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Friday, November 14, 2014

A few blooms in Mid November in my NYC yard

It might be mid November and it might be NYC but that doesn't mean there aren't some tropical plants still blooming. We will be getting our first frost tonight so everything that is tender will be melted in the morning. First off here's a cool map. How often is it that you see the southeast getting their first frost advisories the same time as NYC!? There are no other freeze warnings outside of the city since all the surrounding area has already seen a killing freeze. The urban heat island effect has a lot of downsides but the one positive to it is a noticeably longer growing season.

One plant that will not be melted are my hardy palms. They are hidden during the growing season by tropical plants that outgrow them, but they really start to shine this year when all the other greenery is just about gone. Here is my Trachycarpus.

My Sabal minor has 100s of seeds on it this year despite seeing some very low temperatures last winter (3F unprotected). It made a full recovery over the summer though and is almost as full as this time last year.

This is my first year growing Washingtonia Palms. If you aren't familiar with these palms, they are those extremely tall palms you see lining the streets in California and are very popular in any subtropical climate in the US including Florida (although the ones in Florida usually die from lightening long before the get as tall as the Washingtonias in California). Mine will never be that tall, but I am looking forward to testing their limits here in New York. They will start to suffer below 20F so I will be protecting mine once night temperatures start to threaten to go into the low 20s. More on protection later!

Last Ginger blooms of the season

My front yard does look empty without the banana tree, but if it overwinters well it will be back in that spot in just a few months.
The Cassias in the front and the back are both still blooming great. I got these as pretty small plants back in April and they are now taller than me!

 Mandevilla vines are very tropical. A touch of frost will usually knock them out for good and they will not start producing buds until the weather starts getting hot (late June or so around here). However, they will not terminate buds in cold weather so the flower buds they made from summer so they look great well into the Fall. It probably will not be alive tomorrow morning but it looks perfect today.

When it comes to blooming I can't think of a much better plant than knock out roses. They are low maintenance and bloom heavily in the spring and in the fall and sporadically all summer long. The bloom season is basically early April to late November which is incredible in this climate.

Here's a look at my kitchen now that the plants are inside for the season. 

The ginger smells amazing!

Thanks for looking! Unfortunately this will probably be my last post for the growing season, but definitely not my last post of the year! There will still be a lot going on outside as I begin to protect my palm trees for winter and lots going on inside too with all the tropical plants.

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