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Overwintering Mexican Heather

Posted by aezarien 7b (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 23, 08 at 11:45

I put a few of these in the ground this year thinking they were perennials. The tag said nothing in regards to type and I just assumed since they seemed kind of woody that they would be some shrub of some type and well... of course I was mistaken.

I was very happy with their performance this year. The delicate leaves and all season blooming purple flowers add a little something to the landscape.

So now I am wondering what I can do to have a few more of these in the landscape next year. Has anyone had any luck with leaving them in the ground? Should I dig them up and throw them in the greenhouse or would trying to take cuttings be a better option for this plant?

Any pearls of wisdom you guys can pass along would be greatly appreciated!

-Tina


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

Tina, I would dig a couple and over winter them in the GH. BUT the others, cover them well with leaves and just see.

I know someone who had one planted next to their house and it comes back for her each year AS LONG as we have a mild winter any way hers had, I haven't talked to her in a long time but when I did she said it had been planted there at least 3 years, but it dies back and comes back out.

Humm, that wasn't too very helpful was it?

:) Fran


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

LOL You sound like you have what I have. But yes, it was helpful. I guess in reality I have enough of it to leave some in the ground, take some cuttings, and put some in the greenhouse. I think I have been thinking about those things so long I got tunnel vision.


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

Its a Cuphea and virtually all of them root easily from cuttings so take some cuttings and store them in the greenhouse and leave the mama plants in the ground. I would cover them with upside down flower pots on really cold nights.

Last winter all of my cupheas came through - but I expect to lose a few each year. Taking the cuttings help.


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

Yeah, I read they were easy to root, in water even. I took some cuttings today while hitting up some other annuals and threw them in a glass of water. I'll take a few more cuttings in a couple of days and stick them in some rooting media.

Thanks for the flower pot tip. As simple of a solution as that is I would have never thought of it. And it definitely beats the little poly plastic tents I have been building over other tender stuff.


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

Tina,
I knew someone who rooted them easily with a moist paper towel in a plastic bag on her kitchen counter. Worth a try. I think I might do the same with mine.


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

To give the flower pot trick extra warmth, you can stuff them with leaves before you turn them over.


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

So far I have a few in dirt and a few in a glass of water. I'm going to dig one entire plant up and put it in the greenhouse, cover one with a pot (and stuff it with leaves lol), and leave the other one to deal with winter and see what they do.

J - This may sound like a silly question but.. when you say in a plastic bag wrapped in a paper towel do you mean wrapping the entire cutting in a paper towel and putting it in a closed plastic bag?

Tame - Hadn't thought of that but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the tip!

I'm kind of wondering something else too. I know I can always try it but I like to avoid sad stories when possible so I may as well ask while I am on the subject.

When I cover the plant with the pot, do I need to cut it back or just leave it the way it is and just use a big pot?

I know, a lot of questions and I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.

-Tina


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

When i'm covering something with a leaf stuffed pot (like my tree peonies when they inevitably put out growth too early) i pick a pot bigger than the width/height. If it's a wide but low plant i'd guess you could tuck the stems up in, but if it touched the sides of the pot during a hard freeze the freezing would probably go right through the plastic, so you'd want the stems towards the middle. If you have another one, i'd cut it way back and mound up a bunch of leaves and/or light weight mulch and see how that fares next to the other ones. To keep the leaves from blowing you could use netting or some burlap or reemay. Sounds like a lot of work for plants that are widely available come spring, but it could work if you plant all those tender things together and do one big pile of leaves. TJohn does that in one spot and it's amazing what overwinters. -tammy


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

Thanks for the extra information. I have three in all so I have a little room to experiment. They are low and kind of wide but it probably won't take much cutting back to get one in a pot.


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RE: Overwintering Mexican Heather

How did things turn out? Anyone else have advice/experiences to share?


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