Pushing the limits.

ponyexpress_1January 6, 2014

Hi There. I was wondering if anyone has had luck growing hummingbird plants in zones colder than suggested. I'm in zone six, western New York, great lakes area. So many beautiful hummingbird plants are just out of my zone in 7. I was wondering if anyone has pushed the zone limits and succeeded. Sue

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I'm in Florida but when I was in zone 5b in Ohio (before the new USDA zone map) which is now 6a, I had great luck with Bee Balm, columbine (for the earlier arrivals), trumpet vine (gets very big and shouldn't be planted to close to the house), red hot pokers, catmint, butterfly bushes and anise hyssop which are all perennials. They also loved my 6 foot tall hollyhocks which reseeded profusely.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:42PM
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Duplicate post

This post was edited by rvird01 on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 20:47

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:45PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

There are microclimates in a yard, places where there's that bit of shelter that can grow a more tender plant. If you're in or near a city, you might be a few degrees warmer.

You need to think about the plants aversion to wetness in winter. Often it's winter wet that's the killer.

You just have to try things out, see what works.

For example, against a house or other wall, especially if on the south side is often warm enough to support a zone-more-tender plant. A bushel of leaves around the crown will also help. Sometimes if you take extra trouble-- eg wrapping the plant, or building a wire structure around it to fill with leaves for insulation.

However, you can make it thru one winter and lose it the next.

My own preference is to stick to hardy plants. Trying to force a plant to live in conditions that aren't favorable is just a lot of work and frustration. There are a lot of beautiful hummingbird plants hardy in zone 6.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:04AM
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