Snow for 49 states…
Testing our hardiness levels
For the second winter in a row we've received two snows to date here in central South Carolina, and the last one this past Monday was another significant one at around 5 inches. Last February we had a good snow with around 9 inches, and then again received a good dusting in March. All of this really has put our hardy plants to the test of sustaining snow and ice (including the weight of the snow), which resulted in the loss of several plants last year, particularly the bananas we were experimenting with. A lot of our Basjoo bananas have even folded in half this year, with significant loss to the pseudo-stems height. This is likely because of the frigid teen temperatures we experienced in early and mid-December 2010. Overall it has been a very cold winter for us thus far, and as we head into the coldest part of the year, I'm a little concerned about my plants that were left outdoors this year. We made the assumption we'd not have two bad winters in a row and did some experimenting again, but so far it has been another rough year.
Everything in the garage is doing well, though because we've been in the 30's F the last few days, temperatures have struggled to stay around 50F during the daytime in the garage (I run the halides at night and that usually warms it up to about 60-70F). Lighting and watering is always a concern when the plants are indoors because they do not go dormant during the winter in those conditions - especially when the temperatures in the garage were in the high 70's or 80's. This typically results in the plants needing more water. Versus now when the temperatures have grown colder, the plants don't need the same amount of water - and figuring out this balance is always tough. Every year I feel like I either over or under water some of the indoor plants.
The orange Bird of Paradise has bloomed indoors again for the third consecutive winter, and my Giant White BOP is putting out two flower stalks - which I look forward to in the spring. That's two years in a row it's bloomed. As usual the Ti plants also went into full bloom once brought indoors - something always triggers them to bloom.
Will post another update closer to the spring. Happy Gardening. Stay warm!!