Watering my Siam Tulip

shelemiahisbackAugust 1, 2012

I found these beauties at our Lowes and HAD to have them! I bought 3 of them. Planted one in a mostly sunny area near my pond in the afternoon sun on the west side of the house. The plant still looks really great, but the flowers didn't last as long as the ones I left in pots on the East side of my home that are a lot more shaded. I have only lost one of those flowers. "Could" it be that the flowers on the other were ready to go anyway?

I am told these are actually from the ginger family and I've always wanted ginger since visiting HI in 2000. Funny that I inadvertently ended up with 3. Haha...any tips for their care is MOST appreciated. These beautiful pink flowers are in varying colors but one looks exactly like the pic that heads up this forum.

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It's a Curcuma species which, as you thought, belongs to the ginger family. They die back to the tuber in the dry season/winter and come back again the following season. The pink is bracts (special leaves) and the flowers are usually small, yellow, and between the bracts. They like a good organic quick draining soil. Probably better in filtered light instead of full sun. Depends a bit on how strong the sun gets where you are.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Thank you, thank you! Right now I've trimmed back my other pond plants so it's getting a lot of sun but when they all start to grow in again it will be more filtered, do you think I'll have problems until then. This is the west side of the house in FL.

Also, if I water them a lot or it rains a ton (we get a lot of afternoon showers here) do you think in FL they won't die back?
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I don't know of any Curcumas that don't go dormant, and if they get water during dormancy they'll most likely rot. Some years back someone gave me a whole lot of them which I planted in the garden. There was automatic irrigation on for the dry season/winter and the Curcumas never came back the following year.

They always look better in filtered light, strong sun can dwarf them a bit, make them look a bit stressed. Giving them a lot of water will perk them up.

In nature they normally grow as an under storey plant in forests with plenty of light but not much direct sun. The summers are very wet and then the winters are dry.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:56AM
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That is VERY helpful info, thank you!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:54PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Very interesting discussion. I have some in shade, part shade and full blazing sun. By far, the ones in the sun do best for me. Their flowers do look a bit ugly as they fade, but I just cut them off, and they grow more. My established clump (2 years in ground) has had 30+ blooms this year. Very spectactular and easy care for me. Come back very reliably for me despite winter lawn irrigation. But my soil is very sandy so it dries fast.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:15PM
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My short experience is this so far. The Siam I planted in the backyard a few weeks ago gets the hot afternoon sun. Its flowers faded and passed quickly and took longer to get more, (I see one starting this week) probably no coincidence that we had no rain the first couple weeks, but since we have had rain several days in a row and it has become more established, there is new growth and a new flower. The ones I have in pots on the front porch in the shade are more consistent. Each of the two has passed one flower, has a flower that it had when I brought it home, and one that came up shortly after and also one bud.

These plants appear to be fairly hardy so far and tolerate different environments. It also seems that as soon as one flower fades and falls (or is cut off) a new one appears to form in its place. Love that about it!

The potted ones (in the shade) seem happy with getting a decent soaking a couple times a week.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:27PM
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I have three of the pink variety Curcuma, Alismaltiflora. Pink bracts and purple flowers. They are grown out doors, in Phoenix, full sun, heavy watering, and have tripled in size. Spreading in a linear fashion. They are not showing any signs of winter dormancy, but if anything, have increased growth. A great addition to a helliconia planted yard. They will need frost protection, if we have any.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 9:19PM
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