Easy To Care For Large Tropical Looking Plants - Knowledgebase Question

South Orange, NJ
Question by janidw
February 7, 2003
I love large tropical looking plants but I do not have a green thumb. What would you suggest for indoor and outdoor gardening? I love the Sago Palm and the Cast Iron Plant. What else?


























































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Answer from NGA
February 7, 2003

0

You may consider the sun-loving dahlias to look tropical, along with the season-long flowering impatiens for shade.

In the perennial group, I think ferns and hostas all look tropical and they are available in a huge range of sizes and colors and shapes. Hardy hibiscus produces huge blooms, and the ornamental grasses are very effective once they get growing in the summer.

Consider some of the herbs such as purple basil, scented geraniums, lemon grass, pineapple sage, and so on for their exotic qualities.

Finally, vegetables are a great source: corn is nothing if not tropical looking (and tall!), okra is amazing and blooms prolifically, the squashes and melons have great foliage texture, and pole beans and vining cherry tomatoes will climb to great effect.

I think once you approach the garden center with an eye on "looks" you will find lots to consider including in your garden. I have tried to mention some easy to grow plants, but easy is a relative term when one is a beginner. Again, since you are a beginner, I would suggest you look to some books for basic gardening advice to help you in planning, soil preparation and site analysis as well as plant selection. The Dummies series includes several books that should be helpful in this regard, or your library may have some. Good luck with achieving your tropical look, and have fun!

You may consider the sun-loving dahlias to look tropical, along with the season-long flowering impatiens for shade.

In the perennial group, I think ferns and hostas all look tropical and they are available in a huge range of sizes and colors and shapes. Hardy hibiscus produces huge blooms, and the ornamental grasses are very effective once they get growing in the summer.

Consider some of the herbs such as purple basil, scented geraniums, lemon grass, pineapple sage, and so on for their exotic qualities.

Finally, vegetables are a great source: corn is nothing if not tropical looking (and tall!), okra is amazing and blooms prolifically, the squashes and melons have great foliage texture, and pole beans and vining cherry tomatoes will climb to great effect.

I think once you approach the garden center with an eye on "looks" you will find lots to consider including in your garden. I have tried to mention some easy to grow plants, but easy is a relative term when one is a beginner. Again, since you are a beginner, I would suggest you look to some books for basic gardening advice to help you in planning, soil preparation and site analysis as well as plant selection. The Dummies series includes several books that should be helpful in this regard, or your library may have some. Good luck with achieving your tropical look, and have fun!

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