Gesneriads forum: Overwintering Hardy (but not Zone 6) Gessies

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(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Oct 5, 2014 7:32 AM CST
So, I brought in some hardy-ish sinningias, a streptocarpella that got too cold, and achimenes that collapsed from the cold. I normally leave achimenes in their pots and just water them again in March.

Should I try to keep the sinningias in foliage over winter or let them go dormant? Naturally, they would go dormant. I've done it both ways, but it'd be nice to save space under my lights and let them go dormant.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 8, 2014 12:41 AM CST
Hi Celene, I will be curious to hear the answer to your question...I have a feeling it'll be quicker if you ask at the gesnariad society http://gesneriadsociety.org/
Let us know what you find out! I have always kept mine indoors - so knowing that you put yours outside in summer is good to know!! ( I only have 2 but they both grow quite readily!) I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Oct 8, 2014 6:14 AM CST
I don't put most of my gessies outside during the summer, just Sinningia macropoda, a random seedling Sinningia, S. leucotricha, S. Bananas Foster, S. tubiflora and S. Arkansas Belle.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 8, 2014 2:02 PM CST
Oh okay good to know! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 8, 2014 2:15 PM CST
I've been watching for a reply on this post as well. I've not tried Sinningias, but things that go dormant for the winter months are a good deal less work than plants inside that require seeing after.
Donald
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 8, 2014 3:16 PM CST
That is true Donald. Although even with a dormant plant don't you have to find the right spot for it - out of the rain/cold but not too warm?? (I'm curious - and you may have stated elsewhere) but do you put yours in a garage or under a deck or something or just leave them where they are - outside?? I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 8, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Celene,

They absolutely need protection from freezing during their dormant period. After they have dried out, I cut off the dried foliage for storage where they won't freeze during winter. They still take up space. I store some in cardboard boxes which I put in a storeroom that's in the garage. Others hang from a rod I've fixed in the same storeroom. I had some hanging from the ceiling in the garage last winter and others I had hanging from cup hooks screwed into the enclosed porch wall. None of those places are heated, but I could raise the temp in them if I absolutely needed to do that. As it is, the coldest air temps usually stays above freezing and probably 35-36F for a short period is the low temp. They are dry and still in the soil. They are probably in more danger of desiccation and mice than freezing. In the past, there have been some I didn't get inside that got caught in a hard freeze. Those didn't survive. But during storage there is no worry about light or whether they need water. They just sleep until I decide to start waking them up or they start sprouting on their own. Normally it's me, but all those places can get warm during our winter warm spells. They seem to require a rest period and some sleep longer than others. It's my understanding that all the new rhizomes are maturing as the visible plant withers after it has finished blooming for the season. Here are some photos I just went and took. The first is Achimenes 'Yellow Beauty'. I haven't actually quit giving it water yet, but as it has gone dormant I slacked off. It's ready for the foliage to be trimmed off and the container, soil and all, put in storage.
Thumb of 2014-10-08/needrain/62b123

This next one is XAchicodonia 'Shogun'. Not quite completely dried up yet, but enough I could cut it all off for storage.
Thumb of 2014-10-08/needrain/acd746

Then there's XAchimenantha 'Inferno'. It hasn't reached peak bloom yet. This would be my favorite if it was earlier. I took the second photo earlier this week. I'm sure 'Inferno' was given it's name due to the intense red blooms, but it could have just as easily been named that for the way the light turns the plant red when it's backlit. I didn't begin to capture how fiery the foliage was with the late afternoon light shining through the foliage. That is a trait nearly all the Achimenes have, though the colors range from bright pink through orange and purple, depending on what is the predominant color on the back of the leaves.
Thumb of 2014-10-08/needrain/dd35ff Thumb of 2014-10-08/needrain/a91e1f

Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Oct 8, 2014 4:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 8, 2014 4:04 PM CST
Donald thank you for such a clear explanation!! I only have 2 types, and they're houseplants under lights, they never go dormant, because the temps stay pretty much the same year round - so I was curious what other's do!
Cheers I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Oct 9, 2014 8:14 PM CST
Thank you Donald! I use a cold room for all of my dormant plants, it's probably 50 degrees most of the time, maybe a wee bit colder if it's below 10 degrees outside. I have an old house and that room was where the coal chute used to be (bricked over with glass block now) but it's a cool, dry basement room.

I may take cuttings and let the rest of the plant go dormant. I like to hedge my bets. Not to mention, I'll have extras in the spring if my dormants re-sprout.

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