Didn’t Get the Memo

“Didn’t Get the Memo”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Somebody forgot to tell the tropicals that cold weather is here to stay.  The last few days have been cold, and tonight there is a chance of a freeze.  However, in our garden there are several microclimates that stay a little warmer, so I don’t think we actually will get down to freezing.  If we do, it will only be for a very short time and not enough to damage anything.  But, I know it won’t be long before that killing frost does hit, and there are still some tropical plants that are continuing to bloom even with our recent chilly temperatures.






This peach hibiscus’s only response to the cold weather has been to start blooming in a darker color.  In the middle of summer, it is a much lighter peach.  It is almost orange now.  Could it be that it wants to get in on the seasonal color?  This flower would be a perfect color for Thanksgiving table arrangement.  When the real cold sets in, all the hibiscus plants will be cut back and placed in a covered area to wait for more hospitable temperatures.



Another tropical still blooming is the butterfly ginger.  While the flowers are not as plentiful as before, there are still enough flowers to perfume the garden.  I think this is the longest they have bloomed since I planted them years ago.  When they are finally done in by the cold weather, I just place a thick layer of mulch and wait for sprouts to show up in springtime.






Finally, the calla lilies have returned from summer dormancy just in time to get nipped by a freeze.  This happens every year.  If they have not grown too tall by the time a freeze comes, I will cover them, but usually the bigger ones do get frozen back to the ground.  This does not affect their blooming, thank goodness.






With everything dying back, I’m glad these tropicals didn’t get the memo that winter with its cold weather is right on our doorstep.  So, even though it is late autumn and many plants are dying back to wait out winter, some tropicals are still going strong and add welcome color, lushness, and life to the otherwise dormant garden.


  1. November 19, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Peach Hibiscus WOW I’ll add that one to my list of favorites. / Tyra

  2. tina said,

    November 19, 2008 at 7:46 am

    That butterfly ginger is so pretty. Just like a butterfly.

  3. Brenda Kula said,

    November 19, 2008 at 8:32 am

    You teach me something new most every day. I have never heard of the butterfly ginger. I have a ginger plant that has long yellow and green leaves. But I didn’t know one bloomed. It is 8:30 a.m. here and not yet 40 degrees. Everyone will be acting like they’re in the Arctic region around here. I’m sitting here wearing shorts. Yesterday I put on pants first thing, and after Abi got her Lasix meds she peed on me twice because it just goes right through her. So it’s just easier to wear shorts and change because I know before the day is over I am going to want my shorts back on. I’m sure I sound quite nutty to you. But I grew up in Oklahoma. The winds alone there would do you in. Forget about the temperature that accompanied them!

  4. Patsi said,

    November 19, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Cute post title !!
    We also have a few flowers in bloom like hibiscus…what’s with those tropicals.

  5. Jan said,

    November 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Tyra, this is one of my favorites, and I have had it a long time. I only grow the doubles since I like “frilly” flowers.

    Tina, yes, the butterfly ginger is so pretty and elegant and that is one reason why I am so glad it is blooming over such a long period. The heavenly aroma is the other reason.

    Brenda, I don’t think you’re nutty, in fact, you crack me up with all your antics. Your yellow and green ginger is a shell ginger, and it does bloom lovely clusters of creamy flowers. Mine bloomed in early summer.

    Patsi, I try and think up a title that throws off the people who repost blogs without permission. Most of the time it works. I guess it won’t be long until the only tropical flowers blooming will be the ones in the house.

  6. Phillip said,

    November 19, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Wow, that peach hibiscus is stunning.

  7. Jan said,

    November 19, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks, Phillip. Like I mentioned to Tyra, this is one of my favorites.

  8. fairegarden said,

    November 20, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Hi Jan, your plants are members of the elite group who don’t need to read memos, they let their staff do that and inform them as necessary of upcoming meetings. The staff decided the frost warnings were not important! I have not ever grown either the ginger or hibiscus, even when we lived in Houston where they were very popular. Now I’m sorry I didn’t after seeing the beauty yours are giving.

  9. Jan said,

    November 21, 2008 at 5:29 am

    I guess you are right about these plants’ staff knowing that the temperature would not get down to freezing. They better be careful tonight. I think we probably will get high 20’s for Saturday morning.

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