Pic of my first tropicalesque try

formula206October 3, 2011

just bought a house in zone 6b/7a put some windmill palms in..cannas...and basjoo as well as some grasses...next year i will find more things to add and expand...ideas?


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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Looks awesome, I love it!

How about Colocasia, Caladiums, a few wildly-colored coleus?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Too much crowded together. The Cannas are going to die back at the first frost. They don't need to be planted by the foundation, nor do the basjoos. Either dig them up or pile 8" of mulch over the roots when you cut them down. Which way does the house face?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I think the cannas against the house would overwinter fine there because they are against the house - it looks like there is a basement. It doesn't look overly crowded to me, that's what a tropical look is all about.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:10PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

You did a great job. Yep crowded is what you want with tropical. Every tropical Island I have vacationed it is lush and crowded because it is the tropics things grow close and big. So you are on the right track there.

The suggestions you requested....Just some more color. As suggested some coleus, if you can find it next summer pick up a persian shield, a Black Magic Elephant Ear.

More Canna.......
Go through the trade on GW and find someone willing to share some of the more colorful Cannas (Tropicanna, Bengel Tiger, another pretty common one you might get extras of is Pink Sunburst, and Intrigue is a 6' canna that has beautiful blue/purple leaves).

You have a good start you just need some color and leaves with color will give it the punch without waiting for flowers in your zone.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 11:22PM
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rosco_p(z6a ont.canada)

I think your garden is great! I have very good success with Oleanders in my zone 6 garden..you may wish to try them. I bring them in to an unheated but attached garage for the winter and they are fine. They stay green all year and usually throw off seed pods while overwintering in this semi dormant state.Ross

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 11:05AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Gingers might be interesting. Also, castor beans as annuals of course. And bamboo, clumping type is easier to contain. Then there are brugmansias and possibly hardy citrus, but that depends on how much protection you're willing to provide.
Looks great so far!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Very nice! I think some various elephant ears would fill in the gaps nicely. More crowd = More tropical in most cases! You dont want to make it overcrowded and overwhelming, but you want a nice lush fence of tropical foliage! I would add other types of bananas and maybe some castor beans and more cannas!

You have a great start, Im looking forward to seeing what else you decide to grow.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 8:31PM
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john_trussville(z7b AL)

LOL, if the poster above thinks your plantings are too crowded, he/she should see mine. Our outdoor cat can barely make his way through everything I have planted. But seriously, it all depends on the look YOU prefer. Of course, I like a dense tropical appearance, but I'm sure some who have seen mine think it looks like a mess. But they've been too polite to tell me so, just as I wouldn't dare make a negative comment about theirs if it didn't meet my fancy.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 4:00PM
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thanks guys yea i like it crowded too....color would be awesome im going to look up those plants....i pulled the cannas even though they face south i don't know what the ones i have are called i only know the one tropicanna i don't nkow what the taller green ones are called...i also have some ensete murielli overwintering in the basement that will go in next year...im going ot pull it further from the house and add more i was thinking some smaller hybiscus suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:48AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Hibiscus are great but if you want something that you do not have to dig up look into some of the hardy Hibiscus. There are some pretty doubles out even now. Look at Garden Crossings site they are expensive but it will give you an idea of ones to look for.

I still would go with some annuals if you are looking for flowers. Zinnias seeds just sprinkled on the ground will give you lots of flower power.

Tropical Islands I have visited were mostly foilage and lots of it. I like the suggestion of coleus.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 1:52PM
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