Tropical Plants and Gardens #128

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Here's our new thread for the New Year! Welcome all tropical plant lovers.

Please post PICTURES - we love pictures especially in winter! - and tell us about your plants and gardens.

We came from here

Coleus changing color again from the cold weather.

This message was edited Jan 1, 2013 2:22 PM

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I would like to ask everyone to review their dmail to see if you have any outstanding trades from the past. If someone owes you something, feel free to dmail and remind them!

Also, I'd like to see everyone go up to the sticky and clean up their trade lists! Here's a link to the sticky:

If you haven't posted your trade lists, feel free to do so!!!

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

My huge old bougie swarming the gate & celebrating it's protected status on the south side of the house.

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

For Kay Jones... I havn't killed it yet..
In bloom yesterday...
buddah belly from seed is finally blooming ( or getting ready too)
bougie is bougieing
cc is blooming again

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Good rainy morning to everyone! Deb, I'm jealous that your nun's Orchid is heading up - mine hasn't started doing anything yet. Everything looks wonderful, my Friends!

(Zone 9a)

Good rainy morning from here too and it really is good because we needed the rain so badly.

My favorite coleus are still looking good and going strong. I don't know why I have frost cloth on some things, you can always tell if you have had frost when the coleus start looking bad. I noticed my neighbors still have their crotons out, they are another good cold weather indicator.

Good growing everyone, all the plants look so great.

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Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Great growing on the nun's orchids, there Deb! I have some spikes on mine too. Have patience, they take forEVER to get up to size and bloom. Orchids truly do teach you patience, they grow so slowly. Alice, that really is a gorgeous coleus.

A bunch of my rescued Phals from the death rack at Lowe's are putting on spikes, too. I am not expecting to see flowers until March but it's fun to anticipate . . .

I also got two little plants of Musical Notes in November at the Selby plant sale, and one has put up a flower.

This message was edited Jan 3, 2013 1:20 PM

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Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Catching up on the last thread and this one, I love the photos and sure do want one of those nun orchids.

Dyzzy, I've been noticing out on my morning walks how amazingly gorgeous the bougainvilleas are this year...just stunning. I don't have one in my garden because I don't have a place for it to grow without getting stuck with the thorns, but do think they're pretty.

I've not noticed any damage from any of the cold nights we've had here, I did keep my orchids in my makeshift green house, which is my easy-up with drop down clear tarps. I have some peppers and tomatoes blossoming and put them in there when it dips to 40 or below. I noticed my Phal orchids are starting spouts also.

Here are some plants in my garden from a couple days ago that are usually frozen back by this time of the year.

Canna my Dad gave me is starting to bloom.

Powder Puff, not the dwarf plant so common in the nurseries...Calliandra haematocephala

Mexican flame vine is going crazy, another one usually frosted back by now.

Last two photos...Firecracker plant....This is my favorite plant in the whole garden, I bought it well over 8 years ago at Lukas gardens (the only one they had), not the common firecracker plant (Russelia equisetiformis) seen everywhere, this one is Russelia sarmentosa. It usually freezes back by December's end but not this year or last year...just a spectacular display of a red fountain in the garden. I do cut clippings each year, if anyone interested when I cut it back. I just never see this one in the nurseries.

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Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Beautiful, Sherri. Flowers in January are such a bonus.

The nun's orchids are great plants you can grow in a big pot under a tree, and unlike a lot of orchids, they have nice looking foliage all year. Mine bloomed from late Feb. through the middle of April last year. But they do need a little protection from cold. I got mine from a grower out of Apopka, Chapman's Orchids. Mr. Chapman goes to most of the orchid shows around the state, so check if there is one near you, or make a trip to his greenhouse. (it's best to call first, as most small orchid growers do travel to shows a lot and there isn't staff there all the time).

I just got a new one in the mail, a gift from my kids a bit late for Christmas. It is Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite 'Chariot of Fire' from EFG Orchids up in DeLand, FL. You have a lot of great orchid growers near you, up there!

This is one of mine in bloom last March.

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(Zone 9a)

Sherri, you have some very interesting plants there, I love the calliandra, the buds are as unique as the flowers and that russelia is fabulous.

Elaine, you are sorely tempting me, I have avoided buying a nun's orchid although my fav nursery has them all the time. I may have to break by plant fast if I keep seeing pretty pictures like that.

We took my garden helper to the pet store so he could pick out his own toy this year. He hasn't put it down since.

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DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

Well the frost freeze we had a couple weeks ago has pretty much done in what was blooming. Except for some orchids, and a few things in the greenhouse.

Sherri, I would LOVE some cuttings of the Mexican Flame vine, mine got froze back 2 years ago and never made it back. Was a favorite with the Butterflies.
Also would love some of the Russelia sarmentosa.

Let me know what your looking for hopefully I have something you'd want.

Elaine, your going to love that Chariot of Fire, I've seen them up there at EFG and it's gorgeous.
I have the Kryptonite 'Ursula' , poor thing got knocked over in a wind storm and broke all but one bloom stalk, but it's still going strong.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Oh, that would just kill me if those big beautiful bloom stalks broke. The plant from Chapmans came to me with two stalks carefully tied to metal stakes. (you can see them in the pic above) After I nearly poked my eye out a couple of times on the stakes, I removed them and put tomato cages in both the big pots instead. I think the rings might protect the stalks if the pot fell over, too. That plant has five stalks coming this year!

Here's my other plant just opening last March (single flower on the left). It's supposed to be Phaius Microburst 'Wild Thing' but turned out to be 'Octoberfest' instead. The first plant (in full bloom on the right) is the species Phaius tankervilleae.

This message was edited Jan 4, 2013 9:58 PM

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Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)

Variegated Musa AeAe pup.

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Blackshear, GA

Oh Alice, your pup is so cute!! The toy almost looks like him!

My nun's orchids are putting up spikes also.

Nice pup, Drew!

Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Paula! Come on Spring!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Elaine I'm not far from Apopka and those blooms are spectacular...I have lots of big trees that I could put that orchid under.

Mj - you're more than welcome to take cuttings. I've never tried rooting cuttings of the Mexican flame vine, I'm actually seeing some flowers going to seeds since it hasn't frozen. I'll be cutting the firecracker back about Feb. and will root some of those, they root easily. I'd be willing to bring them on by so I can see your garden, been wanting to for quite sometime now.

ardesia, that dog of yours is so adorable, and too cute with the stuffed orange kitty, that looks like my real they'd like each other, my cat loves dogs and misses his German Shepherd chasing him around and chomping on him. When someone brings a dog over he runs right up and starts initiating play.

I had Cuban buttercups in a big planter last year and they just died out on me, but now I have two that came up from seed in the sand between my stepping stones and flowering. I'm waiting until we are past frost and will move them into a nice sandy spot off the beaten path. Funny how plants pick their spot to grow, these obviously like the sand and not the good potting soil.

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

love all the beautys posted, even the fur babys. Been busy at work, hope to have some basement garden time later tonight.
I think I lost my muscial notes, this will be the second time, so not going to try again.

Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)

Three's a charm Debra!

(Zone 9a)

I agree, keep trying Deb.

Was reading this often funny blog and saw a picture of the neatest banyon/palm tree. Hope this link works; you will have to arrow down a bit.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Debra, one of us will have a musical notes Clero. for you come spring.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Lovely article, Alice. I can relate, I am one of those singing people, one margarita . . . phew. What a beautiful resort, sadly I have as much chance as a snowflake in Florida to get my DH to Mexico.

Brazilian Red Cloak with flowers visible.
Begonia Don Miller with tiny flowers, blooming away!
Spathoglottis goes from purple/yellow to white/red as it ages.
A rescued Phal from Lowe's giving yet more buds! It had just the one bud when I got it and was all wilty and wrinkled.
Continually surprised at the range and changes of color these coleus go through. I've got about ten big plants of this one variety around the yard, and every one looks different.

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(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

beautiful eye candy, Elaine. I am so envious of your climate. we got a half inch of rain if that today, now we are going on water restrictions as the state is in drought, so I am glad I use my laundry water to jug up and save for the shrubs and trees. Ususally we have had at leats 18 inches of snow and rain by now. Ponds and lakes are dried up all over the state now. I hope our water supply resavoir holds tight. *sigh*
the basement garden is still happy, tho.
Joe is taking a vacation day tommorrow as it is going to be 65, he is BBQing a weeks worth of food, cleaning the fridge,doing laundry, sweeping the house and going shopping for groceries, while I work until 6.( I peeked at his to do list while he was in the other room) Saturday is my off day this week, and it will be back to low 30's at that time. dang it! That is ok, tho, I can sleep late and then go down and clean my garden areas up.
We have 17 bags of frozen home grown green beans to get ate up before spring. Wish I could send them out .. LOL

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Deb, does Joe have a single brother?!!!

(Zone 9a)

LOL, I was thinking the same or maybe he could just teach my DH how to do those things. :-)

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Sunkissed in case you haven't been able to ID your Aunt's orchid. It is actually a Dendrobium. More specifically a Nobile type. These guys look their best with a winter rest where water is restricted. This actually encourages leaf drop on the canes and when the plant blooms pretty much all you see in the flowers covering the canes. They do best in a basket or pot tilted where they can hang down as it's their natural growing habit and they all tend to smell wonderful !!!

Blackshear, GA

Greeting from Costa Rica,
Sorry I have been MIA but we have been here for 5 days now. Beautiful plants...jacaranda and plumeria pudica every where at 20 ft tall. I am most impressed. Passed one of the yard crew this morning planting one of the sunshine trees. It was beautiful. Orchids, as well as cactus growing on the cliffs. I was so excited to be coming ...thinking 'rain forest'...Not! We are in the Tropical Dry forest...oppisite side of the rain forest. Waa! Still beautiful flowers, but very hot and dry. It is their dry season...6 months it rans every day and then 6 months nothing. Send pictures later.

Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)

Joe sounds like me... The best house husband!

(Zone 9a)

LOL, with all the stuff you haul into the house you would have to be verrrrrrry good. :-) (Either that or your spouse is a saint.)

Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)


Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Hey Roly, I did finally get the ID on my orchid thanks to the good people here on DG. It is in a hanging basket and my buds are getting bigger everyday. I'm looking forward to the flowers...I didn't realize they have a nice fragrance, what a plus.

I do have a nice lookin single brother and he is a hard worker and one heck of a nice guy, really shy until you get to know him, witty, and an outdoors man. Non smoker, non drinker. 50ish. He'd kill me if he knew I just posted this.. ☺

Some more blooms from the garden this week.

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

We'll take him, Sun!!!!

Man, oh man - just finished cleaning out the pond and tossing water Hyacinth and water lettuce - what a nasty mess - all done now, though!

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Well done, Kay. I have yet to tackle my pond this winter. The iris have taken over with rhizomes the size of my wrist. Love those reds, Sherri.

My Brug Charles Grimaldi is putting on a lovely fragrant show for my kids' visit! Mallory Jane is all eyes, taking in the outdoor world here!

Getting ready with the frost cloths again tonight, after this little cold front goes by! Getting a bit windy already but still sunny here.

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Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I'd love to have a little baby against my chest like that....I have one son married, they're thinking about having one, but both just started new jobs this past not holding my breath.

I hope the weather doesn't cool down too far they're saying 44. Fingers crossed.

The brug my Dad gave me is looking so healthy. Mine is actually still in a pot in the ground since it was just newly rooted when he gave it to me last summer. It likes where it it at but I'm thinking it will get too big for that spot. I have two spots I can move it to once spring is here, one is mostly shade under an live oak, with very early sun and late sun and trickled sun through-out the day, only a few feet from where it is now ( the close photo of the brug you can see the background past the hedge of podocarpus trees is where I'd move it to). The other spot would be shaded till about 2PM and then full sun the rest of the day...thinking that might be too much sun.That area is behind the umbrella in the photo to the left of the schefflera trees and would have lots of room for a nice canopy....

What do you think?

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Sherry, I think your Brug. will get too big and tall to be planted under any trees. Mine is over 10' tall, and it dies back to the ground every year. I'd choose a spot on the east or south side of your home, where it won't get too hot, but has plenty of room to grow large. Do you know which Brug your dad gave you?

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Elaine, don't know what kind it is but the flowers look the same color as the Charles Grimaldi you posted. My father got them from a neighbor years ago and keeps rooting them and has about five plants now.

Didn't realize they could get that big. I'll have to think about a spot now...I'm so running out of room around here...ugh.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Sherry, can you move a shrub that can be pruned, put it somewhere else, then plant your Brug in the spot where the shrub was?

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Sherri, my experience has been that the brugs don't compete well with the tree roots near oak trees.

If you want it to stay under the oak tree, or anywhere near it where there will be roots from the tree invading, I'd leave it in a large pot, and just keep it pruned so it doesn't grow out of the pot too often.

Mine are all around the yard in sunken pots because I have oaks all around the house. The one in the pictures above is in a large pot on my patio. It is over 7ft tall, including the pot.

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

Sherri, I have to agree with everyone here..
KayJOnes, you know u made my day , thanks. Nuns orchids are about to pop open, Joe is so kacited!
Elaine, how is my monster white doing? LoL
You all are not going to believe this, but tommorrow i am getting a new breaker box with extra breakers dedicated to the plant light fixtures, and having three t5 long lights installed in the main growing room. I CAN"T WAIT!!! we had to lose electircity and heat for three days over the past week for us to be put into action, tho., man, that was TOUGH. I stayed in bed to stay warm most of the time LOL. Plants are in the dark right now except a couple spot lights on the nuns orchids. all the brugs and tall plants are waiting anxiously for their new "sunlight" I guess I had three times the max amps allowed per outlet with my lights, i am surprised the house didn't catch fire, but the breakers were old ( 50 years old) and the meter outside had melted a "lug" and the wires leading to the house..was going to cost more than double normal price to come out on a SUnday, so Joe said aww we can tough it until Monday. the electric people said it wasn't my fault for the meter, tho, but the electriction guys were like WOW.. what do you grow down there? most people won't let us near thier basements, so I took them down and even tho their eyes popped out at all the bulbs and surger bars, they sure did like the peppers , tomatoes and blooming hibiscus and fish pond LOL.. gee.. I was like, really? People in this town grow pot in the basement? REALLY?? I have never done that, and they asked me if the police ever stopped by at night when the lights were on, I said "no, they know me as the plant lady here.." so i let them pick their own peppers and off they went.

Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)

Deb, let me know if you have any questions about the T-5's as I use them.

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Huntersville, NC(Zone 7b)

First "REAL" leaf of two variegated AeAe pups out of 5.

I guess you can tell I am excited about my AeAe's. DUH HUH!

3-5'' snow forecast; with notta on the ground this AM. WHHHEEEEEHHHW.

That's the way it usually works though.

This message was edited Jan 18, 2013 6:55 AM

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