Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tetrapanax papyrifer is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…


It's now official, I have no new ideas. I could have sworn that I hadn't featured the tetrapanax as a favorite plant, yet there it is featured last June. Okay, so I never intended to repeat myself but I'm just so happy they are putting out new leaves after our  winter cold that I had to talk about them.

Last December when we went into a deep freeze for a week with a low low low of 12 F I wrapped the trunks with pipe insulation, cheap and easy insurance! I didn't want to loose the height and it turns out I haven't.

This is how things looked last summer...

So so so happy to see those little leaves, which will become big leaves.

This is the (too) tall trunk on the far side of the patio. I didn't wrap it because I kind of wanted to knock this plant back a bit. The only thing that really seems to get the tetrapanax sending up shoots is digging in the soil around the plant or having the main trunk die back from a freeze. I thought maybe if I didn't protect this one it would die back, after all it has before.

Looks like it had other ideas.

This is what it looked like last summer, near the outer edge of desirable height.

That crazy crook in the trunk is where it died back in 2010.

On to the stock tank tetapanax, this is my oldest, that tall business at the back is the original plant.

This is what it looked like last summer.

There are new leaves on some of the smaller shoots around the mama plant...

But nothing on mama herself. That dead end is the 2010 freeze point. The two branched bits are where she regrew that spring.

I have a feeling that's what's happening again, the trunk has little nubbins starting to grow all the way up. Experience says a couple of them will take off and become new arms, the others will die. I can live with that.

I'm just so happy there are new leaves showing up and they aren't all dead. To get the stats on this FABULOUS plant visit my original post here. What's looking good in your garden this week?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. I really should try one of these this year. I wonder if deer eat them?

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    1. If they did the very next they would do is go drink your pond dry. I can't imagine what that indumentum would do to their throats.

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  2. I *think* mine is regrowing at the top (no I didn't cut it back) but I can't be sure. I certainly don't have anything like your nice new leaf sprouts. Now I'm going out to look for little nubbins on the trunk!

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    1. So glad you found nubbins Jane!

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  3. I'm reasonably sure the one I planted last year is toast. With the winter we've had I think that even if I had protected it better it would not have made a difference. However, I will not be deterred and will try again!

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    1. Ya it probably wasn't the best year, sorry Sue. Good luck with this years, if it has time to get established then at the very least hopefully it will come back from the roots next year.

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  4. Tetrapanax are cool looking plants, but I do not have the balls to plant in the ground as a normal winter over here would keep cutting it down to the ground and make it run everywhere. Also, my back garden can be pretty windy at times and those lovely big leaves would end up tattered quite quickly :-(

    We are still in late winter here and my plants aren't doing that much at the moment, but I did notice that my Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum has been growing quite well over the last week and it shouldn't be too long until the flowers open.

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    1. Under those circumstances I don't think I'd put one in the ground either. Happy Spring Adam!

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  5. I was happy to see that mine are resprouting from the top this year because they have frozen to the ground in other winters. What a cheerful way to start spring! Thanks Danger!

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  6. I have major tetrapanax envy. Oh, to live in a land where water is plenty. But then, I'd have to give up many of my beloved succulents, so it's all a tradeoff.

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    1. You really should dry one. I don't water the ones in the front garden much at all. Of course they get lots of natural water over the winter when they're dormant but once summer rolls around they get very little.

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  7. I've been lusting after those leaves for years, but it seems each time I plant one we have a killer winter. I'm not giving up, especially after seeing this post.
    Here's my fave of the week: http://bannersbyricki.com/?p=3659

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    1. Glad to hear you're sticking with it. And I can't find your "fav" post, nothing comes up from the link and on your blog your latest post is foliage follow-up?

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    2. I just fixed that after scratching my head over it for a while. Thanks for the heads-up.

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  8. Nifty plant! And that's great news that you have new growth on several of them. I might have to borrow your idea of wrapping stems in pipe insulation. Happy spring!

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    1. When I originally posted at image of the insulation wrapped stems someone commented saying they had done similar in their garden once and "if anything, it made the situation worse, the outer bark and cambium slimed instead of dried up hard"...with that in mind I made sure to remove the insulation as soon as temps warmed up!

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  9. Bet you were sweating that this year Loree! Here is my fave of the week..http://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

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    1. Actually there was so much potential (and actual) plant death going on that it was just one more thing...

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  10. The jury is still deliberating the fate of mine.

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    1. I'm sending positive thoughts your way...

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  11. I love your favorite! I have a couple little starts of the straight species. I want to get 'Steroidal Giant' for the more deeply-cut lobes. Yours seem to be a little ahead of the ones I've seen in Raleigh. But what really struck me in this post is all your beautiful containers! (And the plants in them, too, of course.) I think your orange containers usually caught my attention before, and they're lovely, but I really love the combination of black, green, and turquoise. Gorgeous! I love the way the turquoise and the few metal containers play off the plants with glaucous leaves, and the contrast of the black and bright green.

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    1. My husband often comments that the turquoise containers don't seem to belong, thank you for pointing out the positive!

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  12. A must have for any garden that wants dramatic, interesting plants in it!

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  13. Awesome danger!!! I've been away this week. but I'm planning to be doing some cleanup next week and get back into my regular swing of things. I have someone coming for a post winter tour to see how things fared throughout the nasty winter. But thankfully, we can now say, ITS SPRING!!!!

    I love your tetrapanax! You don't see them for sale up here. A few members of the palm society have them so I know they are around somewhere. I'm always on the plant hunt!

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    1. It will be good to hear from you again (on your blog I mean). And that's odd you don't see them up your way much, I wonder why?

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  14. Mine are alive and kicking too. It's so exciting to see our plant friends returning to greet us after their winter hiatus. Every day brings something new.

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    1. Indeed, almost (almost) makes up for the horrid winter.

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  15. It's been a while since I've seen a 'summer' shot of your yard, and damn it is to die for. My god.

    I have somehow never noticed the size of the tetrapanax leaves in your photos.. I'm sure I'd remember. They really are something! I'm SO glad they are coming back, and the insulation pipe helped, and that you won't lose the height.

    My favourite: http://crmbsgrdn.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/my-favourite-plant-in-garden-this-week_23.html

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    1. Thank you, I know it always kind of surprises me when I'm in the middle of the post-winter reality and I pull up a summer shot. I so wish it could be like that year round.

      Love your favorite!

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