Jump to content

Starting the Zone 8b Jungle


Teegurr
 Share

Recommended Posts

I replanted a Bismarckia I had in a shady spot to a full sun area about 7ft from a Southwest-facing wall of the house. It was only in the shady spot for 3 days. Still, there could be some issues with the roots, and I am tentatively waiting to see if the Bizzie will get established smoothly as the weather warms up. Pardon the makeshift walls (there's a rambunctious 5 month old puppy who loves to chew up palms). Hoping to plant a Washingtonia (it's recovering from being torn out of the ground and used as a chew toy by my dog) about 8-10 feet away from the Bizzie and some non-palm tropical plants. 

16151324250426536149636907726052.jpg

16151324555848672571584841852509.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes young pups and gardening don’t always mix well. Good start on your endeavor, I am doing the same albeit in 9a. Biggest issues I have is crap soil (it’s FL), brutal weeds/grass (it’s all going), and some low spots in the yard that collect water. All common things to deal with and I’ll get there.

Good luck with yours!

Edited by KDubU
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Ben in Norcal said:

Did you dig the Bismarckia up?  They transplant very poorly.

Yeah, I am aware of that. I'm hoping since it was in the ground for only 3 days it will be alright. The root ball remained intact as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

Yeah, I am aware of that. I'm hoping since it was in the ground for only 3 days it will be alright. The root ball remained intact as well.

Yep, should be OK then!

  • Like 1

Ben Rogers

On the border of Concord & Clayton in the East Bay hills - Elev 387 ft 37.95 °N, 121.94 °W

My back yard weather station: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=37.954%2C-121.945&sp=KCACONCO37

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm gonna be planting a lot of zone 8 plants in my Houston garden from now on, however I am disappointed in my bananas. They havent shown signs of any life. Just a rotten mess after this artic blast. I thought they were hardier than that... I think I have Orinocco variety as it did produce fruit but they were nasty I couldn't eat them. What type of banana is that on your pic?

Edited by Ivanos1982
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Ivanos1982 said:

I'm gonna be planting a lot of zone 8 plants in my Houston garden from now on, however I am disappointed in my bananas. They havent shown signs of any life. Just a rotten mess after this artic blast. I thought they were hardier than that... I think I have Orinocco variety as it did produce fruit but they were nasty I couldn't eat them. What type of banana is that on your pic?

That's sad to hear, I looked and I saw how hardy they were, surprised to see they were hardy to zone 7. They should come back, but the stalk may die in your case. I don't know for sure what variety my banana is, but a user took a guess and said Namwah. I'm hoping for that.

Edited by Teegurr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the jungle look. Keep us updated with photos.

  • Upvote 1

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, KDubU said:

Yes young pups and gardening don’t always mix well. Good start on your endeavor, I am doing the same albeit in 9a. Biggest issues I have is crap soil (it’s FL), brutal weeds/grass (it’s all going), and some low spots in the yard that collect water. All common things to deal with and I’ll get there.

Good luck with yours!

Thank you! I'd love to see your jungle. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Tropicdoc said:

 

 

Oops, misread...Can't figure out how to delete a comment!

Edited by PricklyPearSATC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tropicdoc said:

This was my 9a jungle prefreeze 

8A4C1056-27C1-4FFA-9929-59661EDB3D73.jpeg

Are those big trees figs?

Philip Wright

Sydney southern suburbs

Frost-free within 20 km of coast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tropicdoc said:

This was my 9a jungle prefreeze 

8A4C1056-27C1-4FFA-9929-59661EDB3D73.jpeg

Stunning garden. Is that Ravenea by the pool chairs?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tropicdoc said:

This was my 9a jungle prefreeze 

8A4C1056-27C1-4FFA-9929-59661EDB3D73.jpeg

you have some nice sized gingers. What type are they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Added dwarf bottlebrush "Little John", Liriope "Super Blue", and an Alocasia sarawakensis "Yucatan Princess"

16151598177161987412175838237465.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

*Bob Ross voice* Looks like a good canvas to start painting a nice little jungle! 

Is the yard irrigated?

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Teegurr said:

Stunning garden. Is that Ravenea by the pool chairs?

Arenga engleri... under canopy was not fazed at all by 22 F and freezing rain. The tree is an old live oak. I was blessed with 6 of them on the property when I bought it. Great canopy and shade, but a mess to deal with having a swimming pool. I have alpinea zerumbet and costus barbatus and alpinea japonica there’s also heliconia schiedeana in there that has actually flowered for me once.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Swolte said:

*Bob Ross voice* Looks like a good canvas to start painting a nice little jungle! 

Is the yard irrigated?

Yeah, the yard is pretty big, lots of hackberry and monkey grass. As for irrigation, unfortunately no, but I don't mind watering. 

Any species you'd recommend for a jungly atmosphere? (Not just palms of course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

Yeah, the yard is pretty big, lots of hackberry and monkey grass. As for irrigation, unfortunately no, but I don't mind watering. 

Any species you'd recommend for a jungly atmosphere? (Not just palms of course)

Turmeric and ginger are easy and cheap to start, once the danger of another freeze is over, just buy some fresh roots at the grocery store. Taro roots too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

 

Any species you'd recommend for a jungly atmosphere? (Not just palms of course)

Tetrapanax and Ricinus (Castor Beans)!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Keys6505 said:

Tetrapanax and Ricinus (Castor Beans)!

Great recommendation, but these can sometimes be hard to find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, amh said:

Great recommendation, but these can sometimes be hard to find.

I want to try Castor Beans, but tetrapanax I think will be invasive here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Teegurr said:

I want to try Castor Beans, but tetrapanax I think will be invasive here.

Sorry I was talking about the castor beans being hard to find.

Both can be invasive, but if you deadhead the plants you shouldn't have a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found Tetrapanex not very invasive in College Station, especially if you control watering. They do pop up randomly after a while but you can easily remove them. Without irrigation or an otherwise perfect spot, they will wither and die during our summers in my experience. Castor bean works well here! I snatched some seedpods from the large purple specimens they have at Martha's Bloomers last fall and they readily sprouted. We'll see if they come back this year! 

The absolute best recommendation I can give you for a 'tropical feel' plant, however, is one you can just grab at the local Lowes. Yucca recurvifolia (blue weeping yucca, or something) is an absolute stunner with its broad and weeping leaves. Has been bulletproof for me (didn't protect during this freeze and never even watered). Dogs and deer leave it alone though I am not sure about your monster.. 

Put it in front of the Banana and pop the tequila!


EDIT: not sure if you often have children in the yard but, just so you are aware, both Tetrapanex and Castor bean aren't considered very humanoid-friendly (one of the reasons you won't see the big-box stores sell them). For example, the poison of the castor bean, if you know how to process and extract it, is among the deadliest naturally occurring poisons on the planet (4 tiny seeds can reportedly kill a grown man). 

Edited by Swolte
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, consider pawpaws (Asimina triloba), they are deciduous but have tropical looking foliage similar to other Annonaceae.

Maypop (passiflora incarnata) is a great vine.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Swolte said:

I have found Tetrapanex not very invasive in College Station, especially if you control watering. They do pop up randomly after a while but you can easily remove them. Without irrigation or an otherwise perfect spot, they will wither and die during our summers in my experience. Castor bean works well here! I snatched some seedpods from the large purple specimens they have at Martha's Bloomers last fall and they readily sprouted. We'll see if they come back this year! 

The absolute best recommendation I can give you for a 'tropical feel' plant, however, is one you can just grab at the local Lowes. Yucca recurvifolia (blue weeping yucca, or something) is an absolute stunner with its broad and weeping leaves. Has been bulletproof for me (didn't protect during this freeze and never even watered). Dogs and deer leave it alone though I am not sure about your monster.. 

Put it in front of the Banana and pop the tequila!


EDIT: not sure if you often have children in the yard but, just so you are aware, both Tetrapanex and Castor bean aren't considered very humanoid-friendly (one of the reasons you won't see the big-box stores sell them). For example, the poison of the castor bean, if you know how to process and extract it, is among the deadliest naturally occurring poisons on the planet (4 tiny seeds can reportedly kill a grown man). 

Castor bean is stunning, and we don't have any problem with anyone eating it (besides the dog, possibly). Ah, Yuccas, what a gift in cold zones, so beautiful and tropical looking. We have a couple naturalized Yucca aloifolia (I think) in the way back (inside a bush basically). I'd love to try the recurvifolia out. Rostrata I'd like to try too, but they seem more desert-like. 

Some plants I was considering were:

Loquat

Satsuma 

Hostas (yeah I know, not that tropical, but nice and lush)

Pawpaw 

Hibiscus

More alocasia!!!

Bird of paradise (any that might do ok here as perennials? I understand they are quite cold tender)

Palms: 

Arenga engleri (if I can get my hands on any)

Trachycarpus fortunei (pretty lush and hardy to boot, encouraged to grow after seeing a nice specimen in the neighborhood, and I know you, Swolte, are growing one (or more)

Sabal uresana

Saw palmetto

 

 

Here's the monster dog.

 

20210307_095924.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a good list!

I have had no luck with any hosta's here, though, so let me know if you find one that works for you! 

As for the Bird of Paradise, I think you refer to the Strelitzia with a similar name (BoP) which is indeed not hardy here.  If you do want to grow something named Bird of Paradise, I would recommend the Caesalpinia Gilliesii which can actually turn into a small tree and will survive a typical rough College Station winter (I did protect it in the 2021 centennial frost event...). 

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Teegurr said:

Some plants I was considering were:

Loquat

Satsuma 

Hostas (yeah I know, not that tropical, but nice and lush)

Pawpaw 

Hibiscus

More alocasia!!!

Bird of paradise (any that might do ok here as perennials? I understand they are quite cold tender)

Palms: 

Arenga engleri (if I can get my hands on any)

Trachycarpus fortunei (pretty lush and hardy to boot, encouraged to grow after seeing a nice specimen in the neighborhood, and I know you, Swolte, are growing one (or more)

Sabal uresana

Saw palmetto

All good plants, but you may want to grow citrus in containers because of winter temperatures. See what is growing in your area or have a plan to protect any in ground citrus. I think most of the Texas citrus is on trifoliate orange root stock which is a dwarfing root stock.

39 minutes ago, Swolte said:

I would recommend the Caesalpinia Gilliesii which can actually turn into a small tree and will survive a typical rough College Station winter

Highly recommend this plant.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Swolte said:

That's a good list!

I have had no luck with any hosta's here, though, so let me know if you find one that works for you! 

As for the Bird of Paradise, I think you refer to the Strelitzia with a similar name (BoP) which is indeed not hardy here.  If you do want to grow something named Bird of Paradise, I would recommend the Caesalpinia Gilliesii which can actually turn into a small tree and will survive a typical rough College Station winter (I did protect it in the 2021 centennial frost event...). 

How do Curcuma fare there? They might be a good stand in for Hosta, plus the flowers.. Cast Iron might work, though in shade, rather than where beat on by the sun. 

Aside from Caesalpinia, very curious how either of our native Calliandra ( or the commonly sold cross between the two species ) would do there.. Calliandra californica, aka Baja Fairyduster is supposedly hardy to the 20s.. maybe lower ( know it has survived below 25F w/out issue in San Jose a couple times ).. C. eriophylla is supposedly hardy to zone 8.  Isn't quite as attractive as Baja Fairyduster, but the cross, often sold as " Sierra Star "  grows better, flowers a lot more than either sp.

Mountain States Nursery, located up in Glendale ( AZ ).. but sells their plants across the Southwest, inc. Texas, i believe.. lists Sierra Star as hardy to to 10F. Great looking, especially when trimmed just a little.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, amh said:

All good plants, but you may want to grow citrus in containers because of winter temperatures. See what is growing in your area or have a plan to protect any in ground citrus. I think most of the Texas citrus is on trifoliate orange root stock which is a dwarfing root stock.

Highly recommend this plant.

Supposedly Owari Satsuma is good to 12-15 degrees. I think it's a good choice for this area. Edible fruit too. Caesalpinia gilliesii looks really neat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

Supposedly Owari Satsuma is good to 12-15 degrees. I think it's a good choice for this area. Edible fruit too. Caesalpinia gilliesii looks really neat.

I'm just cautious with citrus; I have lost a lot of supposedly cold hardy plants.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

How do Curcuma fare there? They might be a good stand in for Hosta, plus the flowers.. Cast Iron might work, though in shade, rather than where beat on by the sun. 

I figured it would be too cold for the Curcuma in winter here. Cast Iron are good here but they are struggling with my neglect (and being under a bunch of red cedars). They definitely need every bit of shade and a somewhat moistier site would probably help.

Agree that Calliandra would be interesting to try!!   

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more accent plants: Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica), leopard plant (Farfugium japonicum), lily of the Nile (Agapanthus), gold dust plant (Aucuba japonica). For some tropical looking and fragrant hardy shrubbery: Osmanthus fragrans, hardy Cestrum, Michelia figo, Gardenia 'Frostproof', almond verbena (Aloysia virgata). 

For gingers, some of these will stay evergreen in mild winters and reliably come back otherwise: shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), Japanese ginger (Alpinia japonica), butterfly ginger (Hedychium). You can also do cannas and the usual Colocasia. Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum (or more commonly: Philodendron selloum) will do fine in mild years and come back from the ground otherwise. 

Edited by Xenon
  • Like 2

Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto xenon. Interestingly I find monstera almost as hardy as philodendron selloum. Just the “trunk” lays on the ground instead of tree style. Just throw a bunch of mulch or leaves over the main stalk. But yes the leaves will wilt and die most winters. Monstera looks super tropical to me. I mean come on it’s on Hawaiian shirts.

consider hardy bananas.

mule palms

trachycarpus Martianus has been very hardy for me under canopy and it’s a little nicer than fortunei 

chaemadorea radicalis is bulletproof and tropical looking. 
and livistona chinensis

ok I’ll stop 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a rough plan I made. This is very rudimentary, and plans will change. Also, does anyone think Eucalyptus citriodora could do ok here? I have a 5ft plant that's very columnar.

Anyone know where I could find a mule palm online? I don't think they'd have them at Lowe's, I could be wrong.

 

16152270871605432718360631943809.jpg

Edited by Teegurr
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

Also, does anyone think Eucalyptus citriodora could do ok here? I have a 5ft plant that's very columnar.

No, not at all. Severe freeze back in the mid 20s, it's a solid 9b plant. 

Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh and if you had to choose one vine, rangoon creeper is the king in 8b/9a imo. Blooms the entire warm season and fills the air with a scent like pink bubblegum and white Tic Tacs. Different shades of white and pastel pinks all at once at a given time. It's a showstopper 

  • Like 3

Jonathan

Katy, TX (Zone 9a)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

Anyone know where I could find a mule palm online? I don't think they'd have them at Lowe's, I could be wrong.

 

16152270871605432718360631943809.jpg

Lowes does carry smaller Mules intermittantly.  That would probably be the cheapest.  Otherwise you could order from Patric or there's another place that I can't think of the exact name but it's like Mule Palms of Mississippi or something like that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want a Euc try pauciflora or neglecta.  Not too big and extremely cold hardy, although I'm not sure about the heat.

I like your plan, nice drawing.

Couple of other suggestions, and again I'm not sure how they do with heat, but they do fine in my zone 8B

Schefflera taiwaniana

Fatsia polycarpa, or regular Fatsia but the non straight green varieties.

Chamaedorea radicalis

Loropetalum - larger varieties

Acca sellowiana - tropical like flowers and fruit too

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...