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Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

Posted by doniki z5/6 NE Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 8, 04 at 15:55

I saw this same post on the Minnesota forum and thought that we should have the same sort of thing here in the Midwest- zones 4-6. So, what kind of stuff are you trying to "push" in your garden, or have you had success with in your zones 4-6 gardens that are considered tender, or that someone told you "would not survive." Some of mine in Ohio include:
Hardy Needle Palm
Sabal Minor (NE Texas type)
Southern Magnolias "Edith Bogue" and "Bracken's Brown Beauty"
Ilex Fosteri, Nellie Stevens, "Dr. Kassab", aquifolium Aregenteo-marginata
Cedrus atlantica glauca pendula, libani glauca pendula, libani stenocoma, deodara "Deep Cove"
Mahonia bealei
Musa basjoo
Crape myrtle "Hopi," "Zuni," "Tonto," and "Catawba"
Cryptomeria "Yoshino" and "Sekkan-Sugi"
Cortaderia "Pumila"

I'm sure there are some other's, but I can't think right now...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

I haven't tried to push my zone in the past, but this year I have a Texas Star Hibiscus planted that I grew from seed. My understanding is it's only hardy to zone 7 with protection, so I'm interested to see if it'll make it through a zone 6 winter (with protection of course). I'm also considering leaving one of my elephant ears in the ground over winter to see if it comes back in the spring.

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

I am trying:
Trachycarpus fortunei
Sabal Minor
Musa Basjoo
Needle Palm (spring)
Agave Harvardina
Agave Americana
Yucca Rostrata
Yucca Thompsoniana

The yuccas aren't really pushing the envolope, they are just not ever planted here, so maybe more of a precip battle or something..

I am protecting the trachy palm with burlap, christmas lights, leaves, snow, straw, rocks for heat, and hopefully it should do fine!

Chicago(and other midwest areas) aren't as cold as they used to be... Try some new things!

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

My zone expanders are:

rosemary (3 winters and counting)
Salvia guaranitica

I have two potted gardenias that I leave out later each year. I'm pretty sure that they'd make it if I kept them in the most protected spot in the yard, but I haven't had the nerve to leave them out past mid-December.

I would love to try one of the cold hardy camellias, but have been unable to get one since the sudden oak death syndrome shut down California nurseries for export.

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

I don't know if I'm just pushing the zone hardiness envelope or if I'm just plain lazy, but here's my list:

Salvia greggii
Calla lilies (5+ years and counting)
Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese Holly fern)-which isn't supposedly hardy in my zone survives planted in dry shade.

I had Lantana camara come back one year, but I finally shovel pruned it as I couldn't stand the smell.

This year I'm hoping the Schizostylis coccinea makes it.

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

How about 5b!!! I order a Yucca «Rostrata» and a Agave «havardiana» for next spring according to the nursery «Plant delights» it is zone 5 (us) i think i'm the most crazy in Québec :)but i would love to try a Trachycarpus Fortunei or a Rhapidophyllum Hystrix (wish grow very very slow) or a Nannorrhops (also grow slow and hard to find). Did anyone from Québec have try any of these?


RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

I have planted and have had good luck with- Magnolia Grandiflora "Brackens Brown Beauty" and "Edith Bogue",
Ilex Nellie Stevens,Fosters Holly ,Burford Holly and several American Holly cultivars,Aucuba Japonica,Azalea- "Girards Crimson", and "Stewertstonian",Asiatic Jasmine,
English Cherry Laurel, and Camellia-"Winters Rose", and Ashtons Pride, Spider Lily(located against a south wall. We travel to Nashville(zone 6b-7) every year and I bring something back new to try. I have found the larger the plant, the better it does so I try to buy only 5-gallon or larger to plant.

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

Ilexopaca; A haerthy Welcome to the gardenweb and the Midwest Gardening;

How do you protect these specimens that you bring to the cold Illinois weather?

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

I HAVE FOUND THE BROADLEAF EVERGREENS ALL DO BEST ON EITHER AN EASTERN OR NORTHERN EXPOSURE, OUT OF WIND AND BRIGHT WINTER SUNSHINE. I MULCH HEAVILY AND WHEN PLANTS ARE YOUNG, I MAKE A RING OUT OF WIRE MESH FENCING AND COVER IT WITH MICROFOAM,(THE SHEET STUFF THEY USE FOR PACKING) COMPLETE WITH A LID. I put this on around Thanksgiving time using landscape fabric pins to hold it down and the lid allows me to open it on warm days so it doesn't heat up too much and break dormancy.The microfoam is also transparent enough to allow sufficient light through it. The camellias, I also fill the cage with dry oak leaves loosely once the temperatures start to drop below 10 degrees(usually mid december. I have had good luck wrapping the acuba with a string of christmas lights for extra warmth. once plants are over 5'tall, all they get is a burlap screen for protection. If you can get the plant through the first 3 years, it has a good chance of making it, it should have sufficiently rooted down to stand most winters.

RE: Extreme zone pushing-- Midwest style

hey billybom,

check out Broadway Gardens, in Niagra Falls,Ontario. That it where I was able to pick up some hardy palms, in fact they are getting a shipment of Nannorrhops in the spring, Here this is what I have going on so far, I have some great news for you about my hardy palm trees, and banana tree. So far the coldest recorded is -14C with -24C with the wind chill. The Calla lilies are still alive, and covered with leaves and a upside-down pot containing the leaves. The banana tree is done the same way, and so is the sabal minor, and a Livistona chinensis and which are all still alive. My trachycarpus fortunie is wrapped up in burlap, stuffed with leaves, and mulch, and still has an opening. and that one is still green as well.

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