The Q&A Archives: Tropical Plants

Question: I live in San Diego and would like to plant 3 or so tropical plants that don't need a lot of attention, but look nice and will do well in our climate. Also, I don't want them to be very tall. I have seen some different kinds of palm trees that have flowing leaves that I like, but don't know the names.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, could you tell me when the best time to plant?

Answer: Plants with tropical looking foliage include Kniphofia, Fatsia japonica and Ensete (banana). All can be kept within 3'-4' in height with annual pruning. Most palms are slow-growing, and those that have feathery, flowing fronds include Livistona chinensis and Chamaerops. In your mild winter climate you can plant most any time of the year. I like to plant in early spring, just because I'm anxious for a new growing season to begin! Hope the above helps you choose just the right plants for your garden!

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