Tag Archives: Hardiness

Observations on the Cold: Leonotis, Salvia and Rhodocoma – Pot Culture & Hardiness

Leonotis menthafolia x 'Savannah Sunset'

Leonotis menthafolia x ‘Savannah Sunset’ after Christmas still displaying its robust foliage.

Monday – Dec. 29, ’14 – low 33° – high 43°

Tuesday – Dec. 30, ’14 – low 28° – high 34°

Here’s one of my little experiments of ‘neglect’.  Sometimes the pots are just too big and heavy to haul down to my basement storage, not to mention the limited space there, so I position them up against my house, under roof overhangs, out of the wind and rain.  Many things I grow in pots, can take a few degrees of freeze overnight, but when we are supposed to have a period of prolonged freezing, when highs are forecasted to remain below the mark, I haul many of them in, otherwise outside they stay.   Then, out they go when it warms back up above freezing to a protected spot.  The pots in question, the biggest/heaviest, have been out all winter so far, sequestered under the roof on our deck.  They were not pulled in or covered during the first substantial cold snap and I’ve been surprised so far.  This is Tuesday noon-ish and it’s 34deg.

The Leonotis menthafolia ‘Savannah Sunset’, zn 8a, a name recognized by Annie’s Annuals, my source, but known by others as Leonotis ocymifolia var. ocymifolia, looks perfect and is still blooming at 5 1/2′ tall !!! silly plant.  Last year, with our two significant winter cold snaps, I lost one of these in the ground in a sunny exposed site.  That one received infrequent summer water and so was probably stressed going into last winter.  This Leonotis ranges from Kenya south into South Africa in the eastern half of the continent so it is somewhat more expectant of summer rains.  It prefers well drained soils.  This one shares a pot with a Cuphea ignea, zn 8, 9 or 10, (hmmm what’s the dealio?) which too is still green and blooming along with an unhappy Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, zn 9, not blooming and looking a little peaked, no doubt suffering from too much shade in addition to the cold/dry provided by the roof overhang. Continue reading