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Gingers: can Ginger Lily isurvive in zone 7b?

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BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

August 31, 2008
3:13 AM

Post #5489348

In researching Hedychium Coronarium Ginger lily...I see zone 8a...I am on the cusp of 7a-b. So my question is this, to plant in ground ? SW side with heavy winter mulch or should I pot as a House plant that lives outdoors, except when freezes come, then pull to unheated sun room, or should I keep indoors as a house plant in winter. I was sent a lovely few plants and don/\'t want them to die ...so...I await your learned and experienced responses. ;-))
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

September 1, 2008
3:11 AM

Post #5492707

Help! Help! Please someone ...I want these plants to survive!
patootie
Jacksonville, AR
(Zone 7b)

September 1, 2008
5:57 PM

Post #5494596

Birdie, Just an amateurish guess; why don't you protect it this yr by growing inside.
Next late spring. take one offshoot, when the ground has warmed, and plant
on the south side of your home. It will have all summer to grow, then when fall
arrives, prune it down to a couple of inches, and give it a foot of mulch. That
should protect about anything. If it comes back the following spring, you'll have
your answer. This way, you don't risk the mother plant. jmho

Jackie
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

September 1, 2008
8:28 PM

Post #5495124

Oh Jackie,
How wise you are. Thank you for taking time to share that suggestion. I will bring them in at my sunniest site this year when the cold comes. I just did not want to lose the beautiful plants that were shared with me by another member.
--Sheri
nathalyn
Knoxville, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 4, 2008
5:34 PM

Post #5507937

Sheri,
Hedychium Coronarium has proved to be hardy for me here in Knoxville, Tn. Drainage is a key point in successfully overwintering gingers in borderline zones. I have mine in raised beds that drain well and I put a thick layer of mulched leaves over them for winter protection.

Also, it seems that gingers planted in late summer/early fall are more likely to fall prey to winter rot. I recommend planting yours in a pot for now, and move it into a protected area for this winter (a garage or basement would be fine). Then I would consider planting them in the ground in early spring. Hedychiums really seem to grow bigger and flower easier if grown in the ground.

For the gingers that I do have to move inside for the winter, I leave them outside until after the first hard frost. Then I cut them down, pop them out of the ground and store dormant through the winter.

Good luck!!
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

September 4, 2008
6:17 PM

Post #5508071

thankyou. I have never stored bubls over the winter. how do you pack them? leave potted in soil or what? I very much appreciate the help.
ALSO...I have some "Naked Ladie" bulbs that I was planning to plant, now the hurricane is going to dump lots of rain and I dont want to plant and then have them rot...would they be better off stored for winter in basement and planted in the spring also?? I have about 5-7 nice bulbs yet to plant, and want to give them the best chance for good survival.
Thankyou so much for the experience and advise!
Sheri
nathalyn
Knoxville, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 5, 2008
2:55 AM

Post #5509990

Sheri, I dig the gingers up in large clumps, leaving the dirt intact. I have some old large planters that I place the clumps in and store them in the basement. If they are hedychiums, I give them a small amount of water once a month to keep the rhizomes from drying out. Hedychium rhizomes are very similar to canna rhizomes, where you don't want them to be stored neither too dry or too wet.

For my curcuma gingers, leaving the dirt attached is enough to keep them from drying out and any additional watering will rot the rhizomes. Other folks remove the dirt and store them in mesh or paper bags.

As most folks plant their naked lady (belladonna) bulbs in the spring, I think I would err on the safe side and wait to plant them in the spring. I'd pack them in peat moss and plant them in early spring.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

September 5, 2008
3:59 AM

Post #5510193

Nathalyn - Thank you so very much for taking the time to make those suggestions to me. Sure sounds like spring is the best time to plant these bulbs and that fall planting increases the chance of rot...perhaps it has to do with not enough time to form a good root structure...just my thoughts...
New question----is there a difference between the peat moss that I buy in lg square bale type bags to amend the soil and the "peat moss" that is being suggested for me to store the Belladonna "Naked Lady" bulbs in? ???same thing?? Do I just make sure they are deep in peat...will they require any water during this winter storage?/
nathalyn
Knoxville, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 5, 2008
5:32 PM

Post #5512198

Just use the peat moss you buy in large bales. It is also available in small bags but if you have a large bale, use that.

The Belladonna bulbs shouldn't need water. You might check them a couple of times during the winter to make sure that they aren't starting to suffer from desiccation - - but I bet they'll be fine.

Pughbear7
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 6b)

September 18, 2008
9:06 PM

Post #5569202

Hi: I am kind of new to gingers and have found I truely love them. Nathan you compaired Hedychium rhizomes to cannas. if cannas are hardy here would the Hedychium also be hardy here? the reason I ask this is everywhere I read zone 7 on cannas but we are zone 6b and they grow great. I think its just our funky winters that allow us to get away with cannas here. I think I may try a few next spring and find out. Thank you for all the words of wisdom on treating gingers for dormancy.
Dave
nathalyn
Knoxville, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 19, 2008
3:27 PM

Post #5572147

Dave,
Many of us find ourselves able to grow plants that are "supposedly" too tender for our zone. This is probably because most our of winter low temperatures are much higher than our zone would indicate. Also, some plants can be grown successfully in protected areas - - such as up against a house.

As most Hedychiums multiply rapidly like cannas (especially if given plenty of water during the summer), I would try leaving a few in the ground to see if they are able to make it through your winters. Do a little research into the recommended zones as some hedychiums are more tender than others, and experiment with some of the ones rated for zones 7-8.

I have to laugh at all the "reference" books that indicate that cannas must be lifted and stored inside for the winter for my zone. Quite frankly, they are so hardy here that they have to be thinned out or they take over a bed.

Many of us are experiencing climates that are warmer during the winters than our assigned zones would indicate. I even had black sweet potato vines that survived last winter (both in the ground and in one pot that sat outside all winter) and those are rated as zone 9 and higher! And I have all sorts of baby aroids that survived - - which I know as I planted the "mother plants" in different locations this spring.

I'm going to brave leaving more of my curcumas in the ground this year and mark their location (otherwise I can't remember which ones I left where - LOL!).
Pughbear7
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 6b)

September 19, 2008
5:13 PM

Post #5572500

I guess I knew this but needed some reassurance as we all do from time to time. We have the same issue with cannas here in 6b they just flat out take over, and then we get the issue of bermuda grass mixing in. Our summers are so hot that bermuda grass is the prefered flavor here and it gets into everything. I am planning in letting the first frost to knock the gingers back so I can store them more easily. I have the white Hedychium, some of the spiral unknown color, a blue and I got a Kaempferia gilberti, so I think I have a great start but myself like most people we want more and more elusive with "pretty colors"...LOL Thank you for the confirmation on my thoughts. Dave
nathalyn
Knoxville, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 20, 2008
1:58 AM

Post #5574459

Dave,
One of my favorites is 'Dr. Moy'. It has a deep peach/light orange bloom, variegated foliage and an unbelievable spicy lemon scent. 'Tai Golden Goddess' has amazing HUGE blooms. If it has a great scent, I can't tell as this ginger is somewhere between 6 and 7 feet tall here. Both of these are vigerous growers with no problem with our winters.

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