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So here's my start. 11 Basjoo, 1 Dwarf Cavendish, 1 Pink Fruiting Banana, 2 Super Dwarf's, 4 Alocasia Odora, numerous Colocasia's, Black Magic EE, Fatsia, a clumping bamboo, and a mix of cannas (with many more to come to fill in). I'm also testing my freeze survival luck with pothos, monstera, blue ginger, and parrot's beak heliconia. I actually think another pothos I put in the ground last summer survived the winter (it still has what appears to be live stem - I couldn't believe it). In any event all those later plants will require some heavy duty mulching come winter. If I loose them, no biggie - still have the parents in pots and/or plenty of others to go around. I may even try a Ti plant.
Here's what we started with. A pretty sloped hill with no real good use. Been leveling off that one back section where the small GH is to put a patio area. Figured the edge of the wood would be the place to start the 'jungle' project.
What I was able to do today before mulching. Black Kow to help the sandy soil I hope. Overall the O and/or A-horizon of the soil was pretty good back here, not too much pure sand until you dug down a bit.
Might want to consider Ardesia japonica as a shady ground cover in amongst the trees...Nice foliage in the spring,summer,fall, and pretty red berries in the winter. Seems to compete well with tree roots here in Charleston, and I've NEVER watered it. I've used it successfuly as an underplanting for various gingers...
Thanks, I'll take a look at the Ardesia. diehrd, how easily can you propagate a Fatsia? Woody stem cuttings? I took one I had and put it in the ground yesterday and was curious how I can propagate it around the bed.
I have propagated Fatsia from softwood cuttings, but it was a slow process. Seemed to take a long time from rooting to actually becoming more than a rooted leaf. I started them in water. Might've worked better to start in in soil. Not sure.
Thanks Deb. Seems like the one we purchased a few weeks ago had sent up a smaller shoot. So maybe over time it spreads like that as well. I went ahead and split them up and they both seem fine. I may try the cutting method still though too.
We added in a number of new cannas this weekend along with a couple of Banana Cannas, Chinese Fan Palms (which I'll probably dig back up in the winter) and some Yellow Flag. Should get a whole bunch of new cannas and gingers in the mail this week, so I'll be looking forward to getting them in the ground too.
This project is a test of patience... just everything's so small at the moment. Once it establishes itself and grows in, I really think it'll look nice. I've always wanted to create a lush jungle-like atmosphere like this.
Thanks. I was looking back and I realized how ugly it really used to be back there - yikes. I just need a few more evergreens in place, else it'll be ugly all winter long again. Or worse, since I'll probably put black pipe around the banana trunks. LOL, that'll be reaaal pretty.
Ardesia I got the Ruttya fruticosa from a trade. I'm having a rough time with a few of my small plants so hopfully nothing kills it off.
Barbara I'm not sure where you can get a Killarney Strawberry tree right now. I started my from seed. Traded with a guy over in Europe for a few things. Not an easy seed to get going. I'm sure by the fall you can probably find one. I wouldn't mail order anything right now because of the heat. Locally I seriously doubt you could find a strawberry tree. I have seen one in Fla.
Thanks for the suggestions Core. I am definitely going to have to try and 4'oclocks. My grandmother grew them next door to my folks house and I loved them. I haven't seen them anywhere else that I can even remember.
Do I have to plant them from seed or can I just take a cutting? And how invasive are they? I seem to remember hers spreading out quite a bit.
I started them from seed and they do put off a lot of seeds. I wouldn't say they're invasive but Ardesia probably does, LOL. She seems to really have it in for morning glories. They do spread but it just a matter of pulling up news ones that you don't want. If they spread into a yard the lawn mover will take care of them. I have mine in a shady spot and they haven't gotten wild on me. They also seem to do better as a group so they can use each other for support.
Let me see if I can find the thread but I asked if anyone thought 4 O'clocks were invasive and no one seemed to have a problem with them. Can't seem to find the thread.
keonikale-I leave my chinese fan palms in the ground over the winter. If it goes to 17 degrees, then I wrap them, but they do fine. I would think in your zone, they would do even better! I also give mine more sun than it looks like yours is getting.
Thanks, I'll try wrapping them this year. I thought we'd lost one this past winter, but it's come back pretty strong. I think it just takes a year or so for them to get acclimated. My hostas have been the same way with the heat. Last year they fried, but this year they're great and thriving. In fact we thought we'd lost most of them, so we planted several Crotons in the front yard. The hostas ended up coming back and one actually grew right up through the middle of the Croton. It's funny looking and I like to call it my Hoston ;)
I've got 3 Chinese Fan Palms that I estimate were 5-7 years old when planted here. Winter die-back the first year was horrible---most of the top growth crumped, and I thought I'd made a bad mistake in my choice--- but we cut the dead stuff off in the spring, and new growth emerged. Have not had a winter-kill of any significance since that 1st yr. (2003). Some of the older leaves get brown and puny from the cold fronts that sweep through here every winter, but the plant is hardy (IMHOP) in the Charleston area. Just cut off the frost damaged fronds, and new stuff will replace it so fast you won't even notice the winter-kill. Once those roots get fully established, you're home free with the cold. I do mulch heavily though, which may help...plus, only the older leaves/fronds seem to get cold damaged (???), which makes sacrificing them a lot easier.
I think the same is true for the Sago. I put two in the ground last year and of course they were fried by the first frosts. Looked horrible. But I cut all the fronds off early this spring and they've bounced back. One looks like it never even lost all its fronds.
Thanks for the tips on the Chinese Fan Palms, I feel better about leaving the two new ones out in the ground. I plan to mulch very heavily in that bed, since I have a few zone 9'ers in there (3 Cavendish bananas and some gingers). I figure if Brian can grow what he does in Kentucky, surely I can get away with a single zone or so. I may get weak though and dig up a banana still - I did last year. At least the bulk of the banana are basjoo and can survive even a hard freeze.
I actually had a Pothos (zone 10) growing next to the house last summer. I knew it'd be toast by the second week of December, and sure enough by mid-winter it was a rotted plant. But just last week the first of two new leaves popped out from the mulch near the back deck - I couldn't believe it. Pothos survived the winter in a zone 8!! There's hope for my zone denial yet.
zone denial...LOL I love it! you and diehardsthner should get along famously...he is one super young man who truly loves his garden! His mom should pay him big bucks for all the landscaping he has done in the yard...I can see her trying to move...he will dig the entire yard up LOL
you have dmail on the 4 o'clocks...also...if you wanna try any daturas LMK...I have about a dozen or so left (grown from seed this winter...lilac lefluer(18-24 inches tall at this point), dbl cream dat and metal (both approx 8" at this point if i remember correctly) I can't plant in the yard...I have to say no sometime and after working all day watering at the nursery for 9 hrs it is getting harder and harder with this heat to then come home and do my own yard..or worse yet...getting up at 5am to get a jumpstart on the yard prior to working...talk about giving a whole new meaning to the words "water boy" LOL
Hmmm ... interesting about the chinese fan palms that tigerlily leaves in the ground in Raleigh. Wish I had the nerve so I'll be anxious to hear how it does in Cola.
Here's a tip ya'll probably already know --
When I was in the FL Panhandle I had lots of Chinese Fans in my yard and they did great all year. Bought them at the palm "store" for $35 each for fairly large ones. Now I move back to Sunset Beach and I buy one in Home Depot in the "indoor" tropical section as one of their 14" tropicals for $18 a piece. So maybe the tip is to look for certain palms in certain cities where they're considered indoor to get a good price. Mines on my screened porch, but, like I said, I'm scared to put it in the ground here. Also, it's much deeper green when it has shade.
Core, did I ever tell you I lived on HHI for 15 yrs? From 1979 - 1993 and worked for Sea Pines Real Estate. Do you know Nancy and Bill Roe up there in Bluffton? They've been there forever.
I imagine if I had to work with plants all day I might not be as enthusiastic about the yard myself. It's nice to come home from work though and mull around in the yard (usually I'm after Jap beetles, darn things are nuts this year). I sorta worked myself out of a hobby earlier this spring though; I'm out of room to plant much of anything else. Though I can fit those 4'oclocks in nicely I'm sure :)
OK you guys, I go away for a few days and you take my name in vain. LOL
Yes Core, I do think 4 o'clocks are invasive in the Midlands and because of the enormous root they are impossible to get rid of. I have one here and it has not spread much but, try as I have, I have never been able to get rid of it either.
HaHa Barb, thanks for the birthday wishes and at this point it is not how many but too many. But, I am eligible for Medicare now so there are pluses.
The Philodendron Selloum and the other ones with the holes (I can't remember the name, that's what happens when you get this old) are cheaper in the houseplant section than in the nursery section.
I think I put a Selloum in the ground this year - I have trouble with some of the philodendron ID's.
I also took a monstera deliciosa cutting (I think that's the one you're talking about with the holes) and put it in the ground. BUT... that's a zone 10b plant and I'll be shocked if it survives (maybe it's like the pothos though, LOL).
Funny thing about monsteras is I couldn't find them anywhere about two years ago, so I starting buying and taking cuttings of them from everywhere I found them. Now I have so many large monstera plants they are about to grow me out of house and home. Figured I'd put a few in the yard, LOL. You definitely don't see those growing outside here. But everyone loves them in the house - they give a real tropical feel to a room, especially if they are large with the holes.
Keonikale: I have a Selloum in ground which has survived two winters so far just fine. I have 3 monsteras in pots, that I sink into the ground for the summer. Haven't had the nerve to leave them out over winter yet, tho. They do tend to multiply, don't they. :)
I seem to have a bumper crop of those cursed Japanese Beetles here this year, too. I'm picking dozens off a wide variety of plants every evening. Grrrrr! Hate 'em!
my selloum has been in the ground for 2 winters also. It doesn't come back really huge though, but i think that the drought last summer had a lot to do with the lack of growth. This summer has been pretty dry as well, and there are only 2 largish leaves showing so far.
I might put a few more Selloum in the ground this summer; if that's what they really are. You know how BBStores label stuff. Guess we'll find out next Spring. I just planted my first Red Abyssinian Banana yesterday, so I'm excited to watch it grow. I still can't believe how big one of my basjoo is this year (first year in the ground after about 10 months in a pot). It's almost taller than me now.
My hint to make them grow would be to always leave any dead leaves you cut off on the ground under the plant. They are supposed to be full of potassium which bananas love. A friend even chops up the stalks that are past their prime and leaves them under the plant. It looks messy but it works. The ones I had were in the 12' range and I never fed or watered them.
I'll start letting the leaves stay under the plants in the back then, I had no idea they were fertilizer.
I've been giving mine a lot of water and blood meal this year. I can't say for sure which is more beneficial, but I've given water almost daily and the fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Even the smallest basjoo's are about 3' now - just compare in the photos, I was shocked looking back. My basjoo last year (the ONE I had then) hardly grew to 4' all summer. I thought it was the pups that were restricting its growth, but the one in the back, which isn't in any of the photos I posted, also has 3 pups (that formed in April after I planted it) and they're also around 3' tall. So maybe it's the location, but both the parent and the pups are huge. I'll have to post a photo of it next update.
The other thread reminded me to post another update. These are from the middle of July, but the Before/After stuff I thought was neat. We purchased the house Jan 2007. I'm already out of yard, or close to it.
These first two shots are of the last project we did. The back right corner was a mess of scrubby trees and vines. And it made my bed in front of it look messy. So we cleared it and brought in a ton and a half of river pebbles.
The problem I have is I'm not sure exactly what everthing is going to look like when it gets bigger. I'm also not to good with timing flowering etc. Next spring I think I'll be doing a reshuffle on a lot of plants and fill in some more. See what that looks like and it will continue to the next year.
I need to get more into flowering plants; they really add something to the beds. Luckily my wife has an interest in those so it helps balance the overload of green foliage. I have probably planted bananas and cannas way to close - digging them up in a year or so will be "fun." The single banana I planted last year sent up 14 new pups this year so far, 4 of which I split off. The thing hardly grows because it has so many pups and I'm concerned a few others I put in this year may do the same. I'm literally going to have a grove if I don't split them regularly (I think I put in 12 or so this year). I just get excited planting and go overboard, lol. Mathematically that's a lot of bananas within three years. And I can't bring myself to kill the pups. So I guess I'll try and sell them.
Funny thing about having a lot of the same plant is you get to see how differently they grow. Of the 10 baby travelers palms I purchased at the start of this summer, a few are getting quite large (12" pots), several have kept together at a medium size, and one or two have remained hardly bigger than they arrived (seedling pots) - all in the same type pot (to start), soil, and conditions. I have a first year basjoo doing the same. It's hardly grown a half foot all summer, it looks like I just planted it (it actually looks like a pup, but it's not). One of my other first year bananas is getting close to 6.5' in height and it has three pups my height (I split a fourth when it was about 4' tall). It has to be the conditions I guess (some are closer to trees, and others with better water availability) - or the DNA in each plant one. Very neat to witness that.
I play musical plants, too, I see nothing wrong with it but people will give you a hard time over it (like it will ever be "perfect"!). Basjoos I have planted throughout the yard all vary tremendously in size, but the largest musa I have now is a blue java which has grown in very full sun quite well don't think it will be hardy here but it can't go anywhere else but where it is now.
for flowering plants, my plantings are always really mixed anyway with perrenials in with the tropicals, but this year I grew a lot of annuals from seed and mixed those more than I usually do, and I like it. as much as I move plants around, it almost makes more sense to have some "temp" plants
Would blue java be hardly here? I'd love to plant some larger bananas. The basjoo I'm sure eventually will get to 10' or so here - or maybe higher? I'm discouraged about how tall they'll get since my second year basjoo is only 5' or so this year.
And the dwarf Cavendish bananas are really just fat stemmed and short - so they either must take years to grow, or mine are on the slow track one.
I like putting lantanas in amonst the plants-they show a lot of color and never stop blooming if it gets dry, and they love the full sun.
The longer that you leave a banana in place, the larger the clump will be. I have a few clumps that are getting some nice size to them now. I think Tropicanna took a picture of at least one of them while she was here...Trop-do you have them downloaded?
Well at least it's not just my soil then, maybe it's the general environment. A few folks here grow bananas, but I'd swear they aren't basjoo, so now I'm curious what they are. They aren't DC either. There's so many types of musa, I can't keep them straight. I don't even have a clue as to what the one I brought back from Kauai is, despite some interesting markings on the leaves.
I think placement has a lot to do with their size; the largest basjoo are all out in the yard or next to the house where they have nothing to compete with. Alice, didn't have you have a few basjoo? How tall would you say yours got? I know your weather is a lot more favorable there for them, but I'm curious how tall they can get if the trunk is well protected.
On another subject, I did achieve two of my "never been done" before goals this year. I got the orange Bird of Paradise to bloom, and finally I got that stubborn plumeria to bloom. I couldn't believe it. Seems like neglecting them does the trick. So now I've set a new goal for the next two years to see if I can get one of my heliconia to bloom - or if I'm feeling really lucky, maybe the torch ginger, LOL - yeah right.
LOL, I did have some but they got too tall for me to groom and my neighbors complained about how messy they were. It is windy here and the leaves were always shredded and turning brown. They were pretty tall; I would guess at least 12'.
when i was in lexington, the basjoo pseudostems didn't die the first year i waited til after the first frost when the leaves got droopy and ben them nown and tied them around the pseudostems, and they even put out some green (tiny bit) during the warm spells in january.
if you want any more plumies, just tell me, and when i come to lexington i'll give them to you. i got my first bop blooms this year too. do you hav a picture ofthe plumeria blooms? i can help if you ever want info on them...
plumeria pudica... blooms profusely, evergreen, nice shape to the leaves, and it grows fasrt, so prunig it down to size isnt a problem. its one of my favorites, but unfortunately, it has no scent
Wow that's a beauty. I'll take some pics once mine gets into full bloom, it just started. All three I brought back from HI bloomed, but usually that's all I get. So hopefully I've broken the curse and they'll keep blooming. Usually I loose any I bring back the first winter - but I think I have corrected all my wrongs of the past, like hibernating them.
Will try and use the basjoo leaves for insulation. I noticed last year they surrounded the trunk really well, but ended up cutting them off since it was in the front yard and looked a little messy. I probably will have to mulch the 4 in the front yard again this year. But in the back that'd leaf thing would work great - thanks for the tip on that.
thanks Trop-those are the sikkimensis-the basjoos are down the garden to the right. Can you find a picture where its weeded more??? lol I just hired someone that loves to weed! And someone that loves to clean house-I am in heaven!!! lol
Show some of the heliconias that are blooming in the ground too-they are cool.
Thanks, I'll add it to the "acquire" list. As if I need another plant, lol.
Here's the plumeria, one of the best smelling I've ever had bloom. I just hope this blooming trend continues. Should I keep increasing the pot size, or let it get a little rootbound? It's in a 12" pot now I think - first time it's bloomed.
I have another question also while we're on the topic of Bananas. I don't know what made me notice this now, versus never before, but I noticed some of my basjoo have very different colors. So like last year when I discovered one of my "basjoo" was actually a Dwarf Cavendish, I'm sorta starting to wonder if I really have all basjoo now. The very lime green one (on the far left) is the first banana I put in the ground last year. I had been fairly confident it was a basjoo - but it looks lighter green than the others. It's grown slower than I expected in the second year and I'm starting to wonder if it's something else. The one in the middle is a supposed basjoo; I purchased it from Lowe's this spring. And the one to the far right is a basjoo I purchased online last fall. The two of them (along with the other dozen or so in the back) all look the same.Both the middle and far right basjoo are HUGE compared to the lime green colored one. So are they all basjoo and is the lime green one something else? Or am I imagining things?
i think the lime green one isnt as healthy. same thing happened at my grandparents on park road in L-town.
that plumeria, i bet is "celadine". or aztec gold. does it smell like peaches or different? if you come on the plumeria forum, you could ask clare or hetty and they would know better probably, but its hard to identify through a picture. Celadine is the kind usualy used in leis because it has good keepi ng qualith and smells the best. can you tke a picture of the plant and pot, and then one of the roots? i'd be able to tell you better then
The one on the left has the trunk of a Basjoo, judging from the photo it appears to have that typical fibrous material. That middle one has a smooth green trunk and may well be something different. I can't see the trunk on the one on the right.
If you got the plants from Lowe's they may not be as labeled. Another thought - someplace else here on DG I recently saw a discussion about the variances in tissue cultured plants. That could be what you are dealing with. It seems some growers are not refreshing their mother plants on a regular basis. They are using the same tissue too many times causing the offspring to have weaker and/or different genes.
Thanks. I'll go take some shots of the plumeria stalk and the banana trunks to help compare. I may wait until the plumeria stops flowering to photograph the roots - I'm always so cautious around flowering plumeria (probably more than I need to be).
OK, bananas first. The first three are from Lowe's and all have the sheath-like leaves that peel off. The next two are all basjoo's I purchased online (which is more legit apparently). The Lowe's banana's sorta look like Musa Ornata - but I'm guessing. Or, and how's this for ironic. They might be Blue Java's judging by other stem photos. Now that'd be almost funny.
So does that mean I need to dig those Lowe's bananas up and put them inside or under the house? I'd hate to loose them and I can't mulch them like I can the one's in the back - all of those are in the front of the house.
And here's two shots of the plumeria. Thank you all again for your help.
there is no need t repot the plumeria, and honestly i really think that all the bananas are basjoos. the reasons they are not doing well like the other ones is the environment it is in. it could be a deficiency or not enough water or maybe even a variation. they dont grow as fast if you leave the pups on. the corm spends its energymaking a new plant instead of growing. they should be perfectly fine if left outside this winter
well, for bananas, their stems are actually just a bunch of leaf stems that are tightly packed together. these form the "trunk" or pseudostem. those things coming off the trunk are just the old leaf stems falling off, and eventually dying. this usually happens because the leaf is still attached and is pulling the lower stem away from the "trunk", or the "trunk" is getting too fat for the leaf stem. since the inside of the leaf stem is a smaller circle than the fatter trunk, it is forced off and just hangs there until it dies
Must just be a different type. I knew the leaves grew up from the stalk, it's just how they're deteriorating and falling off the main trunk that is interesting. The two I know for sure are basjoo have that fiber-like husk that slowly breaks away from the trunk while the other three have very stiff sheaths that are split away as the trunk diameter grows. Interesting.
I don't trust the big box stores labels competely. The folks growing for them are out for volume and do things as cheap as possible. That farm very well may be growing 5 different kinds of bananas then some guy who doesn't speak English or who doesn't know plants goes out in a field, sticks a label on it and puts it in a truck.
You never know. I wouldn't worry about it. Worse case you have a dead banana or two and from the looks of things you will have more bananas then you need in a couple of years.
Figured it'd been another year and I got to thinking about this thread. Real life has kept me so busy I hardly have time to post anymore :( I miss all the garden talk. But hopefully things are getting back to normal around here.
Things surely did change for my project this past year. Thought I'd post some new pics... pretty wild when compared to just a year ago even. It's a jungle back there.
Nice, not to be critical but you have my problem. I've been trying to figure out what plants I need to put in to break up all the green. Had some issues with the EE's being so tall they block out the sunlight so a couple of plants I tried stayed green instead of changing to red or other non green colors. LOL> Good job though and I'm surprised in how good of shape those plants all look. I guess I'm a little lazy.
I like to use lantanas a lot in my beds-they break up the greens and they are so drought tolerant. Blue plumbagos will also bloom all summer, and I am starting to have my heliconias bloom quite a bit this summer. All of these have to be planted in the spring-but they do bloom a lot. Cannas are good, but I am so sick of the canna worms eating them if I don't remember to treat with Merit-they look like crap if I don't!
Was it just me or were the canna worms really bad this year? They even went after some of my bananas, especially the Red Abyssinian. I would love to get some heliconias blooming, but I think my plants have a few more years yet. Do any of you put them in the ground? I've kept all of mine in pots thus far.
I put some of my heliconias in the ground for the summer and then dig them up for the winter and keep them in the grhouse. Others I keep in pots all year. I try to go for types that will bloom more and faster such as psittacorums and small blooming types. Distans blooms alot for me, also dwarf jamaican.
Oh these photos are awesome! truly inspiring what y'all have done!
have you tried looking through the Plant Delights Nursery catalogues? they are having an open house sometime soon, too, where you could go see things. I volunteer there in the botanical garden side, and often work in the colocasia/allocasia test beds.
you might want to look at their stock. because as nice as your tropicals are, I'm not seeing the variety of colors I'm used to seeing.
Tony Avent works with the best breeder in Hawaii testing crosses the Hawaiian has made here. the colors they've got going are awesome. would like to see a bit more color in your beds== but that's just me. I LOVE COLOR.
That would be lovely but if you are not feeling well please do not worry about it. I'll be with the GWA group.
Maybe you can tell me why my colocasias and alocasias shrink over the years. They start out fine and achieve their normal height then each year therafter they get smaller and smaller until they are miniatures.
BonJon -- I'll have to keep an eye out for you when I'm down there next. I have so many things in my yard from PDN. My hubby lets out a loud sigh when the catalog comes in the mail because our yard is overflowing with tropicals, but I return that same sigh when he starts talking about motorcycle parts and working on cars (his hobbies).
I forgot the open house was happening, as I've been ill the last week and a half. Hopefully, my energy will be up to come down there this weekend. It's a beautiful place to visit! And I don't mind stimulating the economy when I'm there either, LOL.
My experience with "big box stores" (Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, etc.) has been absolutely miserable to date. Those people are more concerned with "throughput" than they are with "output".Their business model is TOTALLY dependent on volume and suckers! Ask a simple question about a plant's requirements (water, light, drainage, fertilization, etc., and they look at you real funny, like you must be some kind of weirdo to be asking such things---like, what are those things???). The big box stores buy from some pretty reputable growers, and receive really good material. But that's where it stops! All downhill from there. They don't even water the plants properly. You can beat their ineptitude by finding out when their respective growers deliver, (so far, they've been willing to share those data) and meet the delivery trucks. Pick out your plants on arrival, buy them, and carry them home. You'll pay their "list price" for them, but you'll be getting a real live plant...and still somewhat discounted from local growers. I personally prefer staying "local" whenever possibile...