Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

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Ditch

Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:25 pm

Having read through lots of topics on the forum, I am still a bit worried..

I have many Trachycarpus's, Cordylines, Pygmy palms, Tetrapanax, Rostrata, ect, all in pots, some in very very large pots, that have all survived outside in many previous winters without a problem, BUT..thanks to a recent divorce they were all left in the care of my ex all summer, who neglected to water all of them, lost approx 40% had to cut others right back, so I have been over watering them and they have been ferterlized very late in season, (miricle grow & tomato feed), and top dressed with manure, I can now see slight signs of new growth on most plants, but think I may have given my biggest Trachycarpus Carp F ferterlizer burns as still loosing leaves (brown crispy leaf tips)

So my plan was to try and give them an easy winter in my unheated green house that will be bubble wrapped & I was going to keep watering & ferterlizing, but now worried after reading other posts..

Do I water through the winter..???

Do I ferterlize through the winter..??

Do I bubble wrap the whole inside of the greenhouse..??

Do I insulate the plants as well...??

I have just brought my first Musa Basjoo's greenhouse or kitchen windowsill..??

Sorry for asking so many questions but never been in the position of having 30+ unhealthy plants especially at this time of year,

Thanks in advance for any pointers & please excuse my spelling

dave2166

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by dave2166 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:24 am

personally i would keep most on the drier side, growth in an unheated house will be almost nil, as temps fall and light levels fall, especially in a bubble wrapped house, the plants will slow down naturally.

plus with no air movement, damping off and rot will be minimised, though maybe not completely so i would get it ventilated on the sunny days just to clear the air

my aeoniums are in a heated house now til prob April, and i will only water them very lightly on the top when they are almost bone dry.

i think its all about monitoring them and checking them, if they look stressed, and it sounds like they were very stressed in the summer thanks to the ex, then clearly they need TLC, but even semi dormant they will need some input.
i would leave off the feed though if the plants are taking it up in the same quantities there can be no benefit in giving it to them, it will just sit in the compost and could do more harm than good

its all about learning with tropical stuff, somethings work some don't. what might work in the east wont work in the wetter/warmer west, those in the south can get away with things others can only dream of...... then nature comes along and slaps us all in the face like last year just to remind us not to be too cocky....

Ditch

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:10 pm

Cheers for that Dave, so minimal watering just to stop the compost becoming desert, with no feed..OK..I actually thought she had weed killered the lot when I eventually got them back, lost 20 odd leaves off my big Trachycarpus down to 3 and think I am gonna have to cut another back this weekend as its fried, 9 year old Trachycarpus in 75L pot with big trunk & 2 scruffy leaves is gonna look a sight..Gutted.. :( :(

Anybody got any more pointers for me??

:? :? :? :? :?

Nigel Fear

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Nigel Fear » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:49 pm

The Trachies and Cordylines should be fine outdoors, they don't need pampering, and hold off the fertiliser untill spring.

Tetrapanax will defoliate over winter outside, but will recover very quickly in spring, but if very small still best get in an unheated greenhouse, Pigmy [date?]palms are not hardy and will need to go in the greenhouse and the Yucca will be fine if kept reasonably dry.

Musa Basjoo's are root hardy, and worth experimenting with one outside surely?

None of the above should be fertilised until spring, and mummywrapping in bubblewrap is asking for trouble too.

There's loads of good advice on all of the above already covered though if you search the forum in depth. :wink:

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Adam D
Posts: 3574
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:47 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Adam D » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:48 pm

Welcome to the site mate!

Sorry to hear about your domestic grief.

Just follow the good advice given above and I am sure that your plants will recover by next year :D

Ditch

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:09 pm

Nigel

Cheers for the pointers, The Trachies & Cordylines are used to being outside during the winter & thats where they will stay in the future once (if) recovered, but they are very sick at the moment..

Trachycarpus is that bad that I am tempted to cut off all the remaining foliage & see if it will start again..Works on Roses over the winter but not brave enough to treat what was the pride of my collection like this..needs to be hospitalised this winter..if it fitted I would have it in the living room..Does it need the leaves for photosynthesis..????

The pigmy palms as I called em are
Canary Island Palm (Phoenix Canariensis)
Pigmy Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii)

The Musa Basjoo's are only seedlings so I think I will treat them as house plants this winter

Ditch

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:14 pm

Adam

Cheers for the welcome..:D

Petefree

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Petefree » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:27 pm

I'd agree with Dave and Nigel's suggestions.
Definitely wouldn't feed them now until spring - and keep the watering minimal over winter for the stuff in the greenhouse - but remember that on bright sunny days it can still warm up a bit even in an unheated greenhouse, and while that's probably not going to result in significant plant growth, it can dry out compost, particularly in smaller pots, pretty quickly. I have lost stuff through dessication in the greenhouse over winter - so do be on your guard about that - particularly as I said, for anything in really small pots.
I wouldn't chop the leaves off the Trachycarpus at this time of year. It's probably more a cosmetic issue than anything else and I'd be inclined to leave even the shabby leaves until there are some new leaves emerging to replace them.
Sounds like a nice collection of plants - I'm sure they'll look a treat again next summer.
Pete

dave2166

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by dave2166 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:31 pm

phew, thats a relief got it right and those more lnowledgeable agree, cheers Pete

must be doing something right in this gardening thing after all

BTW, welcome to the forum..

Ditch

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:45 pm

Petefree

Ahhh a local..LOL.. :lol:

My Trachycarpus started life at Shotley Gate when I lived out there, wind off the rivers gave my plants some stick..

Then Henley, Nice house & garden now in Bramford Village & starting again..

Ditch

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:47 pm

So is there already a thread on how to bubble wrap my greenhouse??

dave2166

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by dave2166 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:48 pm

can i join in then?

wife's from suffolk, in laws in suffolk, her brother and family in suffolk.

gives me an excuse to check out some different nurseries and places when we have to go visiting.....

and suggestions boys?

Ditch

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Ditch » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:56 pm

The Exotic Garden Co @ Aldeburgh is my favorite, some of his bigger plants and pots can be a bit to expensive for my budget, but he does some brilliant deals on small plants and I enjoy growing them on myself anyway..

Petefree

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by Petefree » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:24 pm

Small world, Ditch!
I agree the Exotic Garden Company is always worth a look - not a huge range but decent plants at reasonable prices.
I also really like Shrublands Park Nursery between Ipswich and Stowmarket - not really an exotic nursery but she specialises in conservatory plants and has some very interesting things as a result.
There's a nice Exotic Garden at Henstead (Andrew Brogan's place) there should be a thread on here somewhere about it if you do a search.
Amulreee and Urban Jungle are just up the road near Norwich.
Todd's Botanics is just down the road at Coggeshall (near Colchester).
Ditch - I asked about how best to fix bubbleplastic insulation in a greenhouse last year and again think there is a thread here somewhere - Helen had some really useful suggestions that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of.
If I can find the thread I'll try to post a link to it.
icon_thumright

dave2166

Re: Watering of hardy tropicals stored in greenhouse over winter

Post by dave2166 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:00 am

thanks for the heads up guys, I've done a few of them already, but some are also new to me.

yep I'm bubble wrapping this weekend too, got two big rolls in the garage, ready tio do battle. i'll do a search for any old threads and see if there are any ideas to use

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