The Q&A Archives: Tropical Plant/Perennials

Question: I have a plant that I bought three years ago that had the common name of Thai Tulip. It's latin name is circuma alismatifolia. It dies back in the winter and doesn't send up new shoots until late June or early July of the next summer. It has beautiful pink tulip like blooms that occur in August. I need to divide it, but can find no information on time of year - or anything else about this plant. HELP!

Answer: George,

Divide it now or wait until the first frost browns the foliage and replant it into outdoor beds, or plant it in a container that you can bring in to a protected location over the winter. Take a shovel and dig up the plant. Cut the base into sections with one shoot each or at least a swelling bud on the rhizome. If the tops are cold damaged cut them back to near their basse as well. Then reset the divisions in soil or potting media at the same level they were previously growing. If you do this now reset the divisions right away and water them in well to reduce stress. If you wait until after the first frost you can store the roots in a cool place with moist (not soggy) sawdust for a while.

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