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Thread: Best way to overwintering water hyacinth?

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    Best way to overwintering water hyacinth?

    Does anyone overwinter their water hyacinth? If so what is the best way to do this? I'm in Finland so having them indoors is a must.

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    I wish I knew same question ?
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    I over winter here is USA and I am in zone 6. Fall here is in Sept around the 21st. In August I plant my water hyacinths in dirt in a tub with no holes. I leave them outside until about the first frost. I make sure to keep water in the tubs. Then I move them inside my basement under a shop light. I do not feed them because it will kill them. I have them in the basement about 7 months. Then they look really rough after that long. Some look almost dead in fact. Then in Late April or early May I take the tubs outside and put it in a heated tub with an aquarium heater in it. I put an old window over the top of the tub. After a few weeks when they start purking up I carefully pull them out of the dirt and let them float. I take the tub out. This works for me.

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    Thanks for the info I have a couple more questions.

    Do you water them when they are in the basement? What is the average tempreture in your basement over winter? By shop light you mean a long flourcesant tube and how high above the tubs is the tube? I'm wondering if keeping them under a grow lamp is a good idea also?

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    yes I make sure there is always water in the tub which has no holes. The coldest it gets is 50*F and that is when it is really cold. I think it is mostly 60* to 55* all winter. Yes the long 48 inch fluorescent tubes. The lights are hanging and tubs are on the floor but I have 9 lights going so there is more light. The grow lamp might work well but I do not now anything about them. I wintered over 70 last fall. This year I have planted 8 tubs. One year about march I tried some crushed pond tabs they died. And another year about march I put a tub in my 100 gallon pond in the basement. That one tub died also.
    Last edited by RCPing; 10-13-2011 at 08:34 PM.

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    Over-wintering Water Hyacinth

    Light is the critical factor.
    I have overwintered them in a greenhouse with tropical lilies, with water temps never below 60 and usually above 65. Greenhouse located 25 mi north of NYC (zone 7a but again I think the actual latitude is what affects them more). They still looked terrible from January through mid-March and I would estimate we lost 20%. By April 15 they looked fine and were putting out new babies again. Commercially speaking, it simply wasn't worth it for us. They looked too ratty for too long.
    Maybe someone in an area just as cold but farther south (like parts of texas) could weigh in...
    You know those high-end hydroponics systems people sometimes sell on craigslist....? I bet that you could do a beautiful job raising them with one of those. Maybe that's why so many people seem to be interested in hydroponics these days

    Regards, and good luck
    Eric

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    I just over winter them for me not to sell. I think I had 70 survive last spring to put outside. And I have been tossing 100s away since Sept. I still have maybe 200 left to toss.

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    RC - How are your plants doing nowadays? You could probably supply the whole metro with your setup?
    You don't know until You know.


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    Ferdi I have 8 tubs and so far they look good. They are dark green and are in low light. They are on the basement floor and there are shoplights about 6 ft above them. Before I could only get them to survive until Feb and they would croke. Now they survive but in April they look not so great. But as soon as I put them outside in my heated tubs they start looking better. Six months in the basement is a long time to keep them growing. I have nothing to loose they would have died anyway.



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    I've googled all over cyberspace on how to successfully overwinter these plants and I believe that you're the only one (so far and without a greenhouse) who have figured it out... I found this thread and became a member here... good job and kudos to all your effort... impressive
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    Ferdi I learned how from my 87 yr old water garden friend in the water garden society. He is also a master gardener. Until he told me how, I lost them every Feb. Some years they do better then others and one year I lost them. It happens.

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    Best way to overwinter them? How about packing their suitcases and sending them to warm weather for the winter? Better yet, go with them. I know I would over winter better in warm weather.
    Truthfully, it is difficult to overwinter them without a greenhouse. Vickie does a great job in her basement. I could not keep them alive in an aquarium with lights and the only way mine survive is in the greenhouse.

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    Overwintering hyacinths is a really good challenge for next year's project. Growing them through the summer is nothing like that in the winter... my marginals are growing pretty good by the window for now... maybe I'll try doing the same thing with hyacinths... of course the fish tank is on the 2nd floor and it never gets down below 65 up here... and when the sun is out it could really get warm (southwest facing window)... we can only try and leave it up to experience...
    You don't know until You know.


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    We all learn by trying. We all start out not knowing how to do any of this. Trial and error is the best way to learn. And of course people sharing what works for them.

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    I have followed much of RCPing's advice. What I have done is filled washingup tubs with mud and then planted the hyacinth and filled with water. I have them in the basement on a table with a 150watt grow lamp above them. The lamp stays on 8.5 hours a day, the rest of the time they are in darkness. The temp in the basement about 64f. I always top up the water every couple of weeks.

    They have been like this for 2 months and are doing great so far, see picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Razoola wow they look great. I am so glad. The dirt is enough to keep them alive they need no food. I have tried feeding and it killed them. Now about March they might look pretty bad. But some will survive. Do not throw anything out that still has a green middle it will most likely come back. Good luck to you. What zone are you in? Here I am zone 6 and cannot put them out until late april or early may and then it is in a heated tub.
    Last edited by RCPing; 12-18-2011 at 11:24 AM.

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    How much dirt are in those containers? I just googled your weather there in Finland and it looks like you have the same temperate zone as Alaska... COLD!!!
    Great job in maintaining your pond plants in the winter... When did you brought those plants in???
    You don't know until You know.


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    RCPing, I would guess its about the same as zone 5.

    Ferdi, the tubs are filled with soil, right up to about an inch or two from the top. The roots are burried right in the soil then its totally soacked in water so it still looks like they are almost floating. They have been like this for a couple of months.

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    I think that this thread should be pinned so I can find it again next August when I need it... :-)
    You don't know until You know.


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    Thanks Razoola. Ferdi you can put it in your favorites.

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