Winterizing Tropical Pond Plants

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by Bergenm, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Bergenm

    Bergenm

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    Location:
    Ottawa Ontario Zone 5a
    As in my previous post about winterizing hardy pond plants, I am looking for suggestions on how people handle their tropical plants. I live in Ottawa Ontario (Canada) in zone 5a.

    I do realize that some of you are probably wondering why I am bothering to over-winter some of these plants as they are rather inexpensive plants. Ottawa has a limited supply of pond plants so some of these I have never seen before and might not see for many years to come, so I would like to hold on to them if possible.

    I was thinking of trying to over-winter a number of the plants in the basement in pans of water and under shop-lights – I have done so in the past but always lose about 25% of my plants. These will include: Primrose creeper, four-leaf clover, yellow monkey flower, pink bellflower, echinodorus, hibiscus, elephant ears and banana palms

    I have a 40 gallon aquarium I was going to try to keep a tropical lily, water poppies and Botswana wonder growing in.

    I am debating how to store my rhizomes. I have rain lilies, calla lilies, and lots of cannas. I usually pack them in peat moss for the winter but I find they sprout in the boxes and drain themselves of energy by the spring. My garage drops below freezing at times so I do not store them there.

    Finally my lotus – I usually bring it indoors but it is never very happy by the spring, I sunk it in the pond last year but it barely made it (I had one leaf by mid-July). I will probably bring it in again this year, but I am open to suggestions. It is technically hardy to zone 5.

    Again, any suggestions would be welcome…
     
    Bergenm, Sep 14, 2011
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  2. Bergenm

    taherrmann4

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    For my rhizomes I let them dry out in my basement on newspaper for about 4 weeks, then I just put them in a tote with some sawdust and shredded newspaper. I do the same with my elephant ears.
     
    taherrmann4, Sep 14, 2011
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  3. Bergenm

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    My rain lilies I just dug them up, let them dry and put in a plastic bag with some spanish moss, very loose, not sealed shut plastic bag
    then forgot about them until spring
     
    addy1, Sep 14, 2011
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  4. Bergenm

    Bergenm

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    Interesting, whenever I do that they start to sprout in March. I don't think my basement is cold enough and my garage is too cold.

    I had been toying with the idea of just letting them dry out in their pots and putting the pots in a dark corner of the basement, this way if they sprout I can just stick them under the shop lights with the other tropicals - wasn't sure if that would work or not though...
     
    Bergenm, Sep 16, 2011
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  5. Bergenm

    Sunshine

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    How do you winterize tropical Lotus?
     
    Sunshine, Sep 16, 2011
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  6. Bergenm

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I have read overwinter tropical lotus similar to tropical lilies.
     
    addy1, Sep 16, 2011
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  7. Bergenm

    Sunshine

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    Do you wait till they start dying off before digging them up?
     
    Sunshine, Sep 16, 2011
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  8. Bergenm

    Bergenm

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    I think if it's in the ground and its hardy to that zone you leave it - mine is borderline hardy for my zone so I will bring the pot in. I won't take it out of the pot though, last time I did the tuber was around 6 feet long... It will either go dormant in the pot or kept going over the winter.
     
    Bergenm, Sep 16, 2011
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