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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tropical Gardens with Hardy Plants
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Tropical Gardens with Hardy Plants
exotica59
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Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 478
Posted: 2005-10-03 12:11 pm   Permalink

End of summer is here and I will try to save as many plants as I can, but my banana can not come inside. He went from a baby 5" potted plant to being as tall as my roof line. Hopefully lots of mulch and many some burlap as it gets around freezing will help to same him. I also hope that I can take off some of the shoots around the bottom and grow indoors till next year. While on this subject how should I go about trying to save the taro plants? Take the shoots in or wait till plant dies back naturally and same the tuber? Elephant ear I believe I can wait and bring in the bulb, yes?
If you look back earlier in the thread you can see my garden early on, here is a quick couple of pictures of the jungle it became. The neighbors and I were really please with the results. We live in Zone 5. Note the edges of the plants starting to brown from the couple of cold nights we had last week.


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Lake Surfer
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Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3376
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2005-10-03 12:18 pm   Permalink

I was able to bring the banana in already... it only grew 3 feet and is 5 foot tall now...

 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4967
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-04-04 09:08 am   Permalink

This thread needs revival. Spring 2008 and I am excited. Everything has been in the ground a year now in the new house, so, I am hoping for good progress. The first hostas are up and Lots of stuff is in the seed pots. I am driving over to the coast in May with a list and see what kind of hardy tropicals I can bring home and try to keep alive over here in zone 6b-7a. My 3 Trachycarpus Fortunei Palms are happy over winter. Gardenia is good. Bought a small Persian Shield and its waiting in the house until low temps are in the 60s.

 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-04 09:23 am   Permalink

I don't have the time, money and green thumb to care for my yard, or I would turn it into a tropical paradise. But it rained a lot in L.A. this year, and things are popping left and right without much doing on my part, so I photographed the ascent to my house this morning. These plants are not "hardy" or the kind of jungley tropicals asked for this thread, but they sure frame the entrance gate to Tiki Island nicely:




 
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exotica59
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Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 478
Posted: 2008-04-04 09:29 am   Permalink

I sure wish I wasn't in zone 5. Such a challenge. Nothing happening in my yard right now. Lost of cold mud and leaves. Soon as I can though, I need to rake out the leaves. I leave mine on the garden over the winter to add some protection. Then I'll pull out my cultivator and start working my way into the garden.
My pond is looking sad too..the raccoons have tipped in all the flag stone around the edge and even some off the small falls. Need to add some new water lilies...hmmm....I guess I have alot to do before the plants start spouting.
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MsSwanky
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Joined: Sep 02, 2005
Posts: 24
From: Knoxville, TN
Posted: 2008-04-04 09:49 am   Permalink

Yes, Swanky and I are ready to get planting again! Looking forward to seeing the tropical stuff and lots of color - but, we have an area beside our garage that needs some sort of 'filler' plant. We want something evergreen preferably and something that will fit in with the tropical stuff too. Any suggestions? I like plants that are dense, full and colorful - Swanky is leaning towards Rhododendron or Azaleas, I don't like how they look in winter, too sparse... Maybe a flowering evergreen vine on a trellis? Who's got something pretty that's green all year?

 
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exotica59
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Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 478
Posted: 2008-04-06 11:01 pm   Permalink

Although not really all that tropical looking, how about Pyracantha? ( firethorn) it's evergreen, has small flowers , but beautiful orange berries. Thick and dense can be trained to grow on a trellis. The dark glossy leaves and the tons of cluster of orange berries are very pretty.Only draw back is they have thorns,but I never had to do much past planting them and letting them go. You can usually purchase them already on a trellis so it's easy to have a nice look almost imediately.
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bb moondog
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Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 491
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2008-04-07 07:38 am   Permalink

Pyracantha overgrown is EVIL SHITE...I had a house that had basically a PYRACANTHA FENCE and it was a bloody (sic) NIGHTMARE..so if you plant keep it under control...it was NEVER the way I wanted it for more than a WEEK

 
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Jungle Trader
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Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3730
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2008-04-07 08:06 am   Permalink

A green vine all year? I use nothing but Lavender Trumpet Vine (Clytostoma Callistegioides). It survived the hard frosts we had a few years ago. Once it fills in it's easy to train and not a lot of work. Another suggestion for planting tropicals if you're in a frosty winter area is to plant your big trees first, let the canopy fill out nicely, after a few years you'll have protection underneath against hot sun in summer and frost in winter. The Royal Tumpet and Scarlet Trumpet vines didn't survive. Sunset Western Garden Zones 8 and 9 here.

 
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Martiki-bird
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Joined: Mar 23, 2007
Posts: 135
From: Blue Lory Lounge, NJ
Posted: 2008-04-07 08:30 am   Permalink

Quote:

Who's got something pretty that's green all year?



We're in zone 6b/7 (North Jersey) and tea shrubs (Tea (Camellia sinensis) do really well for us. They're not colorful, but they are really pretty with shiny dark green evergreen leaves: the leaves don't roll in the winter like rhodies do. A tea shop owner I know in Vermont has them growing on the south side of his building and they do surprisingly well.

I have them mixed in with hardy hibiscus, giant hostas, hellebores, Christmas ferns and other tropical looking perennials (I even have managed to keep astilboides and darmera alive) The hellebore and ferns are also evergreen, so the border looks pretty nice in the winter even after the hostas disappear.

-gina


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7078
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-05-07 6:57 pm   Permalink

San Diego and Florida can get their Bird of Paradise, Hibiscus, etc to bloom year around but some of us aren't so lucky. I live in the hot dry desert of SoCal (Sunset Western Garden Zone unlucky 13) and plants struggle to survive, let alone bloom. So I get some help from Michael's Crafts in the form of silk flowers! Put the silk flowers in with the real foliage and people very seldom notice they are fake.

Fake Japanese Laterns in with Asparagas Fern and Carolina Jasmine.

Fake purple Orchids in the Cape Honeysuckle vine (the small purple Vinca flowers are real), fake Bird of Paradise flowers on a real Bird of Paradise plant in the background. Not pictured is fake Hibiscus and Gardenia on real Hibiscus and Gardenia plants, just used floral wire and lightly tied the flowers to the end of the real branches. Get rid of the fake leaves, they give everything away.

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[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2008-05-07 19:02 ]


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4967
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-06-08 4:06 pm   Permalink

The garden is taking off now. Hot, sunny and watering like crazy. Got some new stuff at trips to the beach, etc.

Bananas are growing half a foot a day it seems.


And for the first time in 3+ years, since I bought it and put it in the ground, my hardy Gardenia bloomed! Winter after winter in temps in the teens, it never lost a leaf and stayed green.



 
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Jungle Jim & Jennifer
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Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 20
From: Dead City, FL
Posted: 2008-06-10 07:28 am   Permalink

I think the most fun tropical that's easy to care for and grow is the Plumeria. I started with one plant (that I bought in Knoxville, TN in 1988) and propagated many from it. All you have to do is cut off a limb and stick it in a pot or in the ground and they survive 99% of the time. If in the ground you can pull up your plant, shake the dirt off, rap the root system in newspaper and take inside for the winter if you live where freezing is possible. In the spring just replant and you're good to go. As they get larger it's difficult to manage taking in and out in pots without damaging the plant but they can stay in pots for several years before this becomes an issue. The blooms are wonderful for making leis and and they smell similar to gardenia blossoms but not quite as strong. If you pick a bloom don't put into water. They will last several days just by themselves. If you put into water they'll brown overnight.





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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4967
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2008-06-10 07:40 am   Permalink

The one you gave me Jim is now 3 feet tall. Dies back each winter, regardless of how nice I am to it. I bring it in and it loses its leaves by the next summer. But, it's back in the yard and has new leaves now. I've been fertilizing it with my Gardenias with Azalea food weekly. That might be a lot for some plants, but I water these tropicals pretty much daily. I think that is what woke my Gardenia up this year to bloom. 2 new blooms yesterday on it. Tha lania smells fantastic now!

Good to know that about the Plumeria blooms. I knew Hibiscus blooms were happy with out water. That's why they are a favorite for hair ornaments.

Now, just get my Plumeria to bloom this year...


 
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Jungle Jim & Jennifer
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 20
From: Dead City, FL
Posted: 2008-06-10 11:14 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-06-10 07:40, Swanky wrote:


Now, just get my Plumeria to bloom this year...



Make sure the soil is loose and well drained. You might get some Rose mix soil at the market to use. Right after or at the end of March put 1/8 to 1/4 cup sprinkled on soil of epsom salts ( helps prevent leaf stress ) and again in August. Keep plant in full sun if possible and fertilize with high middle number fertilizer like 12-55-6. Should get some blooms this year if you fertilize now and then again in 2 months. Glad to hear yours is doing well. Send me a pic if it blooms, Good Luck!

J'Jim


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