Cold winter miscellany

Boyce Tankersley
Mon, 07 Dec 2009 13:47:02 PST
Hi Jane:

I think you will be surprised at what has survived. Bulbs in particular
seem to be more resistant to this sort of occurrence (one of the reasons
I've focused on them and not other groups of plants). 

I built a Dutch frame house onto the side of my parents home and was
able to pull through an amazing number of plants without any
supplemental heat (OK, so once I built a smudge pot in it - not
recommended; it is amazing how the odor seeps through window and door

Regardless, please write up the results. This is the sort of information
that is never published and yet of great value to the plant community.

Don't give up just yet, I've had plants come back from apparent loss as
late as mid-summer following the weather event.

This fall, in the rush to get all of the non-hardy bulbs indoors before
I departed on a trip I overlooked a pot of Lachenalia - and purposely
left out a large Cymbidium in the hope it would finally get enough
chilling to flower next spring. They were tucked up against the east
side foundation of the house. Temperatures fell much lower than I
anticipated (20 degrees F) on several nights and then got down to the
upper twenties for the remainder of my absence. Rushed out a couple of
nights ago upon my return and was amazed to find the Lachenalia new
growth looking robust and the orchid apparently unfazed (jury is still
out on whether or not I'll get any flowers). They have joined the others
under grow lights in the basement. High temperatures later this week are
forecast in the single digits.

Boyce Tankersley
Director of Living Plant Documentation
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
tel: 847-835-6841
fax: 847-835-1635

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