Hedychiums left in the ground??

tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)August 20, 2006

hi all,

am asking a questions for my sisiter. she is in zone 7 in western nc. would like to know if she can leave butterfly ginger and other hedychiums in the ground over winter?? it does get down to freezing often. can she use alt of mulch and they be ok???

thanks, cliff

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birdlady_liz(z9a cntrl Fla)

Hey Cliff,
where in Western NC is she? The thing there is the clay. If she plants them on a south facing bank I would say that would be her best bet, along with at least 12" of mulch. the winters there are so wet (I lived there)and that clay holds the water, that's what does the most damage to anything that goes dormant. You might let her know she should cut a piece of rhizome from each variety of ginger she has and put the cut pieces in her basement (in peat) and trial run the others in the ground. My son is in Franklin, NC and is testing Costus 'Spicatus' outside for me, becuase it is sooo cold hardy.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:42AM
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tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)

hey liz,

she isn't too far from franklin. she is just north of asheville in weaverville.
how did the costus spicatus do up there?? i sent her some spiral ginger and apinia z. shell ginger. would it be best to raise them?? will hedychiums bloom for her if she has to raise them for the winter??

thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:32AM
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birdlady_liz(z9a cntrl Fla)

If she does a raised bed filled with a light potting soil (so much clay up there, not good for those wet winters there)and do a cold frame type coever over it she may be able to leave everything. If she has enough she can even do some in the raised bed and some in pots. What kind of Costus did you give her? The hedychiuns she can also do in pots or raised bed, it depends on what kind of hedychiums they are, if they are early bloomers she should be able to get them to bloom. Daniel Weeks would be a good one, cronarium, c. chrysoleucom, Gold Flame. They are all robust growers as well as early bloomers and what blooms for me here in June/July probably won't bloom for her until maybe September.
The spicatus hasn't gone through it's first winter there yet, this be the first but, I have had it laying out on the ground , rhizomes completely exposed to the elements and it down to 16 degrees, so that's why I am having him test it there. I figure in the ground and heavily mulched and planted in an area that won't hold water in the winter it should do okay. If you have spicatus have your sister test some. Hey you never know. I know someone who is testing a few things in Canada, Nova Scotia zone 6b. I jsut had many gingers go to live in Victoria, British Columbia. I was told that area is a zone 8 and has drier winters than Nova Scotia. I'll let you know how it goes with everyone. Let me know what your sister does and how it all works out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 12:05AM
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