Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Who is Moving Where for the Winter?

I'm one of the biggest fans of sweater weather, but not a fan of moving the tropicals in for the winter. This year, however, we have made some space in a room at my parents' where most of the plants will live for the winter. Thank goodness! The thought of shifting all of those plants back to the Penthouse always causes a bit of stress as I lose a large section of my dining room, and the plants really sort of just lump along in a Northern window with grow lights. This year they will actually have full use of the light of a wide, bright, unobstructed south facing window. I will, of course, use the grow lights as well, but I'm excited to test what this change will bring.

Hopefully it will be a change for the better!

All of the amaryllis have grown strong and the bulbs plump over the Summer.

This Upright Elephant Ear really has grown this Summer. Upright Elephant Ears are Alocasias, whereas the more common Elephant Ear is a Colocasia. I love both, as they lend a rather tropical look to the garden. The easiest way to tell them apart is the foliage. Most Alocasia leaves stay upright, as the stiff leaf stems, or petioles, extend into the leaf. Colocasia leaves dangle, as the petioles connect down at the notches in the leaves. Colocasias prefer full sun and can be grown in standing water, but Alocasias like shade or partial sun and moist but not boggy soil. This is why the Upright Elephant Ear grows so well at the North entrance to the Garden.

Smuggled home from Charleston almost two years ago, I'm not sure that I have a pot big enough to pot him up in. He grew just fine at the Penthouse last Winter. Actually, he didn't grow at all. He just left one large leaf standing the entire time. He didn't die, though!

There are also many pups growing off of the main plant. I might just plant him in a plastic pot and follow Martha's lead of planting the entire pot in the planter so you can pull the entire thing in the Fall and not worry about digging and repotting.

The little banana tree has grown by leaps and bounds in the month or so that he has been moved from under the pergola to full sun all day. Stupid me. I should have placed him here long ago. I think he will move to the Penthouse this Winter, as he did quite well last year, and I'm really trying to keep the limited space at Mom and Dad's for the more troublesome plants.

I love all of my agave. They will benefit from the Southern light.

This Colocasia (the common Elephant Ear) Has done very well and might be houseplant material, although I should probably put him in the full sun window.

This guy was doing great and then just sort of slowed way down. I think I may try my luck at letting the frost hit him and then digging and storing the tuber much like you would a dahlia.

I'm not sure what to do with the Agapanthus. I've read you can treat them as houseplants, although they like that tough combo of bright light and about 40 degrees. Non-evergreen types with less thick leaves (I have no way of comparing-do mine have thick leaves or thin leaves?) can go dormant and stuck in the garage. I might have to put two in the room and two in the garage. Ugh! I guess I could just leave the heat off in the room, as citrus benefit from a "cool" greenhouse, as well. I was so excited to find these plants this year that I would really like them to survive.

Oh, and as for the Amaryllis, they have moved into their cabinet to await dormancy and reblooming later in the winter. I never really attempt to make them bloom by Christmas anymore, I buy new ones for that. I'm happy letting all of these guys brighten up the late Winter gloom, as well as surprise us with flowers once they move outside in the Summer.

Now to decide where the figs will go...

1 comment:

  1. We've been hauling plants in over here too. The weather is so fantastic! Happy fall! :)