Originally Posted by chong
I was hoping that my Michelia Figo could be planted outside here in Zone 8-9, but they are struggling to survive. I had 4 plants 2 years ago, but one did not grow back in the Spring last year. Two of the surving plants bloomed last summer, but the third barely sprouted leaves. I'm afraid that third one my be gone, too. It's not showing any signs of sprouting.
Where are you located? I've sent some Michelia Champaka var. 'Alba' to several members here in FL and other places in the south, and they have not gotten any flowers from them. Mine blooms easily here in Seattle, and even survived in a cold greenhouse in the winter. Some were continuing to bloom throughout the winter, too!
Figo should be hardy to zone 8, no? Mine's is in a wide 3 gallon pot about 3 feet tall, maybe rootbound but I'm afraid to repot it. This is one of the plants I have that makes me nervous, because it seems so sensitive to watering, sunlight, fertilizer etc. What you don't see is that nearly all of the leaves and like 30 flower buds dropped off already, but its still producing more buds. I hope the new figo hybrids from Australia are easier to grow when they become more readily available.
I'm in Ontario, Calif which is zone 9a I think... or at least zone 8b. I have the alba outside in a pot too in the shade. Another problem here is that the Santa Ana winds really keep the wind chill up especially at night and the humidity low. But I think one of the flowers will open up this weekend.
By Michelia champaca var 'Alba' do you mean a white version of M champaca? Because this would be different from the non-fuzzy M. x alba (a hybrid cross of M. champaca and M. montana) which is more commonly grown in the US. I think you mean the latter, but I do read of them blooming at different times of the year for different people. I am really amazed at how yours bloom in such a situation. You need to tell me how you do it.
They go semi-dormant outdoors here during winter and I guess most of us down south don't bother keeping them sheltered. But I've seen rooted cuttings or grafts bloom readily even at less then one foot.