Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

cordyman

Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by cordyman » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:41 pm

So the ensetes have been drained upside down and are now in the boiler house in a bucket drying off a little

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Last few years i've then stored in the attic/cupboard etc and restarted off come Spring, success rate is a poor 33% usually.

Now this year i'm very tempted to chuck some compost in the above bucket around the ensete roots, and very sparingly water every couple of weeks, to keep them growing, albeit slowly, i'll cut the rollers back as and when needed. This will stop them drying out and the rot which has got to my previous overwintering ensetes by keeping them in growth mode.


Anyone tried both methods, and thoughts ?

Tom2006
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Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Tom2006 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:50 pm

I used the loft method winter 2011 and all four grew strongly in the spring. I used the pot method for a few last winter and they all died during the winter. I only watered, a tiny, tiny bit once, and they still died. Mind you, I think most peoples died after last winter or rather "spring".

My assessment for the deaths was due to they try to keep growing if you keep them potted but there just isn't enough light. Maybe if you kept them warm and under powerful artificial light it might work?

Its back to the loft for mine again this winter. But then again, I suppose it depends on how cold/damp your loft is?
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DAVIDEVANS

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by DAVIDEVANS » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:58 pm

I have only ever cut the leaves off as you have done, lifted, washed the roots off, then stuck in a bucket in a spare room. My house is not centrally heated so does not promote growth but is frost free. I have had some spring growth which seems to promote bugs but BnQ sprays seem to do the trick.

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Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Tom2006 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:03 am

DAVIDEVANS wrote:I have only ever cut the leaves off as you have done, lifted, washed the roots off, then stuck in a bucket in a spare room. My house is not centrally heated so does not promote growth but is frost free. I have had some spring growth which seems to promote bugs but BnQ sprays seem to do the trick.
How is the light in the room? I wonder if it the lack of anything to promote growth that gets them through?

I add green sulphur powder to the base of mine to try and assist in the lack of decay.
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.

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karl66
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Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by karl66 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:36 am

My large ensete is still outside & growing!, I always just cut off foliage & store in the porch in its growing pot, mine is in such a sheltered position I may leave it out weather permitting . karl.

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Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:24 am

I generally store bare rooted even if placed in a tub., and in full sun (as much as I can get them) in the conservatory or Lunar Module. All are in full light. Paper is put in the bottom of pots/tubs to help absorb water, and needs changing every few weeks, as becomes soggy. I do leave some smaller ones in pots, but as they are all in full light they will try to grow all the time there is enough water. Leaves dying off is a sign that it has become dry enough. :wink:

Below is my data on the conditions Ensete grow in naturally, and IMO the best way to overwinter is to induce a drought domancy. I've added comments on some of the problems I have had and others such as Will Giles, have told me.

Ensete are high altitude tropical plants, apart from green venstricosum. and are subjected to cold nights with possibly a degree or two of frost.
Natural winter conditions
- Coldest nights to just below freezing
- Days heat up to between 10 and 30C in the coldest month.
- A dry season with 2 to 8 months of little, or no rain.
- The coldest months are in the dry season,
- The dry season is very sunny, 8/9 hrs a day,
- Sun altitude lowest 63°(equivalent to summer solstice in Cornwall)
- Humidity gets as low as 10%.
They have evolved to go dormant when the dry season kicks in, and start to grow again either when there is rain, or the humidity level rises a short while before the wet season starts.

Compare that to what we are trying to do :ahhh!:
Winter Storing
Storing in the dark is only something you can do successfully if the Ensete has been induced into dormancy, and that happens due to drought, not cold.
-Leaving a large Ensete in a tub without water may take 4 to 5 months to completely dry out, if in high humidity. Even then.....
- The pseudostem is 98% water and gives up some of this stored water into the compost, keeping it wetter for longer
- The compost may look bone dry on the surface, but may be soggy in the centre of the pot.
- NEVER pot into something with no drainage for winter.
- If you must risk potting overwinter use a substrate that does not absorb water ie bark chips, grit, gravel etc. and NEVER peat or ground bark.
- light is no problem if water is withheld as is natural dormancy

Keeping Growing
- If you intend to keep growing the temperature needs to rise to at least 10C but be cool at night
- Give as much light and full sun as possible.
- Keep compost virtually dry
- Don't feed, as it does not grow properly over the darkest months.
Best regards
Dave
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Panama Pete

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Panama Pete » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:35 am

Excellent thread, I like how to mimic the natural conditions Dave. icon_thumleft

Mine are in my porch which is really cold. I've left some soil/compost on them this time and it is dry now, so i'm hoping the ensette's are tricked into drought conditions. There wrapped in giant fleece bags upright and the porch is south facing so plenty of sun. icon_sunny

So far so good. Ill post a thread to follow on this method, its worth a try. Ive also sent 15 to work planted :lol: but there growing too fast.

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Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:44 am

Panama Pete wrote: Ive also sent 15 to work planted :lol: but there growing too fast.
Make sure some kind person doesn't water them :roll: That happened to Will Giles.... someone was looking after them and thought they looked very dry and crispy, so gave them a drink in January, and he lost about 17 or so that year to rot.

Just a thought, Airpots would be better than normal pots/tubs :wink:
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DAVIDEVANS

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by DAVIDEVANS » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:50 am

DAVIDEVANS wrote:I have only ever cut the leaves off as you have done, lifted, washed the roots off, then stuck in a bucket in a spare room. My house is not centrally heated so does not promote growth but is frost free. I have had some spring growth which seems to promote bugs but BnQ sprays seem to do the trick.

How is the light in the room? I wonder if it the lack of anything to promote growth that gets them through?
It's just the spare bedroom, east facing and the curtains never closed. I overwinter cannas almost the same, just dig them up, wash the soil off, leave the leaves on, stick in a bucket but cover with fresh compost. I think I'm doing pretty much what Dave B says works but not quite so scientific.

Half Hardy

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Half Hardy » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:54 pm

I have 3 maurelli, 1 fairly large (3 yrs old),2 medium sized( 2 yrs old).They were all left in pots(dry) in the greenhouse last year.All came through fine.I have a heater set to come on at about 5 *c.This year the bigger one was planted in the ground.So I have dug it up,removed most of the soil and will store in a my spare bedroom,unheated north facing.The other two will go in the greenhouse again this year.

Here's a picture of the larger one.Taken end of July.If I can get it through another winter,it should be impressive by the end of next summer.
Attachments
003.JPG

GREVILLE

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by GREVILLE » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:56 pm

I've never dried out any Ensete but I also don't store in compost in the ways described as I usually keep mine active in their final pots all winter. Some have overwintered in the frost-free greenhouse with most leaves intact when space allowed, other times just the roller has been left and with minimal water given according to temperature.

Maurellii as well as montbeliardii have often stayed at the local school where they remain active all winter due to the necessary heating of the classrooms and I tend to make them wait between waterings to hold back growth. Needless to say, they have to be given as much light as possible. When Maurellii was borrowed for a classroom display focusing on the Amazon last February it had poor light levels and suffered as a result. It recovered quickly once it was returned outside.
Maurellii in school display February 2013
Maurellii in school display February 2013
Montbeliardii did a little better placed between two corner windows. It produced three new leaves that were not too drawn by the middle of February

.
Montbeliardii in school classroom February 2013
Montbeliardii in school classroom February 2013
Both are due to go back this week and are much bigger now. This will be the last time I can manage these here as this time next year they will have to be dried out.

cordyman

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by cordyman » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:46 pm

Dave Brown wrote:I generally store bare rooted even if placed in a tub., and in full sun (as much as I can get them) in the conservatory or Lunar Module. All are in full light. Paper is put in the bottom of pots/tubs to help absorb water, and needs changing every few weeks, as becomes soggy. I do leave some smaller ones in pots, but as they are all in full light they will try to grow all the time there is enough water. Leaves dying off is a sign that it has become dry enough. :wink:

Below is my data on the conditions Ensete grow in naturally, and IMO the best way to overwinter is to induce a drought domancy. I've added comments on some of the problems I have had and others such as Will Giles, have told me.

Ensete are high altitude tropical plants, apart from green venstricosum. and are subjected to cold nights with possibly a degree or two of frost.
Natural winter conditions
- Coldest nights to just below freezing
- Days heat up to between 10 and 30C in the coldest month.
- A dry season with 2 to 8 months of little, or no rain.
- The coldest months are in the dry season,
- The dry season is very sunny, 8/9 hrs a day,
- Sun altitude lowest 63°(equivalent to summer solstice in Cornwall)
- Humidity gets as low as 10%.
They have evolved to go dormant when the dry season kicks in, and start to grow again either when there is rain, or the humidity level rises a short while before the wet season starts.

Compare that to what we are trying to do :ahhh!:
Winter Storing
Storing in the dark is only something you can do successfully if the Ensete has been induced into dormancy, and that happens due to drought, not cold.
-Leaving a large Ensete in a tub without water may take 4 to 5 months to completely dry out, if in high humidity. Even then.....
- The pseudostem is 98% water and gives up some of this stored water into the compost, keeping it wetter for longer
- The compost may look bone dry on the surface, but may be soggy in the centre of the pot.
- NEVER pot into something with no drainage for winter.
- If you must risk potting overwinter use a substrate that does not absorb water ie bark chips, grit, gravel etc. and NEVER peat or ground bark.
- light is no problem if water is withheld as is natural dormancy

Keeping Growing
- If you intend to keep growing the temperature needs to rise to at least 10C but be cool at night
- Give as much light and full sun as possible.
- Keep compost virtually dry
- Don't feed, as it does not grow properly over the darkest months.
Fantastic!!! cheers

"Keeping Growing
- If you intend to keep growing the temperature needs to rise to at least 10C but be cool at night
- Give as much light and full sun as possible.
- Keep compost virtually dry
- Don't feed, as it does not grow properly over the darkest months."

this sounds perfect and what i'll try with all three this year, can't be worse than last years failure rate right? :lol:

fern Rob

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by fern Rob » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:06 am

I have left mine outside with straw and bags. I dont think they will survive.

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Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:24 am

fern Rob wrote:I have left mine outside with straw and bags. I dont think they will survive.
Neither do I.

cordyman

Re: Ensete Maurelli, storing in compost vs drying out?

Post by cordyman » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:30 am

fern Rob wrote:I have left mine outside with straw and bags. I dont think they will survive.
Wtf bring them in, icon_scratch

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