Did you ever wonder where the pastime of cultivating tropical plants came from?
To the Victorians, it was a great pastime.
Today, we are seeing this long forgotten pastime revived.
With many North American gardeners pushing the horticulture envelopes of temperate enviroments, you see more and more tropical plants in what used to be a “typical” garden setting of annuals, perennials, and native wildflowers.
To the Victorians, tropical plants were a fashionable way to establish social prominence and status.
Today the movement to grow tropicals is less of a status symbol and more of a way to convey the mystery of a tropical enviroment in our own backyard.
Learning to grow tropicals can be quite a rewarding experience.
Transforming our enviroment to fit them can be another challenge alltogether.
Is it really worth all the extra effort to go from “typical” garden flowers that easily thrive in our enviroment to growing plants that require being brought indoors every winter and learning about their needs?
For me, that was the thrill of growing tropicals.
The reward was hearing people say ‘what is that, and where do I get one?’
Being a bit excentric myself, growing these oddities seems quite common.
So, you may ask, where should I begin?
Banannas have wonderfully exotic foliage, and are quite easy to grow.
Another favorite tropical of mine, but one which requires a bit more work is the “Angel Trumpets,” or Daturas and Brugmansias.
For fragrance and huge flowers, don’t miss out on this plant.
It also grows quite large in one season and will flower from seed the first year.
Another favorite tropical plant of mine that is fairly easy to grow is the Bird-Of-Paradise.
I have also found Orange Trees to be quite undemanding and easy to grow.
Of course, there are those tropical plants that for some reason just don’t survive for me.
For example, Passifloria is almost impossible for me to grow, and Chocolate Trees too.
My Heliconias are alive, but they just don’t seem to grow much.
As for Pineapples, well, I’m on plant # 3 and it doesn’t look real good.
I guess some plants just require less work than others, and for those that require constant attention and exact enviroments to flourish, well, those aren’t for me, but they may be for you.
I have so many plants that taking the time to nuture those that require more time and attention just isn’t possible.
Now, don’t let this scare you off.
As I said, many plants require almost no effort and will give you excellent results.
I know you will find growing tropical plants to be quite rewarding.
Until next week, happy gardening!