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Re: Temperature requirements for Helicodiceros

  • Subject: Re: Temperature requirements for Helicodiceros
  • From: "Tony Avent" <tony@plantdelights.com>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 10:46:31 -0500


As often happens, gardeners seem to have greatly underestimated the winter
hardiness of both Dracunculus vulgaris and Helicodiceros.  Our former
research horticulturist Petra Schmidt brought clones of Dracunculus here
from her previous home in St. Louis, where she had grown them for many
years, so Zone 6b would certainly be fine and probably colder.  We have had
numerous calls from Zone 6 areas of Tennessee over the years where
Dracunculus vulgaris grew fine.   Helicodiceros have also been fine here for
more than a decade surviving temps to at least 6 degrees F with no mulch.
As with many plants from warm climates, they need good summer heat to
produce an adequate amount of sugars to fully develop their potential winter
hardiness.  We are predicted to drop near 10 F tonight (we hit 9F last
winter) and a number of our helicodiceros are already up and growing, so we
may get some burned foliage, but the plants should be fine.  

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
email tony@plantdelights.com
website  http://www.plantdelights.com
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least three
times" - Avent
From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com]
On Behalf Of Paul Temple
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 1:42 PM
To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Temperature requirements for Helicodiceros (Susan B)

I´ve been silent for about a year as a result of some legal issues locally. 
However, the Helicodiceros question spurred me to break silence!
I used to live in the English countryside where winter temperatures often
fell below zero Centigrade, though not too much colder.  My helicodiceros
plants (I had perhaps 30) survived these winters outdoors, below ground
(obviously!) at a depth of between 6 and 12 inches.  Once mid-Spring arrived
(mid to late April), out they came, flowering annually once of mature
age.  Once mid-summer arrived (August at latest), the heat dried off the
plants and they became dormant again.
So I would say that Helicodiceros is more hardy than is generally stated
(but it  not reliably hardy so probably can´t take -5C or less for long
periods) while it is also not a heat lover, preferring dormancy once
temperatures reach about 25C for a prolonged period.
Of course, this was my experience for my plants in the South of England so
it´s only a guide, not a rule!
Have fun.
In the cool mountains of the Dominican Republic (but sadly with no
Aroid-L mailing list

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