Exoten und Garten Forum
Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board
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Re: Mike & George
Message from George in Bandon Oregon
Jim, you make good points (heck, we are awash with "good points" in this thread, LOL). to sum up what has been brought up is that there are in fact a number of environmental factors that may influence the success or failure of a given plant in a given place beyond merely low temps. OR high temps OR how precip. and humidity patterns and amounts manifest themselves to the gardener and his/her plants. in fact, one MIGHT say that in least in some cases the environmental factors are potentially cumulative AND synergistic (of which the growth of prunus lusitanica may be an example).
OTOH, the "awesome looking plant" you see online but NOT in the ground where you live may at least in some cases may be due to factors other than strictly environmental but instead "cultural" : how it was planted and how it was taken care of after it was planted. for example the yucca or agave that comes from summer rainfall climate "a" may not be happy in summer rainfall climate "b" because (as you already mentioned) the soil in "b" is heavy clay and the "a" plant can't tolerate heavy wet soil BUT if that plant were to have maybe been planted in a raised bed or a slope so that soil drainage was improved even in the clay soil it MAY have done well indeed.
the potentially sad fact to consider is that just because the "experts" say such and such a plant is "hardy to zone...." does NOT mean it may be hardy in all situations at all stages of growth without any extra care at all. in many cases "hardy" may actually mean as a healthy, mature, established plant in an optimum situation---planting a young maybe struggling young plant in an exposed position late in the year in a site with poor drainage or planting a "drought tolerant" plant in the ground in a dry summer area and then letting it shift for itself with no extra water are two extreme (but sadly potentially not unknown) examples of setting up a nominally "hardy" plant for failure sooner or later.
IOW and IMHO, sometimes the fact that a given plant is not seen where you area may possibly be due to the fact that it was tried at some point but was NOT planted right and taken care of correctly--and if it actually had been treated right you might indeed have had a good hardy plant for your area????
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