Tropicals forum: Winter in the house, summer on the deck (or in the shade).

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crittergarden
Sep 28, 2015 1:37 PM CST
I'm pretty new at plants that don't like zone 5 in the ground.
I have calladiums and colocasia, in pots, outside.
It's time to bring them in for the winter.
Will either go all winter as a green houseplant or must they have a dormant time?
If dormant, how do I put them to sleep and how long?
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Sep 28, 2015 5:38 PM CST
Others may have had luck letting Alocasia/Colocasia sleep all winter and they come back the following year but that has not been my experience.

I bring them inside before the frost kills all the leaves and keep them in my laundry room half alive. I do not remove them from their pots.

They usually grow one leaf and another one dies but as long as I can keep them almost alive they live to grow quick the following summer. I just sprinkle a little water on top of the soil to keep the soil from drying out completely. That is about a glass of water once a month.



Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 29, 2015 4:52 AM CST
Thanks, Cinta!
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 29, 2015 10:21 PM CST
Have not tried caladiums as I dig em up and store in basement. I have overwintered a smaller colocasia two winters near a sunny window and watered a bit occasionally and it did fine.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Sep 30, 2015 6:45 AM CST
Thanks David.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 30, 2015 9:29 PM CST
This is my first year with Caladiums and I also grow them in containers outdoors. What I will do is wait for the leaves to die off, cut them off and just store the containers in our garage, keeping them dry. I hope that will work. Not sure if it is okay like that as our garage gets cold too, but much better I think than leaving them outdoors in the cold during winter with possible cold winter rains. Although our winters are generally mild we do get the occasionally hard freeze warnings and temps going down to 20-21F briefly around January.

Then will just wait till end of May to bring them out. It took them quite long to wake up before, it really waited for the heat up to grow when I first got them this year.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 30, 2015 10:11 PM CST
@Tarev - that should work. Us folks in cold land usually dig em up and store like canna or dahlias. In your garage should be fine. Might want to give a very small drink once a month or so. I store lots of things in my garage which sometimes gets to near freezing. Last winter I stored deck planters with Geraniums and Calibrachoas. Both would perish outdoors here and are treated as annuals, though most people take cuttings of geraniums.

With your cold/wet winter they would likely rot outdoors.

BTW, if you grow Coleus, they can be over wintered indoors as well. Most people don't know that, thinking they are "Annuals". Like most "annuals" they are perennials.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 1, 2015 9:09 AM CST
Thanks David! I also used to grow coleus, that also gave me hope that I can grow the caladiums I won during our raffle here. And the caladiums did thrive very well outdoors this summer to my delight and still going!

But I found it harder to save coleus, they easily root, but I am bad with younger plants, I kill them easily. Caladiums may survive better since they are tubers and I think like the bulbs, I can overwinter them safely.

I keep reading Caladiums are hardy to zone 9, and my area is 9B so I am still observing what it will really do and wait it out. I have them in containers, so I do not know if that hardiness works only if planted in ground. Shrug!
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crittergarden
Oct 1, 2015 11:52 AM CST
tarev said:It took them quite long to wake up before, it really waited for the heat up to grow when I first got them this year.


Mine did, too.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
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crittergarden
Oct 1, 2015 11:55 AM CST
DavidLMO said: Like most "annuals" they are perennials.


Perennial SOMEwhere.
Sold as annuals in the stores.

I like that better than the other way around - when I first moved here, I bought a nice lantana that was labeled perennial.
It is perennial, but NOT HERE! Glare
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Oct 1, 2015 11:57 AM CST
tarev said: hardiness works only if planted in ground.


I'd say yes to that.

SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 1, 2015 12:46 PM CST
tarev said:Thanks David!

I keep reading Caladiums are hardy to zone 9, and my area is 9B so I am still observing what it will really do and wait it out. I have them in containers, so I do not know if that hardiness works only if planted in ground. Shrug!


In the ground and then mulched in most cases. Above ground containers are 1 - 2 zones lower in hardiness at least.

If you sank the containers and mulched with a foot or so of leaves might work. Not sure :-)

In colder zones the main problem with container plants is freeze - thaw - freeze. Repeat.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 1, 2015 12:49 PM CST
crittergarden said:

Perennial SOMEwhere.
Sold as annuals in the stores.

I like that better than the other way around - when I first moved here, I bought a nice lantana that was labeled perennial.
It is perennial, but NOT HERE! Glare


Yeppers. BTW, Lantana is easy to over winter indoors. I have one purchased in 2013.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 1, 2015 12:59 PM CST
My lantana stays outdoors in a container year round, they go ratty during winter, and I get good blooms only in Spring and now in early Fall. Summer time just leaves. I was confused at first with the plant, they say drought tolerant, well in part I guess it is, but our extremely hot and dry area is too much maybe, I end up watering often, leaves go lanky fast during summer.
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crittergarden
Oct 1, 2015 1:20 PM CST
DavidLMO said:BTW, Lantana is easy to over winter indoors. .


Yes! After I learned the hard way it wouldn't live in the ground, I got another and keep it in a pot - another summer on the deck, winter in the house.

And because it's EVERGREEN (which is why I was drawn to it in the first place) I keep it in my South window.
And it BLOOMS!!! Hurray!

It gets leggy, but it blooms.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 1, 2015 6:39 PM CST
tarev said:My lantana stays outdoors in a container year round, they go ratty during winter, and I get good blooms only in Spring and now in early Fall. Summer time just leaves..


Here in my zone, I take it out after Mothers day and bring it in ~ 10/10. It blooms its little heart out all the time it is outdoors. And it doesn't look that bad indoors. :-)

Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 1, 2015 6:42 PM CST
crittergarden said:

And because it's EVERGREEN (which is why I was drawn to it in the first place) I keep it in my South window.
And it BLOOMS!!! Hurray!

It gets leggy, but it blooms.


I cut mine back ~ 1/3 rd before bring in. My neighbor is moving and she just gave me 2 more Lantana. Wife is NOT gonna be happy. I may keep those in the garage over winter. Then I will surprise her next spring. Rolling on the floor laughing

Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 4, 2015 5:32 PM CST
Harking back to your original question, critter - you can keep your colocasias going all year, if you want to treat them as house plants (and if you have room!) Mine slow down in winter here but always have some leaves going. I've heard people have a little trouble with spider mites and aphids when growing them indoors in winter so just keep an eye on the backs of the leaves.

But the Caladiums absolutely need a dormant period. Leave 'em outside until the leaves die back on their own (but don't let them freeze) then bring them in to a cool, dry place and you can either remove them from the pots or leave them. Let them dry out but not completely dry - as David said a cup of water once in a while is good. Mine are underground all winter and it does rain here (although not all that much) so the bulbs stay nice and plump. If you let them get too dessicated, they will come up really small, wimpy plants in the spring.

Last year I won some Caladium bulbs in the Photo Contest and they arrived in September so I planted them to see what would happen. They were gorgeous all the way until we got a really cold night in January of this year, then died back. No sign of them all spring and summer, but they are coming on now, after being dormant underground all summer. They are bigger than they were last year, if you can believe it. So I'm thinking the bulbs don't mind being warm or wet once they're dormant, in fact they like it. This is Florida Beauty, and the leaf on the far right is 14in. long. They are standing over 2ft tall, too.
Thumb of 2015-10-04/dyzzypyxxy/8cd0ce

Elaine

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