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Old 11-04-2007, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
revetahw
 
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Default Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Right now I have a couple musa basjoo's and will be getting some bamboo soon. I also plan on getting some EE's this spring but I want some other cold hardy tropical-ish plants. lol

I'm in zone 6a. I would like to hear any suggestions for plants that can survive in my zone.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

You could try a Trachycarpus or Sabal Minor palm, but it is tricky in
your zone.
Canna's are quite easy, as you can dig the bulbs out of the ground after
the first frost.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Whatever,

What are you wanting to do as far as care?

For the colder zones you have 4 options:
-Plants you leave in the ground: cold hardy with mulch and other winter protection
-Plants used as annuals: plant in spring, let them die in fall.
-Plants you dig up: fast growing and store easy. Plant in the ground in the spring - dig up in fall
-Container plants: kept in containers, moved in and out during the year

I use all four methods for my plants. It depends on how much work your willing to do. As far as cold hardy tropical plants we have a limited choice for long term survival.

The plants below can be kept in the ground all year with some protection, but the severity of your winter plays a roll to.

Palms you can use are Rhapidophyllum hystrix / Needle palm and Sabal minor / Dwarf palmetto. Like Ron stated Trachycarpus can be used, but it has to be in a very nice microclimate. I know a few people with these, but they build winter shelters for them. Easy enough while they are small.

Bananas that are worth trying in the ground are Musa basjoo, and Musa sikkimensis. I keep thinking of trying Musella lasiocarpa, but never got around to getting one for testing purposes.

Hardy tropicals you might try:
Colocasia 'Big Dipper'
Colocasia 'Pink China'
Colocasia 'Gigantea' (not the Thailand Giant Strain)
Petasites species
If you like the look of yucca try:
Yucca glauca; Yucca filamentosa; Yucca rostrata (a trunk forming species)

I like the look of the big grasses. Some of the Miscanthus species and a nice tropical effect. Think big leaves. A few things that work good as annuals are Castor bean Ricinus communis and Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas. Anything can really be treated as an annual, but you want a fast growing plant. If you are willing to dig cannas, alocasia, colocasia, and xanthosoma, all work well. Also look at some fast growing vines: passifora, ipomoea, mandevilla, bougainvillea.

I really like the books "Hot Plants for Cool Climates" by Roth and Schrader, and "Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas" by David A. Francko.
I also have the book "The Subtropical Garden" by Hanly and Walker. It's ok, it has some errors, but it's geared more for zones 9+

What species of bamboo are you getting?
Needmorebamboo.com is located in zone 6a. They have some great info on the bamboo that they have tried.

Find pics of what you like, and see if your willing to provide the care they need during the winter. I am always look for new plants, and trying new ones.
I keep telling myself I have found enough big leaved plants, but keep finding new ones I like. Next spring I will be trying out more annuals to add in color.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Wow, thats a great post Ben, I forgot about the yucca's.

Here my yucca Thompsoniana, it is said to be even hardier than Rostrata.




Other hardy Yucca's are:

Y.Faxoniana, Y.Treculeana, Y.Torryi , Y.Elata


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Old 11-05-2007, 12:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGreen View Post
Whatever,

What are you wanting to do as far as care?

For the colder zones you have 4 options:
-Plants you leave in the ground: cold hardy with mulch and other winter protection
-Plants used as annuals: plant in spring, let them die in fall.
-Plants you dig up: fast growing and store easy. Plant in the ground in the spring - dig up in fall
-Container plants: kept in containers, moved in and out during the year

I use all four methods for my plants. It depends on how much work your willing to do. As far as cold hardy tropical plants we have a limited choice for long term survival.

The plants below can be kept in the ground all year with some protection, but the severity of your winter plays a roll to.

Palms you can use are Rhapidophyllum hystrix / Needle palm and Sabal minor / Dwarf palmetto. Like Ron stated Trachycarpus can be used, but it has to be in a very nice microclimate. I know a few people with these, but they build winter shelters for them. Easy enough while they are small.

Bananas that are worth trying in the ground are Musa basjoo, and Musa sikkimensis. I keep thinking of trying Musella lasiocarpa, but never got around to getting one for testing purposes.

Hardy tropicals you might try:
Colocasia 'Big Dipper'
Colocasia 'Pink China'
Colocasia 'Gigantea' (not the Thailand Giant Strain)
Petasites species
If you like the look of yucca try:
Yucca glauca; Yucca filamentosa; Yucca rostrata (a trunk forming species)

I like the look of the big grasses. Some of the Miscanthus species and a nice tropical effect. Think big leaves. A few things that work good as annuals are Castor bean Ricinus communis and Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas. Anything can really be treated as an annual, but you want a fast growing plant. If you are willing to dig cannas, alocasia, colocasia, and xanthosoma, all work well. Also look at some fast growing vines: passifora, ipomoea, mandevilla, bougainvillea.

I really like the books "Hot Plants for Cool Climates" by Roth and Schrader, and "Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas" by David A. Francko.
I also have the book "The Subtropical Garden" by Hanly and Walker. It's ok, it has some errors, but it's geared more for zones 9+

What species of bamboo are you getting?
Needmorebamboo.com is located in zone 6a. They have some great info on the bamboo that they have tried.

Find pics of what you like, and see if your willing to provide the care they need during the winter. I am always look for new plants, and trying new ones.
I keep telling myself I have found enough big leaved plants, but keep finding new ones I like. Next spring I will be trying out more annuals to add in color.
Good luck in your search.
Very nice post, Thanks! Ill look into what you listed.

Is there much difference between the basjoo and Musa sikkimensis? It looks like it gets to about the same size.
__________________
With my feet upon the ground I lose myself
between the sounds and open wide to suck it in.
I feel it move across my skin.
I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.

Spiral out. Keep going...
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
revetahw
 
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGreen View Post
Whatever,

What are you wanting to do as far as care?

For the colder zones you have 4 options:
-Plants you leave in the ground: cold hardy with mulch and other winter protection
-Plants used as annuals: plant in spring, let them die in fall.
-Plants you dig up: fast growing and store easy. Plant in the ground in the spring - dig up in fall
-Container plants: kept in containers, moved in and out during the year

I use all four methods for my plants. It depends on how much work your willing to do. As far as cold hardy tropical plants we have a limited choice for long term survival.

The plants below can be kept in the ground all year with some protection, but the severity of your winter plays a roll to.

Palms you can use are Rhapidophyllum hystrix / Needle palm and Sabal minor / Dwarf palmetto. Like Ron stated Trachycarpus can be used, but it has to be in a very nice microclimate. I know a few people with these, but they build winter shelters for them. Easy enough while they are small.

Bananas that are worth trying in the ground are Musa basjoo, and Musa sikkimensis. I keep thinking of trying Musella lasiocarpa, but never got around to getting one for testing purposes.

Hardy tropicals you might try:
Colocasia 'Big Dipper'
Colocasia 'Pink China'
Colocasia 'Gigantea' (not the Thailand Giant Strain)
Petasites species
If you like the look of yucca try:
Yucca glauca; Yucca filamentosa; Yucca rostrata (a trunk forming species)

I like the look of the big grasses. Some of the Miscanthus species and a nice tropical effect. Think big leaves. A few things that work good as annuals are Castor bean Ricinus communis and Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas. Anything can really be treated as an annual, but you want a fast growing plant. If you are willing to dig cannas, alocasia, colocasia, and xanthosoma, all work well. Also look at some fast growing vines: passifora, ipomoea, mandevilla, bougainvillea.

I really like the books "Hot Plants for Cool Climates" by Roth and Schrader, and "Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas" by David A. Francko.
I also have the book "The Subtropical Garden" by Hanly and Walker. It's ok, it has some errors, but it's geared more for zones 9+

What species of bamboo are you getting?
Needmorebamboo.com is located in zone 6a. They have some great info on the bamboo that they have tried.

Find pics of what you like, and see if your willing to provide the care they need during the winter. I am always look for new plants, and trying new ones.
I keep telling myself I have found enough big leaved plants, but keep finding new ones I like. Next spring I will be trying out more annuals to add in color.
Good luck in your search.
The bamboo I'm getting would be,

PHYLLOSTACHYS pubescens "Moso" - Seeds
PHYLLOSTACHYS heteroclada "Water bamboo" - Seeds
PHYLLOSTACHYS Aureosulcata "Yellow groove"

The P. pubescens and P. heteroclada will be more of a winter project since they will be from seed and be container plants until at least early 09. The yellow groove will be coming soon and will go into a large container until late winter / early spring.

Looking at some of what you have listed, Many of those look interesting. I ordered some Musa sikkimensis seeds, Now I'm looking for tips on growing them from seed.

Alocasia Borneo looks very cool. I will probably get one come spring and then try to overwinter it when the time comes.

I was going to get some Musella lasiocarpa seeds but upon reading on them it seams like its very hard to germinate and takes a while so Ill probably just spend a little more and get a live one.

My list of plants I want to get this coming spring is growing fast.
__________________
With my feet upon the ground I lose myself
between the sounds and open wide to suck it in.
I feel it move across my skin.
I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.

Spiral out. Keep going...
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

I like that yucca Ron! Thanks for posting the pic.
I will have to look into the others you listed. I never really gave yucca a second look until this year after collecting some seeds. The trunked spp. give off a palmish feel to me. Now I just have to test one
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

I have the stem of that one trimmed now, I will make a new picture. I have thrown a lot of stones against the stem to prevent rot and when we get a bad winter I will protect the growing-point too.

Here is a good link on yucca's

http://www.mexicangardens.com/indexnl.php

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Old 11-05-2007, 07:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Whatever,

Sikkimensis can be more colorful than basjoo, the undersides of the leaves are reddish and they can have red marks on the tops. I haven't tried any yet, I ordered some, but recieved something else instead. I did sprout a seed of the 'Daj Giant' so hopefully I can try one out next winter.

I like the choice of bamboos you picked. The first to are pushing the limit of your zone, but worth a shot. Check out the germination section for seed tips.
I really like the Alocasia 'Borneo Giant', it's one of my overwinter in a pot plants. Also look at Alocasia 'Black Stem', Alocasia 'Lutea'. Those will and more than just green to the landscape. Another would be Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger'

Here's a link to some pics of plants that I like grown in a colder climate
BocaJoe's
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Hey, don't forget Yucca recurvifolia or Yucca gloriosa! The variegated Y. gloriosa is particularly attractive. Here is my pride and joy Yucca recurvifolia, just now opening up blooms in time for frost (figures):



I'm still trying to figure out what setting I had my camera on that day. The pics I took that day look like I scanned them in, but I took them with my digital camera. Oh well. Here's a couple more in my yard:


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Old 11-06-2007, 08:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

Wow Frank!
Those are looking good!

Check the ISO setting on the camera.... The higher the number the more "noise" will show up in the picture.
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

I've got an average run-of-the-mill cycad that has about a 2.5 ' diameter canopy now.

I bring it outside from the living room every spring, and every summer it grows nice new 'replacement' fronds, and seems to get a little bigger, but I never seen any evidence of any fruit or seed production.

Do I need more than 1 plant for this?
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Other cold hardy "tropicals" ?

very much yucca's can grow great in your zone, also Opuntia and chamaerops Humilis (-14)palm and Jubeae Chilensis (-14)(palms) can also survive with some protection
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