Advice needed on heliconia, bird of paradise, and canna tuerckhei

southlatropicalJune 11, 2007

I am looking to plant something between 2 sago palms that are about 10' apart. I already have tons of cannas, bananas, and gingers. And I would like to take a chance on either orange BOP, white BOP, or Heliconia schiedeana - Hardy Heliconia, Lobster Claw. The location is perfect for anything that has a chance of surviving the few frosts we get in south Louisiana. Am I going to have any luck with any of these plants? Is there another heliconia that's hardier? Which one stands the best chance of survival. I am also considering canna tuerckhei because it's appearance is unlike other cannas. But I can't find much info on this canna. Any advice is greatly appreciated. And if anyone has these plants to trade, feel free to check my trade list. Thanks

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lac1361(z9a Lake Charles, LA)

Where in south Louisiana are you? I'm in Lake Charles, same zone as you. Heliconia Schiedeana is root hardy for me in a protected spot with a southern exposure. But it has not bloomed in 3 years (was growing it in a pot when it bloomed) A frost will kill the stalks but it almost immediately begins to put out new stalks, even in the winter, when it warms up between fronts. Heliconia Rostrata, the hanging lobster claw heliconia, is marginally root hardy in the ground. It can withstand temps around 28 to 30 for a few hours and survive but anything below will kill the stalks. It will begin to regrow in May but both of these heliconia bloom on second year growth so your chances of getting them to bloom is marginal unless you provide some protection. I cover my Rostrata with a portable greenhouse during the winter and add an electric heater when it drops below 32 and mine are blooming now. I don't protect Schiedeana.

The orange bird will do just fine for you. It will survive 24 with a little leaf damage. The white one is a little more cold sensitive. I have two plantings of both. They are protected from frost but get the full force of the north winds. They won't look too good coming out of winter. Just trim them up and they will do fine. The orange bird blooms in the late summer or early fall for me. The white bird starts showing blooms in late winter for me but I've had them bloom all year long.

I'm not familar with the canna.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:34AM
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Thanks a million Steve. I'm in Fordoche between Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Same climate as you. The spot I'm planting in has southern exposure with one wall of the house behind it and the carport on to the west of it. The spot gets morning sun, and only the last 2 or 3 hrs of the day are shade. So I think I have a chance. I love the orange BOP even just for the foliage. I think I'll try the orange BOP between the sagos, and the Heliconia Schiedeana against the wall. If you see anything on my trade list you might want. I could send generous amounts for a rhyzome of either if you have extra. I also have two large sago pups about 7" in diameter (they are currently rooting).
Thanks again Steve

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 7:48PM
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