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Old 12-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Question The effects of winter in south Florida

Hi everyone,

I had a couple of questions for the learned members. I live in zone 10a and am very new to growing more tropical plant species. I wanted to get a feel for how plants respond to cooler temperatures in southwest Florida. I have made a list of a few of my plants and what they are doing now and would love to know if I am doing something wrong or this is normal. I know these are very noobie questions, but I could use some schooling on how things are done down here. Thanks!

1. Siam Tulip – flowers gone, leaves turned yellow and are now gone. Will these come back?
2. Colocasia – Big Dipper – lost some leaves and slow growth. I want these to get to their full size, but they seem to prefer to spread., Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Eye varieties are still growing strong, in fact Hawaiian eye is very very vigorous in the wetter areas. It grew and flowered within a couple of months of planting a tiny plant!
3. Canna Lilies – much slower growth a few newer shoots, perhaps going dormant? I’ve cut a few down due to rust and haven’t seen them make a come back yet.
4. Helliconia – slowing growth and continuing to spread out, little vertical growth. Does anyone else give their helliconia full sun? Mine seem to be fine in it, but I wish the leaves were a deeper green.
5. My bananas are doing fine now after the cooler weather passed, my however Gros Micheal, is taking longer to get happy, but I am not surprised given the nature of the variety.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

post some pics please.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by servatusprime View Post
Hi everyone,

I had a couple of questions for the learned members. I live in zone 10a and am very new to growing more tropical plant species. I wanted to get a feel for how plants respond to cooler temperatures in southwest Florida. I have made a list of a few of my plants and what they are doing now and would love to know if I am doing something wrong or this is normal. I know these are very noobie questions, but I could use some schooling on how things are done down here. Thanks!

1. Siam Tulip – flowers gone, leaves turned yellow and are now gone. Will these come back?
2. Colocasia – Big Dipper – lost some leaves and slow growth. I want these to get to their full size, but they seem to prefer to spread., Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Eye varieties are still growing strong, in fact Hawaiian eye is very very vigorous in the wetter areas. It grew and flowered within a couple of months of planting a tiny plant!
3. Canna Lilies – much slower growth a few newer shoots, perhaps going dormant? I’ve cut a few down due to rust and haven’t seen them make a come back yet.
4. Helliconia – slowing growth and continuing to spread out, little vertical growth. Does anyone else give their helliconia full sun? Mine seem to be fine in it, but I wish the leaves were a deeper green.
5. My bananas are doing fine now after the cooler weather passed, my however Gros Micheal, is taking longer to get happy, but I am not surprised given the nature of the variety.
EasyBloom :: Siam Tulip - Curcuma alismatifolia 'Carara' :: Detailed Plant Information
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Colocasia Big Dipper,buy Elephant Ear for sale,New Plant-Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Your cannas will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle in spring.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Heliconia Collection Descriptions - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
http://www.fairchildgarden.org/livin...adescriptions/
Heliconia aurantiaca (left) is one of the more charming Heliconias for a shady garden. .... Regular fertilizing will keep the leaves shiny, dark green.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Unfortunately I can't take pictures for at least a week.

In regards to fertilizer, up until it got cooler was fertilzing (foiler) every other week and added some slow release at least once a month. I was actually a little concerned about overfertilizing. Which may still be the case and I could have some micronutrient deficiency.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Every winter in Southern California, my canna die back and then come back up again once things warm up in spring. By mid summer they're beginning to bloom, and they start dying off in mid to late fall to start the cycle over again.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

I'm in S.W. FL, zone 10a as well. I haven't grown everything on your list, but my experience (I've only been here for a couple of years) is that all of the truly tropical plants will slow down big time. This is the weirdest time of year as a gardener b/c the humidity has broken and we want to get out there and grow stuff. But the plants are responding to the drier conditions, shorter days and cooler temps (especially at night). Even with watering my plants regularly the growth rate is nothing even close to what they do Feb - Oct. The shorter days has a big impact on plants. Even though we don't have a huge difference in day length compared to northern zones... that subtle shift in day length and quality of sunlight during the winter triggers the plants to slow down. The cooler temps is a further catalyst for dormancy. Now is the time to prep and maintain gardens. Most people say to wait until mid March to really start fertilizing and planting, but I'm usually starting up in mid January little by little. I recommend that you get FL Gardening Magazine. It's kind of lightweight in terms of info, but it's a big help to get you accustomed gardening in FL.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Any thoughts on the pale heliconias? (trying to avoid soil or leaf analysis since I'm a little cheap)

It is interesting to see which varities are doing better though. When I get a little more time, I'll post some notes.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Being a bit frugal also, when the temps start to drop, we watch the weather and cover anything outside with what is necessary. Last winter we layed the plants on their side, installed poles and draped a covering over them. All survived and continued on their slow growth but were way ahead of those taked out of the ground and stored inside. This winter the plants that are growing well will have to fend for themselves and let us know what is best for us. Good growing and stay warm.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

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Originally Posted by servatusprime View Post
Any thoughts on the pale heliconias? (trying to avoid soil or leaf analysis since I'm a little cheap)
Sounds like they might be suffering from too much sun. Shade loving plants will bleach in full sun due to sun damage.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by servatusprime View Post
Hi everyone,

I had a couple of questions for the learned members. I live in zone 10a and am very new to growing more tropical plant species. I wanted to get a feel for how plants respond to cooler temperatures in southwest Florida. I have made a list of a few of my plants and what they are doing now and would love to know if I am doing something wrong or this is normal. I know these are very noobie questions, but I could use some schooling on how things are done down here. Thanks!

1. Siam Tulip – flowers gone, leaves turned yellow and are now gone. Will these come back?
2. Colocasia – Big Dipper – lost some leaves and slow growth. I want these to get to their full size, but they seem to prefer to spread., Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Eye varieties are still growing strong, in fact Hawaiian eye is very very vigorous in the wetter areas. It grew and flowered within a couple of months of planting a tiny plant!
3. Canna Lilies – much slower growth a few newer shoots, perhaps going dormant? I’ve cut a few down due to rust and haven’t seen them make a come back yet.
4. Helliconia – slowing growth and continuing to spread out, little vertical growth. Does anyone else give their helliconia full sun? Mine seem to be fine in it, but I wish the leaves were a deeper green.
5. My bananas are doing fine now after the cooler weather passed, my however Gros Micheal, is taking longer to get happy, but I am not surprised given the nature of the variety.
The Siam Tulip or Curcuma Alismatifolia has a natural dorman period. In my zone 9a, Louisiana Gulf Coast, they completely disappear, but reliably come back in the late spring. Just make sure they are planted is a raised bed because the combination of cold and wet can do them in. In their natural environment, they go dormant during the dry period.

Regarding the Colocasia and the Canna, they may or may not go dormant. It depends on how much cold weather you get this winter. They definitely will slow down. Again, in my area, they will go dormant if we get a freeze; but if it is a mild winter, they just stop growing until it warms up.

The only heliconia that can survive in situ in my zone is Scheideana. All others die or get badly damaged and never come back in spring with any vigor. Therefore, I grow numerous heliconia in containers. You don't say which variety of heliconia you are growing but they respond very well in warmer months to a balanced water soluble fertilizer like 20-20-20. They are heavy feeders during warmer months. Fertilizer will harm them during winter months. The balanced formula should green up the leaves nicely. My gallery is full of dozens of heliconia pictures.

Steve
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

I contacted the eBay seller where I purchased the plants. She had the following comments:
1. The pale leaves in the cooler weather is indicative of the plants not getting enough water.
(I have been watering more since and I have noticed some significant greening. It’s not cucumber skin green yet but I’ll see if I can get there)
2. Supposedly the greener the plant is, the more cold resistant it is.
3. Uric Acid spray should also help green them up
(Anyone know of an organic source)
***
Oh and for those of you wondering what varieties I am growing, here they are:

1. Kawakai
2. Jacquinii
3. Rauliniana
4. Rostrata

Last edited by servatusprime : 12-06-2012 at 12:52 PM. Reason: badddddddddddddddd spelling
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Quote:
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3. Uric Acid spray should also help green them up (Anyone know of an organic source)
Is that like taking a leak on you nanners, so gotta share w/ the Heliconias too? lol :^)
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by servatusprime View Post
I contacted the eBay seller where I purchased the plants. She had the following comments:
1. The pale leaves in the cooler weather is indicative of the plants not getting enough water.
(I have been watering more since and I have noticed some significant greening. It’s not cucumber skin green yet but I’ll see if I can get there)
2. Supposedly the greener the plant is, the more cold resistant it is.
3. Uric Acid spray should also help green them up
(Anyone know of an organic source)
***
Oh and for those of you wondering what varieties I am growing, here they are:

1. Kawakai
2. Jacquinii
3. Rauliniana
4. Rostrata
Kawauchi and Jacquinii are both crosses between H. Caribaea and H. Bihai. The flowers are upright and in the classic lobster claw look. Very nice. Rauliniana is a cross between H. Marginata and H. Bihai. Marginata is a pendant heliconia and the Bihai is upright so the bloom first comes out upright but soon begins to twist and turn into all sorts of contorted positions, sometimes going pendant, sometimes returning upright, and sometimes going sideways. Very interesting heliconia. I might also recommend Pedro Ortiz for you to try as it is also a cross between a pendant and an upright heliconia but the bloom is much, much nicer. The rostrata is my favorite because, for me, it is the easiest to grow in a container and flower. It is a pendant and the most cold hardy of the 4. Since most heliconia bloom on second year growth, and your 4 are no exception, the key is to get the stalks that spouted in the spring through a winter so that they are still alive to produce a flower the following summer. If you happen to get a night or two in the
30's, don't be surprised if Kawauchi, Jacquinii, and Rauliniana look dead. Don't cut the stalks down until late spring to make sure they don't come out of dormancy and sprout a new leaf.

Isn't your soil in S. Florida on the alkaline side? Maybe your leaf yellowing is caused by the fact that you need to add some acidity to the soil. Be careful watering during the winter, you don't want to rot the rhizomes.

Steve
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

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Is that like taking a leak on you nanners, so gotta share w/ the Heliconias too? lol :^)
I wonder if the seller meant Humic Acid? Probably.

Steve
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

Quote:
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Is that like taking a leak on you nanners, so gotta share w/ the Heliconias too? lol :^)
Ok I was wondering about this my self....... But I decided to play dumb and let the wise and learned speak.

I think I better get a pH meter so see what I am working with. Those don't cost too much as I recall. Any guesses as to the ideal pH for Heliconia? Do you think it would be the same or different for nanners? Come to think of it, I think I should research this for all my plants.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

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I wonder if the seller meant Humic Acid? Probably.

Steve
I can ask the seller to make sure. But if you think that humic acid would work, I am willing to try.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The effects of winter in south Florida

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Ok I was wondering about this my self....... But I decided to play dumb and let the wise and learned speak.

I think I better get a pH meter so see what I am working with. Those don't cost too much as I recall. Any guesses as to the ideal pH for Heliconia? Do you think it would be the same or different for nanners? Come to think of it, I think I should research this for all my plants.
Seven is neutral so you should at least be at 6 to be considered slightly acidic. Same for all tropicals really.
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