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Heliconia for zone  9a?

54 posts in this topic

(heliconias @ Sep. 26 2007,00:01)

QUOTE
Here are my experiences/notes on the plants is your list above:

H. aurantiaca

Tried this and it declined. Could have been a weak division, too much shade or both.

H. champneiana 'Maya Blood'

Had this decline on me from a growing single rhizome, but I was neglecting it. I cleaned it up, fungicided and I'm trying again- resprouting now, but this moves slow.

I give it a good deal of sun.

H. collinsiana

I'm getting some good blooms with this now. Its a slow one to start, but once it gets going it seems to move geometrically.  It likes a little shade. The white powdery leaves are excellent. so far 2 big red pendants this year, and the clump has only been in the ground about a year, from a ratty looking sun bleached plant.

H. latispatha 'red-yellow'

This grows and flowers well here. Only thing is it tends to lean out alot. I have it in a good deal of sun, but it seems to lean out for more. However, when it gets hot the leaves curl, so who knows. Cut the flowers before they fully open or they get a little browned

H. latispatha 'distans'

Personally, havent had the best of luck with this, but a friend has a nonstop clump that spreads everywhere and blooms like crazy. Once it gets started.. it moves. It likes a sunny spot with only partial shade

H. lingulata 'red tip fan'

I had one sickly looking rhizome of this and just put it in the ground to die. But it didnt die- it got sun and started coming back. Now its on its way to being a full clump. These love sun. Pretty tough. red-tip is the prettiest in my opinion

H. lingulata 'spiral'

Had this in my screen enclosure but somehow lost track of it and its gone now.  It was blooming well for awhile there- I think i just killed it while doing some work or something. I prefer "fan"

and Hybrids:

H. collinseana x bourgeana 'Pedro Ortiz'

This blooms nicely at Leu Gardens, so I assume it will here as well. I just got a nice pot of it from Excelsa. It has nice reddish edges to the foliage. Havent had it bloom yet, I will probably put it next to thye Raulineana in the screen enclosure, as I first tried "hot rio nites" there, and it bloomed, but its moving too slow.  Hot Rio has not been all its cracked up to be for me- kinda shlumpy.  Pedro is a hybrid of collinsiana, so I expect it might do a little better.

H. psitt. x spathocircinata 'Guyana'

Had this is a pot forever.. took a year and a half to bloom, but I think it wanted sun.  Now I have it it a full southern exposure and its blooming nicely so far. The little green tipped flowers make a nice touch. I like this better than say, Tropica.

From my experience, here in Orlando Florida, you might try Heliconia 'Hot Rio Nights" which will handle wind better than 'Pedro O." Unless you plan to use in a wind sheltered area.

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Though I don't live in Texas, having most Heliconia live and survive to bloom in zone 9a would take some work.  Sounds like some of you are trying some good ideas, raised beds, new fast draining soil, and reflected heat from walls.  All of these should bring up your zone by about half a tic to 9b.  Given that a hard frost or freeze and wet weather will still cause some serious rhizome rot.

Happ - I have had no luck growing H. stricta for very long, much less getting them to bloom.  They decline very quickly in California's cool fall and winter.  H. rostrata on the other hand is a bit more hardy.  A guy up in Culver City is growing and blooming a beautiful one that is quite large.  Mine is younger and smaller (4-5 feet tall), but now has it's second year of bloom.  H. rostrata seems to do better with a situation like Michael is doing.  I have mine planted next to the house on a south-east facing slope.  They require lots of water and fertilizer to do well.  It even survived the frost/freeze we had last January 31-32F.  My H. rostrata seems to really slow down growth after November, but picks up again in late February.

Like many other Heliconia growers in California, I have killed many varieties.  I am currently growing H. shiedeana, H. bourgaeana, H. angusta and H. Arawak.  The only other one that has bloomed for me yet is H. shiedeana.  The others I have been growing for only two years.

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mnorell-

My H. "Flabellata" is putting out a bloom now.

I will take some pics of the progress and post for you.

It is a funny little bloom- reminds me of a bromeliad.

The clump is slowly but surely getting more established- but even when it was only 2-3 stalks strong, it still always managed to get a bloom out- its a tough little plant, just a bit slow

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heliconias--

I'd love to see the progress of the flabellata. Is it blooming on stalks that emerged from the ground this year? Curious whether this is a two-season or single-season bloomer.

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Here are some pics- sorry for the bad flash photography.

As you can see, it is flowering on a rather short stalk. This is certainly this year's growth.

The bloom has been out about a month now- it moves along slowly. Next it will unfurl a bit, like Standleyi.. but I've found, so far, that the bloom gets necrotic before it really unfolds into anything spectacular.

Perhaps this will lessen as the clump matures.

aaa.jpg

aab.jpg

aac.jpg

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two more

aad.jpg

aae.jpg

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Heliconias--

Wow, nice!! Looks like it put out six leaves or so, then bloomed, that's like latispatha 'Distans' (I think also subulata typically blooms at about seven leaves). I wonder if cutting it and putting it in a vase would halt the necrosis? In any event I think I'll have to put it on my list for my 2008 trials up here in the frigid north!

Today I discovered my H. angusta 'Holiday'/'Red Xmas' (planted in south-facing but heavy shade) has thrown lots of flag-leaves and there's a swollen reddish bulge getting ready to emerge on at least a half-dozen stalks. Very exciting to see this happen so early here, they may actually emerge, as we usually don't see our first frost until Thanksgiving, possibly even later. Though I only planted the clump (purchased from a greenhouse environment in March) this summer, so haven't let it undergo the hellish winter to see if it can produce flowers before frost hits coming from the rhizome after winter freezes. Do you grow this one down in Florida, and do you (or anybody else reading this) notice such an early bloomtime on this variety?

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I bought a rhizome of heliconia "Mexican Gold" this summer and it took a while to actually produce a single leaf.  I guess it was taking time to get established before sending up a shoot to the surface. In any event, this heliconia will obviously not be blooming this year, but I hope it will bloom in a couple of years once the rhizome has the chance to mature.  Once mature and established, I hope that it will emerge and bloom every Autumn.  Is that possible where I am located up in northeast Florida?  As some of you may know, the climate of northern Florida is nothing the permanent summer climate of southern Florida.  My heliconia is planted in a pretty sunny spot, so it should receive quite a few hours of sun each day.  Thanks for your advice and thoughts if you have any to offer.

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These are some of my past blooms. I can't remember all of their names. But these were greenhouse grown not outside.

HeliconiabloomsJuly29.jpg

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All from the Mexican Gold variety? 

Thanks.

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...and beautiful too!

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3 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

All from the Mexican Gold variety? 

Thanks.

No I never grew Mexican Gold. One is Richmond Red, one is Jaquinii, there's an Orange Gyro and a Red/Yellow Gyro in there...I don;t grow these any more. My current varieties are Rostrate, Orthotricha 'She', pendula 'Sexy Scarlet', nickerensis, bahai Arawak, mariae, variegated Psitticorum 'El Tigre' and strict Bucky. I did a complete clear out and start over.

 

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I find that Heliconia Rostrada can tolerate temperatures down to 35 degrees since they grow high in the mountains of Columbia. By Gregg L. Friedman MD

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Gregg, I have had them take down to 28F for brief periods here. People also don't realize that once established, they can even grow in boggy conditions. In situ they have been found growing on stream banks

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