Central Florida Pool Landscape advice

jpuras73(9b)March 1, 2009

Hey folks. New here. Long time lurker, 1st time poster.

I finally saved up some $$ and decided to landscape my backyard. I have a small piece of property, about a 1/4 acre. My backyard has a 14x28 pool and spa surrounded by brick pavers and a 12x12 lanai.

The available gardening area is about a 10' strip of bahia grass that surrounds the W, N and E side of the property.

What I would like is that Tropical feel with some color. There will be a total of 5 plant beds with up to 4 plants on each. So far I have picked out the following:

2x triple stalk Xmas Palms 8'(NE corner)

2x triple stalk Date Palms 8'(NW corner)

1x Spindle Palm (N, center backyard)

2x Orange Bird of Paradise (N side of yard on both sides of spindle palm)

1x Bird of Paradise (E side of yard, by it self)

1x Bottle Palm (W side of yard)

4x Xanadu (filler)

2x Red Hawaiian Ti (filler color)

2x yellow green color Ti's

That is what I have so far purchased. The plan can be changed if need. I have tried landscaping before, I just bought whatever was "pretty" without researching it and just wasted my money. I don't want to do that this time.

My goal is to get my yard looking tropical and colorful with hardy med-low maintenance plants.

I am looking for some additional fillers and wanted to get your opinion on if it's a good idea or not. I live in Palm Bay, FL and it gets up to the high 90's and as low as 30 degrees maybe 3 or 4 times a year. All plants will pretty much have full sun most of the day.

I am thinking Philodendrons, Canna Lilly's (x2), Banana Ensete Maurelli (1 or 2, but I hear it's not too hardy), Red Emperor x1 or 2 and Musa Basjoo (would replace Ensete Maurelli)

If these or the others are not good choices, I am open to other ideas. Your help is appreciated.



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jkrup44(9B FL)

Hi Jose, I live in Cocoa, not too far from you. You might want to try some Heliconias. You can get a couple of interesting types at Rockledge gardens. You may want to also try to add a couple types of ginger. Most people have Variegated Shell Ginger around here, but there are several other types that you can get online that are suitable for the area with very interesting foliage and blooms and low maintenance too. It is nice to have something that is a little more unusual like that. Ti plants are great, and if I was landscaping around a pool here, I would try a couple of the less common varieties like Willie's gold or Kiwi; but any type is nice. Adding a few bromeliads also looks nice; there is a lot of variety in foliage colors, they don't take up much space, and are usually low maintenance. For your Canna, have you checked out Canna 'Tropicanna'? They are really neat looking! I saw a couple for sale at the Home Depot in Merritt Island last week. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 2:17PM
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Thanks for that. Got some great ideas from your post. Thanks again.

Do you guys think I've picked some pretty hardy plants that will thrive in zone 9? Cold and full sun?


    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:37PM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

They will all do well in Zone 9 under normal conditions. But on those cold days where it gets close to the freezing mark, your Christmas Palms, Spindle Palm, Bottle Palm, Ti, Bananas, Canna, heloconia, will ALL need protection and may still take some damage. I wouldn't let that stop you from using them though.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 7:19PM
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florah(z9 Leesburg, Fl)

My neighbors had almost all of these plants and they all were damaged in the cold. Our temperature dropped below 32.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 8:52PM
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^ where are u located? sorry to hear about ur neighbors ...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 9:15PM
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2x triple stalk Xmas Palms 8'(NE corner) - These are not going take the cold. There are several Veitchii that will and the look similar to Adonidia
2x triple stalk Date Palms 8'(NW corner) - Bad choice due to maintenance. Around a pool deck, stay with self-cleaning palms that don't have spines.
1x Spindle Palm (N, center backyard) - I would use more of these, replace the Date Palms with them.
2x Orange Bird of Paradise (N side of yard on both sides of spindle palm) - Not cold tolerant.
1x Bird of Paradise (E side of yard, by it self) - There are those who love this plant, personally, I think once they start to reach around 10' they get ugly. Regardless, I doubt this one will take a cold snap and as a standalone piece, it will eventually stand out like s sore thumb. Consider a flowering tree if the space is far enough from the pool.
1x Bottle Palm (W side of yard) - Very slow growing and not as cold tolerant as its brother the Spindle.
4x Xanadu (filler) - The worst of these are in gas stations, the best in Century Village. There are a lot more plants to choose from that will look good for a much longer period of time.
2x Red Hawaiian Ti (filler color) - These look good in a mass, two is not a mass. I would doubt Ti plants can take much cold.
2x yellow green color Ti's - ditto

You do tropical in zone 9, you just need the right plants. Take a drive around your neighborhood to a radius of at least 5 miles, and see what grows there. Keep in mind that water restrictions are here to stay; don't put stuff in the ground that you're going to have to flood to keep alive.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:01AM
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I'm in Orlando and need recommendations for some cleaner plantings around my pool. I have two corner planters and need something no more than 10' high and 4' in diameter. The previous owners planted Jasmine trees in the corner, which are about 6' high and a TOTAL MESS!! I'm thinking container planting would be better and I would love to retain the height I have with the trees. Some suggestions I've received from area nurseries are robellini (single), Ti, slender lady palm, areca palm, white bird of paradise, knockout rose trees. From what I've read online none of those sound like a great solution... Well, the Ti sounds like it might be the best... They also recommended a dracena. The area is full sun with some filtering through the screen. I'd appreciate any input you might have - I'm completely confused.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 5:53PM
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