Southmost TX coastal heliconias fading

JayEmVee(z9 SF Bay, CA)December 19, 2011

H. rostrata and H. angusta have been in the ground in my yard here in Port Isabel, Cameron County, the southern most coastal county in Texas, for a year and a half. They've flowered well, multiplied and were looking good until the weather began to cool a month or so ago. Now they are yellowing and sad. My impulse is to cut them down, and compost and mulch for the season.

Since I'm new-ish to the area and very new to tropicals, I'm stumped. Any thoughts?

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lac1361(z9a Lake Charles, LA)

What was your low temperature that brought on the yellowing? H. Rostrata can take temps briefly into the upper 20's. H. Angusta is a little less cold tolerant taking temps in the middle 30's. But any frosty weather will pretty much set them back, turn them yellow and generally give them a sick looking appearance. Cutting and mulching is a good idea but remember that both of these heliconia bloom on second year growth. Hopefully, some of the shorter stalks are still green and your temps will stay moderate for the rest of the winter. I wouldn't cut those stalks, just the ones that are finished blooming.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 10:32AM
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JayEmVee(z9 SF Bay, CA)

Thanks for responding, Steve. It hasn't been any colder than a night or two in the high 30's, but the heliconia are looking increasingly yellow and ratty. I'll take your suggestion and trim back the stalks that have flowered, compost and mulch the clump that's left then cross my fingers.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 10:24PM
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lac1361(z9a Lake Charles, LA)


How are your heliconias looking now. Any signs of new growth on the older stalks? My H. Angusta is just coming into bloom. It's in the ground but I erect a portable greenhouse over it to protect it. I add an electric heater when necessary. My Rostrata is container grown and in a permanent greenhouse. I have both the standard Rostrata and a variety called Misahualli. The Misahualli has 6 stalks with blooms. This will be the first year for this Rostrata to bloom and is way ahead of my standard ones, which don't start blooming until May or June.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:28AM
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