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Heliconia psittacorum -- care?

Posted by pebble09 8 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 4, 12 at 17:00

Hi all,

Anyone have experience growing Heliconia psittacorum in zone 8/ Austin area. I picked up a 3 gallon pot from home depot last weekend, a good clump of small and large stems, one dried flower and another just starting to bloom. The cultivar is called "Lady Di". The tag said hardy to 30F.

However online information says hardy to zone 9 and above.
And also spreading habit in zone 10, 11 it seems.

Not sure what growing it here in zone 8 will be like....hardy? invasive? Is it better to grow in a pot outside in the winter? or bring it in for the winter?? or just grow it in the ground??? Pls let me know if you have in in this area and what has worked not worked for you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Heliconia psittacorum -- care?

bring it in during winter, they are not very cold tolerant and will die back even here on the coast if it`s chilly for very long.
Tally HO!


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RE: Heliconia psittacorum -- care?

Yeah, I've never had luck with them outside, even bringing them into the garage. They really need to come in the house and stay by a sunny window. It seems to me not only are they frost sensitive, but they can't take long-term periods of cold weather.


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RE: Heliconia psittacorum -- care?

Hmm...Seems like I have to grow it as an indoors plant.
Thought it looked beautiful, outdoors added a tropical charm.


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RE: Heliconia psittacorum -- care?

Most heliconias will deteriorate in weather below 60 degrees F. The foliage will definitely be toast in frost--- just like bananas. But, unlike bananas, the underground tuber will rot if it is wet during the cold weather. You have to limit watering and ensure very rapid drainage even if indoors during cool weather. Heliconia Schiedeana (sp?)is supposedly root hardy like bananas, but just like bananas will only bloom on second year growth :( I'll let you know how mine fare over a wet south louisiana winter. Im covering them with a clear plastic/ pvc hoophouse and I may or may not heat it


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