Return of some borderline plants
Tue, 29 May 2007 06:51:32 PDT
"Whenever a purportedly tender plant survives the winter outside, it's a bit
like finding money blowing down the street." from Jim McKenney

Jim...I know how you feel!! Three years ago I planted a South African Morea houtonii in my Pennsylvania garden (Zone 6). I was careful to place it in a warm and protected area and added turkey grit to improve the drainage. Last year it returned and bloomed. Beautiful! Then we had to build a small stone wall exactly where my treasure was growing so wonderfully, so I had to dig it up in the heat of the summer and move it. Again I took care to situate it and plant it carefully. It returned and a couple of weeks ago it bloomed again, in spite of the torture it had been put through last year. ... This really was like "finding money blowing down the street." The next morning I went out to take a picture of it in the perfect light, and the flower was GONE. Then I saw it--snipped off by a rabbit or groundhog and laying wilted on the ground. I guess someone grabbed the money before I could. It hasn't had another blossom, yet, but I'm keeping my hopes up that maybe I'll be surprised again.

Have you had any luck with South African bulbs (or anything else South African) making it through the winter in your area. I see you're Zone 7 (and with global warming some say we're now in Zone 7 too). Has anyone else in colder zones had any luck with South African plants? I'm interested in hearing because I'm currently writing a book for Timber Press on gardening with South African plants in colder climates. I know Ellen Hornig of Seneca Hill Perennials has had GREAT success, but she has winter snow cover, which we don't. 

Thanks for any input/experiences/successes and/or failures.

Marilyn Daly
Rosewood Farm
Dallastown, Pennsylvania USA USDA Zone 6 
Where it is a most perfect summer morning--birds are singing, bullfrogs are croaking, and our first water lily is blooming. "There's no place like home" on a morning like this. 



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