Let's share pictures of our Tropical Plants/Fruit Trees!

Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZSeptember 8, 2011

I know we've all just been through a record breaking hot August so our plants are probably not in their best shape right now but I want to show some of my tropicals that did pretty good in our summer heat.

Annona Squamosa (Sugar Apple) - I just planted this one this past spring in my backyard (facing south). It gets morning shade but full sun in the afternoon. It took our sun pretty well. I thought for sure it was going to get burnt to the ground this summer :)

Spondias mombin (sineguelas, spanish plum, hog plum) - planted this one as well this past spring next to my sugar apple. So it gets a lot of exposure from the sun as well and it took the heat pretty well too!

Ficus Lyrata and Philodendron in a wine barrel - The ficus has shown no sign of distress at all but the Philo started to brown up just this last few weeks because of the intense heat. These are sitting under bright shade in my front patio.

Ephyphyllum started to dry up as well just this past few weeks.

Alocasia Borneo Giant - I have 3 of these and this one's the one that's doing the best and it is under bright shade the whole day. The other two died to the ground but will sprout back out in a few weeks.

Firmiana Simplex - Chinese parasol tree - took the heat pretty well too. I thought it's big leaves were going to dry up in our heat, but it did pretty well. Morning sun then gets shade starting around 1-2pm

Ixora Red Maui (Jungle Geranium) - morning sun and afternoon shade. growing steadily and stopped blooming in august.

Castor Bean plant - holy cow this plant grows fast! It was almost dead to the ground this winter and look how big it is now!

my two Hibiscus Mutabilis "Confederate Rose" - planted this past spring as well. started at around 4" tall. They get sun all day everyday :) I'm training them to a tree form.

Plumeria - Non stop flowers from this guy :)

Canna lillies and African Iris

More Canna lillies, giant bird-of-paradise in the middle and Passion vine. The passion vine hasn't bloomed for me yet :( but it's growing pretty quick. My african iris on this side died though, Im not sure why.

Hong Kong Orchid tree - loves the heat!

Sweet Potato vine trailing at the bottom. I'm waiting for it to completely cover the ground.

Musella lasiocarpa (Chinese yellow banana) - doing good but it isn't growing as quickly as I thought.

Heliconia Rostrata - I planted this rhizome about 2 months ago and it's just now sprouting out.

Red Hibiscus - I'm training this one into a tree. It was blooming a lot this spring and early summer.

Here's my other Alocasia Borneo Giant. I had it planted somewhere else where it got too much sun exposure and got toasted this summer. I had to pull it out and planted it in a more shaded spot closer to the house. Just a few days later and it's sprouting a new leaf already :D

and my poor Brugmansia. I haven't seen a leaf on it since the triple digit temps hit it. :( Not sure what to do with it. I might pull it out and plant another hibiscus on that spot.

This one's not a recent picture. It was taken in July. The canna lillies now are a bit burnt on the tips of the leaves.

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toucan(9)

Are those plumeria in full sun?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 12:30AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

It gets a bit of shade from the Cannas behind it at around noon time but then gets full sun again in the afternoon up until 4pm-ish

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 2:20AM
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juju222(z9 AZ)

Great informative photos. My canna leaf tips are all crispy and brown. They are potted and get mostly shade.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 3:32PM
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AJBB(9b)

Holy cow! How many hours do you take out of your time in the winter frost protecting all those beauties?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:40AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Most of these were just planted this past spring except the Cannas and elephant ears. Those usually die back to the ground in the winter and just pop back out during the spring. I don't provide them with any protection.

But yeah this winter will be interesting. I'm going to have to buy a lot of frost cloth and lights.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:28AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great pics! Thanks for sharing them. Most of your plants look really good. My Epiphyllum got very cranky too so I brought it inside when it had gotten smaller and smaller and was at risk of just disappearing altogether, LOL. My plumies look very happy and seem unbothered by the heat too--yours are terrific.

Thanks again for all of the eye candy--looking good! I tried Confederate rose six or seven years ago at my last garden and promptly killed them. You're giving me a craving to try them again.

Take care and keep the updates coming!
Grant

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

thanks! Yeah you should try the confederate rose again. I haven't had any problems with them at all, except that I haven't gotten them to bloom yet but that's probably because I've been pruning their lower leaves non-stop since im training them to a tree form.

I want to see some pics of your guys' tropical plants :) I'm sure Im not the only one growing tropicals here in the valley

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:12AM
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goldie11

Loved your pic of the Hong Kong Orchid tree. We just planted one TODAY, so it was nice to see how it might look next year - IF it survives what I hear is going to be another cold winter.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 4:38PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

thanks!

The guy at the nursery I bought it from told me that this tree that I got was one of the few Orchid trees that didn't get affected much from last years freezing winter. But whatever, I'm still going to give it protection this coming winter just in case.

I just got back from my local homedepot right now and bought a new tropical plant that Im adding to my garden :)

I got a White Sapote, which I've read are pretty easy to grow here in Az. I was surprised at the variety of tropical fruit trees they have at HD right now. They had grafted white sapote, grafted Cherimoya, passion fruit vines, 2 types of guavas, Loquats, Kiwis and goji berries.

I wanted to grab the loquat too but Im not sure if I have room for it LOL

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:35PM
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DocHollywood 9b Central Tucson(USDA 9b)

Hi. Newbie here. What is frost cloth? Probably just as it sounds. Is it available at somewhere like homedepot? How do you use lights and what size and how many? I have a mexican lime that I planted this fall and will have to protect if it gets below 30 degrees. And how do you post pictures?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:37PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

not sure if homedepot or lowes have frost cloth, but Im pretty sure the local nurseries have them. You can also buy it online, which is much cheaper if you're planning on buy a lot of it. If it's just for one plant, then just buy it locally.

For lights, some people use christmas lights or just some cheap light bulb fixture from HD.

if you want to post pictures you have to use the HTML code for pictures. a simple way is to use imgur.com

upload a picture from your computer on there and copy the "HTML image" code and paste it here.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:58PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

My Hibiscus Mutabilis (Confederate Rose) about to bloom for the first time!

I can't believe how quickly they grew. From only 4"inches this spring to 6ft +

My other hibiscus flowering non-stop

I'm a bit worried about it though. Its leaves are full of holes. Not sure why? I don't see any bugs underneath the leaves.

My Angel Trumpet making a come back. I hope it flowers before the freeze

Passion vine's first flower. I started it from a small clipping this spring also.

Castor Bean plant - the bees love this plant! I love how red the pods get.

I trimmed up all the Canna lillies. they were getting out of hand, plus the burnt leaves were ugly to look at.

full shot of the garden

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 7:35PM
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xica_da_silva

Spectacular! Love that castor bean...saw one in a nursery a while back but wasn't sure how it would fare. It seems yours gets enough shade, being on the north side...I wonder if it could handle more sun/afternoon heat?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 6:58PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

That spot it's on actually gets plenty of sun and it shows no sign of heat stress or burnt leaves.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:07PM
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drmrsguild(9)

I just planted red cannas in a place where they get FULL SUN but plenty of water. They actually get runoff water from my koi pond. I'm excited to say that, een in the heat, they NEVER even got crispy. I think that's the key- wet! They are at least 6 feet tall and nonstop flowers. I'm now trying a grouping of them IN the water, and those are also taking off...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:54PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Yeah Cannas do love water. Mine are on drip system and trying to conserve water since I got so many plants to water that's why they got a bit burnt on the edges.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 6:23PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Here in Phoenix I have Canna planted in a trough, no drainage, wet feet, watered everyday, full sun. They made it through the summer, but did stop blooming for a couple of months and some leaves did brown at the edges.

Umbrella Plant (Cyperus involucratus) in the same trough did very well, no browning at all.

I've grown Canna in many conditions in San Jose CA and from those times I can tell you the best is wet feet and a lot of fertilizer. They do less well with the crown below water, but still do well.

Here's Canna Wyoming I had in San Jose, 8' tall, in 5 gal pots buried in gravel, crown about 1" above water.

The same kind with the crown below water was maybe 3', but still very nice.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 2:29AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I started 3 Umbrella Plant (Cyperus involucratus) from leaf cuttings that I got from work. They're slowly growing but they're growing lol.

I tried looking for them at nurseries around here but with no success. All I find are the dwarf kind. I know that this plant LOVES water. You can fully submerge them in a pond and they'll thrive.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 11:10AM
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drmrsguild(9)

I have umbrella palm in my front bed where I've been fighting with a leaky water valve. It started from seed, and is a perfect size for transplanting. It's not the dwarf. Anyone who wants it is welcome to it, just come by and get it!!!
Waterbug_guy!! If you need to get rid of any of that red-leaved canna, please let me know!! I have a perfect place for it!! Maybe we can swap varieties ??
My email is drmrsguild@gmail.com

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

My Saffron bulbs finally bloomed!

I planted them 4-5 weeks ago

Here's the stamens that I harvested

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:34PM
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xica_da_silva

Wow! You must be a gardening genius, reimeiken! I didn't even imagine that Saffron could be grown here, and look how lovely those flowers are! Thanks for sharing!

PS. While I am still mulling over a decision about which tree I should get for my front yard, I'm noticing your especially beautiful Hong Kong Orchid. Most of the ones I've seen around town look a little unhappy. What's your secret? Deep watering, the usual stuff they recommend?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

ahaha thanks!

I just read up on Saffrons and I learned that they die back during the hot summer months and come back in the fall when it starts to rain. I figured that that's actually perfect for our weather here since it's so hot here during the summer.

The Orchid tree gets deep watering twice a week this past summer and now just once a week. I've also sprayed it twice already this year with liquid iron chelate when it started to show yellowing leaves. I thought I was going to loose it too 2 months after it got planted because it dropped all of its leaves. It sprung back after a few weeks from giving it some iron.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Marina33(9 Monterey, CA)

Hi Raimeiken,
Your Spondias mombin or siniguela tree looks good! I live in Monterey, CA and have been researching online where to buy siniguela fruit but no luck. I decided I should try growing my own siniguela fruit as best as I can. Where did you buy your siniguela tree?
Any help would be greatly appreciated...Thanks in advance
I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Marina

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:18AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I got the Spondias Mombin I got from Top Tropical$.com

(the dollar sign should be an "s" but this forum won't let me post about other websites thinking that I'm advertising it.)

They have a huge selection, but the shipping can get pricey. That's why I ended up buying a few more fruit trees from them to make it worth it. I got the sugar apple and a Manilkara Zapota from them too but the manilkara died after a few weeks. It didn't take the shipping well at all.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:37AM
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Marina33(9 Monterey, CA)

Raimeiken,
Thank you for the prompt reply with the info. I really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Marina

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 1:35AM
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Marina33(9 Monterey, CA)

Hello,
What kind of soil should I plant the Spondias Mombin in? Any advise is greatly appreciated it.

Thanks,
Marina

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 12:53AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I added a well draining soil in mine along with some of our native soil and it seems to love it. When mine arrived it almost lost all of its leaves but it bounced back after a few weeks.

are you planning on planting it in the ground or in a container? and what zone are you in? if you get freezing temps in the winter, this plant is going to need some frost protection. Cover it with frost blanket plus christmas lights would be good.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 10:14AM
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xica_da_silva

Hi Raimeiken,

Thanks for the tip regarding using iron chelate for the Hong Kong Orchid. I just planted mine yesterday...hope someday it will look as good as yours!

Also, yes, having read a bit in Wikipedia regarding saffron, it seems like it could be successful here(climate-wise). After reading this, though, I can see why it's the most expensive spice in the world:

To glean an amount of dry saffron weighing 1 lb (450 g) is to harvest 50,000-75,000 flowers, the equivalent of an association football field's area of cultivation; 110,000-170,000 flowers or two football fields are needed to gross one kilogram. Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound.

Yikes! Anyhow, it would be awesome to make some paella with some fresh saffron, no?!!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 11:34AM
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Marina33(9 Monterey, CA)

Raimeiken,
Thanks for your input and advice. I live in Monterey, California (zone 9). Our annual minimium temperature is 30 F. Unfortunately, our native soil is mostly silica sand. Considering that it will be my first tropical plant ever in this zone, I plan to plant it in a big container inside our house (living room where it's sunny all day) till it's strong enough to survive outside. What brand and type of soil did you mix with your native soil?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I had some leftover "sod mix" soil that I got from a local masonry/landscaping company that I used since it drains well and just mixed a little of our native soil which is heavy clay. The sod mix from what I remember is 33% sand 33%mulch and 33% manure.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 7:15PM
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Marina33(9 Monterey, CA)

Cool. Thanks for the info, Raimeiken.

Marina

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 7:26PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ


My Passion vine finally bloomed.


Both of my Hibiscus Mutabilis bloomed as well for the first time.


and here's my big roll of frost cloth that came in the mail. LOL!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 7:03PM
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plstqd(9)

Wow. Just...wow. That passion fruit flower almost looks surreal, and the hibiscus are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:50PM
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AJBB(9b)

Hope you have your shade cloth up. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 8:23PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Yup, got all the plants that needed covers covered, except the orchid tree. But I do have the two flood lights turned on.

I'm not too concerned about it. It's not going to dip below freezing in my area tonight.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:08AM
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tracydr(9b)

Love the passion flower and saffron crocus!
Can I take cuttings from my hibiscus and root them somehow to make more plants?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:04PM
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tracydr(9b)

Just pulling this old thread back up to ask about a couple of tropicals. How do the brugsmanias do? I have a lot of shade so won't be putting them in full, blazing sun. Also, will elephants ears work here?
Are the brugs and castor beans such a toxic problem that I need to keep them out of the yard with dogs and cats? They bring mesquite beans and palm beans in the house to play with.
Working on tropicals around the pool.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

My brugmansia came back after the summer heat. Here it is right now and it's getting quite big. It does very well in the shade and it's been giving me quite a lot of flowers lately.

Yes, elephant ears work here. I'd suggest getting some from the alocasia family, not colocasias. I've tried colocasias, they grow well in the spring and fall but they just cannot take the heat at all in the summer, in my experience.

Here's one of my Borneo Giants in full shade

They will die back when it hit below freezing for more than a couple hours, but if that happens, don't water them again for the rest of the winter or else the bulb will rot. Just wait for them to pop back up in spring.

Same thing with Cannas. If you're going for tropical, get some Cannas, since they LOVE being in full sun here.

another one I'd recommend is the Chinese Parasol Tree. Big foliage and can take some sun. I have mine in morning sun/full shade in the afternoon. The plant loses its leave in the winter and goes dormant. Here's mine now after a week from coming back from dormancy. It's already grown about 6+ inches!

Birds of paradise are great as well here in Phoenix. They're frost hardy down to 25-26f I believe.

Split-leaf Philodendron are great as well. Just plant them in the shade. Plus you can find these easily at HD or Lowes.

I wouldn't risk planting a castor bean though since you have pets. They drop a lot of those red spiny bean pods all over, and from what I've read are very poisonous. I'm not sure about the brug's toxicity though. Their flowers might be poisonous?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 2:21PM
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jacaranda4321

This forum doesn't have enough about tropical plants

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

yeah seriously. I'd like to hear more about other people's experiences with other tropical plants/fruit trees. So we'll know what we can grow here in Phoenix.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:13AM
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jacaranda4321

There are lots of unusual plants that can be grown here

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 11:39PM
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jacaranda4321

There are lots of unusual plants that can be grown here

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 12:28AM
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jacaranda4321

I have a tamarind seedling

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 5:02PM
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jacaranda4321

There have been no recent threads about tropical plants

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:12PM
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jacaranda4321

Raimieken how are your trees now ?

This post was edited by jacaranda4321 on Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 1:44

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 1:41AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I've bought a house and moved out since the last update. Those plants were all at my parents' house that they've sold a few months later after I moved. I tried to move as many plants as I could but a lot of them didn't make it since the moving was done near the beginning of summer.

I've driven by the old house just to see how some of the trees are doing and they're all pretty much over grown. The Orchid tree, Hibiscus Mutabilis, and the castor bean plant are growing wild. I don't know if the new owner is taking care of the place at all.

The one's that have made the move are all the Cannas, my guava tree that was planted in ground, and all of my potted tropical fruit trees. The plant that I really liked but didn't survive the move was the Chinese parasol tree. At the time when I had uprooted it, it was well over 6ft tall with lots of new large leaves :(

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 2:10PM
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