Heliconia!

shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10bJuly 5, 2013

It is their time of year!

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thetradition(9b)

Those things don't even look real. It's like something Dr. Suess would have dreamed up.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 5:17PM
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keiki(10 FL)

Nice picture! Mine are blooming like crazy also. I was thinking of removing my large patch as they get so ratty looking in the winter but then they started to bloom. I can never trim much less remove something when its blooming.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 8:34AM
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katkin_gw

Mine are blooming too (I think I got them from you). I just prune off the rattiest of leaves to make it look a little nicer. I have the upright and the hanging lobster claw.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 3:39PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Anybody have a good way to keep them upright? . I find they get knocked over by the slighsest wind,particularly when in flower. have seen them grown on the outside of a wire "tunnel" and the flowers hung down on the inside . Looked fantastic but I don't have the room gary

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:46AM
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katkin_gw

I use rebar to support my newly planted trees, maybe that would work. I don't seem to have that problem the clumps are so big and old they support themselves.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 6:27AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Where is a good place to purchase Heliconia? I absolutely love them but never see them for sale??

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:00AM
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shuffles_gw

Anyone know what variety this on is. It is a good bloomer, and a very tough plant.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:42AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Looks like Heliconia psittacorum

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 10:32AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Home Depot had them on sale. I bought a few.

Jane

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:15AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Such pretty pictures! I love the way heliconia flowers looks and wish that I could keep them alive. I'm just a tad bit too far north for them to truly thrive I think.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:09AM
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eric_9b(z9b Orlando)

Heliconias (and bananas) can be planted much deeper when you first install them. The stems get very heavy as they are mostly water and the Florida sandy soil doesn't give much support. Eventually the newer rhizomes work their way to the surface but they can be redug and planted deeper again.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:19AM
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eric_9b(z9b Orlando)

Heliconias (and bananas) can be planted much deeper when you first install them. The stems get very heavy as they are mostly water and the Florida sandy soil doesn't give much support. Eventually the newer rhizomes work their way to the surface but they can be redug and planted deeper again.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:20AM
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echobelly

I think my favorite flower here! I've got both varieties, got the Lobster Claw at Home Depot. I grow them all in pots, the few I've got in the soil really struggle. When I set out a new pot, before filling it, I hammer an eight foot length of rebar through the drainage hole and as deep into the ground as I can. This keeps the pot from blowing over in the wind, and gives me a stake to tie the stalks too.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:38AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Winters here in Martin County, zone 10b, can from time to time be tough on my heliconias. A while back they need to be cut to the ground due to a freeze. They will comeback. Here the weather will never kill the root. But when you cut them down they will not flower the following summer. That means once a year there is a lot of hand pruning if it is cold but not freezing.

When planting in sandy soil I amend it with Canadian peat. I dig the hole at least twice as big as needed. Refill the hole 50/50 peat and sand. Deeper is good. They are voracious feeders. They will take lots of fertilizers. They love epsom salt. In habitat they average 1/2" of rain every day. Generally they are pigs. With beautiful flowers.

Be careful what variety you plant where!!! They can be very aggressive and take over. Years ago I planted a variety that was 20' tall. My mistake was planting it near my front door. What a mess. Learn from my mistake.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:30AM
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echobelly

@shavedmonkey- How do you feed with Epsom salts? How much should I mix into a large watering can? I've been feeding with miracle gro. Not that I need more, I can't afford anymore large ceramic pots, and have taken to planting them in recycling bins when I divide them.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:44PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

I never dilute epsom salt in water. I guess it would work but I hate carrying all that water. I put a bunch in a small bucket and hand broadcast it around most tropicals. I don't think there is a practical point that you use too much. But don't go crazy. Maybe 2 handfuls around a big coconut. And several handfuls in a big heliconia patch. And I think you could add some once a month. I don't use soluble fertilizers except on my orchids. Much less weight to cary around my yard.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 5:41AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hi Echo,

The standard epsom salt concentration for most plants is one tablespoon per one gallon of water. I don't know specifics for heliconia - I am too far north to grow it - so that ratio could be incorrect for that plant.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:32AM
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palmcityfl

Home Depot has heliconias in its Palm Beach county stores for $3.95, all are blooming. Glad to hear they are hardy in SoFla, I'll buy a few.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:32PM
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eric_9b(z9b Orlando)

There are quite a few that will grow in the warmer areas of Orlando/Central FL too.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 9:04AM
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