Wintering over my colo/alo - long

mantorvillain(z4bMN Dodge)September 2, 2012

Last winter I carried over most of my small collection in 3-5 gal pots in my cool basement under flourescents which I wasn't able to get as close as I would have liked. By March I was waging all out war against spider mite infestations which I 'think' I've won for the time being now that they're outdoors. whatever the plan I'll dose them with a systemic before coming in. I might be able to keep them upstairs in an east bay window where they would be warmer but only with window light...thoughts?

This will be their second winter so would it be OK/better/worse to let them dry out and go dormant?

My 6 new colos are in 2 gal pots in 5-1-1 mix and growing OK but i know they'd never survive letting them go dormant.

Sort of the same question...basement under lights or east window?

thanks,

Will

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lomodor(6)

we up north suffer having to overwinter our tropicals..
without a greenhouse..sigh..
i have so many EE's now..started last yr with all my EE's
pupping..ended up after digging over 100+ sigh..
what i did last yr..and plan to do same this winter..
especially colocasias (they especially dont like to be out
of soil) i used shredded leaves..very slightly moisted..
and buryed them..above where they would be if planted..
i dusted all my overwintered tropicals with cinnamon.
acted as a descant..and works..:)
i still did have some spider mites..but workable.. and after potting up in late spring..hosing off in bathroom tub..mites dont mess with the plants..
im sure they are still in the soil..but under control..
good luck to you this fall/winter!
keep us informed...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:22PM
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mzdee(6b)

Lomodor
I would like to better understand your overwintering method for your EEs. Are you saying you dug them up, buried them in shredded leaves and left them outside for the winter?
Its almost time to dig mine, so I'm interested in learning all of the techniques for overwintering. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:45PM
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lomodor(6)

hi mzdee..whats worked best for me..so far..and last yr
i had great suvival of my EE's..even my thai giants..which are a bit finicky overwintering..
i dig my EE out of gardens.. i rinse the roots really well..separate any pups (which this yr i have tons..again)
LOL
i let them sun dry a bit..i have shredded leaves ive put in
big pots (this winter im going to use several big 37gal rubbermaid tubs) i slightly moisten,on the drier side, but
some water.. i bury the EE's in this..i keep them in my basement..and a back room in the house that stays ..around
55F ..any warmer..in 60F temp range.i find the plants want to start growing again..and ive had best sucess by having
my EE's go dormant for the winter..
if you had a heated greenhouse..you could store in there
and they would probably avoid dormancy..but not grow alot..unless you had it 70F or more..
you look like in same temp zone as me.. 6.. so i wouldnt
try to overwinter any EE's outside..even with heavy,heavy
mulching.. i dont think that would work..but i havent tried
it so..:)
good luck to ya !!!!
let us know on your plans..and what works for ya this winter !!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 4:58PM
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mzdee(6b)

Thanks so much. I'm planning to dig up, rinse, put in perlite and keep overwinter in the garage. I grew up in MS so the whole idea of ever digging anything up is still foreign to me :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:32PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Mantorvillian:
I think i would prefer east window to the cool floros, they are pretty weak. The smaller colocasia I would not let go dormant, some colos cant be allowed any dormancy as they produce no bulb, most do tho but need a good sized bulb to make the winter stretch. A short dormancy wouldnt hurt them, maybe a month or less.
Any EE's that fill a 3-5 gallon SHOULD be ok to let go dormant. Likly the same spot you had them last year, with the light OFF and let to go pretty dry, would be just fine.
You can always wake them up a bit early if you think they are weak or struggling to make the dormancy.

Be careful with chem for mites tho, u Must use a miticide or you are wasting your time, and exposure to nasty stuff...
If you have mites again use a no pest strip, you can order them or get em at lowes, walmart etc. they work best in small areas and I dont like being around them. THEY KILL MITES. Full extermination. You can also make a nice spray with vinegar lemon juice epsom salt and and just a bit of baking powder and dawn soap. So satisfying to watch em melt, but u have to wash it off your plants.

Lomodor:

I wonder where in zone 6 you live. Theres many opportunities for naturalizing elephant ears in zone 6, colo. "pink china" is hardy here with no protection... Im in KY our winters arent the best for overwintering tropicals outdoors but its certainly not impossible, and quite rewarding when successful.
I also like to mention that your storage method may not be the best for everyone. Honestly it just screams infestation to me. Clearly it works great for you if you are owerwintering thai giants that way. They are finicky. Bringing non-sterile material from outside, wetting it and containerizing it...Ewww...Sorry to pick on ya, but I would not feel comfortable packin my babies away that way.
I used to store all my bulbs in large wooden gun shipping crates, gun stores get em from time to time and usually trash em. You can get em for free, and all sizes. I would first dig or unpot all the bulbs, clean them best I could and wash them, I always left the babys on if I could. Id let em dry a few hours layed on the shady porch or wagons. Id fill the bottom with some dry peat moss, lay the cleaned bulbs close but not touhing, and add more dry peat every layer, a few inches. Until its full. I kept them in a cold basement, It worked great for decent sized bulbs, smaller ones needed to not be cleaned and packed with some moist soil.
Since then Ive become considerably lazier, and just dig and repot the ones in the ground, and just let them and the potted ones go dry and they stop growing. It turns out that works fine too, Now its all I do! Its so much easier.
Once spring rolls around just add water and away they go. any I need to divide, are fully dormant when i repot and that part actually helps me and the plant too i think.

Hope this helps :D

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:25AM
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miketropic

where in KY do you live grabmebymyhandle? there are a few colo that overwinter outside here. sangria and maderia both stay out for me.
I dig mine and wash them off sprinkle with sulfer powder to keep the rot out and store in brown paper bags in a strofoam cooler in the shed. they stay dark and cool but never freeze. I start them all early inside in march to get some growth on them before I plant out

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:54PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Im just outside lexington mike, you?

Im happy to experiment and lose a few bulbs but im just gettin my numbers back up enough to try.

Theres a few C.tea cups, a monster C.Violet stem, and a couple good sized A.portoras planted in a super sheltered spot, i bet it stays 2 full zones warmer, I planted em around a foot deep.
I also have a C.pink china from brians botanicals that he swore would make it with no help. Hes kinda on his own under a bush sittin right under the dirt. We will see...

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 1:19AM
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miketropic

where in KY do you live grabmebymyhandle? there are a few colo that overwinter outside here. sangria and maderia both stay out for me.
I dig mine and wash them off sprinkle with sulfer powder to keep the rot out and store in brown paper bags in a strofoam cooler in the shed. they stay dark and cool but never freeze. I start them all early inside in march to get some growth on them before I plant out

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:03AM
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miketropic

im a bit north of you but I was just in lex the other day. I'm friends with Brian and pink china is a hard one to kill. sangria is the mutant of pink china is does well over winter also if its established. I forgot about tea cups they are supposed to over winter in the ground but I haven't tried it yet. everything else is either dry stored or put into a few differant greenhouses over winter. the colos do really well its getting all the banans to make it through the winter that gives me fits

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:08AM
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