Xanthosoma Jacquinii Lineatum
Xanthosoma Lime Zinger
Anaid- I will allow the leaves to die back and then just store the corms. It will be painful, but I just don't have the room or time to pot up all the EE and keep them going through the winter.
rox thanks for that information...i am a baby with regards to my ee's...they are just the basic run of the mill ee's but to me they are treasures...i have the room so i will just store in my sunroom...thank you;)
i cant believe you have all the ee's listed above...OMG; i would be nuts for sure:)
PHEW!! Guess I'm doing okay, Rox... look at that partial list! (I'm thinking about a couple of em;) And sticks- I'm no expert.. I just keep trying different things till something works or I've murdered the same plant 3 or 4 times! Thanks Rox, for mentioning Brian and Kyle... makes me feel EVEN better. It all starts with just one! lol Sticks, Anaid, there are some you should be able to leave in the ground year round... Brian Williams does, I think he is zone 6 or 7... I just love the tropical look they offer... I'll post a link, in case you haven't seen his pics. I will try Pink China in the ground next winter, well mulched and protected from moisture, in an area I think is a micro climate next to the foundation of my house on the south side...I have some amorphophallus and canna there, that return without any protection, so I'm hopeful. Guess you could say I'm a zone pusher, but I'm into lo-maintenance, as low as I can and still enjoy the beauty.. If I lived in 7 or 8, I'd probably try to keep something that was hardy to 9 or 10! I'm always willing to share my trials and everyone here will try to answer any questions you have. I'm not too good with the names, but I'm learning. Now, shall we discuss my brug and hibiscus addiction? lol http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/765594/
I have been successful with the alocasia ,Xanth. and the colcasias,overwintering along with my cannas,I buy those clear blanket boxes,with the plastic lids.fill with peatmoss,and just bury them under the peatmoss,about every month or so,give them a check to see it there ok,if a little on the dry side take a spray bottle of water,and give a few squirts,if it seems to be to moist,then I leave the lid off for a while,
I store them in the garage,unheated,but coverd with old blankets and quilts,bought at garage sales.
Now these have been nice size bulbs a couple inches across in diameter,can't say with the smaller bulbs,I always keep growing on.
Tropicman, thanks for the info in case I run out of room in the GH. That really is a smart way to do it
Rox, you probably already know this, but I stored my Lime Zinger in a pot in the basement..on the dry side by a sunny window. It never did go dormant, just grew slowly. It did very well when I planted it out this year and is nearly 3 feet tall.
Luckily this year I have the GH--not too many alocasias to worry about (they're harder for me to grow well) and only 4 Xanths to overwinter...not talking about gingers I wanna keep in case they don't survive and all the other tropicals.
Rox, I can tell you that the fontanesii, the amazonica and the Frydek have all done well for me as staying green and happy over the winter. Also Sariens, but I don't remember if you have that on your list.
I am going to get some TC ones this January from Agri-starts, as a landscaper has already told me she wants some, so I will have some in the spring-just dmail me if you haven't already gotten one by then.
I have a large one (about 5' high) in the ground that I am going to leave there and see if it will be hardy. Its a good, protected spot there. They are really neat-one of my favorites, I think.
It seems a real forgiving plant to me. Thankfully the alocasias like it dryer than the colocasias because we just went thru a 3 month drought (still in it, but we did just get 3" of rain last Friday), so it didn't get that much water and it looks great-the one in the ground. It gets full afternoon sun-and down here-thats a lot of sun-didn't mind that.
I also have one in a container that got more water and a bit more shade-and that seems fine too.
Last winter. the one in the ground was in a pot in the warmer part of the grhouse in full sun, and got watered once a day in the am and was happy with that-so I am not sure what it takes to make it unhappy! lol I would guess overwatering/in a medium that didn't drain well, and maybe where it was in full sun all day in the south.