Any Tropicalesque Gardener's in CANADA?

bigdesJuly 12, 2002


I just wanted to find out if I'm the only one trying to grow bananas and papaya this far north in a solarium? (I hope to get a citrus soon, is 160.00 alot to pay for a grafted tree?)I also have a Coconut palm growing in a pot that I grabed while in Florida. (not expecting nuts)

I love growing anything but have a passion for tropical plants and esp. plants that fruit. I'd like to connect with others that share this passion and have the same limitations that I do, mainly only growing indoors in a solarium/greenhouse. Mainly to share information/tips/and experiences with.

I like the challenge of growing stuff that couldn't be normally grown here and for simply the way the plants look. I like to sit in the solarium and feel like I'm in Florida or Hawaii.

A big thanks to Spike for setting up this forum!


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I forgot to mention, you don't have to be in Canada..

    Bookmark   July 12, 2002 at 9:40PM
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Your heating bills in winter must be out of this world!
I have to take all plastic off my greenhouses from March 1st-Nov.1st. I replace it with shade cloth. Lot of work, but necessary.
Best of luck. Would like to see some pics of your solarium. B.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2002 at 6:33PM
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winterpeg_gal(2 MB CA)

Hello from Tropical Winnipeg Manitoba Canada (that's waaaay north of Fargo ND... about 4 hours!)...

We have beautiful, sunny and warm summers (Today is 33C with a humidex of about 42C)...

... and incredibly long, cold and snowy winters (We had a 2 week cold snap last winter with daytime highs of -32C and overnight lows I've managed to block out of my mind completey!)

The winters make us tough and crazy- I take revenge by having a tropical garden!

Ha ha ha!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2002 at 5:57PM
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Hi Bamboochik & Winterpeg_gal

I'm in a condo, and the solarium faces south (top to bottom windows). The solarium is part of the condo unit or part of the living space (I should say the plants living space) but is also self contained. Heat is included. So it costs me nothing, or I should say is included in the monthly maint. fee.

Right now, we have had nothing but HOT weather. It's been almost 2 weeks without rain and some days it got to 115 with the humidity.The next 5 days are suppose to be sunny and HOT.

Mind you, the sun on it's own heats the solarium pretty much on its own all year. (I have a small space heater that goes on when it gets below 70). It's not very big, only about 16x8. Anyway, I've lived in Ontario all my life, and our winters aren't the same anymore. They are getting warmer. Last winter was the warmest ever on record. The average temp over the winter was above freezing.

My main problem right now is keeping the solarium cool enough during the summer (I don't like it going above 95). I have Orchids that won't flower because the temps don't fluctuate enough.I have A/C but it doesn't cool things down enough.(only to 80)

I am going to try and get some pic's posted really soon, when I do, I'll post!I have a great view of Toronto and Lake Ontario, not to mention the great plants.

Winterpeg_gal & Bamboochik, what do you grow in your solariums/greenhouses???

Take care,


    Bookmark   July 14, 2002 at 9:20PM
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winterpeg_gal(2 MB CA)

Hi K-

I envy you! I don't have a greenhouse at all, so I have to overwinter my palms et al in the house... as long as I am faithful about watering, they all do ok.

The biggest problem is being over-eager to get everything outdoors in the spring... no, not frost- Sunburn! After being in a darkish house all winter, I manage to burn my fan palm everytime!

Other than cannas, everything else I grow are tropical looking hardy perennials... and I really depend on garden bones and materials like my bamboo fencing.

I wish I could grow papya like you, but alas... not enough light!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2002 at 8:14PM
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I live in the southern Gulf Islands off of Canada's extreme south west coast. Lots of subtropical flora planted outdoors on our island. I have a garden full of the stuff for many years now. Palms, Bananas ,citrus, Eucalyptus, Callistemon, Oleander , Bamboos and more. A stroll through our town and you will see exotics planted everywhere . Lots of palms and other companion plants growing happily. In my greenhouse I grow hardy palms and other outdoor exotics from seed. A 100 watt light bulb generates enough heat to keep it warm in the winter months. Here is a link to a site with some pics. of our island plants. Cheers, Banana Joe

    Bookmark   July 16, 2002 at 12:50AM
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don_brown(Zone 6A NS)

Hi! I am in Halifax. My garden is rather eclectic, but significantly tropical in flavour. I grow dwarf citrus, hibiscus, palms, cacti, bamboo, cannas, orchids, passionflower, watermellon, canteloupe, redwood, Egyptian papyrus, figs, heliotrope, kiwi, brugmansia, allemandra, and much more. Much of it comes indoors for the winter, where it stays in the sun porch or under lights. I have had successes and failures, but lots of fun! The tropical outdoor garden is a source of wonder to the neighbourhood. This year I built a temporary greenhouse in the backyard and germinated over a thousand seedlings. I order seeds from all over the world. I now have Poncirus trifoliata...which may be able to overwinter here, and that would be real neat!

I planted a prickly-pear cactus in my front garden last year and it spent the entire winter there and is growing very well this summer. I love to push the climatic limits!

These are just a few of my exploits, and I will be glad to hear from you if you wish to exchange stories and info!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2002 at 10:08AM
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Hi Don, You should try out some of the hardier palm species as well. With winter protection try Trachycarpus fortunei . Also Sabal minor and Rhapidophyllum hystrix are extremely cold tolerant palms. I can send you some seed from my outdoor palms when I harvest next spring. Unfortnuately I have all my current seeds sowed in flats at this time. You should also try Musa basjoo with a heavy winter mulch. Sounds like you are having fun! Cheers, Banana Joe

    Bookmark   July 19, 2002 at 10:03PM
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thanks a lot, I was looking for plants to grow in container on another forum : balcony gardening. You just give me some ideas. If you can grow tropical plants in Canada, no reason why I can't have some in France. Our winter aren't so cold!
Take care

    Bookmark   July 20, 2002 at 3:56PM
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alexg(z5b ONT)

I thought I replied to this post, but no..........I am just north of Toronto and have a large solarium too. Every year I lug my tropicals out for the summer, and love the look so much that I have tried to incorprate more tropical looking plants into my beds. This year, being so hot and humid is great for coleus and caladiums. I have tons of cannas, but none have bloomed yet (?!?). I also plant agapanthus, and other large tropical bulbs in my large pots. I find daturas, Nicotiana sylvestris and dahlias have also lent the tropical feel to the beds this year. I actually brought some seeds back from a few plants in the Indonesian jungle while working there, and they are growing in pots. I put lots of tropical vines and ipomea tubers in hanging baskets and generally go for hot oranges, pinks and fuchsias (cooled by blues and dark leaves - black mondo grass, dark leafed dahlias and begonias). I find that when plants grow to gigantic proportions, I feel more like my gardens are jungles, no matter what the plant - that has been the case in this hot sticky summer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2002 at 1:08AM
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flora(USDA z7)

There are quite a few people on the Canadian east coast, the Niagara to Toronto area (Golden Horseshoe) and on the west coast who are experimenting with tropicalesque plants - in the *garden*, not just the greenhouse. In the Niagara, figs are not uncommon - some protect them, some don't (I don't); I have 3 kinds, all rampageous; 3 oleanders have survived 3 winters (since we moved here from Toronto); I have 12 kinds of ginger, a loquat (needs protection), palms (sabal, rapidophyllum, trachycarpus takil and fortunei), Musa basjoo (very hardy even with no mulch), Musa sikkimensis and Musella lasiocarpa. I have two Eucalypts that overwinter outside, one without protection for several years; a pomegranate and several callistemon youngsters which get the heat lost from the building they are up against, as well as some leaf mulch. Gerbera overwinters too. As to citrus! There is a very hardy one, the trifoliate orange (now Poncirus trifoliata) used as understock in Florida, and the oranges make a terrific marmelade as well. I know of 3 Monkey Puzzles here too, including my own. I hope to overwinter Brugmansia outside this year as well. As to crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia), I may have 9 varieties and they are all hardy without protection (some since 1995) and are stunning in bloom.

Grow the probably impossible stuff like bougainvillea and blood oranges in the greenhouse, but try the hardier tropicals and subtropicals outside using some simple natural aids like mulch if necessary. (IMO, building shelters around plants and using heating cables is not cricket, says nothing about a plant's hardiness).

Come to think of it, has anyone tried bougainvillea outside in the northeast?? As it blooms on new growth, it might just overwinter if the main stem doesn't split? It certainly has a vigorous hold on life, and that's always a good start.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 10:47PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

I also live just north of Toronto, in Barrie. I grow a lot of tropicals and put then into the garage, where it does not freeze, for the winter. I brought my banana tree indoors this year, but it is only 3' tall. Next year it'll have to go into the garage. I have two brugs I am overwintering in the garage. I don't have the courage to leave them outside and mulch. I have lots of cannas (mine have not bloomed either), dalias and glads. I also have elephant ears taro overwintering in the garage with everything else. All my waterlilies and parrots feather go in there too. Next winter I am hoping to have a pacific dogwood tree in a huge pot. I am trying to grow one from seed this winter.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2002 at 8:02PM
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casper1(5/6- -10F Ont)

Have no fear, you are not alone, I'm growing Musa Bajoo out of doors, lost one winter 01-02 too mild the rodents got it after 4 yrs. Now have 6 more, plus chinese ginger, some small palms, paw paw,and am going to get giant knifophia in the spring. just love pushing. R.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2002 at 11:15AM
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casper1(5/6- -10F Ont)

I am growing bananas, chinese gingers, palms,I've forgotten the name,Albizzia, and the native Paw Paw, outdoors,in that tropical zone known as Toronto

    Bookmark   November 26, 2002 at 8:52PM
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bmason(8a N Van BC)

I'm in North Vancouver on the West Coast and trying just about every borderline plant I can get my hands on for our zone, including Osmanthus fragrans, Gardenias, Eucalyptus, Acca sellowiana, Jasmine polyanthum, Pittosporum tobira, and numerous Hedychium. The only stuff I bring in for winter is the Jasminum sambac, Murraya panticulata, and Plumerias. We have very mild winters but I think our biggest limitation out here is our summers are too cool and many of the sub-tropical/tropical plants don't seem to get enough heat or humidity to really bloom (but they grow well). I don't know if Banana Joe has had the same problem on Saltspring.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 1:24AM
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I'm in North Vancouver too. I'm really big into brugmansias, passifloras,cannas,alocasias/colocasias, gingers, bananas. bmason, do you belong to Hardy Palm etc Society? I was just thinking of joining.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2003 at 12:01AM
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blondboy47(z6b(almost 7) ON,Canada)

Ok, so this thread hasn't been updated for a while.

I would like to know, from a fellow Canadian, where I can purcahse Musa Basjoo plants (I guess seeds would do if that's all I can get, but I would prefer a plant).

I now live in Hamilton, not far from the water and our "mini-zone" is 6b to 7.

I don't mind driving, on a Saturday or Sunday to anywhere in Southern Ontario (Toronto-ish westward) to pickup the Musa Basjoo plants.

Anyone know?

Also, is there not some kind of website or kind of club thing for Ontario Tropical Gardeners? If not, there should be! ;)

Msg to Banana Joe: I realize that you do sell seeds, but can you also supply the Musa basjoo plant(s) I seek and maybe even more hardy palms - larger hardy palms? If so, do you deliver to Ontario and if so, how?

I'll check back later.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2003 at 12:01PM
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You`re not alone its a big country and it can`t be onle one crazy gardener up here. I`m near Monteal, I grow cachew tree , palm , banana, avocado, citrus, mango ,lichies ,blue ginger ,4 other trees that a bought seeds back from Cuba and to top it off I grow plumerias & heliconias for my business. You see you just have to ask.

good luck

    Bookmark   September 17, 2003 at 8:27PM
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Blond Boy - you can purchase musa's including basjoo from in Surrey B.C. I don't know of any other Canadian source.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tropic to Tropic

    Bookmark   September 19, 2003 at 12:36PM
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blondboy47(z6b(almost 7) ON,Canada)

A huge THANK YOU Brokenhead. It looks like THIS is the website I have been looking for. It's bookmarked now! :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2003 at 8:27AM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

I got such a kick out of reading these entries, I just had a big smile on my face! Where do you put them all???!! I am new to tropicals but have brugmansia, Oleander, a little palm, cannas, Papyrus in the pond, Tibouchina, a huge white ginger that is way too big to come in the house this winter, Jasmine officianalis that has survived several winters and a big Eucalytus that grows through the sundeck. I had a banana but it died, and I am dying to try a musa basjoo, fig, plumeria, michelia, and murraya. After this endless summer I feel like this is not Canada but maybe California?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2003 at 11:43PM
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Grant(6a - ON, Canada)

Hi BlondBoy, I might be able to hook you up with the basjoo. I am also into tropicals and live in the GTA and happen to have a few basjoo and blood banana pups right now so if you are still in need send me an email and we can work out the details.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2003 at 11:14PM
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vineloverme(z3 wpg)

I live in Winnipeg and have also been bitten by the tropical plant bug. I have Brugmansia, Tibouchina, African Tulip tree, Passiflora's, Mandevilla, Chalice Vine, Banana, Pampas Grass, Elephant Ear, big flowered Dahlias, Hibiscus, Alamanda,Tabebuia, Thunbergia Grandiflora, Phormiums, and probably some I haven't mentioned. I am also growing some from seed, Delonix Regia, Gardenia thunbergia, mucana bennettii (Red Jame Vine) Paradise Bird, Pillow Tree, Petrea Volubilis.
I think I need a bigger house.
Winterpeg Girl, If you're still hanging out on this posting, can you let me know what kind of tropicals you grow?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2003 at 2:59PM
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winterpeg_gal(2 MB CA)

Hi Laura-

Wow! Thats quite a list for this part of the frozen north (can you believe how cold it got last nite- 20 below already- unbelievable!!!)

I prefer tropical looking perennial plants (it really is amazing what you can do with well placed "normal" plants), but in addition I put out tropicals and annuals each year...
several types of palms, bird of paradise, bananas, any type of philodendron etc, castors, callas and cannas (oh my) and much more... never have good luck with the hibiscus tho... apparently miracle grow won't work on everything! And something ate the brugsmansia (a bug, not a pet- I hope!!)

I add new stuff as I find it... which brings me to the question- what's Tibouchina? Sounds sexy! And did you pick up the phormium at Shelm's? They had awesome (and expensive) red New Zealand flax- I was sooooo tempted, but $100 on something I may or may not be able to overwinter, alas, I am not that brave (or tropical crazed- yet!)


    Bookmark   November 3, 2003 at 6:46PM
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vineloverme(z3 wpg)

Hi Rhonda
Tibouchina is a shrubby plant that grows about 6 feed tall if it's not in Manitoba and blooms a gorgeous vibrant violet purple. I got it in Fall and would you believe I'm still getting some blossoms!!! I think it's just about finished but it's going to be beautiful next year if i can only keep it alive. I'm trying some cutting just in case. I ordered it from Tropic to Tropic in BC where I also ordered my Phormiums which are not very happy being inside but hopefuly are going to make it. My phormiums cost $15 each for some good sized plants so that's alot easier to justify than 100 altho I'm really great at justifying just about anything that has to do with plants. I can't remember what the shipping cost were (Selective memories are a great thing) The hibiscus that I have is one of those that isn't supposed to be hardy here, it's called disco belle and I got one in white with a red eye, one in pink and one in a beautiful clear dark burgandy red. I planted them really close to the house and am hoping for the best but just in case, i got some seeds that i'm going to start early next year. Oh, the website for Tropic to Tropic is I would highly recommend them, as well as a few other ones that I've been trying.
Happy gardening

    Bookmark   November 6, 2003 at 8:25AM
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Let's see if this thread is still alive. "Return of the living thread." I live in Brampton, just NW of Toronto zone 5 I believe. I am just getting into growing tropicals (just bought a house 6 months ago). My wife doesn't know what she's in for. I am hoping to set up Musa basjoo in my back year this spring. I haven't located a source in the Toronto area yet but do have a couple of leads. I have 2 SDC growing indoors that grew incredibly fast all winter, can't wait to put them outside this summer.
So the plan is to landscape the backyard (currently just boring grass) this spring with some stone and tropical plants. Cold hardy Musa, Musella are high on the list. I hope to eventually convert the backyard into a winter hardy tropical oasis.
I would really like to correspond with people in the GTA that grow winter hardy bananas for any tips and pointers to growing these spectacular specimens. Please email me directly at



    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 1:20PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

It's fun to garden with exotics in sw British Columbia, Canada. Windmill palms grow well. Those two tall Windmill palms on Beach Drive in Oak Bay (Victoria) are getting quite tall. The palm tree grove on Kipling street is an interesting site. The city of Victoria has planted palm trees in tourist areas. Vancouver has quite a few palm trees at English Bay. The Rumble Street palm is getting quite tall. There are palm trees in Nanaimo, Sechelt and Tofino.

I like being surrounded by palm trees in my garden that's located in Victoria, BC, Canada. I'm not the only one with a grove of palm trees in his Victoria garden. Vancouver has nice private palm tree gardens. Gotta love Lotus Land.

This thread lives again! lol

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 3:15AM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Tall Windmill palm in the Saanich District of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Click on pic for large photo.
Compare the people to the palm tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tall Windmill palm in Canada

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 9:51PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Here's a male Trachycarpus palm with a stripped trunk in Canada.

Many don't know that palm trees are found in gardens on the sw coast of British Columbia.

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting palm tree picture in BC, Canada

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 3:17AM
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joecat(Vancouver, BC)

Yes, I'm just starting out, but I would love to have a garden like a neighbour's down the street. He has several palms, bamboo and eucalyptus. It's just an amazing garden that whenever I go for walks, I make sure I walk past.

Even within Vancouver, there seem to be certain areas where tropical plants do better.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 2:32PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

You can ask questions here:

Northwest Palms Discussion Board

Chat with folks growing palm trees in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Saltspring Isl, Victoria and other places in the world.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 1:11PM
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Just popped in to say this thread made me laugh :) Im online here because my mother in India wanted me to find out how to keep a maple tree bonsai alive in the tropics, and if she has any chance of growing poppies. She pulls up elephant years and hibicus shoots like weeds, and narrowly escaped being hit on the head by a falling coconut.

What is that they say about grass and the other side?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 3:06AM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Here are pictures of a mature Musa basjoo banana shrub in British Columbia.

Here is a link that might be useful: Musa basjoo in British Columbia

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 4:20PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Maybe she should try growing the tree inside. Local pests might be bothering the bonsai tree.

I moved to the west coast to enjoy a very temperate climate. I noticed palms that had been growing in gardens for years in this part of Canada. Yes, I know...It defeats Hollywood stereotypes about Canada. A rose is a rose by any other name. That's all I can say.

There a nice banana shrub growing in Tofino, BC. It's from the Darjeeling area of India. Small world isn't it?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 4:31PM
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OnMedic(Z5 (SW Ontario))

First Post! Yipeee!

I am new to this and want to start slow. I have designated a small garden bed for the tropical experiment that I hope some here can help me with! It is about 2 ft. x 7 ft. A picture of it can be seen at the following link, don't mind the unfinished deck and construction, it has moved beyong that stage.

Where do I start? Can I start this in late July, or do I need to do it in the spring?

I would love to have a dwarf palm of some sort (6-8 ft tall and some nice ornamental grasses (ie. malepartus?).

Takle it easy on this beginner, but help with a stepped approach.

THANKS in advance, and I can't beleive this string has been going for over 2 years!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 5:14PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Here's a spring (2004) photo of a palm tree in Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Here is a link that might be useful: Palm tree in Vancouver, British Columbia

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 4:49PM
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rickey16(S. Ontario z6)

Hi, it there any type of palm that would be hardy to the Torotno area?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 10:51AM
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don_brown(Zone 6A NS)

Your best and likely only bet is the Needle Palm, Rhaphidiophyllum hystrix (sp?). It's the toughest of the palm world. you might consult a book that was published a year or so ago..."Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths" by Francko. Probably one of the best recent studies on palm hardiness.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 1:43PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Definitely read Francko's book. It's great. I bought a Sabal minor that I'm trying outdoors this winter. His book made it sound like the sabal could handle my clay soil better, plus I needed something that wouldn't get too wide since it's wedged into a corner.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 12:30PM
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dan112(S Ontario z6)

I live in Hamilton. I always get hooked on tropical plants during my trips down to florida. I currently have 10 Pygmy Date Palms and 2 Super Dwarf Cavendish bananas. I dropped one of the banana plants so its in a state of recovery right now. They all overwinter inside the house - its tough keeping them all going for 8 months.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 9:51PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Here's a photo of a Jubaea palm on Saltspring Island, British Columbia.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 8:56PM
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I know this an older post but thought I would respond.I am growing plumerias (frangipani) from seeds. Plumerias are the flowers they use in Hawaii when making lei's. Beautiful fragrances. I found a place in Richmond, BC that sells cuttings and they ship across Canada. The name of the place is Hawaiian Botanicals. I ordered one cutting and they are a good company to deal with.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 2:55PM
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After reading an article on Thomas Hobbs in British Columbia and his garden, I've decided to engage in zonal denial this year. The article appears in Martha Stewart Living (last month's issue)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 12:38PM
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Hi Southern Ontario banana and tropical growers. Please contact me directly. I would like to set up a network of Banana growers in the GTA. Please email me.



    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 4:13PM
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Thomas Hobbs has a book out called "Shocking Beauty". I think Chapters might have it. It shouldn't be hard to source out through the internet. I've met Thomas and seen some of his presentations. I garden in much the same style here on Vancouver Island.

Cheers, Barrie.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 7:40PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Windmill palms in West Van. The female to the right has a full crop of seeds. Male and female specimens present in the garden.

October 2003

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 7:55PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Mature size of Musa basjoo specimen. Division by pups.
Prefers high nitrogen, rich soil and summer water.

Location: Victoria, BC

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 8:05PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

My favorite hardy palmate for the (SW) BC coast. The rigid fronds can easily take the winds by the water. To the left are tall Cordylines. To the right is a Magnolia grandiflora "Victoria". Broadleaf evergreen with white flowers.

T. wagnerianus is grown on Vancouver Island, SSI and the Vancouver area as are Magnolia grandiflora specimens.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 10:01AM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Victoria and SSI are two of the greatest spots to grow palms in the province. Both places get less winter rain and more spring & summer sun than Vancouver. Winters are a little milder also. But the garden can get quite dry in summer.

SSI is very similar to Victoria in climate. If you see a hardy palm, euc or acacia in Vic, then you can do the same on SSI. Here's an October garden on SSI. This Windmill palm is at home in this part of BC. This is usually the starter palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) for exotic plant lovers in British Columbia. It likes summer water.

Feed: 20-20-20 or rhodie fertilizer.
Time: From April to August.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 10:15AM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Palms are always nice by the water but it's best to plant them far enough from sea spray. English Bay is an area of Vancouver that has public palms by the ocean beach. It surprises tourists as it contrasts the snow on the coast mountains.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 10:23AM
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Hi Barrie, Thanks for pointing out Hobbs' book and lucky you to have met him. I actually like his other book, Jewel Box (I think) Garden but it's a bit pricey. His style has encouraged me to try the unusual in my backyard. He is very interesting in producing such interesting combinations in a northern garden.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 8:37PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Vancouver is always growing. I wonder if garden space will go short in the near future. Here's an April photo of Vancouver.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 1:55PM
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Does anyone know where to get the hardy banana plants in Ontario or Quebec?

I would like to grow other bananas besides zebrina.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 5:14PM
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tropi-canuck see they're in BC but also have hardy Banana. I've ordered from there before no problem. Also I saw a few plants (about 4 feet high) at Sheridan nursery in Scarborough the other day...they were $19.99

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 12:30AM
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Did Sheridan nursery have any other species of banana rather then Musa basjoo? I'm always looking for new species to add to my collection.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 9:20PM
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den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)

Here are two webpages on nurseries in coastal British Columbia that have hardy palm trees, bananas, bamboo, eucs, yuccas and other exotic plants for coastal BC.
Some of these nurseries ship to the rest of Canada & the USA.

Gardeners in British Columbia can tell me to add nurseries.
It helps forum users in finding the plants they like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Palm & exotic plant nurseries of British Columbia

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 2:22PM
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Hi, I also live in Winnipeg, MB, right now I have a pineapple plant, Musa Ensete banana, Mango. Also I am looking for a Meyer lemon can anyone suggest a mail order place in Canada.

Thanks Tasty

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:36PM
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love the postings here

Keep it up

I as well in Barrie, Ontario love to push as much as I can, what grows here

I bring a good number of plants indoors for winter

I find that Cannas, Calla lilies, and Dahlias do quite will if the foliage is cut off after frost and they are left in their large pots, to overwinter indoors

Only problem is, as one gets older, the pots get heavier

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 12:00AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

I admire you guys in cold climates who take the time to protect your plants in the wintertime. The planting in the spring, digging up in the fall and storing in the winter must be a workload. I have a general rule that i won't plant something that will have to be protected in the winter, but rules are meant to be broken no? lol. i have a couple of plants (palms mainly: Ravenea Rivularis and Howea Forsteriana) that i protect by wrapping in straw mats in the winter, but that is about the greatest extent i'll go to protect a plant.

Bigdes, i personally think 160 for a grafted citrus is way too much. Especially since i'm asusming it's small enough to be shippable. Was the base price $160 or did it get that high because of shipping and handling? Locally, Four Winds Nursery sells them for $18 in a five gallon container and already producing fruit. You could also get smaller plants in citrus liners for about $9.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 6:49PM
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Does anybody overwinter Passionflower and Mandevilla outside? I am in Ottawa

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 12:05PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I am also in Winnipeg and am having fun with tropicalesque gardening. I have tropical imposters such as catalpa, petasites, hosta, etc. but this summer I decided to buy croton, rubber plant, and a few palms and have them outdoors as patio plants. I even planted a variegated scheflera in a flower bed.

I have musa basjoo and am amazed at how much growth it put on in it's first year. I'll be trying to overwinter indoors as a houseplant. I also have ensete which I over wintered as a houseplant last year. Gave it as best light as I could (even then it was a north window) and watered sparingly.

Tasty, how did you overwinter yours? I also have a dwarf cavendish new this year, but it really didn't grow too well outdoors. My ensete didn't grow too great either, even though I did transplant to a larger pot. I think after the first year they really need huge pots to do well or else to be planted directly into the ground for the summer.

Anyways, I am currently deciding what to bring inside and store for winter. I too have a mandevilla vine and passion vine. A few years ago I overwintered a passion vine by transplanting into a smaller pot, cutting it back somewhat (it was tangled) and overwintering on a cool basement windowsill. It lost all it's leaves but then regrew them. I think i'll try the same with the mandevilla this year.

Apparently you can grow mandevilla indoors as a houseplant(provide as much light as possible) or have it go dormant in a cold dark room (35 to 45F or so). I never tried that method as I don't have such a room that cool.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:39PM
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i posted some places to get some citrus, the musa ensete was quite easy once it got big it was pretty easy to overwinter.
I also started growing lychee, navel oranges, meyer lemons, pineapples.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 9:41PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

This year I found a 'maurelii' banana at the local nursery so have a couple along with my musa basjoos in pots and flower beds. I also found a musa zebrina (blood banana) but I really don't think it's liking full sun. Interesting though, there's an impatien plant in the same pot that's doing well in full sun.

My cavendish banana from last year is indoors as a houseplant and seems to be doing much better, I guess it didn't really like full sun when it was outside. I bought an 'improved meyer' lemon and so far so good (nice growth). My spindle palm is about to open it's only new leaf of the summer. My bismarck and fan palm from last year are only former versions of themselves (from growing indoors in poor light for the winter) but are back outdoors and doing good.

My latest thinking, with this cool summer, is to analyze tropical plants that seem to do good no matter what the summer. The moonflower, morning glory, persian shield, begonias, nicotiana, petunias and even easy-to-grow marigolds seem to be doing fine. I am coming to the conclusion that my mandevilla is growing so slowly that it's not really worth the effort especially in a cool summer. It's only two feet high and not really filling out a trellis. Every gardener can probably relate to planting something, giving it a prime location and hoping it makes a big impact, and then have it just sit there and do nothing.

I also have my rubber plant growing outside for the summer and am trying a Wollemi pine - I just had to have it.

Part of my thinking for this year was that summer, even when we have nice summers, are so short. Therefore for alot of my plants I started with ones growing in a pot (example morning glory) rather than start from seed.

Happy tropical gardening,

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 9:29AM
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Hello, I'm from Newmarket 35 Min north of Toronto Ca. I grow all sorts of tropicals. Bananas, Dragon fruit, CA fan palm. cannas, Hibiscus tree, Plumerias Pineapple plants, passion vines, castor beans a few pics these are mostly from 2012

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:03PM
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DoctorB73(none 5a)

I live in Peterborough, ON. North on Toronto. I have a summer greenhouse, but otherwise overwinter various plants in southern windows and under fluorescents. I hav an unnamed banana variety which keep forming pups, that I give away. I also grow avocado, passionflower, papaya (poor luck), mango, pineapple indoors and kiwi and paw paw outdoors. I have a few palm seeds growing ( Date and manilla palm) from seeds that made their way back from Dominican. I am looking for basjoo and any other hardy banana that can be overwintered outside in canada. Willing to trade or buy pups.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:46PM
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Just came across this video with Martha and David Francko. In case anybody hasn't seen it here is the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Martha Stewart Francko

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:32PM
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