Ask a Question forum: Heliconias - care

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Nov 7, 2013 12:03 PM CST
I have a once beautiful Helliconia plant that was beautiful growing happily in a pot on my front porch, but it got really cold and now it's
leaves are all curled up and brown. I trimmed off the old blooms that had died. Should I trim down all the leaves that are curled up and
turning brown? I brought it in the house to keep it warmer and set it where it can get sunlight. Will it recover, or has the cold weather
killed it? What can I do to help it heal? Please advise.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Nov 7, 2013 12:16 PM CST
Hi Misty, Welcome! to ATP
As you probably know this is native to the tropical Americas. My advise would be to remove all of the dead leaves, and cut the flower stalks all the way back to the soil. It's hard to say if the cold killed it. A lot would depend on how cold it got, and duration of time that it was out in the cold. Hope for the best.

Try to keep us posted, and good luck.
Again, Welcome! and check out all the forums! You'll find a lot of great people and valuable information. Smiling
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Nov 7, 2013 2:26 PM CST
@Misty what zone are you in? Knowing that may have some bearing on the answer. I'll be reading along with you because I just got my first Helliconia in the spring...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Nov 7, 2013 2:27 PM CST
It all depends on whether there is still life in the corms. The foliage above the ground is not that important. I would dig them up to ascertain whether they are alive.

Nov 8, 2013 11:02 AM CST
Thank you for your responses. I am in Tennessee, not sure what zone that would be. I loved this plant, it reminded me of the Bird of Paradise that my Grandmother used to have when I was a child. I would have brought it in the house sooner, but did not expect it to get so cold overnight.

There is still some green to the plant leaves and I put some Miracle grow on it to try to help it heal. I've never had a plant like this before. In the summer it was so humid here, it thrived and grew so beautifully. Feel so sad that it has withered and looks so sad. I will try trimming it again.

Will keep you posted....thank you again for your advise.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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Nov 9, 2013 9:45 PM CST
It's a really tropical plant that can't take cold at all. However, Hetty is right that it is the corms that matter so as long as the soil didn't get too cold it should regrow once the soil is warm. Most heliconia need a lot of sun as well as warmth so put it in a sunny window inside and see if it grows some new shoots.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

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