Best way for Caerulea in my Zone?

stonato(z6a - Toronto)April 24, 2005

After 2 months, I've managed to grow my Caerulea to about 2 inches tall. Many seeds didn't make it (or make it yet) so this one is my pride and joy. Can anyone recommend the best way to grow this outside once it's time? I live in 6a (Toronto). I've heard it's not that hardy and to grow in a pot with support and bring inside during winter. I'd love to put it in a more permanent location with winter protection if it'll live. Any tips would be great!



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i am brand new at this, but my plan is to take cuttings and plant them as annuals from the one i will keep indoors. since i am zone 5, i don't think there is any way i could protect them for winter. however, i am anxiously awaiting all replies, as well.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 8:02PM
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tiresunltd(z9 CA)

I put plastic tents over my sencitive plant. I take PVC and shape it to the situation. If you use the right plastic (I use storm window plastic)you can use PVC glue to glue the plastic right on to the pipe so it won't blow off, but leave an opening and coss it with cloths pins. I also sink a slightly larger pipe into the ground. the tent then fits down into these pipes so its hard for the wind to blow it over. I can put one of these tents over a plant on the fence and protect both sides of the plant.
I avoid gluing all of the pipes so I can fold them up in the summer for storage. Also a friend of mine put a light bulb in her tents to add warmth. of course I am in Ca. so I am not too sure how efective it would be up there in the refregorator. I don't know if a heat lamp would be to much heat but it is a thought and might be neciary up there. I think there are also what are called plant wraps out there. Another thought I have is to put the plant in a perminit pot and keep the pot warm. keeping the roots from freezing is all important.
Personally I plant it stacks of tires. Keeps invasive plants in check and collects heat during the day. most of my plantslove the invironent, along with toads.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 1:55AM
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You can keep them as houseplants over the winter, and some people put them in a cool room and cut them way back , so as to make them go "dormant", or if you have the space they will continue growing all winter in a warm house with bright light and can flower during the winter. They do have a tendencey for very rampant growth and a frequent need for potting them up into bigger and bigger pots, but you can restrict the growth somewhat and keep them from year to year. I did learn however, that some resent being cut back to severely while they're going indoors for the winter and my Passiflora vitifolia , did die after a very heavy pruning way back to bare stems with no leaves left. Luckily I did start a cutting at that time and managed to save a new plant from that cutting. Mine badly needs to be cut back again before even going out for the summer , since it's grown about twenty feet in the last month or so and I don't want it to start out that big, when it's moved outside or it might reach forty feet by the end of it's summer growth period. If I cut it back severely now , as it's got it's spring growth hormones in full swing, it will recover just fine as it did last spring . Just doesn't like the heavy pruning going into the fall.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 6:37PM
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stonato(z6a - Toronto)

thanks for the suggestions Birdinthepalm. So basically I have to bring it inside before winter at FULL size? ...and then prune in the spring. Is that possible if it's a fast grower?


    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 12:12AM
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I guess my suggestion may have been somewhat confusing. In general , I think most of the passifloras will take a very heavy pruning when you bring them in for the winter, but it might be better to leave the pruning for the spring. providing the plant doesn't decide to grow like a rampant weed all winter, in which case it could get out of control in a hurry. Some people , if the vines are on a structure , just train the vines to wind around and around the structure as they grow, just to keep them under control and you could do some modest pruning as they grow through the winter. My vitifolia pretty much stopped growing for months or at least slowed it's growth considerably after comming indoors and only as spring approached really grew by leaps and bounds. I will have to prune it most likely when I first move it back outdoors. I'd prefer if possible, and it may not be easy. to encourage new shoots on the oldest parts of the stem, so if need be all the top and newest growth can be cut back and still leave some younger stems near the bottom of the plants, which having leaves would mean, that cutting most of the plant off wouldn't leave it completely leafless and possibly cause it to go into shock. I think the vitifolias are a bit more sensitive to the heavy pruning , whereas others are not. It even used to put out some very sickly looking leaves after the new shoots would start growing again, since it was thrown out of ballance with having so few leaves to still interact with the large root system, and the roots had a hard time adjusting to the minimal leaves. After all the roots and the leaves feed each other!! Some plants have the ability to store large food reserves in the stems, trunks, and roots for the situation , where they may be broken way back or have their leaves removed by insects , and thus the roots don't have to struggle so hard as they're providing for the needs of the new growth. Mind you this is somewhat a theory based on my "formal botanical education" and may not be accurate, but just my theory!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 11:03AM
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I couldn't keep it as a perennial in zone 7b, you won't be able to in z5 no matter how much you mulch. I wonder why they named this one the hardy passionflower? Lutea and incarnata are a lot more so.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 2:17PM
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stonato(z6a - Toronto)

thanks Ginger. Good to know. I think I'll grow it in a pot and bring it inside in the winter.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 3:09PM
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