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Cold Hardy Bananas This forum is dedicated to the discussion of bananas that are able to grow and thrive in cold areas. You'll find lots of tips and discussions about keeping your bananas over the winter.


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Old 09-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

I don't know if someone in the org has posted this before, I found it in my archives. This GardeWeb member, who lives in Logan, UT, posted this thread on that b-board back in June, 2008. I cut out some of the responses that didn't have any relevance to the topic. I highlighted what I thought were relevant, this includes his method of protection. Also, how the TX Star survived after loss of power in their area.

I think I've gotten MY proof from an independent source. At least it's not from the seller.
=========================================================
Picture of 9' Windmill Palm in bloom, zone 4

Posted by arctictropical Z4 (My Page) on Tue, Jun 24, 08 at 11:46
For those who are in zone denial, here is a picture of a 9' palm in bloom in zone 4. I purchased it as a 1 gallon size plant, kept it in house for two years and then planted it outside about 6-7 years ago. It has been growing like a weed.


Here is a picture of protection in the winter.



________________________________________
Follow-Up Postings:
• Posted by arctictropical Z4 (My Page) on Wed, Jun 25, 08 at 11:57
Glen, thanks for your comments! I have a butia that has been outside for 3 years now and is doing great. Are you going to try growing a palm outside some day? My two Mediterranean Fan Palms survived -40 F. temperatures about 5 years ago, under the styrofoam boxes, so I imagine you could try doing the same thing in your area.
________________________________________
• Posted by arctictropical Z4 (My Page) on Sun, Jun 29, 08 at 11:07
explorer mb, in answer to your question about what is under the two smaller boxes in the winter picture, they are "Texas Star" banana plants. In the Fall, I cut the leaves off and the plant down to three foot stumps before putting the boxes on. Similar to the Trachy, when I pull the boxes off in the Spring, they are still alive and green, ready to grow!
________________________________________
• Posted by arctictropical Z4 (My Page) on Tue, Jul 1, 08 at 10:28
Good morning Glen. Yes, the small boxes over the bananas have one flourescent light. I just use the inexpensive plastic or ceramic light fixtures that cost a couple of dollars each. Yes, I wired the boxes myself. Since the boxes are so small, one light bulb puts out enough heat that builds up nicely inside. One year I lost power to the banana boxes and they froze to the ground, but sprouted from the underground corms in the Spring. "Texas Star" is supposed to be about as hardy as basjoo, and produces edible bananas, but I don't ever expect to get any in my climate. Go for it!
Kevin
________________________________________
•
• Posted by Jamie 6(jwilson@coxohio.com) on Tue, Aug 19, 08 at 12:51
That is so cool, I just recently bought 10 Windmill Palm Seedlings to attempt to grow in my Dayton Ohio area home. This truly gives me some hope that I will succeed! When you moved this inside, did it go through any shock? How late in the season did you leave them outside prior to bringing them in for the protection?
________________________________________
Posted by arctictropical Z4 (My Page) on Tue, Aug 19, 08 at 22:30
Hi Jamie! I actually don't bring it inside for the winter. It is protected by the styrofoam box in the second picture. I have two Mediterranean Fan palms that have been outside for 12-13 years. The Windmall palm has been outside continually for about eight years. I also have a Pindo Palm that has been outside for three years. One of the Mediterranean palms has fronds as wide as the Windmall palm but it is only about 6 feet high since they are slower growing. The largest three palms bloom each year.
=========================================================
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

isnt tx star supposed to be the variety introduced by the infamous ty ty?? what variety is it supposed to have been started from? basjoo and cavandish??? ty ty told me it was obtained in the 70's from witchita falls tx. prolly from an unknown variety that was growing there prolly in some guys back yard and survived that one freeze in tx. they then called it tx star ty ty nursery people lie so much its hard for me to believe anything from them..did i show you the african rhinohorn i got from there???they lied about the cold hardiness and it was the first thing to die..i saved a button from the corm and it is very cold sensitive i have to treat it like a sick baby. just curious has your tx star ever given fruit??? what do the offsets look like?? cavandish??
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Hello Ronald,
Yes, the TX Star is the banana that is promoted by the Ty Ty Nursery in the town of the same name in GA. Yes, they claim that it did come from Wichita Falls, TX. I believe that the CA Gold also came from that part in TX. The stories of the sources of these plants are so similar that you'd suspect that they are the same plant. However, there are some members here that may be upset if you did imply that. So I won't go there. Yes, also, there's been a lot of bad press on TyTy Nursery, but as I stated earlier, I've gotten reasonably good experience with them.

Some people have said that the Texas Star is in fact an Orinoco. I would disagree to the extent that they say that they are one and the same. I believe that it could be a mutation from the Dwarf Orinoco or Dwarf Brazilian, though the Dwarf Brazilian is not as cold hardy as the D. Orinoco. Many people who own CA Gold have said that perhaps it is a mutant of the Orinoco, also.

One thing that I can piece together is that they both appear to be of the Bluggo type of banana from the region of Rio Orinoco in South America. Both promoters of each plant claim that they got them from TX(separately), from a Mexican farmer (separately), who each brought the plant from Mexico.

Here is a picture that I got from my archives, which in turn came from the GardenWeb site:

(L-R) CA Gold, TX Star, and CA Hardy

The picture is no longer available at the GardenWeb forum that I got it from, but I think it was someone named Jon from TX. I wish I could find the picture that showed the fruits from the different plants.

Yesterday, I posted an update of the plants I ordered from TyTy Nursery last September 2008:
Surprise Texas Star Banana shipment from Ty Ty Nursery
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

I ordered from TyTy nursery a few years back when it was still okay to ship to California. I paid for the Musa Texas Star. I planted it, waited for a couple of years, and it never grew beyond 4 ft tall, and finally it bloomed, and I was frustrated to find out that what they sent me was an ornamental banana with inedible tiny fruits. It was promptly disposed of into my compost heap.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

I could overwinter any banana in a greenhouse structure. Pile a few inches of mulch around it only, then let us know how it fares in a zone 4 winter!

I've never personally grown the alleged "Texas Star", so can't vouch for its hardiness. Nor have I ever ordered from TyTy, and I won't because of the ridiculous amounts of negative press that I've seen on the internet about them. I'd love to trade for a pup and do a real test in my zone 7 though, right next to my 'Orinoco' plants.

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Chong,

I'd like to ask for a real Texas Star pup from you. I can exchange it with something that you might be interested in.

Regards,

Joe
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

I passed this on to a former co-worker who does work in Utah and he passed it on to a co-worker in Logan who said he knows the with those plants in Utah, having gone mountain biking with him. He was away from home last weekend and they had 3" of snow but he said that the bananas would not be affected. I presume that means they were already uncovered for the year. Pretty "cool"!
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Joe, I'd be glad to send you a pup, if I ever get one. It might be a while to find out if the one I have will not turn out to be a Velutina as yours did.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

i like that palm i was thinking about trying it with my bismarck but not to sure i dont want the leaves to turn orange over winter im in zone 4 so it might be a risk
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

when you buy anything from that particular nursery in south ga..you should expect anything..what ever is left over or what ever is in near reach is what you ordered in their eyes.they cant even explain what variety the plant came from or what the fruit looks like..they can only tell you its yellow,very tasty,and the plant is really cold hardy.yup...yup.. uhhh- huh.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

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Originally Posted by ronaldmcblunder View Post
when you buy anything from that particular nursery in south ga..you should expect anything..what ever is left over or what ever is in near reach is what you ordered in their eyes.they cant even explain what variety the plant came from or what the fruit looks like..they can only tell you its yellow,very tasty,and the plant is really cold hardy.yup...yup.. uhhh- huh.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

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Joe, I'd be glad to send you a pup, if I ever get one. It might be a while to find out if the one I have will not turn out to be a Velutina as yours did.
Like I said in my post earlier, I'd like to trade for a pup as well. If not, oh well.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

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Like I said in my post earlier, I'd like to trade for a pup as well. If not, oh well.
You're on the list, Frank!
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

After reading the legends of California Gold/Texas star online I ordered an d. orinoco from a company that claimed the texas star, dwarf orinoco, and california gold are the same thing. Well I kept looking it up and I found somebody who said they grew them all side by side and tested them. Apparently they are extremely similar but with slight difference. I think like the Cal. Gold was slightly shorter than the dwarf orinoco or something. They were just slightly more cold hardy than the dwarf orinoco and I think a little quicker to fruit with the fruit being basically the same (by a little I mean like a month or something). Apparently they are just variations of the dwarf orinoco, but maybe slightly more desirable. I wrote the company I ordered off of and told them it wasn't the same thing but they never changed their description.

I also think the reputation is a little over stated. The Raja Puri is pretty close in cold hardiness as is the dwarf brazillian. I read one guys blog who tested a whole crap load of bananas. The orinoco, brazzilian and Raja puri were the top 3 with the dwarf brazillian and dwarf orinoco slightly less cold hardy than the bigger versions. Myself my Raja Puri has proven more cold hardy than the other varieties I've had and I had it out with my new dwarf orinoco and it froze and they both reacted about the same so there isn't any huge difference. The orinoco might be slightly more hardy and then the Cal Gold and Texas Star might be an almost unnoticeable bit more hardy than the d. orinoco but its not anything major.

I do like the dwarf orinoco so far though. It's a pretty tree. Still a baby though. Of course in love with raja puri too.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chong View Post
Hello Ronald,
Yes, the TX Star is the banana that is promoted by the Ty Ty Nursery in the town of the same name in GA. Yes, they claim that it did come from Wichita Falls, TX. I believe that the CA Gold also came from that part in TX. The stories of the sources of these plants are so similar that you'd suspect that they are the same plant. However, there are some members here that may be upset if you did imply that. So I won't go there. Yes, also, there's been a lot of bad press on TyTy Nursery, but as I stated earlier, I've gotten reasonably good experience with them.

Some people have said that the Texas Star is in fact an Orinoco. I would disagree to the extent that they say that they are one and the same. I believe that it could be a mutation from the Dwarf Orinoco or Dwarf Brazilian, though the Dwarf Brazilian is not as cold hardy as the D. Orinoco. Many people who own CA Gold have said that perhaps it is a mutant of the Orinoco, also.

One thing that I can piece together is that they both appear to be of the Bluggo type of banana from the region of Rio Orinoco in South America. Both promoters of each plant claim that they got them from TX(separately), from a Mexican farmer (separately), who each brought the plant from Mexico.

Yesterday, I posted an update of the plants I ordered from TyTy Nursery last September 2008:
Surprise Texas Star Banana shipment from Ty Ty Nursery
good luck with any of that stuff folks....im sure there were bright rays of devine lights shining from the tx star when it was first discovered too.... im not to quick to buy from any commercial grower that sells stuff online.. if i cant see what im buying im not buying it.i need to examine it for myself.i may trade something im growing to get something new out of curiousity thats it. it takes too much out out of me to go thru all that stuff with theses guys. im certainaly not buying a new variety that no one can tell me where it came from exactly...would you buy an expensive mystery meat from your grocer??? when i went to missisipi i met a woman who grew bananas. i offered her a few bucks for an unknown ladyfinger type banana that was growing in her yard,because i really liked the height of the plant and appearance of the tiny hand of fruit.she declined to take any money..told me to just take a few suckers.she told me it had great fruit,was really cold tolerent,came back with no protection,and was very sweet. i trusted her..why?? she was not in the business of selling anything,and i felt she had no reason to lie or make any false statement.i would rather trust claims from another home grower when obtaining pups,rather than any possibly exaggerated claims from any commercial seller any day.real talk.
p.s. when that mystery banana grows pups of its own i wont sell it on ebay and call it the artic georgia sweet baby.and claims that when dicovered in its natural artic habitat peguins were usin' the leaves to line their nests.
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldmcblunder View Post
good luck with any of that stuff folks....im sure there were bright rays of devine lights shining from the tx star when it was first discovered too.... im not to quick to buy from any commercial grower that sells stuff online.. if i cant see what im buying im not buying it.i need to examine it for myself.i may trade something im growing to get something new out of curiousity thats it. it takes too much out out of me to go thru all that stuff with theses guys. im certainaly not buying a new variety that no one can tell me where it came from exactly...would you buy an expensive mystery meat from your grocer??? when i went to missisipi i met a woman who grew bananas. i offered her a few bucks for an unknown ladyfinger type banana that was growing in her yard,because i really liked the height of the plant and appearance of the tiny hand of fruit.she declined to take any money..told me to just take a few suckers.she told me it had great fruit,was really cold tolerent,came back with no protection,and was very sweet. i trusted her..why?? she was not in the business of selling anything,and i felt she had no reason to lie or make any false statement.i would rather trust claims from another home grower when obtaining pups,rather than any possibly exaggerated claims from any commercial seller any day.real talk.
p.s. when that mystery banana grows pups of its own i wont sell it on ebay and call it the artic georgia sweet baby.and claims that when dicovered in its natural artic habitat peguins were usin' the leaves to line their nests.
If we never recognize sports of plants, we would be doing ourselves a great disservice. Many cultivars of fruits and veggies we have today may have been lost in a backyard if not for any hype built up around them. I,for one, will be on the lookout for any anomalies in my plants and hope to one day stumble upon something great to pass along to my fellow enthusiast (For a fee, of course).
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1rainman View Post
After reading the legends of California Gold/Texas star online I ordered an d. orinoco from a company that claimed the texas star, dwarf orinoco, and california gold are the same thing. Well I kept looking it up and I found somebody who said they grew them all side by side and tested them. Apparently they are extremely similar but with slight difference. I think like the Cal. Gold was slightly shorter than the dwarf orinoco or something. They were just slightly more cold hardy than the dwarf orinoco and I think a little quicker to fruit with the fruit being basically the same (by a little I mean like a month or something). Apparently they are just variations of the dwarf orinoco, but maybe slightly more desirable. I wrote the company I ordered off of and told them it wasn't the same thing but they never changed their description.
Yup, the only one that I know of that says that is "The Green Earth" site -
Banana Trees Banana Plants
It's even sporting the picture from the Agristarts website of the Dwarf Orinoco. Their statement may have some validity, but it's not entirely accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1rainman View Post
I also think the reputation is a little over stated. The Raja Puri is pretty close in cold hardiness as is the dwarf brazillian. I read one guys blog who tested a whole crap load of bananas. The orinoco, brazzilian and Raja puri were the top 3 with the dwarf brazillian and dwarf orinoco slightly less cold hardy than the bigger versions. Myself my Raja Puri has proven more cold hardy than the other varieties I've had and I had it out with my new dwarf orinoco and it froze and they both reacted about the same so there isn't any huge difference. The orinoco might be slightly more hardy and then the Cal Gold and Texas Star might be an almost unnoticeable bit more hardy than the d. orinoco but its not anything major.
Personally, my experience has been that the Dwarf Brazilian is a lot less cold hardy than the Raja Puri, which in turn is less hardy than the Dwarf Orinoco. I'm sure there are a lot of members here will attest to the fact that the CA Gold has greater advantage in cold hardiness over the Raja Puri, and even more so, over the D. Brazilian.

Two winters ago, I lost 2 D. Brazilians. This winter, I lost one DB corm that I got in September, though I placed it near the heater in the greenhouse. My 3-ft Raja Puri put out a good fight in a cold greenhouse, but it doesn't look good right now. There is some firmness at the base of the p-stem, but the diameter of the firm portion is less than an inch. The 2 plants in the same greenhouse that are pushing out right now are the M. Lasiocarpa and the CA Gold.

Surprisingly, in the main greenhouse, a Dwarf Lady Finger from San Diego, a "Dwarf Lady Finger from FL"(in quotes because I suspect that I was sent the wrong plant. I think that it's a tall Orinoco), and my only remaining Dwarf Orinoco remained green throughout the winter, and in fact, continued to put out leaves. Two of the DLF bananas that came with the suspected Orinoco turned to mush, but the fourth one, the leaves turned black, but it's pushing out a new leaf now. These guys are right next to each other, with the D. Orinoco and DLF from San Diego right next to the perimeter glass. So, I don't think that the D. Orinoco and CA Gold are overrated.

I posted a picture of the TX Star from TyTy Nursery that I thought was gone but is pushing out new leaves. Here is the link again:
Surprise Texas Star Banana shipment from Ty Ty Nursery
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

I think that Dwarf Orinoco, Texas Star, and California Gold may very well be slightly different. I've never seen a thorough comparison of these done, much less in a controlled environment with replications, etc., so we really don't know. I don't see the point in making claims of them being the same or being different. People seem much more willing to make claims about knowing or believing something which they probably don't have enough information to make such a judgment than to just say they don't know. Sometimes I think this is due to pride or fear of appearing ignorant. We all do it to an extent, but I do have a stupid saying about this "people often don't know what they don't know". We all learn a bit more when we discover something turns out to be different than we thought. Hopefully we are open-minded enough to recognize it.

I don't know what I'm still doing up....I think I'll go to bed now. Goodnight! :P
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

I don't know about other people, but to me, when someone gives an account of his experience, that's all that it is - his experience. Then when he refers that others have had the same experience, again that's all it is - they have the same collective experience. With that, he can choose to offer an opinion based the experience. But expressing an opinion does not make it a claim to be the authority on the matter, or a statement of fact. So, I didn't know that revealing your experience, and expressing a different opinion is motivated by pride or fear. I thought that the posting one's observations/opinions on the subject was the purpose of participating in discussions in a thread.

If I were to make a claim, I would try to quote an authority, or if available, attach a copy of the pertinent source, report, article, or other publication. In these forums, because of the casual, non-scientific, non-legally binding nature of the organization (except regarding purchases), when I read other people's claims, I usually do not expect them to produce documentation to support their claims. But if my experience is far removed from the claim, I believe that stating my own experience does not invalidate the other person's claim.

A case in point is the wisdom of ordering materials from TyTy Nursery. I don't remember anyone else saying anything good about them. But when I revealed my experience with them, it almost seemed like a lot of people were getting on my case. Contrary to common opinion, when I again placed an order from them, the messages I was getting was anything from sympathy to "are you nuts?" Then when I received a reasonably satisfactory shipment, the message I was getting was, "You're one of the lucky few", or "just you wait, you'll see". Okay. I said that I was willing to take the risk. How many people are there who ordered plants from Thailand expected that their plants would grow 100%? And how many of those plants are actually still alive now? So, from where I sit, what's the difference?

When I ordered those plants from TyTy, I wasn't trying to prove anyone wrong, or prove myself right. I ordered those plants because I wanted those plants for a long time, and so that I can stop wondering if the plant is really what they say it is.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:10 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Still Think TX Star Can't Handle Zone6? - How About Zone 4?

Nothing to say(possibly a first) just that I'm really enjoying everyones opinions and thoughts here. I'm currently trying to grow Ca. Cold hardy, Ca. Gold and a D. Orinoco side by side so eventually will be able to chime in from the east coast about them.
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