Ask a Question forum: Sci-Fi shifting zones

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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 21, 2016 7:10 PM CST
Wonder what plants the members have that push out the boundaries of either the coldest or warmest zones as indicated by catalogs and other documents. Thx
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 21, 2016 9:03 PM CST
Of course, plants that die back to the ground each year are far less dependent on zone definitions (air temperature) than plants that must stay alive well above ground (woody plants). Micro climates abound for herbaceous plants, so it is relatively easy to zone push with the right conditions. I do have many herbaceous materials supposedly not hardy here in zone 4, but what I am "proud" of are my tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), Hiba arborvitae (Thujopsis dolbrata), American Snowbell (Styrax americanus), Atlantic white cedar(Chamaecyparis thyoides), Oyama magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii), Black pussywillow (Salix gracistylis var. melanostachys), Japanese katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), Bee-Bee tree (Tetradium daniellii) and Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum).
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 21, 2016 9:06 PM CST
You mean like the lady in New Brunswick, Canada and the young fellow in Idaho who are both growing lemon trees? A LOT of people on this site take part in what is widely known as "pushing the zone". About this time of year you'll find a lot of discussion about it on, say, the Tropicals forum where folks up north growing tropical stuff are discussing how they overwinter their plants.

But we've also had a fairly in-depth discussion about how the USDA zones really aren't that applicable to home gardens anyway, since they were originally intended as guidelines for farmers. I'll see if I can find it and post a link for you.

Our house in Utah was zone 5 in the front yard (facing north) but against the south facing wall in the back yard I had things stay green through winter, like Nasturtiums. So more like zone 7.

Then you get a plant tag on a transplant from a big box nursery that says "hardy in zones 4 to 9" and what that really means is "This plant will SURVIVE in those zones but it will really only do well in zone 6 and 7". (be careful what you buy at the big box stores, btw)

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Sep 21, 2016 9:34 PM CST
I am growing Alstroemeria and Bletilla (orchids) in my yard. I have a friend in town that is growing Persimmons and PawPaw in her yard. Microclimates. Find them and take advantage of them. Smiling
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 22, 2016 7:16 AM CST
Oh I forgot about my (American) persimmon! I had the Meader cultivar (the most cold hardy and parthenocarpic) for twelve years (1998-2011). A freak (for preclimate change) yo-yoing early winter in 2009 almost killed it, and it finally died the spring of 2011. I had fruit for five seasons, and the last two were 70 and 95 persimmons!

But if you're thinking the lemon tree thing, there is someone in Manitoba that grows palm trees. He constructs huge stryrofoam boxes to put over them and keeps them warmer with light bulbs through the winter. I don't do anything with my stuff, except perhaps, a deep mulch for the first two winters.

RJ, you welcome to come and visit. On another forum site, I place myself "just west of Minneapolis". I live in St. Bonifacius.
My dead persimmon stump had a glorious farewell this year:
Thumb of 2016-09-22/Leftwood/04cb45
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 22, 2016 7:43 PM CST
Thanks Rick for the offer! I have a surprise lily Lycoris x houdyshellii that is listed as a 7a under the PDN website that was sent to me by accident, it bloomed this year! Curious as to what other plants individuals have had grow that are not listed for their zone.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Sep 22, 2016 9:18 PM CST
Very cool! Of course, I have Lycoris squamigera that does well here. Also L. chinensis and L. radiata that barely survive and never bloom. I assume you received yours this past spring?
Thumb of 2016-09-23/Leftwood/9481e5

Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 23, 2016 8:14 AM CST
Mine was purchased approx 5 years ago and took that long to bloom! The tubers/bulbs were very small, which I thought was the issue...maybe it was our mild winter
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Sep 23, 2016 11:26 AM CST
My most successful plant for pushing zones has been the Piper sarmentosum. It is supposed to be hardy only to USDA zone 10 and I live in zone 8b.
But I cannot take any credit for the success. It was the plant itself that 'taught' me what it needs. I had planted some in pots to bring inside for the winter, some in pots outside and allowed some to remain in ground for the winter. One of the outdoor potted plants sent out a long runner - 4 feet long - rooting itself as it progressed. It made a new home for itself under the shelter of an American beautyberry/Callicarpa americana which itself was under the shelf of a hug pine tree. The plant knew where the most frost-free area was.

July 2014
Thumb of 2016-09-23/greene/a601d9

Here (bottom center) the plant is sending out a runner to look for a better home
Thumb of 2016-09-23/greene/bbc7f8

Plant looks ragged and winter-worn but it is alive; pruning shears point to the path of the runner.
Thumb of 2016-09-23/greene/570b28 Thumb of 2016-09-23/greene/78a72c

This is the happy new growth
Thumb of 2016-09-23/greene/3a78b6




Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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