Zantdeschia hardiness

Steve Marak
Sun, 14 Jun 2009 13:18:18 PDT
On Sun, 14 Jun 2009, Jim McKenney wrote:

> Jane McGary quoted me as saying “>I've had problems with Z. aethiopica too,
> > but I think the root of that is that this species is a winter grower 
> >which only very reluctantly changes seasons.”
> And then commented “This is news to me.”


> Planted in the garden in the autumn, such plants surged into growth, only to
> be cut severely by subsequent cold. 

Similarly, the problem with Z. aethiopica here (NW Arkansas) seems not to 
be cold hardiness per se, but the wildly variable spring temperatures.

I tried Z. aethiopica from a number of sources, planted at various times. 
It always went dormant on schedule in the fall and survived the coldest 
nights of the winter, but them broke dormancy far too early in the spring 
and was cut back by a hard frost. Some plants bounce back quickly from 
spring frosts, but not this one, at least not for me, and two or three 
cycles was enough to do it in. Of all my trials, only one plant made it 
through a first spring; it seemed to grow well during the summer (and was 
given lots of water and care), but never returned the second spring. Maybe 
someone in a less variable zone 6 climte could grow it, but I can't. 

The others species and hybrids I grow don't start up until well after our 
last frost.


-- Steve Marak

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