Tropical plants for UK garden.

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by tangham, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. tangham

    tangham Gardener

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +18
    Looking for suggestions for growing large tropical plants for southern uk garden.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Total Gardener

      Joined:
      Jan 4, 2014
      Messages:
      1,622
      Gender:
      Male
      Ratings:
      +2,957
      I don't think you will have many problems, provided you check your soil pH. A visit to a local nursery/garden center will give some idea of what is popular in that area.

      Where are you located?
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

        Joined:
        Jan 31, 2012
        Messages:
        2,100
        Gender:
        Male
        Occupation:
        Mad Scientist
        Location:
        Paignton Devon
        Ratings:
        +6,738
        • Like Like x 2
        • andrews

          andrews Super Gardener

          Joined:
          Aug 28, 2018
          Messages:
          737
          Gender:
          Male
          Occupation:
          Waste Management and Consultancy
          Location:
          South Yorkshire
          Ratings:
          +1,786
          A few books that may help with choosing plants :

          Hot plants for cool climates

          Exotic gardening in cool climates

          Big leaves for exotic effect
           
          • Like Like x 1
          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

            Joined:
            Jan 31, 2012
            Messages:
            2,100
            Gender:
            Male
            Occupation:
            Mad Scientist
            Location:
            Paignton Devon
            Ratings:
            +6,738
            As for boooks here are two I have and enjoyed.
            Colour for Adventurous Gardeners
            and
            Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners

            both by Christopher Lloyd who gardened at Great Dixter Garden | Great Dixter
             
            • Like Like x 4
            • Sirius

              Sirius Total Gardener

              Joined:
              Jun 26, 2012
              Messages:
              1,331
              Gender:
              Male
              Location:
              Hertfordshire
              Ratings:
              +1,053
              Some good suggestions re the books. Do some research.
              Also a Tropical section of the Forum. Some informative threads there.

              But briefly:
              Tree Ferns - Dicksonia antarctica
              Bamboo - Phyllostachus, Borinda etc
              Palms - Trachycarpus, Chamearops, Butia etc
               
              • Like Like x 3
              • ARMANDII

                ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

                Joined:
                Jan 12, 2019
                Messages:
                43,666
                Gender:
                Male
                Ratings:
                +88,926
                I live in West Cheshire, Tangham, where we're protected, usually, from harsh Atlantic weather by Ireland so it's usually quite mild here which enables Palms, Tree Ferns and Bananas, etc, to grow quite happily in great number in gardens around the area. Where you live in Essex should be a "breeze" in growing them along with other exotic plants. I think, though, you might suffer more extremes of weather than I do even though I'm much further North than you so during the Winter you may need to protect the plants more than I do.:coffee:
                 
                • Agree Agree x 2
                • strongylodon

                  strongylodon Old Member

                  Joined:
                  Feb 12, 2006
                  Messages:
                  12,945
                  Gender:
                  Male
                  Occupation:
                  Retired
                  Location:
                  Wareham, Dorset
                  Ratings:
                  +19,608
                  Location is the main factor in growing exotics. I live a few miles from the south coast which would normally mean a good place for them but I live in a frost pocket and suffer more damage than folk living further North like @ARMANDII.
                  Most of what we grow are sub tropical, tender or half hardy and not true tropicals.:smile:
                   
                  • Like Like x 1
                  • Agree Agree x 1
                  • CarolineL

                    CarolineL Super Gardener

                    Joined:
                    Jun 12, 2016
                    Messages:
                    710
                    Gender:
                    Female
                    Occupation:
                    Retired Software engineer
                    Location:
                    Rural Carmarthenshire
                    Ratings:
                    +1,604
                    Tetrapanax papifera Rex looks really tropical but copes with quite a lot...
                     
                    • Like Like x 2
                    • Agree Agree x 1
                    • NigelJ

                      NigelJ Total Gardener

                      Joined:
                      Jan 31, 2012
                      Messages:
                      2,100
                      Gender:
                      Male
                      Occupation:
                      Mad Scientist
                      Location:
                      Paignton Devon
                      Ratings:
                      +6,738
                      Agree very much with @ARMANDII and @strongylodon the microclimate in your garden and immediate area is very important. I live about a mile from the sea, on the south coast, plenty of rain, but my plot is wide open to the east, has shallow soil and slopes, so drains well but in summer can be too dry. Being exposed to the east, cold easterly winds coming off the sea can easily kill off new growth in spring and scorch many plants at other times.The result is I get little frost and can grow many frost tender plants, but they have to be fairly tough to withstand dry summers and cold winds; this rules out many plants with decorative foliage.
                      If you are in the South East you will benefit from the hotter summers and the plenty of sunlight at the cost of colder winters and less rain. In the South West the sunlight is definitely less and the temperatures less extreme.
                       
                      • Agree Agree x 2
                      • longk

                        longk Total Gardener

                        Joined:
                        Nov 24, 2011
                        Messages:
                        11,109
                        Location:
                        Oxfordshire
                        Ratings:
                        +21,980
                        Tropical or tropical looking/exotic? Very few true tropical plants will do anything much in any part of the UK outdoors but there are plenty of exotics which will do well. If you visit Notting Hill Gate there are large Agave (americana I think) growing quite happily in an exposed spot on the central reservation. Yes, it is London but they are not in a sheltered spot.

                        A few unusual exotics that survive even here in the Cotswolds;
                        Furcraea...............
                        [​IMG]Furcraea? by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Furcraea? by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Furcraea? by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Unknown Furcraea by longk48, on Flickr

                        Its close cousin Beschorneria................
                        [​IMG]Beschorneria yuccoides by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Beschorneria septentrionalis by longk48, on Flickr

                        Another relative, Manfreda elongata..............
                        [​IMG]Manfreda elongata by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Manfreda elongata by longk48, on Flickr

                        I've had varying success with Puya as far as hardiness goes but worth a punt if your area is mild...............

                        Puya

                        Aloe striatula is perfectly hardy..............
                        [​IMG]Aloe striatula by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Aloe striatula by longk48, on Flickr

                        Bomarea edulis is a hardy climber.................
                        [​IMG]Bomarea edulis by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Bomarea edulis by longk48, on Flickr

                        Crinum moorei growing outdoors in a sheltered spot.................
                        [​IMG]Crinum moorei by longk48, on Flickr

                        Diverging from the original question, if you have a conservatory you should try Tacca chantrieri (Bat Flower) which is a true tropical...............
                        [​IMG]Tacca chantrieri - Bat Flower by longk48, on Flickr

                        [​IMG]Tacca chantrieri - Bat Flower by longk48, on Flickr
                         
                        • Like Like x 8
                        • noisette47

                          noisette47 Total Gardener

                          Joined:
                          Jan 25, 2013
                          Messages:
                          2,656
                          Gender:
                          Female
                          Location:
                          Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine
                          Ratings:
                          +4,608
                          So much depends on whether the OP is intending to create an overall 'picture' giving an impression of lush tropicality, or just to grow a few tender, architectural plants. As NigelJ said, cold winds, harsh sun and an exposed site limit the options considerably, because most true tropicals have big, tender leaves. Here are a few more ideas that give an impression of the tropics. If some shade and/or shelter are provided, so much the better :)
                          Zantedeschia aethiopica, Colocasia, Alocasia, Arum italicum, large-leaved Hostas, Polystichum setiferum, Canna 'Wyoming'.
                           
                          • Like Like x 2
                          Loading...

                          Share This Page

                          1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                            By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
                            Dismiss Notice