overwintering Ensete outdoors

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Cathy

overwintering Ensete outdoors

Post by Cathy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:39 am

Not being at all hardy, I have managed, against the odds, to keep this Ensette alive over the last two winters by keeping the pot under the eaves of our house by the front door.
When the leaves begin to die back, I pierce the base of each leaf to let the stored water out and keep the soil in the pot very dry. I have covered it with a plastic pot 'hat' on occasion. I have tried overwintering in the ground without success.

My problem is that in spring, the surviving stump (for want of a better word) is so dry that the new growth is squeezed, making the pseudostem thinner than the previous year and leaves smaller.

Should I actually cut it back to the soil each spring? or will the trauma of struggling through our cold winters finally do for it! :roll:

The pot is 16" across x 14" deep. (with bottle for scale)

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eyefi

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by eyefi » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:13 am

eyup cathy, have a look through this. it surprised me.

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... ry_state0=

carolpz

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by carolpz » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:20 am

Mine managed to survive -5 last winter and didn't even blink. It's somewhat larger than yours but you are southwest of the country so not as cold as the east. I can't understand why it won't survive in the ground if it survives in a container, do you fleece? It's probably dry in spring because it gets no water throughout the winter. :lol: I don't usually let mine dry out at all and it seems to love it although, if there's a heavy frost forecast, I have been known drain the leaves. Hope this helps a bit.

lucienc

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by lucienc » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:51 am

I think the reason for mine dieing wasn't the cold, but overwatering too early in the spring.

Cathy

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by Cathy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:41 am

eyefi wrote:eyup cathy, have a look through this. it surprised me.

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... ry_state0=

WOW!!! what an amazing diary! thanks for sharing!
I am afraid I do not have the dedication to go to those lengths, even if I had suitable indoor storage! - I must look through the link again, more closely. :oops:

bobbyd44

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by bobbyd44 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:44 am

great find love that story!!! well i know mine will be ok in the garage now!! first year plant and very happy with the size it prob would have grown more in the ground..
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simon
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Slough, Berkshire

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by simon » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:50 am

I have had varying success with overwintering maurellii. I had one survive in the ground the winter before last (07/08) but that was a prticularly mild winter. I have also had successes and failures leaving them bare-rooted or potted up in the garage. I keep persevering because they really get to a decent size the second year.

Nathan

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by Nathan » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:50 am

Mine also overwintered ok in the ground last winter. Once the leaves got frosted I cut them off & wrapped the stem in one of those reed style beach mats & placed a pot over the top to keep it dry... icon_thumleft

Cathy

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by Cathy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:56 am

Carol / Lucien thanks for your comments,

We had -10c last winter. In the past, I have lost Ensette left planted in the ground during milder winters.
No, I have not used fleece :roll: ...only a large plastic flowerpot 'hat' over a smallish Ensette planted in our north facing back garden. It died. Perhaps fleece might have saved it.
Sometimes my optimism alone, is not enough :oops: I live and learn...

I am always very cautious when watering pots, until the weather warms up. Plants in the ground are at the mercy of nature - I suppose a small plastic growhouse might be a good idea (£16.99pish but probably not available this time of year from 'bargain' shops) or the more usual rain shelter constructions.

Still not sure what to do with it this winter. Plant it out and hope for a mild winter :? indoors is not an option here. :(

Cathy

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by Cathy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:59 am

Nathan wrote:Mine also overwintered ok in the ground last winter. Once the leaves got frosted I cut them off & wrapped the stem in one of those reed style beach mats & placed a pot over the top to keep it dry... icon_thumleft
:lol: 'Beach mat and a pot hat' sounds about right to me! Glad I am not the only one to improvise! icon_thumleft

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simon
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Slough, Berkshire

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by simon » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:02 pm

Cathy wrote:
Nathan wrote:Mine also overwintered ok in the ground last winter. Once the leaves got frosted I cut them off & wrapped the stem in one of those reed style beach mats & placed a pot over the top to keep it dry... icon_thumleft
:lol: 'Beach mat and a pot hat' sounds about right to me! Glad I am not the only one to improvise! icon_thumleft
Nathan, did you top it off with a notted hanky?

bobbyd44

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by bobbyd44 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:02 pm

reminds me must order some fleece this week!!! i am going for the garage with my ensette!!!

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Chad
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Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by Chad » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:35 pm

I agree with Carol that at a brief -5C there is very little damage except the loss of the leaves. At -9 this last winter I lost the unprotected ones.

After the first frost I cut the leaves off and wrapped the stem loosely in double fleece, and put an upside down dustbin over the top. I had cut the stump back just far enough for the bin to reach the soil without resting on the stump. The one protected like that grew back fine.

There is a nerve wracking period in the spring when you cut off the top and keep cutting back an inch at a time, until you hit a green or white 'core' of undamaged new leaf in the centre of the stump. Last spring some were cut to the ground because there was no green healthy centre!

Keeping the stump dry is as important as keeping it unfrosted I think.

Chad.

eyefi

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by eyefi » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:05 pm

Cathy wrote:
eyefi wrote:eyup cathy, have a look through this. it surprised me.

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... ry_state0=

WOW!!! what an amazing diary! thanks for sharing!
I am afraid I do not have the dedication to go to those lengths, even if I had suitable indoor storage! - I must look through the link again, more closely. :oops:
the important info in summary is he got a bigger plant the next year from the cut down plant rather than saving the trunk, this may well apply to your potted chap. :)

jezza

Re: overwintering Ensette outdoors

Post by jezza » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:07 pm

I don't have a garage so mine is in my dining room :roll: :lol:

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