growing spices

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by jessica100, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    hi! im wondering if there are any spices i can grow in bc. like cinnimon (can't grow here), cacao, oregano, ect. that would be great! :D
     
  2. Keke

    Keke Active Member 10 Years

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    I have grown cardamom here. The leaves smell heavenly. You can buy plants at Gardenworks sometimes, but keep them well-watered. They get potbound fast. At Kew in London they grow cardamom in a pot in the middle of the waterlily house.
    keke
     
  3. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    There are many herbs you can grow in the Okanagan. Yes, Oregano is one of them. You can't grow Cinnamomum or Cacao trees, they are tropical plants.
     
  4. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    does anyone know if you can grow garlic here? or black pepper (if pepper comes from a plant)? thanks!
     
  5. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    Regarding the garlic, it depends on your zone and the type of garlic, but is very easy to grow in Canada.

    Regarding the pepper, again it depends on your zone. Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) - zone 10 - is actually a vine and could be grown indoors. The Japanese Pepper Tree (Zanthoxylum piperitum) is a shrub that produces red peppercorns and is listed to zone 6 - it is available through a local supplier in Richmond BC.

    As for the cinnamon and cocao trees; technically ANYTHING can be grown indoors in a pot, it is just a matter of whether you can provde the plant with what it requires; lighting, nutrients, humidity and space being the most important factors. These types of plants require a serious commitment but if you are seriously interested in trying to grow them indoors there are a handful of sources in Canada......and you would be surprised at what is available

    FYI, I have an extensive "collection" of tropical fruits of which about 90% will never be found in a garden center because they are just too exotic, but there is nothing like the satisfaction I get when I can watch a plant mature and produce fruits for harvest.
     
    Kurt Schneider likes this.
  6. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    I understand you are asking what you can grow outdoors, in the ground. Garlic by all means, black pepper definitely not.
    Since probably you don't have much gardening experience, start small. Save a few garlic bulbs you bought at your farmers market and plant separate cloves later in the fall. I have a similar climate to yours and plant my garlic about 20th of October.
     
  7. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    Thanks! I"m going to clear out a space in the garden for the garlic I'm going to plant! :)
    Also, does sugarcane grow in okanagan?
     
  8. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    Unfortunately it would not; Sugar Cane Saccharum officinarum is only hardy to about zone 8 so although it might enjoy the Okanagan summer sun it would not survive the winters. It is also fussy in that it likes moist but not wet soil, and you can not let the soil dry out. This type will only get about 6-8ft tall so it is something you could attempt to grow in a large pot indoors.

    There are several places on ebay.ca that do offer seeds or plants (do not try to bring in live plants from outside of Canada, they will be confiscated at the border without the proper certificates/ paperwork). However if you really want to try growing it I would recommend contacting Flora Exotica out of Montreal - he has the plant listed on his site and I have used him several times and find him pretty reliable (he ships Canada wide). FYI, you can also get cinnamon and cacoa from him but I would not recommend these as starter plants unless you have had extensive experience with exotics and are willing to accept the risk of possibly losing the plant.
    http://www.floraexotica.ca/Fruit.htm
     
  9. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    oh, ok. are there any sugar alternitives that you can grow here?
     
  10. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    Stevia rebaudiana - Stevia plant aka Sweet Leaf or Honey Leaf
    "30 Times Sweeter than Sugar. Stevia is a remarkable plant that is used in many parts of the world as a natural herbal sweetener. In Japan, for example, about 40% of the sweetener market is stevia-based. Stevia leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar but contain virtually no calories. It is native to South America, where its use as a sweetener has been known for at least 1,500 years"

    Hardy to zone 8a but can be container grown and kept indoors. Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
    You can usually buy it as a plant in the larger garden centers like Gardenworks, or you can buy the seeds (I find them fussy to grow this way).

    I grow mine outside but then overwinter indoors so that I can use fresh leaves year round.....I like to pick the fresh leaves to chew on, or I'll dry them and then use when baking, cooking or to sprinkle on fresh fruits.
     
  11. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    Wow thanks! I'm defianatly going see if I can buy them around here! Do you know when I should plant stevia? Thanks!
     
  12. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    Jessica, of course, if you want to produce real sugar, you can easily grow sugar beets in the garden. I'm not sure how difficult it is to extract the sugar.
     
  13. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    In your area the plant would be considered an annual but as it is easliy container grown, it does not matter when you plant; put it in a 1 gallon pot and then bring indoors for the winter.
    Care would be just like a house plant, and the bonus is you could have fresh leaves. Come late spring/early summer, put it back outside in the pot if you wish (they do better with natural light).

    The last plant I bought actually came from Rona so pretty much any store that is selling potted herbs might have it. But it might be hard to find at this time of year as most places have cleared out of vegetable/herb plants for the season....but you never know what you might find (sometimes it goes by the name of "sugar plant")
     
  14. Fine ocean parker

    Fine ocean parker Active Member

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    Jessica1000, I love your enthusiasm!

    I grew stevia this year with seeds from westcoast seeds in Ladner ( I think they mail to you). I started six seeds early under a grow light and two came up. One I lost due to the fact It didn't get watered while I was away. The other I gave to a friend with a greenhouse and it is doing fabulous. It did say it gets small flowers at the base of the leaves but i have yet to see that.My plan (as he's giving it back to me) is to cut it down in the fall and dry the leaves. I will then grind them up to make green stevia powder with it. It is about 20" tall now and wow are the leaves sweet.

    Good luck
     
  15. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I second sugar beets, and have a bit of experience growing them (just a row, to try them out). If you chop up the beets, boil, strain, and reduce the liquid, you end up with a syrup that crystallizes into sugar. You'd need a bunch to get practical quantities of sugar, though. Better than stevia which (in my opinion) tends to be so sickly sweet that it tastes artificial....If you have suitable maples in your region you can tap the sap as well, and reduce it to maple sugar. Been doing this with Big Leaf Maple for a few winters, and though the ratio of sap to syrup is 40:1, and even greater from syrup to sugar, it's another option for DIY sugar.
     
  16. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Not even remotely near that; it is thoroughly hot tropical, zone 10 marginal, realistically zone 11.
     
  17. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    Saccharum officinarum: Noble Cane / Purple Sugar Cane
    Dave's Garden: USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) - This plant has been said to grow in the following regions: Lexington, South Carolina zone 8a
    Online Plant Guide: Hardiness Zone: 8, 9, 10, 11
    BackyardGardener.com: USDA Hardiness Zone: 9 to 10
    Gardenguides.com: USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10; if you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9 (-6.7C to -3.9C), you experience hot, dry summers and winters with temperatures no lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit"


    Hardy Tropicals: Cold Hardy Plant and Tropical Gardening
    Hardy Sugar Cane, Purple Sugar Cane (Saccharum Officinarum)
    Sugarcane is a tall perennial grass native to China. It has been cultivated in India and China for more than 3,000 years. Grow it in full sun to partial shade in the ground or in large containers. Mulch well and water regularly. Overall plant height can be several feet tall with 3 foot strap like leaves on canes up to 2 inches in diameter.
    USDA Zone 8a: to 10 °F; height 6-8ft


    * Not to be confused with Hardy Sugar Cane Saccharum arundinaceum which is hardy to zone 6b: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
    This hardy sugarcane is one of the few that withstands cooler climates. Growing 10 to 15 feet tall, this species of sugarcane has the typical strong, green stalks and blooms with pink to silver blossoms in the fall


    There is a lot of conflicting information on this plant Saccharum Officinarum which is why I am trying to grow it here in Vancouver zone 8b. I know our summers are not usually hot and dry (this one was an exception) but our winter temperatures rarely dip below -5C.
    The plant is being kept outside this summer and then will be overwintered in a frost free but unheated greenhouse - we will see what happens come spring when the plant is more mature and moved outside permanently.
     
  18. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    not to sound silly, but what are zones?
     
  19. Fine ocean parker

    Fine ocean parker Active Member

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    What is a hardiness zone you ask?

    Canada has nine zones, ranging from 0 (the harshest) to 8 (the mildest). Each zone is divided into two parts, with a being harsher than b. In creating the zone map, minimum and maximum temperatures, snow cover, rainfall, wind patterns 
and the average number of frost-free days were 
all taken into account.

    Not sure what yours is but a quick google search should solve that. It is very important to know otherwise you waste time and money on plants that don't last in your region.
     
  20. jessica100

    jessica100 New Member

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    oh, ok. i googled my zone, but it's a bit confusing. apparently my zone is either a 5b or a 6a.
     
  21. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    According to the plant hardiness zone map on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website, your zone looks to be about 5b - 6a (as defined by color). However some other sites show Kelowna being listed as 7b (which does not seem right to me).

    http://atlas.agr.gc.ca/agmaf/index_...37M,bndy1M,BndyLn1-5M;PlantHardinessZone2000;

    You can also check with your local garden center and ask them what your zone is. When purchasing plants you will then use the zone as a guide (if you check the grower's tag or marker in the plant pot it should tell what zone the plant will survive in):
    * Any plants listed for your zone should survive in your area as a perennial.
    * Any plants listed lower than your zone will survive as they would be classified as "cold hardy" for you area.
    * Any plants listed higher than your zone would be grown as either annuals or tender perennials that would then require winter care to survive. This would depend upon the plant as some will be annuals regardless of the winter care while others will survive indoors for the winter, or with special care.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  22. DavidGInNewWest

    DavidGInNewWest Member

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    We grow basil, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and a bunch of others. Some over-winters well in Vancouver (like the thyme).
     
  23. Terry Phillips

    Terry Phillips Active Member

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    I am looking to buy a Cacao Tree does anyone in BC Sell Them ?
     
  24. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    I've never found anyone in BC selling such plants but you can try contacting Perry at Flora Exotica in Montreal - he has them listed and I've dealt with him several times in the past (sometimes he can be a little hard to get a hold of but I've always been satisfied with his product).

    Flora Exotica - Exotic Fruits
     
  25. Terry Phillips

    Terry Phillips Active Member

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    Ty too Cool
     

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