Plant ideas???

dutchessmom(9a)April 16, 2009

I need help with coming up with a tropical plant in my front flower bed. I have a tropical theme, I currently have a pigmy date in center that is about 5ft tall with 5 trunks, if I had it to do again I would have put the date there but when I planted it, there were some ugly red tips in the spot I am trying to fix. I have a 12 foot high blank brick wall that I want to put a tropical in front of. I would like it to be max. height of 8-10 feet when mature. I am looking for something showy. The rest of the bed has two different types of elephant ears, full of several shades of bogonias, with a couple of copper plants, lined with small moss rock boulders. The bed faces east and is in the sun with part shade until around 3pm. I am in northwest Houston. Any ideas would be great... I have been racking my brain, and since I am in zone 9, I know a may be limited but thought that you guys could be of some help.


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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

You could try some ornamental bananas, most do not get over 8 feet.

Musa velutina - pink inflorescense, small pink fruits

Musa zebrina - has red patches on the leaves, easy to find

Musa 'Siam Ruby' - the opposite of Zebrina, this is an almost entirely red banana plant with green patches. I would say this is very showy. LOL

Musa ornata - some cultivars have yellow, white or pink bracts.

They will not look too good in the winter time though.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 4:06PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Try some New Zealand Flax. I have used the bronze colored varieties as well as the green and yellow varieties and they are simply amazing when they are full grown. I would stay away from the bananas because they will look ugly half of the year from frost damage and while they recover from it, and the other half of the year, they'll look ugly because the wind will shred them. Here is a link to a page about different phormiums. They are readily available in big box stores so I think they should be fairly easy to find.

Whatever plant you choose, I would suggest you choose one with a bold, defined shape that will not lose it's shape as it grows. The pygmy date palms are quite airy looking and something with a bold shape will definately compliment it. I'd also like to suggest Agave Vilmorniana (Octopus Agave). This agave is user-friendly in terms of having a soft terminal spine. It is also hardy to about 10 degrees F.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 12:48AM
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Thank you for the suggestions.
I have several variety of bananas in the backyard. I really love them, however they are not the look that I am going for in the front.
The plant that I would really love to have out there is the Travelers palm, however I know they don't last in my area. I love the shape and look, I have one in the backyard and it looks great in the summer but I have to replace about every 2 years. (gets too cold here for it). I will check out the other suggestions. Once I find the perfect plant for that location I will finally be finished with that bed... at least for a while... LOL (my poor hubby)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:23PM
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Mabe this plants don´t fit yous needs, but some tropical plants that occur to me are:
Birds of Paradise
Philodendron or Monstera deliciosa
And maybe some orchids on a tree.
But none of these was thought carefully, so think about them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:37PM
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