Tip of the Week – Focus on Tropical Plants for the Cold

Part of 1 Focus on Tropical Plants

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Alocasia Black Velvet, tropical plants

Alocasia Black Velvet

Tropical plants & sub tropical plants hold a lot of interest for plant lovers. That’s because of their amazing colour, shapes and textures. …not to mention their interesting life cycles. Tropical plants are high energy which you can utilise to energise yourself!

What Tropical Plants For Cold Areas

1/ Deciduous Tropical
First of all many tropical will die down (dormant) in winter. If this is the case it has got a good chance of surviving a cold winter as there will be no above ground foliage to be damaged by the cold.

2/ Some  plants are semi deciduous so if something goes adverse with the climatic conditions, at any time of year they drop some foliage so they do not have to maintain it. This is a survival mechanism learnt over thousands of years of adverse weather. In colder climates they will simply shed all their foliage and come back with new foliage in spring.

3/ Some plants have been bred to handle colder conditions such as the Anthuriums being bred in Holland today.

4/ Some tropical plants just need to be kept warm in winter if you are in a cooler temperate area. This means you need a glasshouse, conservatory, igloo or the like that keeps the temperatures above 10oC as a guide.

Some tips for Tropical Plants

1/ Tropical plants are not adapted to being wet and cold together, in winter. They can take wet and they can take dry and they can take heat but not wet and cold especially if they have poor drainage.

2/ Tropical plants need great drainage. Use a coarse well drained potting mix. This means adding say 25% coarse 10mm diameter bark to your proprietry mix to get the drainage right for winter.

3/ Repot regularly as your potting mix will turn into poorly drained mud in one year.

4/ Keep your fertiliser up because a high energy plant needs energy input to keep up.

5/ If you have plenty of water give them plenty in summer. They are however adapted to dry hot conditions as well. Some Tropical Plants Anthuriums, Gingers, Heliconias, Hoyas, Alocasias, Bamboo, Amorphophallus, Tacca, Caladium, Philodendrum, Palms, Calatheas, Cordylines and hundreds more!

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