Elephant Ears(Big) during freezing temp.

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  #1  
Old 12-03-06, 09:14 AM
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Elephant Ears(Big) during freezing temp.

Hi:
There are 'elephant ears' plants still have 'green leaves' due to unusual warm weather for the past weeks.

Last week when the weather warmed up, those 'big leaves' even growing, rather than shrinking.

However, my concern is, ... before the weather getting really cold, like 'frost' coming, I should cut those leaves, for the sake of next year's growth?

Also, I want to keep those 'bulbs' in the soil, rather digging them up for storage. But, I worry about freezing when the cold spell hit during Jan.-Feb. period.

For this, I am thining of 'mulch' for protection flrom freeze. Because, I LOVE so much those 'big,' 'fantastic' and 'unique' Elephants Ears.

Your suggestion, opinions or any other tips on this regard would be truly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-04-06, 11:01 AM
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I would suggest you wait until the leaves turn yellow and dig them up for the winter. You can either pot them up and keep them in a cool place with little watering for the winter, or you can store them as you would cannas.

If you want to leave them in the ground for the winter I would suggest at least 6" of mulch applied after the leaves yellow and are removed. Not sure they will survive in zone 7 or colder.

Newt
 
  #3  
Old 12-05-06, 07:18 AM
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Hi:
Thanks for the response. I truly appreciate it.

The leaves of Elephant Ears got withered due to a sudden drop of temperature last night. Then, I plan to cut all leaves of them, still greenish, not yellowish because, it's no longer a pretty site to look at them.

Last winter, I did not cover them at all, but most of Elephant Ears survived, then I want to keep them inside the soil this winter, as well. Probably, a survival of Elephant Ears without digging was mostly I planted very close to the house. An end of the roof covering most of Elephant Ear Plants.

However, I do not want to lose them next year, then what form of 'mulch' or any other 'cover' for Elephant Ears would you recommend? Can I find a good 'cover' for Elephant Ears for survival next year? I plan to look at those in both Home Depot and Lowe's. But, I am pretty skeptical they still carrying. If that's the case, what do you recommend, except digging them?

Thanks again,
 
  #4  
Old 12-05-06, 07:34 AM
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I heard on the news last night that we may have a warm winter this year so they might do ok in the ground, especially near the house foundation. I'd use either shredded wood/bark mulch, pine straw (pine needles) or shredded leaves. Go to 8" - 12" deep with the pine or leaves. You could even do a combo of leaves and shredded wood or pine straw and wood mulch. The leaves will break down over the winter. It's getting cold here now, so if you think the ground will freeze where you want to plant any new additions, cover the area with an old blanket to keep the soil from freezing until you plant.

Or you could pot them up and keep them indoors for the winter. Then plant in the spring after danger of hard frost.
http://www.victoryseeds.com/frost/md.html

Newt
 
  #5  
Old 12-05-06, 10:07 AM
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Hi:
Thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it.

The problem I am facing is that Elephants Erars, about 12 in all were planted in the front yard, very close to the Gutter and foundation. Then, whenever rain falls on , some of Elephants Plants, I am afraid 'freezing' that causes 'death' or partially 'stunt,' not come up next Spring.

There are very fancy red-bricks around Elephants Plants I put for both, protection from freezing and ornamental purposes. Also, there are more I have, for just in case. If those red-ornamental bricks helps, I can buy more from either Home Depots or Lowe's, because I saw them the other day when I went one of stores.

Also, there is one bag of mulch, 'big chunck' I bought this past Spring. That mulch I plant to use, but a blanket is out of question due to location which is front yard. One of neighbors certainly does NOT like it. She would say, ... 'it's Junckie or something like that. Then, I must be cautious.

Is/are there any good 'defense' for Winter-cold, except 'digging-up?'

Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 12-05-06, 10:41 AM
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I'm not sure we are understanding each other here.

You said, "I plan to look at those in both Home Depot and Lowe's. But, I am pretty skeptical they still carrying."

That is why I mentioned the blanket. I thought you meant you wanted to plant more now. I was just telling you what you could do for a few days until you plant, not to leave the blanket on all winter. You could put a bag of mulch on top of the blanket to 'hide' it for a few days until you get more and plant them.

Water finds it's own level. If you have a downspout where the tubers are you could either add a diverter to the downspout or an underground system to carry the water away from the area. Proper grading of the soil will also help to carry the water away from the area. Not sure that brick pavers will be enough to keep the water away without seeing the site.

You said, "Is/are there any good 'defense' for Winter-cold, except 'digging-up?'"
The only things I can think of are what I already recommended with mulch and diverting water flow. Maybe others will have more ideas.

Newt
 
  #7  
Old 12-05-06, 11:07 AM
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Hi:
Thanks for all the help. I truly appreciate all responses/help provided.

I live in southern part of Maryland as you see it at the right corner of the screen. Then, there might have some different temperature even the same state, Maryland where you also reside as seeing your 'location.'

As to defense of the Elephants Ears from freezing, I pretty much follow your instructions and advices, ... probably some of those plants I dig and some are left alone in the soil where the end of the roof protecting from freezing. Also, I certainly use a bag of mulch to protect from freezing.

I am VERY grateful to get the responses and advices/tips from the individual who knows WELL about Gardening, since I am very new and naive to the bulbs. For that reason, I lost many of good plants, including some of Tulips, Daffadails(sp?), Cannas and more to list.

Thank you VERY much for the helpful and knowledgeable responses.

Have a Great Day!
 
  #8  
Old 12-05-06, 11:41 AM
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Pine Cone, you are so very welcome! I didn't know that you are in Southern Maryland as your profile only shows the state. I live in Howard County and my hardiness zone is the colder part of zone 7, bordering on zone 6. Here's a zone map that might be helpful for you. I suspect you are in the warmer part of zone 7.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/cropmap/maryland/maps/MDhardy.jpg

Not sure what happened to your tulips, cannas and daffodils. Cannas need to be dug up in winter as they can't take freezing temps. Some tulips don't come back the following years and are planted as annuals. Here's some sites on tulips and others that naturalize/perennialize and return year after year and multiply. Keep in mind that if you have deer they will eat tulips.
http://www.theplantexpert.com/springbulbs/Perennial.html
http://www.bulb.com/templates/dispatcher.asp?page_id=snw_article_public&item=100&tg=public

Daffodils aren't eaten by deer so I don't know what happened to them. If you tell me what you did maybe we can figure it out.

Newt
 
  #9  
Old 12-05-06, 12:24 PM
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One thing that can happen to bulbs is that during mild winters soil stays too warm and bulbs pop up too early. Then, along comes freezing temperatures that freeze the foliage. If bulbs have not been planted deep enough, this can happen when soil begins to warm up. If bulbs have not been planted deep enough, they can get forced upward with movement of soil due to freezing & thawing.

As indicated, mulching is very important to keep bulbs from freezing and help retain moisture in soil. Around 3-4" of mulch acts as a blanket and keeps soil from going through so much freezing and thawing. It's best that soil remains frozen as long as possible so that bulbs do not emerge too early and get zapped by freezing temps.

A rule of thumb is to plant bulbs twice as deep as height of the bulb. If you plant too shallow, roots and plant will not develop properly, and they tend to get damaged by frost. If you plant bulbs too deep, bulbs can rot and plants can be weak as a result of the long struggle up through the soil.
 
  #10  
Old 12-05-06, 01:50 PM
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Hi Newt:
one of my sons travels to Howard County for the work. It's a nice place to work, according to his experience although he needs a good car. His car is Camry and running real good, for that he's very grateful.

Yes, ... I think I live in the warmest zone, in comopariton to northern part of Maryland. I love this place, although there has been a lot of changes as reading and seeing on Media, ... good and bad. But, we still continue to live this place no matter what. We're one of those who still live in the same house and same county despite most of my neighbors moving in more warm place, like Floride and even California where one of their kids lives.

Nice to know that you're one of Marylanders who is a big contributor to this site.

PineCone (we have a big Pine Cone tree in front of house, then I took this name)
 
  #11  
Old 12-05-06, 03:48 PM
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Hi Twelvepole:
Thanks for the helpful advice. I truly appreciate it.

There is my 'lazy' side not to study good before and after planting Bulbs, Spring, and Summers. I lost a big number of Bulbs due to my negligence.

It's not easy for me to follow every instruction, although I love those beautiful and colorful flowers. There are a lot of attenton along with some money involve in order to succeful planting, cultivating and at last, 'digging up.'

However, I plan to spend some time for them to bloom properly and beautifuly in the coming Spring.

Thanks for your great suggestion and advice on this regard.
 
  #12  
Old 12-05-06, 08:01 PM
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Pine Cone, I like how you got your name from your tree. I got mine from one of my dogs!

I'm wondering if you dug up your tulips and daffodils or maybe planted them at the wrong time. They should be easy to care for. Add 3" of compost to the planting bed and dig it into the soil. You can buy bagged compost or make your own. Plant your hardy bulbs in the fall and you're done. After they bloom in the spring, let the leaves turn yellow before you remove them. All hardy bulbs can be treated this way and are easy to care for. Most bulbs can't be planted in wet spots.

Maybe now that you know your hardiness zone it will be easier for you to know which bulbs you can leave in the ground all year long and which you will need to dig up for the winter.

Hope that helped.
Newt
 
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