Houseplants forum: Tropicals-Ultra and Sub in the house for winter

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(Zone 4b)
Canning and food preservation
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joygirl
Feb 16, 2014 9:50 AM CST
Was wondering how many gardeners are similar to myself with a love for fruiting sub tropical or ultra tropicals that they grow in containers. Would love to see pictures that anyone would care to share as well as growing tips/tricks or information.
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Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
treehugger
Feb 17, 2014 9:14 AM CST
You have some really nice plants. My herbs such as pepper, allspice, bay, perennial basil, neem and anthuriums grow well but I can't get the hang of growing citrus. Have you gotten figs off your tree yet? I see your growing...a grapefruit tree?? It looks-like to me, I wish I could do that. I put everything outside for the warmer months. It always amazes me after a summer outside how much more room I need for the plants over the winter. My husband takes a few of my larger trees to his office and places them around the different windows. I stopped growing brugmansia because it goes semi-dormant after flowering. Most of my plants go to sunny windows of which I have only a few. We moved a few years ago, so my outside garden is 10 times larger but my house does not have good light for tropical plants. I have a collections of begonia, sanseviria, and cactus plants.
[Last edited by treehugger - Feb 17, 2014 9:19 AM (+)]
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(Zone 4b)
Canning and food preservation
Image
joygirl
Feb 21, 2014 8:46 AM CST
Thank you tree! I have gotten figs off of my trees (1 black mission and 1 chicago fig), but it's not as many as if they were in the ground. So, this year I have them dormant, in the basement and I'm hoping this is something that will work.
The citrus I overwinter under fluorescent lights and you're right, it isn't easy to take care of them outside of their natural zone. I think that they'll always be prone to pests while overwintering and supplemental lighting helps a lot. The big citrus tree is actually a Bears's Lime tree I've had for over seven years. This is the last year she'll be in the house as she's sooo big. Next year she'll be overwintered in another space w/higher ceilings.
Your herb collection sounds fantastic! I cannot grow sweet bay. Every plant I've ever had has died. So, any tips you might have for your bay or allspice plants would be appreciated. I do have allspice that appears to be doing alright. But learning more is always good.
What cactus plants do you grow? is Optunia one of them?
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
treehugger
Feb 21, 2014 10:29 AM CST
I grow the native Opuntia humifusa but of course it stays outside all year. Opuntia brasiliensis is one of my houseplants with the nastiest thorns ever. The little barb ends stick to you with the slightest touch but it is becoming quite large now and blooming so I tolerate it. I have a few small ones that put up with my winter abuse. My bay plant is Laurus nobilis. Being an evergreen that is hardy to zone 7 I keep it inside in my garage where the temperature gets to 38 like this winter. It sits by the window and gets morning sun and bright light the rest of the day. I give it very little water over the cold months since it is not growing and each April I move it outside until the first hard frost. I keep horticulture cloth over it if there is frost in spring and fall. Each spring as the new buds begin to swell I cut back the tallest branch to keep it at 5'. Try cutting back your taller trees. It makes the branch out fuller. My allspice tree needs a warm climate and it is a true winter houseplant. I give it as much sun as possible and do not water it until it is dry for a few days but before it begins to wilt.
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[Last edited by treehugger - Feb 21, 2014 10:29 AM (+)]
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