Garage plant drag out begins

Every spring I wonder when I should drag all of the plants out of the garage, where they've spent the winter dormant or semi-dormant. Or possibly dying, to be honest.


This year it's been particularly difficult to decide when it was warm enough, because the temperatures keep fluctuating so wildly. We've had our share of warm spring days where it's over 70ºF (21ºC), but also a good number of cold ones where it barely got above 40ºF (4ºC) and dipped below freezing at night. Since most of these garage plants are not able to take a freeze, they've stayed indoors.

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Earlier this week I finally decided to drag most of the pots out. Many were quite dry since they hadn't been watered more than once or twice (if at all) for the past several months, so they start with a little soaking:


Some of these didn't make it, and rotted -- in this case a Colocasia:


and I've already talked about the Echiums:


Others look terrible but are fine -- the pups on this Colocasia are nice and firm:


I had bad luck with bananas this winter:



Those are all dead and rotted. These were the red-leaved variety which I really liked -- I'll have to buy another I guess. Doubt I'll be able to find a bargain like I did when I first got it, darn it.

The larger green banana is fine though:


Well, one of the two largest pseudostems has rotted:


But the rest of the plant is in good shape. I'll probably divide this. (I should mention that my hardy banana Musa basjoo was left in the ground and mulched -- these are just the non-hardy bananas.)

One of my overwintering experiments went perfectly:


This Alocasia macrorrhizos (upright elephant ear) survived just sitting out in the open. I did nothing to it at all -- just dug it up, maybe trimmed a few roots off and the leaves, then just let it sit in an empty pot, upright all winter.

There are several pots and buckets of papyrus, umbrella palm, and some canna rhizomes:


These all need to be cleaned up, with the dead foliage removed. They'll all start growing as soon as it warms up. They overwinter so easily in the garage as long as they don't dry out -- the opposite of most of the other plants that spent the winter in here.


Only a few plants left in the garage now, because these are the heaviest pots and I didn't leave enough room to drag them out:


Plus I want to make sure we're past our last frost date before they come out, as I don't want to have to move them back in. So I'll wait a little while longer.

I've lost a good deal of driveway space already...


...and I still haven't pulled out all of the elephant ear bulbs which are stored on shelves in the back. Those come out next. There's more work involved with those since I need to pot them up, so it's a weekend task -- maybe this weekend?

I can almost get my lawnmower out of the garage now!

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Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (April 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM)  

I look forwarding to seeing how many will come back to life. I've not had much luck with bananas. My 'Dwarf Cavendish' looks like it won't come back.

scottweberpdx  – (April 26, 2013 at 12:41 PM)  

You are so dedicated...I don't think I could be so committed!

Cassidy  – (April 27, 2013 at 12:38 AM)  

I've had the same dilema with when to bring my plants outside. It is so much better for them but we always seems to get a random freeze when I do decide to make the move!

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