Tropicals forum: Swallowtail Plant (Christia obcordata)

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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
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Danita
Jul 27, 2015 3:08 PM CST
I'm finding all sorts of conflicting care info on this plant in the small amount of information that exists about it online. Has anyone had experience growing this one successfully?

Thanks much!
Danita

Based on the database images, I'm hoping maybe
@hawkarica
@plantladylin
@treehugger
will have some insight. Please & Thank You! Smiling
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
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treehugger
Jul 27, 2015 4:30 PM CST
It was a few years ago. I kept it in shade except early morning. The soil was rich, moist and loose. As the days got longer in the fall the plant just faded away. It never flowered.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Jul 27, 2015 5:14 PM CST
I have two of them in pots and they were sitting under an oak tree. They started getting tan colored spots on the leaves and some of the leaves became dry and fell off. So, I moved them into the greenhouse in complete shade. They seem to be doing better. A couple of years ago, I had one and lost it just like Treehugger. It may do better as a house plant.

Jim
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 27, 2015 6:28 PM CST
My Swallowtail Plant (Christia obcordata) didn't live more than @ six months; if I remember correctly, it got hit by cold temp's when it was left outside overnight and it never recovered. Sad
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
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Danita
Jul 27, 2015 11:39 PM CST
Thanks guys for all the responses! Thank You!

It sounds like it is really sensitive to cool weather and goes dormant easily. I found this blog post where the same thing happened to their plant in fall, but they kept the pot until the following spring (in St. Petersburg, FL) and the "dead" tan twigs sprouted new leaves the next year around April/May.

http://heyplantman.blogspot.com/2014/06/christia-obcordata-2...

Surprisingly, I found it at a local nursery. Blinking Not so surprisingly, no one really knew anything about it.

I think I'll avoid putting it in a mixed container and give it a pot of its own so I can bring it in easily when the cold arrives.
(and pray the nasty Kudzu Bugs don't find it interesting. Eeek!)

Thanks again! Big Grin
Name: Alana H
(Zone 7a)
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poisondartfrog
Jul 28, 2015 8:10 AM CST
Oh my. I threw mine out last winter after if failed when I brought it in. I may have waited too late and it was going dormant. I think I might try again.
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
Jul 28, 2015 11:20 AM CST
Good luck with your plants. The foliage is beautiful.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
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Danita
Aug 20, 2015 3:59 PM CST
It turns out there were two plants in the pot that I bought. I ended up removing the smaller one with a small amount of roots (didn't want to disturb the big one too much and end up with two dead plants.) I planted the smaller one in a mixed container and left the other on its own. They are both doing fine so far. I really love these leaves! It makes me happy just to look at them! Green Grin!

Thumb of 2015-08-20/Danita/699ba0
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 21, 2015 8:39 AM CST
Very nice Danita!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 22, 2015 1:14 PM CST
I am really wanting some of the Christia obcordata and can't find it anywhere .. if anyone has some to trade, please let me know!!!!
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 26, 2015 9:52 AM CST
Mine is sitting out in the shady border and seems pretty happy. I've only had it a couple of months, though.

It got a bit leggy and I pruned it a bit. Was hoping the cuttings would root so I could start more plants but so far, no luck.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Oct 4, 2015 3:04 PM CST
I was at Walmart this afternoon and they had 2 Christia obcordata plants priced at $10.88 each. Both were extremely dry and one looked to be almost dead but I bought the second one that looks pretty decent. I watered it well as soon as I got home ... now to see if I can keep it alive for awhile. Green Grin!
Thumb of 2015-10-04/plantladylin/c8ac27

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
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
Oct 4, 2015 3:51 PM CST
Nice find there, Lin. Looks like you got a really good one!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Oct 4, 2015 4:30 PM CST
Thanks Elaine ... I just gotta try to keep it alive and not shove it in a corner and forget about it. *Blush*
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
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
Oct 4, 2015 4:33 PM CST
Well, to be honest that's sort of what I did, although it's a nicely shaded corner that gets watered by the sprinklers . . . and it has had a few pellets of time-release fert fall on it.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 4, 2015 6:58 PM CST
I'm just hoping that I remember to bring it in this winter ... it will not survive outdoors here.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Oct 5, 2015 12:59 PM CST
I got two of them recently at Wal-Mart in their clearance section (although I'd never seen it for sale in their regular section). Paid nearly $6.00 each. So far, so good. I posted this somewhere else, but can't remember now.


“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 5, 2015 1:01 PM CST
That's the same one I got yesterday at our Walmart for $10.88!!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
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
Oct 6, 2015 11:28 AM CST
Has anyone kept the plant after it went dormant to see if it will come back. I thought I read that it does lose it's foliage for a rest. I wish I had kept mine to see if it would come back. It is worth a try.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 6, 2015 11:37 AM CST
I didn't know this plant went dormant until reading where someone talked about it, I think here on ATP. If my current plant looks dead I'm not going to pitch it; I'll wait and see if new growth appears in spring. Green Grin!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

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