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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tropical Gardens with Hardy Plants
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Tropical Gardens with Hardy Plants
Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2005-02-21 10:58 am   Permalink

Hey Maori Man!
I've had my little windmill palm for two years, and will be transplanting it to the middle of the front yard soon! It'll be the center of attention out there.

I'm happy to hear your bananas came back, I've always been a little wary of them. Now that I know they'd do ok, I'm on the trail of a good specimen.

I'm a big fan of black bamboo and have had a co-worker offer me some of hers.(yay!)

I've always loved fatsias, I totally forgot about them. My Dad has a huge one beside his front porch, they sure look prehistoric!

Gunnera "manicata" is another great plant that does well in the northwest. HUGE leaves, dangerous looking, very striking. Here's a picture of one:


I will DEFINITELY check out that book! It sounds like it's just what I need to continue the tropical transformation that I have only just begun! Muhahaha!

Thanks, and we'll see you in June!

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Tikiwahine
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2005-02-21 2:43 pm   Permalink

Just found the book at lunchtime, a garden shop close to where I work happened to have a copy at 20% off! You know what I'll be reading this afternoon!
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Maori_man
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Joined: Nov 23, 2003
Posts: 190
From: Portland, Oregon
Posted: 2005-02-21 3:25 pm   Permalink

Dove into it last night - very insightful and a lot of good info! I recommend it to anyone who is thinking of planting "exotic" looking foliage in a sub-tropic climate!

 
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Rum Balls
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 888
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2005-02-21 4:24 pm   Permalink

For those of us in the Northwest, here's a place to check out, Raintree Nursery in Morton, WA (off of I-5, not far from Centralia/Chehalis).
http://www.raintreenursery.com/
I first ran across them when searching around to see if it's possible to grow lemon and lime trees around here (the answer is yes). Haven't made a purchase yet, but I'm keeping it on my "to do eventually" list.


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Maori_man
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Joined: Nov 23, 2003
Posts: 190
From: Portland, Oregon
Posted: 2005-02-22 5:08 pm   Permalink

I haven't made the trip but I hear Hasagawa Nursery in Woodland Wa. (just South of Longview) is pretty good. Hey Rumballs - you might want to check out the Home and Garden Show going on at the Expo Center this coming weekend (shit I sound like a commercial). I went the to the Yard and Garden show this last weekend and saw a couple of Cirtrus trees there for sale (not to mention the 3 1/2' Ku Tiki I purchased nicely carved out of a Coconut tree - Heavy as HELL!!)!

Thanks for the tip on the other place!


[ This Message was edited by: Maori_man on 2005-02-22 17:14 ]


 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-02-23 6:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

[i]On 2005-02-19 04:31, gonzo wrote:
For southern cal near the coast nothing looks more tropical than a howea forsterina aka "kentia" palm tree. the cousin Howea belmoreana is great too. Tad smaller and slower.



Aloha, Gonzo,

How tall does the Kentia grow?

Does it get taller than this?
http://www.seedworld.com.au/images/kentia.jpg


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scaperman
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 27, 2005
Posts: 50
Posted: 2005-02-24 2:14 pm   Permalink

It's tough in the northeast to find tropical looking plants that will grow here, but every year they are coming out with so many new varieties of plants from gene splicing,hopefully in a few years they can come up with zone5/6 palm trees

 
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ainokea
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 23
Posted: 2005-05-11 12:02 pm   Permalink

Anybody have experience with tropical gardening in zone 7?

I'm interested in cultivating some oranamental banana trees, of which there are a couple varieties that are hardy in this zone. I'd really like to cultivate some edible fruit-bearing bananas, but don't think it's possible in zone 7. I know I should post this to a local gardening forum, but figured somebody here might have experience with exotics in Zone 7. Anybody?


 
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Tikiwahine
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2005-05-11 12:18 pm   Permalink

Banana "Musa Basjoo" is hardy down to zone 6a, and Windmill palm down to zone 7a. Several varieties of Taro(Colocasia) are hardy down to 7b, and lots of bamboos will do well.

I'm sure there are many other plants that will work in your area! Good luck and have fun!
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nuimaleko
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Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 70
From: Sacramento CA
Posted: 2005-05-22 2:18 pm   Permalink

As a member of MSN's Subtropical Gardening forum and Garden Web's Tropicalesque Garden forum, this is subject that comes up all the time. In areas farther north than zone 8, there is not much that you can call "tropical" that will live in the ground year round, but people have been digging up the roots of cannas, callas, dahlias, four o'clocks, gladiolias, caladiums and tuberous begonias and storing them for the winter since Victorian times.Other tropicals can be kept in pots and stored dormant in a basement or warm garage.(anywhere dark and dry that they won't freeze)If you want to create a truly hardy tropical looking landscape look to two places, Japanese gardens and the northern woods. Under high branched broadleafed trees try bamboo, large leafed rhododendron, small dogwoods, azaleas and vibernum to make a great backdrop. (dogwoods, azaleas and rhododenrons will be finished blooming before the tropicals come out) Add smaller broadleafed, ferny or grass like flowering or foliage plants like hardy cyclamen,European ginger, bergenia, lirope, mondo grass, japanese anemone, hostas, coral bells, bleeding hearts, cordalys, spiderwort, leopard plant, hardy orchids and other woodland plants for a lush look. Any fern will add to the lushness of the landscape, but leave some spaces empty for true tropicals. In full sun try ginko trees (these ancient survivors lived with the dinosuars and still look good in a tropical setting)or sumac. There are hardy perenial hibiscus that will come back year after year and don't forget the hardy shrub hibiscus...Rose of Sharon, some varieties have flowers that are hard to tell apart from the tropical ones. Even hollyhocks (a hibiscus relative)can look good. Also in full sun try castor oil beans, there are many colored and varigated ones and they grow huge in one summer. Other large growing, hot colored annuals (most of our annual garden plants are actually originally from the tropics as opposed to most periennials)can be used too, just avoid single daisy types and others that have a strong association with cottage gardens. The more unusual looking the better. Lilies are treasured all over the world including the tropics. In this case the bigger the better. Even roses can add to the look if the foliage is lush and the flowers are in hot pinks, oranges and reds like 'Tropicana'.
Then when the weather is warm enough, plant your stored tropical bulbs and sink your stored potted tropicals in the spaces you have left for them in your design. Inexpensive houseplants like areca palms can be used as annuals and tossed at the end of the summer if needed. Palms, and bananas scream "tropical" so be sure to add at least one or two. Most palms can be over wintered as housplants and bananas can be stored dormant.
In the fall when the tropicals and annuals are gone you will still have a largely evergreen landscape to enjoy all winter and a colorful spring.


 
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nuimaleko
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 70
From: Sacramento CA
Posted: 2005-05-22 3:37 pm   Permalink

forgot, elephant ears, alocasia, colocasia or taros, no matter what you call them, they add a tropical touch right away. Most can be dug and stored or kept dormant in a pot over winter. If bananas are too hard for you to store, there is a huge canna called Canna musifolia (banana leafed canna) that can be dug up and stored like any other canna, but these babies can grow to 15 feet in one summer. oh and never forget impatiens and coleas, my two favorite shade plants. Look for less common colors and larger size varieties to avoid looking like every other shade garden.
Most tropical plants grow big and fast . There are ornimental and varigated varieties of sweet potato, corn, millet, rhubarb and other food plants that can give the scale needed to look "tropical" in a few weeks.


 
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Gigantalope
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Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2005-05-22 5:39 pm   Permalink

A great resource for all things palm is "jurassic palms"
http://www.jurassicpalms.com/species.html

They have access to palms that will tolerate sub zero. (Algierian Palm?) The website has handy photos and specs about what will live where.

I'm a big advocate of Tasmainan and Australian Tree Ferns, as well as the anciant Aurancanias. (Monkeypuzzle, Bunyabunya and Norfolk Pine) These bad boys will give a prehistoric/Dr Suess look whereever they are planted.

Kumquats can give a cool effect too, with the glossy leaf, and strange fruit. The Dwarf variety can live in pots, and be brought in if it's really cold.

Certain types of Yucca/Palm type of plants require little care and can grow in very cold weather. (Scotland)

Go visit a Botanical Garden near where you live, and chat up the workers...Tell them you NEED plants to drink under and you need their help.










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Suffering Bastard of Stumptown
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 648
From: PDX
Posted: 2005-05-23 07:52 am   Permalink

For those of you in the NW, you also have this resource for bamboo. http://www.bamboogardenswa.com/

Now, I live in Maine, and while I finally have a yard I can grow stuff in, (I have been a renter until now) I have poor drainage and it hasn't stopped raining in ages! My back yard looks like a pond.

But when things dry out, I will be keeping my eyes on this thread.

--SBiM
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eel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 06, 2004
Posts: 70
From: Save the eel....Laney
Posted: 2005-05-23 08:40 am   Permalink

this subjuect seems to come up every so often here, so here's a link to a response (by me Laney)a couple years ago with some great links to palm and cycad galleries too!

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=3358&forum=1&vpost=30798

Geez, looking at those old pictures of my yard is funny....it is quite over grown now, all the rains have made my giant birds go crazy and fill that back corner, two tall ones have grown out across the pool and I'll have to carefully remove them, yipes


[ This Message was edited by: eel on 2005-05-23 09:34 ]


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Lake Surfer
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Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3382
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2005-05-23 08:45 am   Permalink

I'm in zone 5 and have had some success with many different tropicals. I'm currently giving my first Dwarf Cavendish Banana a go in a container. Yesterday was the first full day in the sun and I think it went into a little shock as it has been in a greenhouse and then my house for the last few weeks. But now with a little more water it seems to have bounced back.

For the upper midwest, I agree with keeping the more fragile in containers and bringing them out during the warmer months. Bringing them back in for the winter is less hassle that way too. Over the last 5 years I have kept Bird of Paradise, Cane Palms, Yucca, Sago Palms and Pygmy Date palms year round. Never much success with Fan palms and Majesty Palms... they seem to be a bit more touchy. Failed miserably at keeping plumeria going. Have had success with Hibiscus outdoors during summer, then they tend to go dormant indoors for me in the fall and winter. Last year in spring it came back to life though.
On the way home from Hukilau I picked up a coconut palm but that didn't last long... I either overwatered it or it got too dry.

I have found that a tough part of keeping some tropicals going in the Midwest over the winter is the lack of humidity in the air... during the winter heating the air gets very dry. I tend to mist my plants at least daily, have a table fountain going or use a humidifier on for a while nearby. Oh yea... and there is the little problem with the 2 days of sun we get during the winter. I hang a grow tube over the sun starved plants and have that on for a few hours on gloomy days.


 
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