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Old 06-21-2021, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Cold Hardy Heliconia

Has anyone here experimented with overwintering Heliconia outside in zones 9a/8b?
I tried H. psittacorum but I believe it was planted in too much shade to make it though the winter coupled with that it was right under the eve of my shed so anytime it rained it would get drenched. From what I understand cold+wet=death for Heliconia.

So I did a little research and Iíve made raised beds, amended with sand and fast draining soil so that I can experiment. Cultivars I currently have are Hot Rio Nights, Criswick, Schiedeana, Rostrata, and Nickriensis.

Unfortunately most of these bloom on the second year, so hereís hoping we have a mild winter!
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

I have this unknown Heliconia in the ground in the Houston area for several years. It was completely top killed this February (along with all my plants). The last picture was taken today.




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Old 06-29-2021, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Nice!
I believe that is H. Schiedeana Aka Fire and Ice. Supposed to be the hardiest Heliconia but unfortunately only flowers on second year growth. But that’s awesome that it’s working for you out in Houston, hopefully it’ll be a good performer in Savannah as well
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

That looks like it. Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2021, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

H. schiedeana is, indeed, supposed to be one of the more cold hardy. I, too, have overwintered it in the ground here in the Houston area before. I have a 'Perdro Ortiz' that I may give a shot a leaving in the ground this winter (with a back-up saved, of course).
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Old 08-25-2021, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Not that you asked, but it may interest you to know that the least hardy is heliconia (indica?) 'rubricaulis'. It is a cultivar collected from the South Sea islands over a hundred years ago. See

If You Like A Real Challenge

When I was a teenager, circa 1960, Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago had about 5 large clumps growing in their fern room. See

https://www.google.com/search?q=Garf...w=1280&bih=635

One winter day, I walked in and all of the H. rubricaulis looked like an elephant sat on them. They never recovered. I asked what happened and was told that there was a heater failure that caused the air temperature to dip to 45 deg. F. during the night. They were the only plants affected.
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Old 08-28-2021, 11:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

I actually was able to get one of those Heliconia from eBay earlier this season, but unfortunately on the way to Savannah from Hawaii it got lost in Memphis for a week and has been very slow to grow
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

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Originally Posted by Robbertico18 View Post
I actually was able to get one of those Heliconia from eBay earlier this season, but unfortunately on the way to Savannah from Hawaii it got lost in Memphis for a week and has been very slow to grow
If you mean H. 'rubricaulis', how will you grow it in the winter? Do you have a greenhouse? It also requires high humidity because it has a weak root system. The best I've seen in Hawaii were grown in just black pumice. I also saw some potted plants growing at Honolulu's Ala Moana Shopping Maul but the leaves were wilted because the humidity wasn't high enough.

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Old 08-28-2021, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Yeah rubricaulis aka indica spectabillis

I plan to get a small greenhouse for some of my plants
Either then or a little ikea diy indoor greenhouse
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Old 08-28-2021, 03:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbertico18 View Post
Yeah rubricaulis aka indica spectabillis

I plan to get a small greenhouse for some of my plants
Either then or a little ikea diy indoor greenhouse
In case you are wondering, the flower bracts have the same coloration and pattern as the leaves which makes them inconspicuous.
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Old 11-08-2021, 10:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

I found an article about cold hardy heliconia robusta in this HSI bulletin:

https://bbe7dfdf-9931-424b-9632-6843...00a064e34d.pdf

more:

https://bbe7dfdf-9931-424b-9632-6843...67f9422150.pdf

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Old 11-21-2021, 10:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Cold Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Mid/Late November update, most of the unground Heliconia seem to be holding up well so far I think our lowest temperature was 39


First up is Jamaican Dwarf which seemed to be struggling in the backyard in deep shade. It was transplanted a week ago, and receives a good bit of morning sun. Iím hoping that being so close to a wall will help it retain heat over night. All of the cold damaged leaves were pre-transplant and it seems happier so far.


Next is Heliconia Rostrata, supposedly cold Hardy...doesnít really show much cold damage yet. Iím hoping to get a bloom out of it next year. Itís planted right next to Jamaican Dwarf but has been there since mid May? It is still shooting out new eyes but growth has definitely slowed


This is Heliconia Criswick and according to PGH has a very high cold tolerance, but is already showing some yellowing of leaves. Now that could be a combo from over fertilizing in late August when I switched fertilizers and the cold but oh well.


Heliconia Hot Rio Nights was also overfertilized but seems less angry about it and also seems to be more cold Hardy? According to PGH it has a high cold tolerance


The ultimate in cold Hardy Heliconia ďfire and IceĒ these plants do not seem to give a frogs fart that fall is upon us they are still going steady and shooting up new eyes


Finally I have one eye of Variegated Nickriensis that is still left in the backyard. Itís planted in deep shade and surrounded by monstera if it makes it through the winter I hope to transplant it to get more sun. All of the other V.Nickriensis were transplanted to the front yard to get more sun. Iíll try to get some good pics of them this afternoon
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Old 04-08-2022, 08:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbertico18 View Post
Yeah rubricaulis aka indica spectabillis

I plan to get a small greenhouse for some of my plants
Either then or a little ikea diy indoor greenhouse
How is it doing?
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Old 04-09-2022, 05:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Quote:
Originally Posted by aruzinsky View Post
How is it doing?
Spectabilis never settled in well, it was lost in shipping for a week when I bought it, so I should have asked for a replacement. I never ended up building a small greenhouse and it fizzled out long before the first frost.

Variegated Nickriensis has two shoots comin up in the front yard

Hot Rio Nites was moved from the backyard to the sunnier front yard last weekend and two clumps are shooting up multiple eyes. The third clump was rotten when I dug it up.

Criswick did not make it through the winter despite being the most cold hardy, I suspect it was lack of sunshine that really did it in.

Rostrata made it thru the winter with some stalks and leaves intact, so Iím hoping for a bloom. Itís planted in the front and was small enough to be covered.

Jamaican dwarf was not as lucky, planted almost right next to rostrata, and I have yet to see any new shoots.

Last but not least Fire and Ice were frosted to the ground but almost immediately started sending new shoots. They were also planted in a very shady location, especially during the winter when the sun is low in the sky.
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Old 04-09-2022, 11:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Thanks for the update.

Bill
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Old 04-11-2022, 12:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Heliconia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbertico18 View Post
Spectabilis never settled in well, it was lost in shipping for a week when I bought it, so I should have asked for a replacement. I never ended up building a small greenhouse and it fizzled out long before the first frost.

Variegated Nickriensis has two shoots comin up in the front yard

Hot Rio Nites was moved from the backyard to the sunnier front yard last weekend and two clumps are shooting up multiple eyes. The third clump was rotten when I dug it up.

Criswick did not make it through the winter despite being the most cold hardy, I suspect it was lack of sunshine that really did it in.

Rostrata made it thru the winter with some stalks and leaves intact, so I’m hoping for a bloom. It’s planted in the front and was small enough to be covered.

Jamaican dwarf was not as lucky, planted almost right next to rostrata, and I have yet to see any new shoots.

Last but not least Fire and Ice were frosted to the ground but almost immediately started sending new shoots. They were also planted in a very shady location, especially during the winter when the sun is low in the sky.
Thanks. If I were in your situation, I would also grow them indoors under artificial light. You could dig up rhizomes from your outdoor plants and grow them in pots over the winter. Then, in case the outdoor plants don't survive the winter, you would have backups.

Can you give me the name of your Ebay spectabilis seller? I notice that it is available for $85 here:

https://hawaiiislandtropicalfarm.com...ca-spectabilis

But, I wouldn't buy it until summer because, otherwise, it might get below 45 deg. F. during transit.

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