Heliconias in Zone 9b?

butterfly15_ca(Sunset15 USDA9b)October 3, 2005

Has anybody had success in growing heliconias in zone 9b in the ground? I would just love to be able to plant some because they are so spectacular! There may be some zone 10 microclimates in my garden if they can't survive in zone 9b.

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argus(9B / 10A)

I'm in zone 9B/10A sunset 23. I started growing a couple varieties, and most have done ok. I have two growing wonderfully outside in pots. I'm not sure how they will take the winter, as I'm not gonna bring them in. I know Oceanside and San Diego nurseries grow them all year long. I think the main problem here is the humidity. Half the year we have ocean breezes, but the other half (like right now) is the Santa Anna winds, with humidities in the teens. That can dry out those leaves extremely quickly. As long as you have a sheltered, humid microclimate, I think you'd do ok.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 2:02PM
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gaza(10 la CA)

where in CA are you?
i am in culver city,and grow 30+varieties.
it all depends on your location
send me an e mail to my address,as sometimes i am not on this forum for weeks

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 7:01PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

I'm in San Jose and I have H. scheidiana 'Fire & Ice' planted in the ground. It's in a protected area near the house and is 3 years old. H. scheidiana is one of the hardier heliconias.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 11:46PM
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butterfly15_ca(Sunset15 USDA9b)

Where can you buy heliconias around here? I am in the Concord/Walnut Creek area.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 11:40PM
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Butterfly I am in Concord and have a fire and ice heliconias I got on e-bay last spring. Its in a pot so I can bring it in just in case. Its a beautiful plant. I also have plumerias and other tropicals.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:05AM
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abekhoury(z8A Ga)

H. schiedeana Is a good choice. It is very cold hardy and grows well in my z8A garden. It does not bloom for me because it freezes to the ground in winter but it always comes back strong.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 2:09AM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

Butterfly, ask at any local nursery that carries plants from Monterey Bay Nurseries. They are wholesale, but the sell to nurseries. If nurseries near you don't have it, but carry MB's products, they may be able to special order it for you.
I'm in San Jose and I know Payless Nursery has them, both in 5 gal. and 1 gal. pots.



    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 11:27PM
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tropica_nut(z9 CA)

I also grow H. schiedeana in the ground in protected area with success in Fremont, CA. I planted the rhizome I bought from Ebay on August 2003 and got it bloom this past Summer.

Last year, I had H. Rostrata growing on big pot and it grew very well until I forgot to bring them in last Winter and died of root rot from too much rain water.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 1:11AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

H. scheideana blooms every year for me here in Berkeley, and is certainly evergreen in a wind protected and dappled shade setting, with lots of fertilizer and water as long as it doesn't freeze. It truly is adapted to our cool winter weather, because it pushes both flowers and new foliage for me even when temps get down into the hight 30'sF. There are also several other more commonly available species that will also do as well outdoors as long as the foliage doesn't freeze. These include H. latispatha, H. spissa, H. bourgeana, H. aurantiaca, H. matthiasae. Some of these can be bought online from suppliers such as Aloha Tropicals, or Stokes Tropicals in Louisiana. There are a few other suppliers in Southern California, but they don't ship. For those here in the SF Bay Area, getting the H. scheideana thru Monterey Bay Nursery is probably the easiest solution. Don't count on any of them flowering if you can't get the plant through the winter without freezing, as we just don't get hot enough to get blooms on new growth in less than a year, like they can in south Florida. Anyone growing 30 kinds of Heliconia in California has quite a collection, but I am willing to bet that over half of those varieties need a lot of help to get through a wet/cold winter, and are even less likely to survive year round outdoors here in northern California. If you stick with the kinds from higher elevation cloudforests in Southern Mexico, you can have thriving blooming clumps. Check out the Palmetum at Lake Merritt in Oakland to see a large clump of H. scheideana in bloom now. I do have some friends growing them in Sunset zone 15 conditions rather than 16 or 17, but you risk losing them to frost and never seeing them bloom.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 11:25PM
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BrianB(9 N CA)

I have a huge clump of H. schiediana in bloom right now. I also grow H. bourgiana, H. mathisae, H. dielsiana and a few others that are less hardy and greenhoused in winter. I can spare some Schiediana for a small price. Contact me to come visit, I'm in Oakland. H. schiediana is your best bet. Also if you are within sight of water (Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch) you can get much better success than if you are along Ygnacio Vally Blvd. Zone 17 goes into Brentwood and they get both little frost and hot summers.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 5:46PM
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I am in Fresno and haven't had any problems with mine. I'm not sure what is exactly that I have since I got these from Holland bulb farm and were supposed to be tropica canna lilies and they clearly are not. Lol! I loved getting surprised though! I have these in the ground unprotected from our frosts and this has been their third summer.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:54PM
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A bit of a closer look at the flowers would help, but those definitely look like Canna Lilies from here. They're certainly not Heliconias.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:00AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Would tend to agree with tropic.. What makes you think they are not Canna?? I grow both but tend to favor Heliconia as they don't get leaf rollers or "rust" One distinct advantage to canna is that it responds to cold by going dormant rather than croaking lol gary

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 6:14AM
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I believe they are different because I own a lot of cannas and they blossom similarly to the heliconias I saw that looked similar to a canna lily if you Google it you can see what I mean. I saw this variety all over Costa Rica last week, everyone told me they were from the heliconia family. I thought the same as you two before. The blossoms have a different look but yet so similarly to cannas. Anyone else able to tell us what it is?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Sorry, a closer look! Anybody able to grow heliconias successfully indoors or in zone 9?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:01PM
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And I thought I was lucky, you were right. It's a variety of cannas I wasn't familiar with before now. I still want some of these tropical flowers (heliconias) but after looking into it for our 9 b zone, they'd be miserable!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:39PM
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