Here in south Florida you can find alot of really cool plants but surprisingly the variety of heliconias that are available is curiously small. Though since most heliconia's need quite a bit of room to grow to appreciate their full potential, I think most south Florida properties do not have the luxury of space. Luckily I'm seeing the market availability starting to broaden. One of the heliconias that I'm super excited to have is called heliconia psittacorum 'Andromeda'. It's a short compact upright grower that has a powerful punch of color in it's vibrant display of deep red, orange and yellow in the blooms. The colors are super intense and grows great either in the landscape or in a container, just remember heliconia's like the soil to be on the moist side. Too wet and their tubers rot; too dry and their leaves brown up and fall off; if unsure err on the dry side which they can withstand more than wet. They can certainly grow in full sun with the proper water requirements though their ideal is part sun/part shade or filtered sun. Just remember, like all heliconias their rhizomes grow and spread in the ground. Over time they can certainly take up or take over where they are growing but simply cutting back the stems or digging up the rhizomes keeps them in check. They grow up to 5 ft high and get about 3-4 ft wide.
Currently our heliconia 'andromeda's are sold in a 3-gallon pot and are about 3-4 ft high x 2 ft wide. Grows in zones 8-11; mild cold hardy but not frost hardy.
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