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Re: [Aroid-l] Temperature requirements for Helicodiceros
From: Steve Marak <samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2010.01.31 at 18:09:54(20534)|
I'll second Tony's comments on Dracunculus vulgaris. It's been grown here
in NW Arkansas for at least 100 years now, 25 of those by me, and we were
(up until the last 10 years or so) a solid USDA zone 6. Some strains
appear to be more cold hardy than others, as these plants have also
survived at the Denver BG (USDA zone 5) for some years now, where other
strains did not. (Of course, "hardy in Denver" is a standing joke in some
horticultural circles - despite their colder temperatures, Denverites can
grow many things I can't.) Dracunculus will no doubt send up leaves here
in the next 3 or 4 weeks, and they will be subjected to several hard
frosts but will not be damaged unless the temperatures get below about -8
or -9 C (16-17 F).
I've been unable to grow Helicodiceros outdoors here, and have now killed
it more than Tony's requisite three times but will probably kill again,
because I know of someone who has kept it alive in Kansas City - about 320
km (200 miles) north of me, and therefore generally a little colder but
otherwise similar - for several years.
On Sun, 31 Jan 2010, Tony Avent wrote:
> As often happens, gardeners seem to have greatly underestimated the winter
> hardiness of both Dracunculus vulgaris and Helicodiceros. Our former
> research horticulturist Petra Schmidt brought clones of Dracunculus here
> from her previous home in St. Louis, where she had grown them for many
> years, so Zone 6b would certainly be fine and probably colder. We have had
> numerous calls from Zone 6 areas of Tennessee over the years where
> Dracunculus vulgaris grew fine. Helicodiceros have also been fine here for
> more than a decade surviving temps to at least 6 degrees F with no mulch.
> As with many plants from warm climates, they need good summer heat to
> produce an adequate amount of sugars to fully develop their potential winter
> hardiness. We are predicted to drop near 10 F tonight (we hit 9F last
> winter) and a number of our helicodiceros are already up and growing, so we
> may get some burned foliage, but the plants should be fine.
-- Steve Marak
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