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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knew about some of the herbs that are found in CR and what herbs that we have in the States the will grow down there, if any.

I have tried looking online for some sites that will tell me this but I can't seem to find any. Any information would be very helpful.

 

Thanks,

Goldie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knew about some of the herbs that are found in CR and what herbs that we have in the States the will grow down there, if any.

I have tried looking online for some sites that will tell me this but I can't seem to find any. Any information would be very helpful.

 

Thanks,

Goldie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hi Goldie! first of all, Costa Rica is a gardeners paradise. Everything grows everywhere. having said that, it is also a bugs paradise, everything gets eaten all the time-ha! Seriously, there are many many micro climates in Costa Rica, mostly depending on altitude, wind, and rain. There is abundant sunshine and lack of frosts or freezes everywhere, except perhaps Cerro de La Muerte. You pretty much have to experiment and be vigilent with pest control. Of course, organic methods are preferred and actually quite effective. There is a gardeners column in the Tico Times which is very informative. and I believe he has written a book on organic gardening in Costa Rica, I'm sorry I cannot think of his name offhand. In terms of medicinal/herbal plants, there is an area near the Saraqiqui basin where local women are growing and marketing medicinal herbs. Culinary herbs like culantro, basil,etc. grow quite well in well drained sunny locals..which is pretty much everywhere. happy gardening! jp

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...There is a gardeners column in the Tico Times which is very informative. and I believe he has written a book on organic gardening in Costa Rica, I'm sorry I cannot think of his name offhand.

Hi,

 

That would be Ed Bernhardt and yes, he wrote a book on organic gardening in CR. You can Google up his website for The New Dawn Center and there you should be able to find out how to obtain a copy of the book.

 

Also there is an herb farm up above Alajuela called The Ark. They grow all kinds of herbs, both culinary and medicinal. They offer tours of the gardens and you can buy either herb plants or seeds from them. Their site will also come up on a Google search.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that some herbs are not suitable for the tropics as they require a certain number of chilling hours to thrive. I am sure either one of the two contacts above will be able to advise you of the best varieties that wil thrive in CR.

 

Hope this is useful for you.

 

Paul M.

==

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One thing to keep in mind is that some herbs are not suitable for the tropics as they require a certain number of chilling hours to thrive.

 

I am not a farmer and have little to no knowledge of the subject, however I knew a lady in the Bahamas who got around the chilling problem with judicious use of ice and plastic tarps. I don't remember what it was she was growing and it seemed like a lot of time and trouble to me, but I remember her being happy with her results.

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I also know someone who grows Wisteria in a warm climate - he dumps ice around the base at 2 different times to simulate winter. And it blooms!

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...grows Wisteria in a warm climate - he dumps ice around the base at 2 different times to simulate winter.

If you like wisteria there is an excellent substitute for it that is a popular ornamental vine in Costa Rica. It is called Queen's Wreath or Sandpaper Vine in english (don't know the spanish name for it). The scientifc name for it is Petrea volubilis (syn. P. aborescens). It can grow up to 30 feet long, sometimes more. Older plants in CR get to where they look like small trees with knarley, twisty trunks. After the vine gets that old it becomes thick enough to be self supporting. One of the nice things about this vine is that, although it will freeze in central Florida, it usually comes back from the roots.

 

Mine that I had when I lived at my previous house here in Tampa bloomed off and on all year but the main blooming occured in March or April when as an established, well fed vine it often would cover itself with flowers so that nothing but the flowers were visible. Cars would stop in the street and stare at it. It had grown into a 'ball' about eight feet in diameter and it really WAS showy. Then we sold the house and the new owners dug it up and tossed it.

 

It actually seems to do better in Costa Rica than in Florida as I thnk it prefers the cooler weather in the mountains and the flowers on them in CR are more intensely colored than in Florida. I have seen it growing and blooming in yards in San Jose and in Alajuela. I don't think people fertilize their Petreas in CR but if you have one there and you do feed it regularly it should bloom its head off for you. Well worth the effort to find one (check the viveros in La Garita). then you won't miss wisteria at all.

 

Happy growing...

 

Paul M.

==

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Thank you all for you help! I have one other question.

Can you import seeds into the country easily? Or would it be easier to see if they have them down there?

 

Thanks again for all of your help in this,

Goldie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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...would it be easier to see if they have them down there?

Hey Goldie,

 

I would recommend choosing seeds in Costa Rica. That is because the varieties offered locally will have been chosen because they grow well in the county.

 

Look in the phone book for 'semillas' or 'semilleras' (= seeds or seedsellers). Also the two sources I mentioned above will most likely have some seeds available, too. Check with them as well. If nothing else they should be able to point you in the right direction to locate the kinds of seeds you are searching for.

 

HTH

 

Paul M.

==

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Can you import seeds into the country easily? Or would it be easier to see if they have them down there?

 

I would be very careful to check the laws with a professional before trying to bring seeds into any country.

 

In some countries it is a very serious offense.

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