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Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013 at 1:21 PM
I love hummingbirds  (Login Monika5)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Hi:
I have a Anna's hummingbird; they do not migrate. In the previous place where I lived I had a mature, 15 feet tall Cape Honeysuckle Tecomaria capensis. It flowered since at least October till April, and sometimes through out the whole year. The hummingbirds loved it! My new place unfortunately faces North (some parts were in shade for about 4 months) and the weather is becoming more extreme. Last winter was so cold the yard was covered with frost for 2-3 months every day. I kept on covering all my new, young Cape Honeysuckles but they all froze. I planted many Manzanitas and Ca native ribes since they flower in winter but it will be years before they flower enough and I do not have not enough of them to feed a hummingbird. Can you please recommend a hummingbird plant that will not freeze and bloom continuously thru winter and is preferably heat and drought tolerant (since it is extremlly hot a dry in summer)? Is there a plant like that? I do not have much space to plant many plants.
I did put out a feeder but I also would like to have a winter plant for my hummingbird.
Thank you for all your suggestions.
Monika

 
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Ward
(Login WardDa)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 1:33 PM 

Are we talking the occasional light freeze noth deep and sustained? I use to live over-the-hill from where you are and I can't remember much below the mid to upper 20s. Salvia microphylla would work although it would be set back for a short period after a freeze. Lonicera sempervirons might work, here in NJ it often blooms into January.

 
 
I love hummingbirds
(Login Monika5)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 1:54 PM 

The frost was on the mulch in my yard and on houses' roofs every morning for 2 -3 months. The temp on patio, 4 feet off the ground, under roof in shade was 28 - 30 F at 8 am. When does Lonicera sempervirens flower? According thttp://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2983/coral-honeysuckle.php it flowers in summer. I have many Salvia microphylla hot lips. They started flowering a month ago. Is there another Salvia microphylla that blooms in Winter?


    
This message has been edited by Monika5 on May 2, 2013 1:58 PM


 
 
Ward
(no login)

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 3:35 PM 

All I can say is I grow many types of microphylla and greggii. They continue to bloom here late into the fall and recover to bloom again if we get an early freeze. Lonicera sempervirons also recovers from light freezes. Microphylla Hot Lips is not among the best types when it comes to freeze recovery. You should look around for local offerings, it might take some experimenting before you find the one for you.

 
 
Danita
(Login Danitagardens)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 4:09 PM 

I've not grown it but the description of Salvia holwayi on the FBTS website seems to fit your needs pretty well. It looks like it may need some extra watering, but hopefully someone that has actually grown it can chime in.

http://www.fbts.com/salvia-holwayi.html

 
 
I love hummingbirds
(Login Monika5)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 4:31 PM 

Thank you both for your suggestions! I will try them all. I have Microphylla Hot Lips and Microphylla Red. Since they become very dry wood soon and break off, I rejuvanite them by pruning them back and leaving mostly not dry wood, young stems stems. I did that last Fall after their last bloom. They are almost like new plants now. Did I prevent them from flowring again in the winter? Do you prune yours, how much and when?
Thank you
Monika


    
This message has been edited by Monika5 on May 2, 2013 4:40 PM


 
 
Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 4:50 PM 

Lonicera sempervirens flowers sparingly through the winter. Additionally, the tangle of vines usually serves as a territory for one of the winterers. Salvia microphylla does not usually flower through the winter here. I have several cultivars.

Our best nectar plant for winterers is the winter-flowering 'Ugly Shrimp Plant' Justicia brandegeana, which stays green and flowering down to 22ºF. Another choice might be Abutilon pictum, which is also pretty cold tolerant. We have some yards with both of these plants and we are hardly able to catch hummers for banding because the plants trump feeders. Loquat Eriobotrya japonica is also excellent and it provides good cover for the birds.

Danita,

Salvia holwayi ought to be a big winner, it flowers well with beautiful cranberry-colored blooms and the nectar is sweet. However, it gets very little action here in winter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9b
http://www.casacolibri.net/
[linked image]


    
This message has been edited by NLN on May 2, 2013 6:33 PM


 
 
Kermit Carter
(Login kecarter)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 9:17 PM 

It may very well be your spot, but I know Tecomaria at Stanford, in Los Altos and in Cupertino that bloom all winter. I've always thought of it as hardy to the lowest 20s, possibly more if well established. There are dwarf varieties now that are very nice, which could be containerized and protected on those rare days that go below its range.

My 2 cents.

Kermit Carter
Flowers by the Sea
Elk, California
On the Pacific Coast, USDA Zones 8 & 9

 
 
Ken
(Login Kenseattle)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 2 2013, 11:57 PM 

Monika, try Grevilleas, especially G. victoriae Murray Queen. It blooms from October till April and is completely hardy on the west coast. Check out Xera Plants in Oregon for it. Many nurseries in CA have grevilleas that bloom all winter and are hardy in your area. Being from Australia they are very tolerant of heat and drought.

Kermit Carter and his Flowers by the Sea would be a great resource for you for winter-blooming salvias.

Cheers, Ken

 
 
I love hummingbirds
(Login Monika5)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 3 2013, 1:42 PM 

Thank you all for your suggestions! It looks like I have some good choices now.

 
 
Kermit Carter
(Login kecarter)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 3 2013, 2:23 PM 

Grevilleas are a great idea. Prior to the 1972 polar outbreak, Hwy 280 from San Jose to Redwood City was lined with Grevillea robusta. which provides an incredible mass of orange, nectar rich blooms in the late winter and early spring.

Kermit Carter
Flowers by the Sea
Elk, California
On the Pacific Coast, USDA Zones 8 & 9

 
 
Donald
(Login Ornithophilous)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 3 2013, 8:29 PM 

I'll second Kermit's idea of Grevilleas. I was also going to recommend Manzanitas and native Ribes, but it looks like you've got that covered. There was a great series of articles on native Ribes (one article for currants, one for gooseberries) in Pacific Horticulture a while back with nice pictures, here are links if you haven't seen them:

http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/a-currant-affair/
http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/a-gooseberry-affair/

One other suggestion--have you seen Betsy Clebsch's Book of Salvias? She gardens in the hills above Santa Cruz near you and most of her entries mention hardiness and bloom time emphasizing her personal experience with them at her location; that might be a valuable source for you.

I would think a visit to the nearby UCSC arboretum, Cabrillo College Salvia garden, and other nearby public gardens would give you some great ideas, too. USCS has a lot of Grevilleas to look at (and maybe purchase?).

My folks used to live near you in Pleasanton which would have colder winter nights than San Jose. I planted a fuchsia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum) that bloomed beautifully for them and attracted lots of hummer interest before anything else in their garden was blooming.

Donald

Zone 4 Red Wing MN

(Edit--looks like the first mention of Grevilleas in the thread was from Ken--sorry I overlooked you, Ken!)


    
This message has been edited by Ornithophilous on May 3, 2013 8:44 PM


 
 
I love hummingbirds
(Login Monika5)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 7 2013, 8:28 PM 

Hi:
I have not been able to find Grevilleas victoriae Murray Queen in any nursery in Santa Clara Valley. They do not carry it at all, not in winter, not even on order. They have G. Canberra, grevillea noellii, pink pearl, scarlet sprite - none of which bloom winter thru spring. I read that Queen is the best: winter thru spring continuous bloom, cold hardy, drought tolerant and not prickly. Does anybody know where I can find it?
Thank you
Monika

 
 
Kate
(Login K8_Zone6)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 7 2013, 9:11 PM 

Monika,

Checkhttp://www.desertnorthwest.com/ for the grevillea you are looking for.

 
 
Greenmangardens
(Login greenmangardens)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 8 2013, 2:42 AM 

I'm in Seattle, so slightly colder than you down there, but the Grevillea victoriae is one of my winter staples. The other one is a collection of the winter flowering Mahonia x media varieties- 'Arthur Menzies', 'Charity', 'King's Ransom' etc. Most of these are hybrids between Mahonia japonica (beallii) and Mahonia lomarifolium. The latter isn't quite hardy here, but should be where you are. I think there are a few other Chinese species that also are.

Is Fuchsia glazioviana hardy in your area? I've heard in the areas where it does well, it can flower near year round. Supposedly scattered bloom in winter, but that's something at least. Some of the abutilons will as well. A. megapotamicum especially.

There are also a couple of later winter flowering azaleas. Rhododendron mucronulatum blooms in February here, and drew a couple of hummers while i had it, but it seemed to need more water than I was willing to give it.

Brett Johnson
near Seattle
Washington 98040
USDA zone 8b


 
 
I love hummingbirds
(Login Monika5)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Winter flowering frost tolerant hummingbird plant for San Jose, Ca

May 8 2013, 2:03 PM 

I found Grevilleas victoriae Murray Queen in a local nursery and ordered it! It looks like a great plant so I thinking about getting more of them. I have a spot that is near patio but it is in cold shade for 3 months in winter and it full sun in starting March - October. it would be great to have a hummingbird plant close to patio for winter. It would also provide a screen. But I guess Grevilleas victoriae Murray Queen will not bloom there? Will it?
Thank you
Monika

 
 
 
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