Friday, July 23, 2010

Invasive Heleconia

Last weekend I began to thin out a few of the Lady Di Heleconia.  Now these have been my favourite heleconia by far, BUT the problem I now discover is that they are very invasive.  Sooooo.... I made the huge decision to rip them out - yes all of them.  So far I have just removed them from the front section. My hubby is very nervous as he loves the privacy they give, but  just one day of digging out roots made me convinced that the sooner I get rid of them the better.  We are going to have a bald spot for  a while, sorry Hubby!  
I cant afford to go out and buy some full size plants, so will have to start out with some more cuttings, but look how quickly the garden filled in before from nothing.
 I like the look of the purple flowers  and yellow leaves together alongside this area

and the red of the pointsettia in the winter, although I wonder if it some sort of diesease with the yellowing of its leaves.  Everything got a good long drink of seaweed tea on my return so hope that perks it up.

I like the look of having layers of different colours.  Right now I am heading towards pink and red together, which is not my favourite combination. 
I have just transplanted a row of ground orchids with pink flowers(because they keep volunteering, and they keep flowering, and they form a  nice edge, and I needed something right then and there!) so that is the first low layer.  Next I have crotons since they were there and are very colourful.  They haven't been doing so well being crowded out by the heleconia, but this is the season that they will take off.  Behind that I have the Plumeria which also doesn't seem to like being crowded, and one very large Cordeline, and another very sad looking one. then a big bushy burgundy leaved plant.  Since there are a lot of reddish plants I am thinking I need to add maybe some lime green to break it up and add some interest.  Probably between the ground orchids and the crotons.  Unless I find something to replace the ground orchids with that are more of a lime green colour.  That would be best I think.  There is a type of lariope that a lot of people have that might work.   I might go and visit a few friends and see if they have some volunteers to spare, trade them for ground orchids.....
So much to do, mostly just tidying up, and I must scrub the lime out of the bird bath, and..

cut back some overgrown bushes...  The passionfruit vine has died back at the beginning but the ends are still producing.
Oh I also have a couple of volunteer paw paw struggling at the back, but paw paws can always stay, even if they mess up my arrangement.  I notice quite a few here and there, so will see how they go.
Talking of paw paws, my paw paw tree in the vegetable garden is reaching for the sky,and I can no longer pick them using my little ladder.  Soooo... I am going to try to lop the top off, and cover the cut end with an upturned empty tin to keep out moisture.  This should make it branch out lower.  I am scared as I love paw paws and dont want to lose my best performing tree.  Has anyone done this before?  any tips?


  1. Oh, my! You've ripped out 'Lady Di'?!! I have this heliconia, and read online that it can be invasive. We've had very cold winters these past two years, which have probably prevented excessive growth. Now I'm concerned long-term, though. Ground orchids spreading as well? Lucky you! The cold has struck mine so badly that I'm just happy they're still alive. How nice flowers would be!

  2. Looks like you've got stuck into clearing out those Heliconias ... I think you're right to remove them. Had them in my previous garden ... they took over one garden bed in no time and got way too unsightly.

    Some suggestions for your bald spot ... what about some Chlorophytum laxum 'Bichetii' ... has lovely lime green leaves. That would work with Liriope muscari 'Gold banded' ... both have similar foliage but the Chlorophytum gets tiny white star-shaped flowers and the Liriope gets purple blooms.

    Garden Express has a few comments on lopping off the top of pawpaw trees ... might be helpful for you -

  3. I too feel the same as Florida Girl about ripping out all the "lady Di" :) They are very beautiful flowers, although I don't have it in my garden. Will it work if planting them in a large container?


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