Who is growing Grevillea victoriae?

grant_in_seattleFebruary 22, 2007

Hi everyone,

As mentioned in a separate thread, I spent a day down in Tacoma this past weekend. I visited one of my favorite nurseries, Jungle Fever Exotics (which is fairly frost bitten after this winter) and purchased a small Grevillea victoriae. I haven't planted it yet, but will this weekend. I wanted to see who has had some long term success with this plant, and what suggestions for success can you offer?

I can (and have) looked it up online and in reference books, but if you're growing it successfully (or killed it!), feel free to share any cultural tips. There's just no subsitute for first-hand experience.

Jungle Fever did have a lot of damage from the cold, but they also had plenty of plants that looked great, including the "mother" plant from which my little cutting was started. My little plant is only six inches tall, but is already sporting a small cluster of buds and survived the winter at their nusery uncovered.

Any tips/tricks would be great. Otherwise I'll just put it in my warmest west-facing quick-draining bed.

Take care and thanks!

Grant

Here is a link that might be useful:

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hostaguy(USDA 8)

Wow, very cool exotic! Wonderful shot!

After this last winter I'm having a hardyness reality check. I lost my Bottlebrush, Agave, and a few others to the Winters death grip.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 6:22PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

I have had Grevillea victoriae since 1998. It was the second Grevillea I bought, after G. robusta, which is not very hardy. In my garden, it was originally in the sun but now it receives partial shade from surrounding eucalypts and other trees - but it still looks fine. It it on heavy clay and has always done great with no care whatsoever. More recently I have acquired a few other forms of it. The selection 'Murray Valley Queen' has superior flowers in much larger clusters, and it is very showy in bloom, but the not-as-silvery leaves and more open plant habit are a little less appealing than the regular form. I have had it since 2000 and it seems very hardy as well. I have propagated lots of it and this winter it lived through 13 degrees in 1 gallon pots with no damage. 'Marshall's Seedling' has smaller leaves and is very hardy. I also have G. victoriae var. leptoneura, but it is only hardy to about 20 degrees (at least, the form I have) so it is not really suited to long term outdoor use in our climate. And I just got the variegated form 'East Gippland' at the UCSC Arboretum in October. I don't know how hardy that will be but it is pretty cool - the first variegated Grevillea I have seen (although I have heard of a couple others).

My tip would be to put it in the sun, and don't water and feed it too much. Most Grevilleas have done much better in winter for me if they are allowed to thoroughly harden off before fall.

I have collected about 55 Grevilleas now. Some are in the garden and some are in pots, but since the exact cold hardiness of many species and varieties is not well known, I always take cuttings to keep a plant in the greenhouse in case I should lose one.

I wrote this, too, but it was a couple years ago: Some of the information here needs to be updated. I haven't had a lot of luck getting G. victoriae var. leptoneura, G. aspleniifolia, or 'Poorinda Golden Lyre' to live through the winter outdoors. Perhaps they would flourish in a more sheltered garden until a really cold one comes along.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 6:53PM
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Mary Palmer

I first saw this plant in Ciscoe Morris's garden in a parking strip. It was maybe 4-5 feet tall and looked like it was doing quite well. I called Cistus and had them bring one up to Fancy Fronds last Aug but I have kept it in the greenhouse and will plant it out this spring. So I appreciate your question. Great info from Ian too! Thanks

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 1:44PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I'm so jealous, I've tried but can't grow it here.

A......

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:16PM
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grant_in_seattle

Thanks for the replies. Jungle Fever looks like they lost a fair bit of their inventory too, hostaguy. So sad to see large agaves liquified! Still, some of their plants looked really good. Their bottle brushes were totally fried, but might come back. Some of their agaves looked great too, as did this grevillea, so not all is lost I suppose. It's still worth a visit for sure.

Ian, GREAT reply--thanks for the eye candy and the great information. I'll site my little plant accordingly and grow it a bit hard. Your other types all sound great. Obviously I'm covetous of the variegated one. Feel free to send some pics some time. Thanks for all of the neat information and gotta-have's.

I've heard of this plant off and on for awhile, but Ketzel Levine's description in Plant This is what tipped the scale for me. I really like her writing style as she encourages people rather than lecturing them like so many wannabe garden writers.

Mary, we'll have to compare notes on how ours do during their first year in the ground.

Anyone else growing this? I'm planning on giving it plenty of room, that's for sure.

Take care,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: book Plant This by Ketzel Levine, focuses on PNW climate

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 4:36PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Oh yes, it can get quite large. Mine is 9x12' and I've seen it taller. I'll send you some pics.

I'll have to head down to Jungle Fever and see what all croaked. I was there in December, and it looked like the November freeze pretty much spared them - but I haven't been there since. The Agave americana was heavily damaged in December 1998 and survived, but still had some burned leaves from that event even last summer.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:06PM
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grant_in_seattle

Hi Ian and all,

Thanks for confirming the eventual size. I planted it this weekend on the west/southwest facing sloped bed in my front yard (I converted the "lawn" to gravel this weekend so it will also get some reflected heat too). Keep us posted on all of your new treasures. To say I'm envious is an understatement!

Jungle Fever: not all of their agaves got zapped, but many did. The americanas all looked fine, with the damage from previous years that you mentioned, but many of the potted agaves look like they melted from the cold and a cold/wet combination. Several of what looked to me like parryi and some attenuata were totally gelified (English takes a bold step forward), plus a few others too. Still, they had a few that looked unscathed. No surprise, the Hesperaloe parviflora (one of my favorites for decades now) looked absolutely unbothered at all.

Anyway, they did have plenty of damage, but plenty of great-looking things too. I'll have to head back in early summer to see which of the plants that appear dead (bougies, bottlebrush, some Eucalyptus, etc) resprout. I really like the atmosphere there.

Anyway, my little grevillea is planted and seems happy. Wish it luck, lol.

Thanks again for all of the replies,
Grant with a sore back from shovelling over a ton of gravel this weekend.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 4:19PM
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Mary Palmer

This could be a whole different topic but here are a few that didn't make it in my garden this year! The first photo of Agave americana Mediopicta was my biggest Agave and did make it through the winter of 05/06 with a cover over it. It was covered this winter also, now it's Agave jelly! It was n't as cold as it was last year but it was colder for a much longer oeriod of time The other Agave I planted out last spring. Cistus and Plants Delight said it was cold and wet hardy.... not! At least not when it's small!! I have other varieties that are covered and survived so it must be the wet! Maybe now is the time to load up on what survived at Jungle Fever!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:57PM
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grant_in_seattle

Hi Mary and all,

Ugh! Sorry for your agave loss (great pics though). That's really too bad. :( I'm glad your covered ones are doing better in general. I've got some variegated A. americana, some variegated A. angustifolia (great yucca-looking foliage and a precocious bloomer), an A. attenuata (which has damage from being knocked over by the wind, but not by the cold (yet anyway)), and a variegated hybrid Agave 'Cornelius'. So far so good but we'll see come spring! Sorry again for your agave losses, though it sounds like we can rest assured that the combination of cold and wet is the worst. Too bad.

Jungle Fever had several that looked like yours unfortunately, but some that looked great (and like I mentioned the little Grevilleas (all in four inch pots) looked totally fine.

Thanks for the post, and sorry again for the agave jelly. Let us know (and see!) how the others all fair. I've been watching half a dozen agaves planted in my neighborhood, all in the ground, slowly fading.

Take care,
Grant

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:27AM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Mary, wow - that's too bad!

I would highly recommend A. protamericana (often misspelled "protoamericana"). It seems like a winner for our climate - much hardier than A. americana forms, doesn't seem to mind lots of moisture, and it grows pretty fast.

Another favorite that ought to be pretty tough is Agave montana. I have started a lot of these as I think it will be pretty popular. I've tried a few Agaves in my garden but most of my collection is in pots right now.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 3:00AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I look out my office at a whole row of them, several now getting above one storey. Anna's hummingbirds come to the flowers all winter.

Roots freeze and die well before tops, any potted stock left out in cold I wouldn't pronounce viable until I had seen the roots and they looked good or the tops grew away vigorously this spring or summer.

I've seen 'Porrinda Constance' out in front of Ciscoe's but don't remember the other. She has more impressive flowers on a less impressive shrub.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 2:09AM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Actually, I've been impressed with the root hardiness of a lot of things I shouldn't have left out in pots, but did, especially last winter. It's a bit hit and miss, though - and it's better to avoid damage to the root system if possible.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 3:14AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Immature roots go first, then mature roots. Immature roots are 20F or more less hardy than tops, a plant hardy to 0F in the ground may freeze in the 20s in a pot.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 12:50PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Today I have the Royal spider flower (as one Australian gardening book called it) flowering in the snow.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 2:08PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That snow fell off and now more is coming down. Beyond the Royals, at the back of the place I have 'Matsubara Red' Japanese apricot, Miss Lindsay's plum (almond pink flowers, green leaves) and a 'Ruth Lyon' rhododendron flowering together, with grape hyacinths nearby.

These shades of pink aren't that great with the Royals, but it is only from the office that they are in the same view.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 3:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Now they're all coated with snow again.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:24PM
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grant_in_seattle

Sounds very pretty, bboy. I'm impressed with how durable the Grevillea seems, and I bet yours and your other beauties look especially nice in the snow.

No snow downtown (Seattle) or at my little West Seattle house yet. I hope it stays that way!

Take care all,
Grant

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:48PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

The snow just started where I am. You guys really didn't have to share, I wouldn't have minded at all. :-(

A......

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 9:04PM
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Mary Palmer

March 1st, 3.5 miles north of Monroe, 500 feet elevation six inches of the white plant smashing stuff!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 12:17PM
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homernoy(z8b Bemerton)

Hi Grant.

I have a few Grevilleas I got from Ian. I love them, and am working on finding places to plant more. Here are a couple of pictures.

-Brian

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Several inches over here by the Sound, probably not 6 inches but plants bent over. Late last night weatherman showed a band of snowfall running over Edmonds and out to Monroe.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 1:38PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Which Grevillea is the hardiest? I tried growing one about 20 years ago, can't remember the variety. It didn't make it through the first winter. I'd really like to try one again. Any suggestions or tips?

A......

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 1:44PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Try the one that is the thread subject.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 3:10PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Thankyou, I'll be on the lookout for it.

A......

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 5:18PM
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grant_in_seattle

Hi Brian and all,

Great pic--thanks for sharing it. I plan on purchasing more of these too if this little baby of mine thrives. Yours really look great. I've got desertnorthwest bookmarked in my list of online favorites. He's got a lot of great ones listed.

Thanks again for the eye candy. Very good motivator!
Take care,
Grant

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 5:55PM
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flora2(7)

Wow! I finally found people that love agaves and in my back yard! Wonderful.
I lost most of my agaves this last winter and it is now that I am really mourning the loss. I guess I was in shock before.
Anyway, you agave lovers: Besides Jungle Fever, is there any other place you guys find your plants? Also, if you cannot start them from cuttings, how do you get a start? Aside from buying a whole plant, that is...
Thanks a lot

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Where are you?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 3:56AM
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Mary Palmer

I get most of my Agaves from Cistus or Plants Delight. Occasionally, one of the big nurseries in our area will bring some in. The Cactus and Succulent society has a sale once a year at Sky Nursery in Shoreline.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 11:18AM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

Mine is thriving on Vashon Island. It is amazingly deer resistant (they don't touch it) and very drought tolerant (I rarely water it) and evergreen, blooming and gorgeous.

I find it to be tough as nails and lovely to boot. Photos below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grevillea Victory Photos

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 11:56AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Note that it's victoriae, with a lower case 'v'.

And that if the worst winter since the 1950's does come to pass this time these and other Grevillea can be expected to turn to chaff.

I've already had one planting of this species on Camano Island get singed because it was on the cold side in 2008.

Same clone that you are growing.

Meanwhile the Allen's hummingbirds continue to fight over it outside my office window (north of Seattle). Hopefully both will still be around next year.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Richseattle

Grevillea victoriae has been doing fine through all these snows in Fremont (Seattle). After the Jan 20th snows melted off, the plant seemed to erupt with more blossoms. My hummingbirds spent more time next to our house during the snow and cold. If you do not encourage upright growth - i.e. if you have horizontal growth looking for sunlight - snows will weigh G. v. down to the ground. I have removed some horizontal shoots. I do knock snow off when it seems like we will have a lot of wind while the snow is on the branches - just in case branches would break with lots of snow Since the branches seem to be flexible enough to bend to the ground, they might not break. My plant has been in the ground for many years.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:15AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yet another item that lasts if you are in an area that stays above 10-15F most of the time and does not last if you get below that very often. How cold your particular site gets makes all the difference.

The now rather frequently offered 'Marshall's Seedling' cultivar has an arching habit so pruning off horizontal growth of this form would require removal of the entire top.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 9:30PM
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