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Eric in Orlando

Heliconia farinosa (vellozoana)

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Eric in Orlando
Heliconia farinosa has started flowering this winter for the first time. This clump was grown from seed a few years ago. It is native to southern Brazil and northern Argentina so this should be one of the hardier Heliconia for zone 9b. It was formerly known as Heliconia vellozoana .

post-231-0-58429800-1388153491_thumb.jpg

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JEFF IN MODESTO

Ok ... I want one ... where do I get one?

Jeff

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Eric in Orlando

I grew that one from seed from RPS

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Tropicdoc

How big is that inflorescence? I like heliconias and grow them under a pop up greenhouse through winter. Hybrid 'Carmasita', Schiedeana, and dwarf rostrata have all bloomed for me, even though I'm a good bit colder than you.

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Eric in Orlando

The blooms currently on it are slightly smaller than those of H. schiedeana. But the plants are are not full size as the flowers are supposed to be a little bit bigger on mature plants.

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clinton9

I have heliconia vellozana growing in my outdoor back garden, at latitude 37oS, I hope h.vellozana are cold hardy, like h.subulata.

Yellow-flowered h.vellozana in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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gilles06

Does this heliconia bloom easily in a z9 mediteranean garden?

i have H. schiedeana but it doesn't bloom...

Edited by gilles06

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David in Berkeley

Gilles, does your H. schiedeana freeze back each winter? At 37°N it typically takes 2 years to bloom here, but we have cool summers in Berkeley. This December mine got zapped by frost, but those under trees were fine and still blooming, and they usually push new foliage all winter. Bulk them up with lots of water and fertilizer, and try to keep them evergreen over winter. If you can't keep them alive over winter, they seldom bloom. They do great here in the SF Bay Area most years, but occasionally die back to the ground. I've never tried vellozana or subulata, and haven't seen them around here.

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gilles06

Hi David,

Frost are unsual, and even when my low is 32f my heliconia refuse to flower? It grows until spring and then old canes start to decline, then it pushes new cane but never bloom?

That's why i wonder if vellozana would be easier?

salut.

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David in Berkeley

Gilles, I wonder if your Heliconia schiedeana is diseased/virused? If it doesnt lose foliage to frost, and there is good drainage so that the rhizomes aren't rotting in winter rains, it shouldn't lose vigor and die off before blooming. Perhaps your period of winter chilling is just a bit too low for too long, and it is adversely impacting the vigor. Here our nights may drop down to almost 32°F for a week or so, but most of the winter the lowest lows here are closer to 40°F, with daytime highs back into the high 50's/low 60's°F.. I'm at about 37°latitude here in Berkeley, and I'm not aware of people successfully blooming these outdoors year round further north.

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JEFF IN MODESTO

As long as the winters low doesn't freeze the leaves off, my h. schiediana blooms no problem here in modesto.

Jeff

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gilles06

You must be right David "my period of winter chilling is just a bit too low for too long, and it is adversely impacting the vigor" of my h. schiediana.

But my question is still what about h.vellozana? Will it be a better candidate for blooming?

Salut.

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stygiana

You must be right David "my period of winter chilling is just a bit too low for too long, and it is adversely impacting the vigor" of my h. schiediana.

But my question is still what about h.vellozana? Will it be a better candidate for blooming?

Salut.

Bonjour Gilles,

I don't know H. vellozana enough, but I think it is a good candidate for your place. In fact, it's the first time I reply to one of your messages, while it is a shame, as I have noticed your interesting garden and work on many different forums in the last few years.

I thinks it's important for you to check what is done in New Zealand. Your climate is different, but there is a lot to learn from there when the problem is "long cool winters".

Information from SE USA is almost useless in Southern France... They have so much heat, such long, summers, with so much moisture... Your place is more like coastal California, although not frostier than Cali, it however has longer winters and lower sun and shorter days in winters.

Sorry, I'm sure you already know all of that...

I worked in the Domaine du Rayol, in Monaco and Menton, so it's a region I know (and love).

H. mathiasae, H. subulata and above all H. spissa would be worth a try too.

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gilles06

Merci Seb,

With your answer now i have too many heliconia to try.

H. vellozana seems uncultivated?

Salut.

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clinton9

I have two heliconia velloziana growing outdoor in my backyard garden, but I had mixed the soil with coarse sands, because I did not know whether h.velloziana will surivie this year winter. They are growing well this month.

My place is on latitude 37oS, in Thames, New Zealand.

At my place the average winter temperature: 8 oC and average lowest winter temperature: 3 oC, but had went below 0 oC, to -1 oC for 1-3 nights during June to July. 10 frosts a year and frost season: 10th June to 10th August. June to August are coldest wettest months, with June have 15 wet days and 3 frosts, July have 16 wet days and 4 frosts, August have 15 wet days and 2 frosts.

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gilles06

Thanks for your report Clinton, very interesting...

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stygiana

Merci Seb,

With your answer now i have too many heliconia to try.

H. vellozana seems uncultivated?

Salut.

There is never "too many" heliconias to try :winkie:

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stygiana

Especially in such an important "jardin d'acclimatation" as yours! It's good to see the acclimatization tradition is still kept very active in your area!

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gilles06

Merci beaucoup pour les compliments :winkie:

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clinton9

Hi members,

My two 1-year-old heliconia velloziana are still alive with green leaves.

One is in pomice soil and other one is in loam soil.

Here's photoes on 22nd June 2014.

Edited by clinton9

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clinton9

Hi members,

My two 1-year-old heliconia velloziana are still alive with green leaves.

One is in pomice soil and other one is in loam soil.

Here's photoes on 22nd June 2014.

post-7562-0-42453300-1403417659_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-12723400-1403417748_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-91612700-1403417953_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-35397100-1403418019_thumb.jp

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clinton9

To read the labels, you have to click to enlarge the photoes.

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clinton9

I found out that on 28th May this year the nightime temperature went to lowest -3oC (29oF) for just one night, through on 27th May the temperature went to -2oC (27oF. This happened during two nights.

Heliconia velloziana can take minimum -5oC (22oF)for 1-3 nights only and no more.

See photoes below

post-7562-0-23470600-1403497387_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-79988300-1403497348_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-48374000-1403497312_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-68836100-1403497279_thumb.jp

post-7562-0-11652100-1403497250_thumb.jp

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Tropicdoc

When you say "can take a minimum" does that mean before the roots die or before the leaves fry?

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clinton9

Below -5oC the leaves get damaged by frosts. -3oC is the lowest wintertime temperature in Thames, New Zealand.

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Tropicdoc

here is carmasita in bloom right now. And a musa ornate bloom for lagniappe.

post-7690-0-07925600-1403730931_thumb.jp

post-7690-0-70669600-1403730945_thumb.jp

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clinton9

Hi Tropicdoc,

Do temperature during wintertime drop below freezing point at your place ???

Can you please send me a list of heliconias you were growing.

I am very interested in heliconias and I grew heliconias at my place.

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Tropicdoc

Oh yeah for sure below freezing every winter. Normally between 25 and 30 F. But occasionally lower. I cheat though. I place a portable greenhouse over the bed. If it will go below freezing, I turn on a small space heater. I get a lot of summer time heat and humidity to push growth and blooms. I fertilize heavy. I have dwarf rostrata, carmasita, schiedeana, and kemehameha. The carmasita would not need the greenhouse i think. It blooms fast and heavy.

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clinton9

25oF and 30oF are below freezing point, h.schiedeana is the hardliest heliconia and can flower in zone 8b.

Edited by clinton9

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Tropicdoc

Carmasita blooms in one growing season and from what I hear, the rhizomes are fairly hardy. I would be willing to trade some carmasita for farinosa....

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mnorell

Carmasita blooms in one growing season and from what I hear, the rhizomes are fairly hardy. I would be willing to trade some carmasita for farinosa....

'Carmasita' does bloom faster than any of the mid-sized or larger Heliconias. 2-1/2 months from shoot emergence to flowering when grown in full, hot sun in Natchez, Mississippi (zone 9a). Note that anything less than full sun, and also a cooler climate than that of the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico or southeast Atlantic, will slow down the shoot-to-bloom timeframe significantly. However, the rhizome is not hardy in the least. It favors its H. psittacorum parentage in that regard. I found it to be a great disappointment, as a large clump failed to return from an average winter. But otherwise it is a fantastic hybrid and well worth cultivating.

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Tropicdoc

Thanks for the advice I guess you could store rhizomes indoors overwinter if you don't want to do the greenhouse thing

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Tropicdoc

Btw are latispatha root hardy?

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mnorell

Some forms of H. latispatha are root-hardy in average or slightly colder-than-average winters in 9a Gulf areas. It also needs to be grown in full, hot sun, and in such a situation it will go from shoot to bloom in about 5 months, so basically a late summer and fall bloomer. But in shadier situations you will need an extra season and thus will need to greenhouse it. 2010 killed H. latispatha (a red/orange large form), though it had thrived and bloomed like crazy for years previously. Only one clump of H. latispatha 'distans' did return that spring but did poorly and was killed in the 2014 winter as it has not yet emerged...so I am putting in a safety I had kept in Florida for just such an occasion. It blooms from September onward and usually returns...again, needs, hot, hot sun as much of the day as possible for good performance.

One note: The Heliconia known as H. 'Mexican Gold' is very hardy and has re-emerged after both the 2010 and 2014 winters. This one will bloom prolifically in one season, though inflorescences may only emerge late in the season (October generally). It was very late to return after this past winter but it is recovering and will be strong once again. It requires full sun to flower in a season. It is often listed as a form of H. latispatha but this has never been officially demonstrated, and it has some major differences, but has just never been properly researched and identified as a separate species or hybrid. It was collected in the wild in Mexico.

The others that return reliably in my Natchez garden are H. schiedeana, H. subulata (again, must have full sun to thrive), and H. bourgaeana, though the latter has never bloomed and is taking years to get established. But it does survive. Also a very strong plant for me is one I purchased from Aloha Tropicals as H. acuminata 'Super Cheri.' This is probably the hardiest Heliconia I have but it has not yet flowered...but boy is it strong. But I have it in a little too much shade. I have planted it in my Florida garden as well and hopefully I will see blooms there sooner for a proper i.d. H. hirsuta is also pretty strong and returns after average 9a winters to flower the next year, but will be killed by a colder-than-average winter. A much better choice than H. psittacorum for southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, etc., and just as pretty.

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Tropicdoc

A gold mine of info!!!!! Would trade rhizomes with you any time you want. I also have some gingers. Those doing well in Natchez for you should do even better for me considering Natchez is probably on average 7-8 degrees colder than me in winter. Thanks!

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mnorell

I'll be happy to give you rhizomes though this year they are slow in amassing any size for obvious reasons. But I will PM you with what I may be able to dig for you. Natchez is probably only 4-5 degrees colder than Houma and the river parishes on average, perhaps 7-8 compared to downtown Nola, and 2-3 compared to downtown Baton Rouge. What's a bit odd is that ultimate minimum temps are tempered for the most part in Natchez by proximity to the Mississippi river and a downtown mini-urban-heat-island effect plus drainage from the 150' bluff. So low temps this year were 18F, probably not much lower than what you saw there, but the duration and the low high temps for those three days of consecutive freezing were more severe I'm sure than what you experienced in Houma. But still, the only spot that really gets significant relief in winter is New Orleans, since it's about the only place with a large and slightly warm body of water to the north. Though the Mississippi gives a slight bump to immediately adjacent areas, otherwise things are shockingly similar for a wide swath as I'm sure you know, when winter's icy grip gets a hold on the region. Downtown Natchez, which is about 120 miles north of Vermillion Bay, shows about one degree Fahrenheit in difference from Bay St. Louis on average in winter (and that city is on the Gulf coast), and is about equal to Hammond and the North Shore communities. Really strange.

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Tropicdoc

I was in grand isle and saw some nice palms I bet they stay about 3-4 degrees warmer than me probably about like New Orleans I saw your comment about the Natchez heat island in your profile I'm hoping to move soon to a different spot in houma with a 1-2 degree advantage over my current spot

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Tropicdoc

I would only want rhizomes when you were thinning out anyway wouldn't want to be a detriment to your garden

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clinton9

I have three cold night ahead, below freezing point.

16/7/14: -1°C

17/7/14: -3°C

18/7/14: -1°C

Then onward from on Friday nighttime temperature will raise.

Let hope my heliconia velloziana will surivie this winter.

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