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Backyard Jungles
Feelin' Zombified
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Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1338
From: The Exotic Shores of Lake St. Clair
Posted: 2017-02-19 12:51 pm   Permalink

Paradis du Zombi...









-Z
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Thank God The Tiki Torch Still Shines...


 
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mike and marie
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Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 340
Posted: 2017-02-21 6:15 pm   Permalink

Love this thread, especially all the photos...

Our favorite plants for northern tropic gardening: yucca, elephant ears, potted taro, bamboo, horsetail, coral bells, hens and chicks, decorative grasses, cana bulbs, irises. And plenty of plastic palms!


 
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hiltiki
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Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3957
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2017-04-01 10:37 am   Permalink

My front-yard jungle, well not really a jungle but a lot of flowers have popped up since we had such a nice rainy season.











In the back yard my mint is doing real well



Lots of flowers on my grapefruit tree this year, I still have one grapefruit left on the tree









 
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Will carve
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Joined: Apr 06, 2011
Posts: 910
From: Ft. Lauderdale Fl.
Posted: 2017-04-02 03:33 am   Permalink

Hilda,
Your yard is a-bloom.
Nice.


 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6153
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2017-04-09 8:49 pm   Permalink

Gorgeous yards and love all the pools. The only tropical thing I have in my yard is Sago Palms, they love their space. My backyard belongs to the dogs so no way of having anything there. They continue to tear up the sprinkler system so it is a lost cause.

Keep on growing all you happy gardeners, it is fun to live through your pictures.
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Prikli Pear
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Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 284
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-04-10 11:47 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-04-09 20:49, VampiressRN wrote:
The only tropical thing I have in my yard is Sago Palms, they love their space. My backyard belongs to the dogs so no way of having anything there.



Vampiress, I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but Sago Palms are highly toxic, particularly to dogs. If you have a male plant, that's not as serious a concern (unless the dogs like chewing on the fronds, which I wouldn't expect), but the female plants produce lots and lots of walnut-sized seeds that dogs (sometimes) love to chew on. The previous owners of our house planted quite a few, which is fine, but one was in the backyard with our dogs. I just dug it up last week and have put it on CL.


 
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nui 'umi 'umi
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Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 2458
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2017-04-29 11:08 pm   Permalink

One of my hibiscus went crazy this year as well as my Monstera Deliciosa (rht,) and a Platycerium Veitchii- one of 18 varieties of Staghorn ferns.







 
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Prikli Pear
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Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 284
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-06-15 2:04 pm   Permalink

In my never-ending quest to find tropical-looking plants that are suitable for my Central Texas climate (ie tolerant of 100F-plus summer temperatures, 20F winter lows and perpetual drought interrupted by occasional flooding) I came across this PDF book by the good folks in Texas A&M's horticultural department. Granted, it paints in very broad strokes, and I have specific problems with their passiflora section, but it's a good reference for folks throughout the south striving for a more tropical look to their yards.

Alas, for my use it is limited. It seems focused more on East Texas, which is a lot wetter than my area.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/publications/Creating-the-Tropical-Look.pdf

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nui 'umi 'umi
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Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 2458
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2017-09-27 8:36 pm   Permalink

I wanted a jungle look in an area of my yard adjacent to my tiki bar and lounge/dining space.

monstera deliciosa.


Got the foot tall concrete tiki from Jason (Smoking Tiki) at the Original Tiki Marketplace in GardenGrove Calif. The hanging aerial roots are from the Monstera growing above it.



Part of my Staghorn Fern collection, Fiddleleaf Ficus center, and Australian Sword Fern on the lower left


Started most of the plants 2-3 years ago.

Cheers


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 8807
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2017-09-28 08:42 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-06-15 14:04, Prikli Pear wrote:
In my never-ending quest to find tropical-looking plants that are suitable for my Central Texas climate (ie tolerant of 100F-plus summer temperatures, 20F winter lows and perpetual drought interrupted by occasional flooding)...



I have a similar problem in the desert of Southeast CA. (your lows are worse than mine, I'm not sure how these handle frost) I put plants in the patio shade and use a drip water system on a timer (so I don't forget to water ) Here's some of the plants I have found that will grow;
Cape Honeysuckle climbing vine with orange flowers
Gardenia lives 9 months of the year. It dies every summer and I replant it every Fall
Canna Lily (not the "funeral flower" Calla Lily, although it grows well too) Broad tropical foliage in greens, stripes, bronze, or even dark purple. Bright bold flowers
Cardboard Palm (Zamia)
Bird of Paradise grows foliage well but never blooms, I add silk flowers
I finally found a sweet spot for my hibiscus where it gets morning sun but not afternoon sun
Ponytail Palm
Sago Palm
Pineapple plant
Foxtail fern
Rubber Tree
Taro/Elephant Ear
Arrowhead plant (Syngonium podophyllum)
Large-leaf Philadendron
Mint is impossible to kill (it's invasive, put it in a pot) It looks good AND you can put it in your cocktails
Some recent additions are Plumaria and Caladium, we'll see how they do. It's been a trial and error - I plant 10 plants and 5 of them die. So I plant 5 different plants and 2 die. Eventually you find what grows
Here are some pics, some of these plants in the pics have since died and been replaced with something else

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Prikli Pear
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Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 284
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-09-28 11:04 am   Permalink

Howdy Mike! Thanks for the comments. My climate issues go beyond simple winter lows--we dropped down to 22F for a day or so last December, which damaged my bananas and satsumas, but we dropped below freezing only twice more the rest of the winter (30F or thereabouts) and didn't receive enough chill hours for my apple, pear and plum trees to fruit. And only one of my low chill peaches fruited. So our winters are mild, but we have more brief freezes. The opposite end of the spectrum is more problematic. Summers get hot and are often dry. August can be depended on to exceed 100F most or all of the time. Which you're no stranger to. The problem is that we have high humidity (not Florida humidity, but still) above 80 percent even during droughts. Our nights don't cool off like in the desert or California coast. Whereas others in hot climes are enjoying respites from the heat with 50F nights, our "lows" only drop to the mid-80s. That's really rough on many plant species. So, let's discuss each plant you suggest, because this is a good list that can benefit others with the same questions:

Cape Honeysuckle climbing vine with orange flowers-- Good choice. The Texas native is coral honeysuckle. Beautiful coral-colored flowers and drought tolerant. Japanese honeysuckle is common here but invasive, and the flowers aren't as showy.
Gardenia-- Hadn't considered gardenias. Not sure they'd like my moderately alkaline clay soil. Will investigate further.
Canna Lily-- Cannas are great. They add a quick tropical flair to any garden. I already have some, but hope to add some "Pretoria" types, as the foliage is even more striking.
Cardboard Palm (Zamia)/Sago Palm-- Drought tolerant. Sago, at least, grows very well here. I have four in my front yard. A note of caution: Every part of this plant is toxic, particularly the walnut-sized seeds, which dogs love to chew on. I just removed one from my backyard last spring because of this.
Bird of Paradise-- I have one in-ground. The roots may or may not survive our occasional freezes, but I intend to wrap it with C9 Christmas lights and a frost cloth for protection. That's worked for my bananas, so we'll see. There's also Pride of Barbados, which is a gorgeous, durable flower often mistakenly called "Mexican Bird of Paradise." Drought-tolerant and regrows from the roots after a freeze.
{i]Hibiscus--[/i] Many folks don't realize there are native and cold-tolerant hibiscus available. I have two Rose-of-Sharons, which can grow to 10' tall, but other hardy types are smaller and more shrubby. The amazing Lord Baltimore type is high on my wish list. And as an added bonus, these are all edible and can be used for hibiscus tea.
Ponytail Palm-- Wouldn't survive in the ground here because of the cold. Strictly a potted plant. But a good accent plant and pest-free.
Pineapple plant-- I've started several pineapple plants in the past year, all of which have fallen victim to our beagles.
Foxtail fern-- Great accent plant. Regrows from the roots after a freeze. We've got similar asparagus fern growing here.
Rubber Tree-- Gorgeous plant, but toxic to dogs and cold-sensitive. No go for me.
Taro/Elephant Ear-- Water hog. It'd need heavy watering during our summers, and we're in perpetual conservation mode. Also, these have become terribly, terribly invasive in our waterways.
Arrowhead plant (Syngonium podophyllum)-- Attractive, tropical vine. Can become invasive. Best for pots.
Large-leaf Philadendron-- Can survive in-ground here with some protection. They're common in San Antonio, particularly on the River Walk. Unfortunately, they're quite toxic to humans and pets, so I'm avoiding.
Mint-- Mint is easy to grow and can be invasive, but from my experience, it's no match for Texas in August. We had quite a variety at our old house, but didn't give it supplemental water one summer and it all withered. I want to add some here, but haven't figured out the best location.
Plumaria-- I have a plumeria in-ground, where it seems to be happy. Will try to overwinter it with frost cloth and C9 lights. If that doesn't work, there are dwarf types suitable for pots.
Caladium-- Very attractive and common throughout the South. Easier to care for than the bigger Elephant Ears (they don't need as much water, at any rate). Not sure about invasiveness issues. I've become intrigued by the related Alocasia (African Mask) recently. It's more cold-sensitive, so would be strictly a pot plant.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 8807
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2017-09-28 11:42 am   Permalink

Great information Pear. We have the same issue with heat - From May to September it's over 100 degrees every day from 9am to midnight, lows in the 80. But we don't have the humidity. Absolutely nothing other than cactus will grow here without supplemental water so the drip water comes on for 10 minutes every morning. Because they are on a concrete patio, I have everything in pots. Eliminates the invasive and alkaline soil problems. Yes, animal toxicity can be an issue with most of the plants I have. Fortunately we have adult dog who doesn't chew. Castor plant is another tropical looking "weed" that grows really well but is highly toxic. That Alocasia looks really interesting, I'm going to check into it.
Edit - love the Pride of Barbados too. One of the few things that will bloom profusely in the summer here
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[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2017-09-28 11:44 ]


 
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Prikli Pear
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Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 284
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-09-28 12:11 pm   Permalink

Passion flowers are another potential choice. Caerulea (blue and white varieties), vitifolia (red), Inspiration (purple hybrid type) are all pretty hardy once established. Vitifolia won't come back from freezes, but the other two will regrow from the roots. Edulis, the tropical commercial species, is a good choice for sheltered or frost-free areas. Incarnata is the native "maypop" and has a tasty fruit, but can go nuts under favorable conditions and might be too much for some to handle.

I loves me some passiflora.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 8807
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2017-09-28 12:27 pm   Permalink

My daughter has a passiflora, seems to be doing well. Beautiful flowers and tasty fruit, good for making Hurricanes
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Prikli Pear
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Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 284
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-09-28 12:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-09-28 12:27, MadDogMike wrote:
My daughter has a passiflora, seems to be doing well. Beautiful flowers and tasty fruit, good for making Hurricanes



Yes! I prefer passion fruit juice to passion fruit syrup for hurricanes--stronger flavor and less sugar. Plants that can serve double duty are a-ok in my book.


 
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