Big leaved tropical plants

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Exotic trees and shrubs

Exotic trees or shrubs are the plants to use in your areas of permanent planting.  These can be a evergreen plants, deciduous plants or a mixture of both.

Cordyline and Beshorneria

Exotic trees and shrubs serve a number of purposes:

  • They reduce the amount of seasonal planting required.
  • They provide year round interest in the garden.
  • They provide structure to the garden, which in turn makes it easier to formulate summer planting schemes.
  • They can blot out the visually unpleasant.

Ideal locations for permanent plants include:

  • Corners, particularly far corners will always look better with something tall permanently growing.
  • Disguising of sheds, compost bins, bike shelters etc.
  • Areas that are visible close to the house for year round interest.
  • The front garden.

Right plant, right place...

When planting exotic trees and shrubs around the garden, it is important to marry up the plant with the conditions it prefers.  There is not much point in filling a sunny front garden with ferns and shade loving plants or a shady spot with a sun lover.  Ideally, if located correctly, your permanent plants should need little attention once established.  If the plant can't survive with out irrigation after a couple of years it is probably in the wrong place. As always, adequate soil preparation is essential for your chosen plants to flourish.

The following architectural plants make good candidates for permanent planting in the cool tropical garden:

  • Beschorneria yuccoides
  • Brahea armata
  • Chamaedorea microspadix
  • Chamaerops humilis
  • Cordyline australis
  • Cyathea medularis
  • Dicksonia antarctica
  • Eriobotrya japonica
  • Euphorbia mellifera
  • Fatsia japonica
  • Firmiana simplex
  • Feioja sellowiana
  • Laurus nobilis
  • Melianthus Major
  • Nerium oleander
  • Olea europaea
  • Paulownia tomentosa
  • Phoenix canariensis
  • Trachycarpus fortunei
  • Yuccas