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All of that...and climate too I think:

Message from Mike coastal CT

Jim:

No doubt your right …there are MANY parts to (successful) cultivation, and if these issues are not well known, the few people that try the plant will often fail/or see others fail, and then choose not to grow it. Just as you say, there is a flip side too: While sometimes there IS a good reason are hardy BLE is not used….many times there is not: This is where I think the cultural/perspective issue comes in.

Another issue I think that often doesn’t get enough play/attention is matching plants to SOMEWHAT similar climates (there will never be exact matches of course). With a background in climate, I’m sure I view things through this lens more than maybe I should - but I think there is something to be said for growing plants that come from similar climates. I’m sure you’ve seen this before, but below is a basic climate classification map (updated Trewartha 1980):



So, just for example... I would expect a plant native to the Dca climate (temperate continental - hot summer ) in eastern China near 38 latitude ….to do well in the similar Dca sector in the eastern USA near 38 latitude (eastern Maryland for example)…as I would expect a plant native to Do climate zone ( temperate oceanic/cool summer) in the PNW near 48 latitude…to do well in the similar Do climate sector near 48 latitude in northern France or the UK….etc (and vice versa of course).

Even within the same climate groups, it seems like attention must be paid to climate types: What grows well in Cfa (subtropical humid) Brisbane or Orlando with a peak rainfall at the time of high sun….might languish in Cs (subtropical Dry summer/Med ) Los Angeles or Perth with a low sun peak rainfall and wet winters (and again, vice versa).

You mention Yucca rostrata ….not doing as well there. Supposedly they are native to the dry savannas of southWEST Texas and Mexico. While these areas do see quite cold temps on occasion (similar to the coldest temps in the zone 7 area of the Middle Atlantic States 0 to 10 F), they see this in a very DRY climate. I think that maybe even a plants ability to come back from being damaged or how fast it grows is tuned to its native range to some degree. Look at Needle Palms: A needle palm planted in a hot summer climate at a lower latitude (say 38 in Wilmington, DE) seems to grow faster and push off damage quicker, than one growing at 50 latitude in a cool summer climate like Seattle or London.




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