HELICONIAS WELL WORTH THE EFFORT
Heliconias are vigorous growers in the tropics. Some are so vigorous they can take over your garden if you are not careful. Do not be concerned over discoloured leaves or foliage that appears to be suffering from disease. Many heliconias look terrible during winter. Leaves yellow during the cold and suffer from fungal leaf spots. The best solution is to get rid of the offending foliage. Commercial heliconia growers routinely cut plants back to ground level, removing all foliage. Your garden may look temporarily bare, but the procedure provides a wonderful source of material for making compost. Retaining old flower stems is pointless, as they will not rebloom. A completely fresh flush of new foliage is much more attractive than a mix of new growth and old foliage. If you find your clump has outgrown its position and you need to reduce its spread, divided sections can be relocated with success at any time. Just be sure not to overwater relocated plants. If you are trying to grow heliconias in areas that experience frost, you are likely to be disappointed. They do not like the cold. Heliconia plants may survive with limited watering, but to produce their best foliage and plenty of flowers they require regular watering in all but the coolest months of the year.