Southwest Gardening forum: Shade loving specimen plants for Tucson city garden?

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Name: Jack
Tucson, Arizona (Downtown) (Zone 8b)
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JackInTucson
Mar 19, 2013 2:02 PM CST
I live in the Armory Park downtown neighborhood of Tucson and have a north facing patio area with two ~8x8x10 triangular planting areas that get very little sun (at this time of year they get no direct sun). The two sides of each planting area are the walls of the house and a porch, the third border is a concrete/brick patio. I am able to amend the soil easily and irrigation is in place but currently capped. Whatever I plant I'd like to survive the winter (zone 8). I dont mind wrapping for the winter if necessary.

I had originally wanted to plant a small patio tree perhaps with some potted tropicals/annuals underneath but I think the sunless issue might prevent this. I am thinking of possibly banana plants?? Shade tolerant species of bamboo? Ferns maybe? What other ideas might you have? These areas will be closely viewed when sitting in the patio with glass of wine in hand.

thank you
Jack
\"Chance Favors the Prepared Mind\"
Name: Linda
Tucson, Arizona
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Morning Glories Region: United States of America Amaryllis Hummingbirder
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quietyard
Mar 19, 2013 7:40 PM CST
Hello Jack. I did not have good luck with my banana plant . I do not remember the variety but it was growing in a pot and our winter cold froze it. Tucson seems to be getting colder in the winter. I think Foxglove would do well in that exposure. I have good luck with that and the frost does not bother those but it is something that will only last a season or two. Smiling
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Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
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Aguane
Mar 21, 2013 9:42 PM CST
Hi Jack Rolling my eyes.
RE the banana plant. If you're ever in Phoenix please visit the Royal Palms Resort on Camelback Rd. They have a really, really interesting collection of in-ground plantings of tropicals including banana (producing). plumeria and Royal Poinciana (flowering tree). They all are thriving, baring major freeze. But, they are mature, aged, established and do come back year after year.

I know of a home in Cave Creek. Colder than Metro Phoenix. There is quite a stand of aged banana plants on the north side of the home. Every single winter that freeze to a crisp. They are established and do return to new lush green foliage. I don't know if they are producing. From my POV... I wouldn't want a sip on a $20 bottle of Cab ruined by a crispy banana.
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
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Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
Southwest Gardening~ moderator/ATP.
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer Forum moderator Region: Southwest Gardening Garden Ideas: Level 2 Roses
Birds Region: United States of America Garden Art Dog Lover Daylilies Hummingbirder
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Aguane
Mar 21, 2013 10:33 PM CST
Not knowing what your specific area looks like you could consider pyracantha (espalier), star jasmine or some such vine, climber, topiary pomegranate. ( loses leaves in winter).
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
~ All Things Plants, SOUTHWEST GARDENING ~Cubits.org ENERGY & POWER
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
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sheryl
Apr 13, 2013 9:22 AM CST
For smaller items along with color, Aloes seem to do very well with lower light situations and still bloom.
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