Ask a Question forum: cold weather is an obstacle.

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Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Jan 3, 2015 8:50 AM CST
slowly slowly i am discovering that the plants inside my non heated in the day rooms are suffering from cold weather.
it is going down to 5 degrees.
next week it is predicted to have snow around here.
i am collecting rain water .....maybe for the new plants i will put in our home.
when a coleus gets hurt from the cold does it mean that it will not sprote again when winter is over.?my dream is to grow the tallest coleus in the world.....but if i start in the spring from zero....it takes time to grow.....i dont live in a humid surrounding....
i am thinking of inventing a personal under tray heater for hydroponic containers so the plants wont freeze.i beleive the plants sit in water and water gets the temperature of the surrounding.(unless i heat it somehow)
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 3, 2015 8:50 AM CST
davidsevit said:slowly slowly i am discovering that the plants inside my non heated in the day rooms are suffering from cold weather.
it is going down to 5 degrees.
next week it is predicted to have snow around here.
i am collecting rain water .....maybe for the new plants i will put in our home.
when a coleus gets hurt from the cold does it mean that it will not sprote again when winter is over.?my dream is to grow the tallest coleus in the world.....but if i start in the spring from zero....it takes time to grow.....i dont live in a humid surrounding....
i am thinking of inventing a personal under tray heater for hydroponic containers so the plants wont freeze.i beleive the plants sit in water and water gets the temperature of the surrounding.(unless i heat it somehow)


Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 3, 2015 9:27 AM CST
How cold did your room get, do you know? Coleus most definitely do NOT like cold, so yours may very well be gone for good. Seedling heat mats are very good, but the large ones can be a bit expensive. I believe they ARE more energy efficient than some of the suggestions I've seen for using strings of Christmas lights, tho. As an emergency solution, I have used clamp-on light fixtures with reflectors and a 60 watt bulb positioned beneath the plant shelf, pointing up. But you have to be VERY careful with water in that situation. Here's a link to a DIY heat mat system that might be helpful, if you can locate the components:
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/11658/diy-heat-mat-spe...
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 3, 2015 9:53 AM CST
David, since you live in a dry environment, it must be pretty sunny during the day, yes? Are there any south-facing windows that will let in some sun during the day to help keep the place a little warmer? (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere)

Set jugs of water in the sun to collect heat, then when the sun goes, some of the heat is retained and released slowly. A true passive solar collector, in fact. The jugs of water, if left open at the top will also humidify your space somewhat as well.

I have a friend who heated a greenhouse in Salt Lake City (high, arid desert climate) for years mostly with just large storage tubs of water that warmed up in the daytime with the sun's heat, then kept the greenhouse warm at night. On the coldest nights he used a waterbed heater to keep the water warm.

I have Coleus in my garden that have survived a couple of winters. We do get a few cold nights here and there in winter, down into the 40's F and even an occasional venture near freezing. So, first of all humidity will help a lot, and secondly, put your Coleus plant up high when you're away during the day. On top of the fridge should stay pretty warm even when the rest of the place is cooling off. Kitchens and bathrooms are more humid than the rest of the house, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 1:01 AM CST
[quote="woofie"]How cold did your room get, do you know? Coleus most definitely do NOT like cold, so yours may very well be gone for good. Seedling heat mats are very good, but the large ones can be a bit expensive. I believe they ARE more energy efficient than some of the suggestions I've seen for using strings of Christmas lights, tho. As an emergency solution, I have used clamp-on light fixtures with reflectors and a 60 watt bulb positioned beneath the plant shelf, pointing up. But you have to be VERY careful with water in that situation. Here's a link to a DIY heat mat system that might be helpful, if you can locate the components:
]http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/11658/diy-heat-mat-spe...

hi i will look up the mats idea with the christmas bulbs.i am always trying new ideas but i think in the end the plants must grow as close to their home conditions.
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 1:10 AM CST
i see in my neighboorhood quite afew coleuses drooping slowly now.the question is maybe people relate to them as annuals.it is difficult for me.
i took three coleuses to work as emergency and put them upstairs in a "attic"atmospher with alot of light and hotter than at home.i sprinkel them with waer for humidity.two are"o.k" one is dying.can i take out the dying one and wrap it with saw dust for example to keep it warm.with no soil?will it be dormant and safe untill the weather gets better.
am i exagurating with my trials.?
david
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 4, 2015 11:00 AM CST
I'm sure it would depend a lot on what type of Coleus it is. There are so many different ones; we have a separate forum just for Coleus. Do you know the name of yours?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 4, 2015 1:05 PM CST
I have lost Coleus in the house when our power was out for 8 days after an ice storm. I had them in an unheated room under lights, and discovered that the lights were keeping it warm enough for them. Coleus are damaged by temperatures in the low 40'sF (around 4.5 degrees Celsius).

I have also had problems keeping mature Coleus plants alive and happy when they have been growing outside and I bring them inside in fall. They usually dislike the change of environment, however, cuttings rooted late in the season perform well inside under lights. It may require a greenhouse to keep one growing and get it really large.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 4, 2015 1:20 PM CST
Ah, that must be why the ones I tried to overwinter indoors went south on me. But they were grown from seed. Are the ones from seed considered annuals? I have bits and pieces of ones grown from cuttings that have lasted for a few years.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 4, 2015 1:26 PM CST
Seed grown are tender perennials like the named clones, and I've had a special one out of a mixed seed pack that I overwintered with cuttings. I didn't see any difference in the performance of the 2 types. I think the named clones, being more expensive, are the ones that more folks worry with saving. I'm more likely to treat inexpensive, seed grown plants as annuals though.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 4, 2015 1:38 PM CST
Ah, thanks Neal. I hadn't really researched them, so that's good to know. Maybe I'll try a bit harder with my next ones from seed. I do love a challenge. Hilarious!
I will be curious to hear how davidsevit's salvaged Coleus do.
I had a friend back in SoCal who grew Coleus indoors in a lovely open room that got lots of filtered natural light and hers were huge!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 10:43 PM CST
[quote="woofie"]I'm sure it would depend a lot on what type of Coleus it is. There are so many different ones; we have a iaratrum just for Coleus. Do you know the name of yours?[/quoi
i will photographe them
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 10:44 PM CST
gemini_sage said:I have lost Coleus in the house when our power was out for 8 days after an ice storm. I had them in an unheated room under lights, and discovered that the lights were keeping it warm enough for them. Coleus are damaged by temperatures in the low 40'sF (around 4.5 degrees Celsius).

I have also had problems keeping mature Coleus plants alive and happy when they have been growing outside and I bring them inside in fall. They usually dislike the change of environment, however, cuttings rooted late in the season perform well inside under lights. It may require a greenhouse to keep one growing and get it really large.


thank you
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 10:45 PM CST
woofie said:Ah, that must be why the ones I tried to overwinter indoors went south on me. But they were grown from seed. Are the ones from seed considered annuals? I have bits and pieces of ones grown from cuttings that have lasted for a few years.


what is went south
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 10:46 PM CST
gemini_sage said:Seed grown are tender perennials like the named clones, and I've had a special one out of a mixed seed pack that I overwintered with cuttings. I didn't see any difference in the performance of the 2 types. I think the named clones, being more expensive, are the ones that more folks worry with saving. I'm more likely to treat inexpensive, seed grown plants as annuals though.


right
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 4, 2015 10:47 PM CST
woofie said:Ah, thanks Neal. I hadn't really researched them, so that's good to know. Maybe I'll try a bit harder with my next ones from seed. I do love a challenge. Hilarious!
I will be curious to hear how davidsevit's salvaged Coleus do.
I had a friend back in SoCal who grew Coleus indoors in a lovely open room that got lots of filtered natural light and hers were huge!


dont tell me.
i want to try the seed process and duscover lovely surprises
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 4, 2015 11:04 PM CST
woofie said:Ah, that must be why the ones I tried to overwinter indoors went south on me. But they were grown from seed. Are the ones from seed considered annuals? I have bits and pieces of ones grown from cuttings that have lasted for a few years.


David, we use the expression 'went south' or to 'go south' to mean that something has become lower in value, gone downhill, or is doing badly, is in bad condition or has died. I believe the expression came from the US Stock Market referring to a stock which has plummeted in value - goes down in value - which is represented by a downward line on a chart or graph;.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 5, 2015 8:57 AM CST
David, don't forget that Coleus also start very easily from cuttings. That's the way to ensure you keep the types you are currently growing, if you particularly like them. Seedlings will not necessarily come true to the mother plant.

I took cuttings to my daughter's house in Salt Lake City in November, and she says they are "huge" now, with snow on the ground outside here nice big, south-facing window. They do keep their heat on all the time, though. New baby in the house.

She also said that the cats have knocked the plants off the windowsill a few times, and broken pieces off. She just puts them in a jar of water, and now has several new plants rooting in the water. It only takes about a week if it's warm for roots to start forming.

This is one plant started from a cutting last fall, maybe September. I've had to 'prune' it a few times just to keep the pot from tipping over.


Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Image
davidsevit
Jan 5, 2015 12:21 PM CST
elaine thank you for your reply.i know the diference and option for cuttings but that means sitting in cold water during the day(my sons are not yet married ....no babies in the house) i like the contrast of a happy coleus on a window sill from inside when there snow outside.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Jan 5, 2015 2:34 PM CST
Hi David, I'm kind of late to this discussion, but I've never started my cuttings in water. I've had very good luck with putting the cuttings directly into moist soil. You could also try a rooting hormone, but i've never found that to be necessary with the Coleus.

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