Ask a Question forum: Perennials in warm climates?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Jul 8, 2015 12:53 PM CST
What happens to non evergreen trees and bulbs in warm, tropical climates? Do trees drop leaves and go dormant, ex Oak tree. What do bulb flowers have to trigger dormancy and begin new growth?
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Jul 8, 2015 12:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 8, 2015 2:01 PM CST
Keith, we do have some trees that lose their leaves and go dormant in winter, but not that many. Trees that need cold weather to trigger winter dormancy don't survive here. They don't get enough rest. The same with a lot of fruit trees that need a long enough winter chill to produce fruit.

The Live Oaks here have a short dormancy in February where they lose about half their leaves, then flower and put on new leaves again.

We also have some bulbs that go dormant in winter, but things like daffodils and tulips just don't get a long enough chill unless you refrigerate them for an extra month or so in winter. Amaryllis are a wonderful spring flowering bulb here that comes back year after year and multiplies just like the tulips and daffs. In March and April when you are welcoming spring with crocus, tulips and daffodils, we have daylilies already putting up scapes.

Through the winter months here, we grow annual flowers that you would grow in spring and summer like pansies and nasturtiums.

So, it's a trade-off - you have some things that we can't grow, like tall bearded iris that need a long winter chill. But we also have a lot of things that you can't grow. People who move down here from "up North" sometimes bemoan the lack of spring bulbs and lilacs until they realize that there are so many other things to substitute for them. Jasmine blooms in the spring here, and again in the fall. Miss lilacs? Not me!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Jul 8, 2015 2:06 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Keith, we do have some trees that lose their leaves and go dormant in winter, but not that many. Trees that need cold weather to trigger winter dormancy don't survive here. They don't get enough rest. The same with a lot of fruit trees that need a long enough winter chill to produce fruit.

The Live Oaks here have a short dormancy in February where they lose about half their leaves, then flower and put on new leaves again.

We also have some bulbs that go dormant in winter, but things like daffodils and tulips just don't get a long enough chill unless you refrigerate them for an extra month or so in winter. Amaryllis are a wonderful spring flowering bulb here that comes back year after year and multiplies just like the tulips and daffs. In March and April when you are welcoming spring with crocus, tulips and daffodils, we have daylilies already putting up scapes.

Through the winter months here, we grow annual flowers that you would grow in spring and summer like pansies and nasturtiums.

So, it's a trade-off - you have some things that we can't grow, like tall bearded iris that need a long winter chill. But we also have a lot of things that you can't grow. People who move down here from "up North" sometimes bemoan the lack of spring bulbs and lilacs until they realize that there are so many other things to substitute for them. Jasmine blooms in the spring here, and again in the fall. Miss lilacs? Not me!


So basically some plants just can't survive while others can. I've never been anywhere tropical so I always wondered if stuff that grew here was also growing in tropical areas but adapted to the climate difference, now I know!

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