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Breeding neos for hardiness

Posted by tomas z9 Rome, Italy (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 26, 09 at 9:58

I can grow most of my neos with only slight protection in winter on my terrace and I know some also will take temperatures as low as -2C and the prolonged cold and moisture without being damaged, but in the landscape we can expect temperatures down to -3, -4C every winter.

Are there some neo species or hybrids that are in anyones experience more hardy than the others? I would like to use them for creating some hybrids that could be used as landscaping plants here in Rome.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Breeding neos for hardiness

G'day Tomas - nice to hear from you.

The numero uno Neo to survive my own frosty experience of -8 C, with barely a blemish, was the species Neo. compacta. Rated second-best for cold-hardiness, again just from personal experience, was Neo. cruenta - and hybrids of it. Neo. spectabilis and Neo. kautskyi, although damaged, also fared better than most.
Of the small-growing and miniature Neos, the Aussie hybrid Neo. 'Ritzy' was the winner in the landscape under those extremes. Neo. 'Marble Throat', and other hybrids/cultivars of Neo. chlorosticta, also survived with minimal damage.

I hope this helps you Tomas. I think it a great idea to attempt creating more cold-tolerant hybrids for your conditions. Good luck! - and keep us posted?


RE: Breeding neos for hardiness

Kerry, while it's not a Neo, did you have Ae distichantha? If so, how did it do?

RE: Breeding neos for hardiness

Nick - My many clumps of Ae. distichantha around the garden sailed through that black frost - with only very slight damage to those in the most exposed areas. As it is native to southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and northern Argentina, it is considerably cold-hardy.


RE: Breeding neos for hardiness

Hi Tomas

I've sent you an email with some info about this topic.

I didn't post it here because I didn't know how to. It's in PDF format so if anyone can tell me how to post it, I can share it with you all.

All the best, Nev

RE: Breeding neos for hardiness

  • Posted by tomas z9 Rome, Italy (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 30, 09 at 11:40

Hi Kerry,

thank you, I am with you even if you cannot see me, following this forum and learning a lot.

Your experience confirms other data I have, I think N. cruenta, compacta, chlorosticta and spectabilis will be the most appropriate.

From another source I also have these as quite cold hardy: N. Fosperior,macwilliamsii, olens, concentrica, if you grow them, what was their behaviour?

Hi Nev,

thank you for your mail, this document is still on the FCBS site, not a PDF but the same, there is even another one. See the link below, that page contains the two links considering the cold hardiness in thei title. I use these always as the first reference, unfortunately as far as the neos are considered, only one is included in the coldest category.

Funny, the N. kautkyi is in the D26-28F category on FCBS, for Kerry it did well, for me it is undamaged at 28F. Just Einmal ist keinmal :-)


Here is a link that might be useful: cold sensitivity on FCBS

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