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Friday, August 14, 2015

Palmy Post

Here's a few pics with the palms in focus!

Trachycarpus and Canna

I love how especially silver the fronds have always been on this Trachy.

Most Chamaedoreas are a breeze to grow, but cat palms are a little bit more difficult. They do fine outside for the summer though! 

A view of the pool below and dinner (cucuzza!) above.

Bottle palm

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mekong Giant Update!

I am going to be honest, I am not good a growing bananas at all. I envy everyone who can grow them with such ease. They are supposed to be easy tropical fillers, as easy to grow as elephant ears and cannas. For me, I've had better luck with coconut palms! My Musa Basjoo has only put up 3 leaves this season (bananas should put up a leaf every week to 10 days in this kind of weather!). 

My Mekong Giant though might be the first banana I grow that really impresses me. I purchased it in July and it has already grown 4 leaves which is very reasonable. Its cold hardy and somewhat shade tolerant which is an incredible plus and I love the red undersides to the leaves. They seem to get better with age. I am really excited about this banana! If all goes well I may get another 4 leaves before the end of the good banana growing weather in about 6 weeks. 

Bonus pic of my Dwarf Cavendish. I don't know why the mother plant died but the babies made up for the loss!

Hawaiian Post!

A lot of the plants in my yard are inspired from tropical places that I've visited and want to recreate. Most of my inspiration comes from the subtropical landscapes of Central Florida, but some of it comes from a trip to Hawaii back in 2010. 
My plumerias are blooming very well this season after taking a break last year. I haven't seen blooms this strong in a very long time. Plumerias always do well in terms of growth over our summer months, but sometimes the timing of the blooms is too late in the season so they don't develop properly. This year everything started developing early which is great! 

I was promised Plumeria "Crazy" would well... bloom like crazy. It lived up to the hype and then some! This plant started blooming INSIDE by a bright window back in January/February. Getting a plumeria to keep it's leaves indoors is impressive enough, getting them to bloom is almost impossible without grow lights and even then it's hard to get healthy blooms. Well this one bloomed by a window without any help and over 6 months later it's still blooming with no signs of stopping! I mean I've never been so impressed and it's throwing up more inflos. If I lived in the tropics this plant would definitely be blooming all year long without breaks despite it still being small. Highly recommend this one! 

Plumeria Jeanne is a nice bloomer too. The flower heads get huge. This one is still young but it might be more impressive by September.

Plumeria "Divine" is an old timer in the yard. Will never get tired of it and since it's a dwarf I never have to worry about running out of room for it either!

I hope this one gets a chance to bloom! It's small enough to throw under growlights which I will do when the nights return to the low 50s in October.

Another Hawaiian inspired plant is my butterfly gingers. I got these from the island as tiny tourist plants. They are usually reliable fall bloomers by me blooming from September until about Thanksgiving (whenever first frost is). This year it looks like it's going to bloom early and that's especially impressive because it had a slow start. I accidentally left it outside bare-rooted during a very hard freeze into the low 20s last fall (it was below freezing for over 12 hours)

This is a really cool plant too. It's called Pua male in Hawaii, more commonly known as Stephanotis. Very nice fragrance and very easy to care for. Grows similarly to Hoyas and they have similar growing requirements. 

Thanks for looking!

New Plant Purchase! Tillandsia (sp?)

I love air plants. I've been fascinated with them since I was a kid and brought some from an airport growing out of a plastic shell (I still have that shell). I've been looking for a giant sized Tillandsia since I went to the Virgin Islands years ago and saw them growing all over the trees. I wouldn't have expected to find exactly what I was looking for in Manhattan!
It's home for the summer is on my largest Plumeria. I think it may be a T. utriculata but I'm not 100% sure. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me about bromeliads will come along!

The store had SO MANY cool things in it. It was a floral arrangement store with all tropical stuff. I was in heaven, they had so many unusual tropical foliage and flowers to use for arrangements. Helconia flowers, giant coconut palm, sago palm, and bismarkia fronds, TONS of different ginger flowers, an entire stem of bananas, flower included, sprouting coconut palms, I can go on and on about it but I'll show you a few pics instead!

A nice day in the city for sure today! 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Coconut Palm Fronds

Nothing says the tropics like coconut palms! I've been growing this one since June 2009 and it's still a tiny palm. I kind of like it that way though!