Ask a Question forum: zone 9b tropicals?

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Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 7, 2017 2:27 PM CST
Hi I live in central valley, ca. Lows get to 25 but not for stretches. Typically about 43 lows over the winter. Summers have a high of 112. I'm addicted to tropicals and want to add more but I don't want to plant things that will end up dying.

Right now I have bananas, bamboo, cannas, nile lillies, a giant bird, hosta, variegated ginget, trumpet vine, elephant ear, bougainvillea, rubber tree, split leaf philodendron, wisteria, Boston ferns and queen palms.

What else can I add that will really compliment this theme?
[Last edited by Bigfoot312 - Dec 7, 2017 7:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Cat Lover Greenhouse Tropicals Bulbs
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Xeramtheum
Dec 7, 2017 4:28 PM CST
Hi Tim,

How about some hardy Gingers like Hedychiums, Curcuma and Costus. They go dormant in Winter, have amazing flowers - some incredibly fragrant like the White Butterfly.

The Ginger Lilies Database
"The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. It speaks in the language of hope; It speaks in the language of trust; It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always, it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us, And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says: We are one. No matter the blood; No matter the skin; No matter the world; No matter the star; We are one. No matter the pain; No matter the darkness; No matter the loss; No matter the fear; We are one. Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one."

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Dec 7, 2017 4:50 PM CST
Hi Tim, Adeniums love the summer heat of Central Valley. My area is part of this valley too, excessive heat during summer and cold overnights by late Fall to winter. Just got to water them frequently when our 95F and higher temps are around.

By late Fall, I just hide them indoors since we get too cold and if lucky enough to get some rain, cold and wet tandem not its preference. So I just allow them to go dormant. They have lovely caudex too, so it is not boring when they are dormant. Smiling

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Dec 7, 2017 6:57 PM CST
How about Hibiscus, Florist Cyclamens, Chinese Ground Orchids, Orchid Tree, Pineapple Guava, Chinese Flame Tree, Calla lilies, Kaffir Lilies, Amaryllis, Peruvian Daffodil, Lycoris...
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Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 7, 2017 7:45 PM CST
Thank you guys for so many suggestions. I love the ginger, really wish some vendors here sold those. I forgot to mention i also have Tasmanian tree fern and hibiscus. The orchids tree looks amazing...
California (Zone 9b)
Region: California Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
realityfaery
Dec 12, 2017 3:48 PM CST
These are all great suggestions! I live in the central valley too and I'm always on the look out for tropicals.

Right now, I mostly have callas, cannas, hibiscus and upright elephant ears. I would also suggest a Rotheca myricoides (Butterfly Bush), it goes dormant during the winter. It's one of my favorites.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 12, 2017 8:00 PM CST
realityfaery, Welcome! to NGA

I'm glad you put in the scientific name for your "butterfly bush" as that is a name very commonly used for Buddleia. I have only heard Rotheca myricoides referred to as Blue Glory Bower so you made me look Smiling , and, you are right, it does look very tropical.

Can I suggest you narrow down your location (city or county) as CA is a big and varied state.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 12, 2017 9:00 PM CST
I was reading that croton Norma can withstand temps as low as 28. With a little protection they should be able to survive Central Valley winters if that's the case. Can anyone else confirm that?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Dec 13, 2017 9:37 AM CST
I tried Croton, but it did not make it through winter outdoors. It was okay up to Fall. Best to pull it in during winter. I replaced it with a variegated Aspidistra elatior.
Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 13, 2017 4:29 PM CST
Darn that's a real bummer.

Have you seen jacaranda do well here? Fresno State apparently has one. I'm gonna check it out this weekend
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Dec 13, 2017 5:35 PM CST
Tim, You are in Sunset Western Garden zone 9. Here is what they about Jacaranda mimisifolia hardiness "The trees gain hardiness with maturity. Young trees are tender below 25F but often rebound from freezes to make multistemmed, shrubby plants. Takes a variety of soils but does best in sandy soil. Ocean winds or insufficient heat can prevent flowering. Resists oak root fungus."
There's more, but that's the basic info.
Carol
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Dec 13, 2017 5:41 PM CST
Jacaranda would make it if you can give it a little protection for the first 2 or 3 years. My parents grew them in Phoenix. It they live past 3, then they normally are hardy enough to make it. They're beautiful trees when in bloom.
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Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Dec 13, 2017 8:12 PM CST
I would try a Meyer Lemon tree if I was in your zone. I would totally have bogainvillia . I love to see pothos grown in more tropical climates because the leaves get so large. How about Hoya. They love your climate too.
Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 13, 2017 8:27 PM CST
lauriebasler said:I would try a Meyer Lemon tree if I was in your zone. I would totally have bogainvillia . I love to see pothos grown in more tropical climates because the leaves get so large. How about Hoya. They love your climate too.


I do have a Meyer lemon, tangerine, and lime tree that I forgot to mention. I love them! I did put two bougainvillea in as well, they are remarkable. I wasn't aware po this could survive our winter. If they can I will out them everywhere. I tried a Hoya over summer and it didn't grow at all. I since relocated it indoors and it still has yet to do anything except drop a few leaves, so I'm a but at a loss with it.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Dec 13, 2017 11:13 PM CST
Hoya like to be dryer more like a Jade. Cuttings and small plants can stall quite a while sometimes. I had one that did nothing for two years and the third year it just got huge. Poneytail palms are excellent easy plants.
Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 14, 2017 12:16 AM CST
lauriebasler said:Hoya like to be dryer more like a Jade. Cuttings and small plants can stall quite a while sometimes. I had one that did nothing for two years and the third year it just got huge. Poneytail palms are excellent easy plants.


I'll try leaving it dry out more. Maybe that's the cause. I've got about 7 jades in the yard and house and a ponytail palm trio as well that I'm going to plant outside in the spring
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Dec 14, 2017 1:35 AM CST
Well I hope something new comes along your excited about. Let us know what you choose. Your ponytail will really grow outside. Agave and blue aloe are really fun plants for me too.
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Dec 14, 2017 9:25 PM CST
I live in San Jose and I'm also zone 9b. There are huge gorgeous Jacaranda trees all over my neighborhood. I bet they'd do fine in Fresno, once you got it going. I have looked into growing them from seed and you can find youtube videos about starting them and they grow really fast. They're so pretty. Love the ferny leaves. Here, they are evergreen, too.

I can get you some seed pods, if you want to try some from seed. The tree across the street has fresh green seed pods on it right now, so we could wait until they mature a bit. Glad to send them for postage. I was going to start collecting them for future seed swaps, anyway Smiling It's on a hospital's grounds where I walk my dog all the time, so there's nobody to come running out screaming at me for "stealing" some seed pods LOL.

It's probably a 40 - 50 foot tall tree. If you didn't want one that tall, you can now buy dwarf jacaranda trees that only get to around 10 or 12 feet, supposedly. I know Monrovia sells them. I was just looking at some at the local nursery in Monrovia pots.

I only have a little balcony now and have been trying to decide on what tree I can grow in a container for some shade for my balcony that won't get too huge. It was between the dwarf jacaranda and a dwarf crepe myrtle. I ended up deciding to get a Zuni crape myrtle, so I'd have sun on the balcony in winter, since the jacaranda is evergreen here. Tough choice, because I just LOVE jacarandas. Like getting a flowering tree and a fern in one.

As far as another tropical, what about a Bird of Paradise? There are several varieties in the database on this site. I just checked. We always had them growing up in San Leandro when I was a kid, but it's cooler there. But, according to the plant info, they should do okay where you are, too. I have no idea which variety we had in our yard, but it was very bright and colorful and so exotic, and the blooms lasted a long time.

https://garden.org/plants/sear...

Some bamboo might do okay for you, too. The black bamboo is supposed to be pretty hardy and is really pretty, too.

Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)

Oh, and Lily of the Nile - Agapanthus, might be nice.

https://garden.org/plants/sear...


[Last edited by Zuni - Dec 14, 2017 9:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Tim
Fresno, California (Zone 9b)
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Bigfoot312
Dec 14, 2017 10:59 PM CST
Zuni said:I live in San Jose and I'm also zone 9b. There are huge gorgeous Jacaranda trees all over my neighborhood. I bet they'd do fine in Fresno, once you got it going. I have looked into growing them from seed and you can find youtube videos about starting them and they grow really fast. They're so pretty. Love the ferny leaves. Here, they are evergreen, too.

I can get you some seed pods, if you want to try some from seed. The tree across the street has fresh green seed pods on it right now, so we could wait until they mature a bit. Glad to send them for postage. I was going to start collecting them for future seed swaps, anyway Smiling It's on a hospital's grounds where I walk my dog all the time, so there's nobody to come running out screaming at me for "stealing" some seed pods LOL.

It's probably a 40 - 50 foot tall tree. If you didn't want one that tall, you can now buy dwarf jacaranda trees that only get to around 10 or 12 feet, supposedly. I know Monrovia sells them. I was just looking at some at the local nursery in Monrovia pots.

I only have a little balcony now and have been trying to decide on what tree I can grow in a container for some shade for my balcony that won't get too huge. It was between the dwarf jacaranda and a dwarf crepe myrtle. I ended up deciding to get a Zuni crape myrtle, so I'd have sun on the balcony in winter, since the jacaranda is evergreen here. Tough choice, because I just LOVE jacarandas. Like getting a flowering tree and a fern in one.

As far as another tropical, what about a Bird of Paradise? There are several varieties in the database on this site. I just checked. We always had them growing up in San Leandro when I was a kid, but it's cooler there. But, according to the plant info, they should do okay where you are, too. I have no idea which variety we had in our yard, but it was very bright and colorful and so exotic, and the blooms lasted a long time.

https://garden.org/plants/sear...

Some bamboo might do okay for you, too. The black bamboo is supposed to be pretty hardy and is really pretty, too.

Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)

Oh, and Lily of the Nile - Agapanthus, might be nice.

https://garden.org/plants/sear...



Thanks so much for the reply!

It's funny you mention bird of paradise because I have a young white bird but it didn't do well in the summer (I think greenhouse to 110 was a little much) and it's growth was heavily stunted so I kind of lost passion for it. However, recently I've seen pictures of mature (15 ft plus) that have amazing trunks (I'd only ever seen them leaf from the ground up) which got my interested again. Needless to say I found a shop that sells a good sized one for a good price so I'm going to try my luck a little earlier on to give it a chance this year.

I would love to try the jacaranda from seed. I was talking with someone who grows them in l.a. and he gets them to bloom in just 1 year from seed. Fresno is a bit hotter and a bit colder than sj, so hopefully they won't get 50 ft here (I'm gonna see how big the one at Fresno state is this big). But yes, let's swap! I can provide postage.

I almost got some black bamboo, but after a little research I decided against planting a runner.
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Dec 15, 2017 12:15 AM CST
Bigfoot312 said:
Thanks so much for the reply!

It's funny you mention bird of paradise because I have a young white bird but it didn't do well in the summer (I think greenhouse to 110 was a little much) and it's growth was heavily stunted so I kind of lost passion for it. However, recently I've seen pictures of mature (15 ft plus) that have amazing trunks (I'd only ever seen them leaf from the ground up) which got my interested again. Needless to say I found a shop that sells a good sized one for a good price so I'm going to try my luck a little earlier on to give it a chance this year.

I would love to try the jacaranda from seed. I was talking with someone who grows them in l.a. and he gets them to bloom in just 1 year from seed. Fresno is a bit hotter and a bit colder than sj, so hopefully they won't get 50 ft here (I'm gonna see how big the one at Fresno state is this big). But yes, let's swap! I can provide postage.

I almost got some black bamboo, but after a little research I decided against planting a runner.


Yeah, the black bamboo is supposed to do well in containers, if you wanted to deal with containers. Runners can definitely take over the world. What's the definition of a weed?

I hope your new bird of paradise does well. They're just really cool. Almost prehistoric looking.

I lived in Mexico for a year and the town was covered in huge jacarandas - at over 5,000 feet. No snow, but it definitely got cold. It was at Lake Chapala near Guadalajara. Such magical trees. There were purple flowers everywhere around the square. So, I bet Fresno won't be a problem.

Great on the seeds! That will be fun. I'll let you know when the seed pods look ready. As far as trading, I literally have a 4 x 9 foot balcony as my total outside gardening space now. It makes every single plant decision excruciating. And even though I get a lot of full sun now, once my crape myrtle tree grows, I'm not sure how much sun I'll end up with on the balcony. But, in a perfect world - I'd love to try some cannas. So, maybe we could trade for a couple canna seeds if you collect any. I'm sure there will be something you'll have I can find a special spot for, though. :-)
[Last edited by Zuni - Dec 15, 2017 12:17 AM (+)]
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