Here are our top 10 subtropical plant suggestions for your garden this summer!
10. Echium pininana
This incredible plant initially produces a palm tree-like rosette, with large, thick, hairy leaves on a strong woody stem. It has thousands of Blue flowers, which shoots upwards, sometimes to 15-20 feet! Bees go crazy for this plant!!
Echium pininana, also called tree echium, pine echium and giant viper's-bugloss, is a species of flowering plant in the borage family Boraginaceae, native to La Palma in the Canary Islands, that is now cultivated in gardens of Britain and Ireland. It has naturalized along the northern California coast in San Mateo and Mendocino Counties. Its native habitat is laurel forests, where it is now endangered through habitat loss. Echium pininana is a biennial or triennial, showing little more than leaf in the first year, but subsequently produces a dense, 4 metres (13 ft) high (potentially) flower spike that carries a dense mass of leaves and small blue flowers.The recommendation is that the plant is suited for the southern maritime counties of England. There are, however, reports of successful cultivation in the English Midlands and Yorkshire, albeit in favourable locations. Specimens are also grown in Dublin gardens and in the Irish National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin. Although E. pininana is half-hardy in Britain and Ireland, it might well self-seed to form clusters of plants, and it is suggested that by natural selection a hardier variety will emerge. The plant also grows readily in North Wales where it seeds very widely. Because of its large leaves when partly grown, it is also very susceptible to wind damage. Hence a sheltered garden position is essential. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
9. Musa basjoo
Also know as Japanese Hardy Banana Plant, M. basjoo is a suckering evergreen perennial growing to 5m tall, with arching lance-shaped leaves to 3m long and 0.5m wide, and drooping terminal spikes of cream flowers in summer when developed, sometimes followed by inedible green fruits to 6cm long.It is hardy to -2C, but will appreciate being wrapped up in thick fleece through cold winters. This will also encourage fast regrowth for spring in the UK
8. Passiflora 'Purple Haze'
Impressively large exotic-looking flowers, appear from midsummer on the slender stems of this semi-evergreen tendril climber. The flowers have a light scent and are sought-after by pollinating insects. It will be happiest on a sheltered wall where it gets some protection form the worst of the winter weather. Alternatively grow it in a cool conservatory of greenhouse. Grow in sun and moist well drained soil.
7. Brugmansia suaveolens
Brugmansia suaveolens is a semi-woody shrub or small tree that gets to 1.8 to 4.6 m high, usually with a many-branched single trunk. Its pendulous trumpet-shaped flowers are highly distinctive - the flowers can be white, cream, yellow and pale orange or even pale pink in some varieties). The leaves of Brugmansia suaveolens are generally oval in shape, up to 25 cm long and 15.2 cm)wide, and even larger when grown in the shade. The flowers are remarkably beautiful, sweetly fragrant, about 30 cm long and shaped like trumpets. The corolla has five points that are slightly recurved. The flowers are pendulous, hanging almost straight down. This Angel Trumpet was originally endemic to the coastal rainforests of south-east Brazil, where it grows below 1,000 m (3,300 ft) along river banks and forest edges with warm temperatures, high humidity, and heavy rainfall. Growing conditions: During winter, water sparingly and ensure there is a minimum night temperature of 4°C. Position in part shade and water and feed well in summer.
6. Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata, known as Brazilian giant-rhubarb, or giant rhubarb is a species of flowering plant in the Gunneraceae family from Brazil. It is a large, clump-forming herbaceous perennial growing to 2.5 m tall by 4 m or more. The leaves of G. manicata grow to an impressive size up to 1m across or more. A great architectural plant to bring an exotic look to any garden.
5. Colocasia 'Pink China'
This Colocasia hybrid, one of the hardiest, has bright pink stems topped lush green leaves and forms a lovely array of pendant gigantic leaves. Will survive most winters if well mulched. It is easy to grow in the UK during the summer months when watered and keep moist. It will also flower if looked after. During the winter, it is best potted up and kept indoors, keeping it dry and frost-free, but can be left out if mulched well.
4. Echium candicans (syn. fastuosum)
Echium candicans, commonly known as pride of Madeira, is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to the island of Madeira. It is a large herbaceous perennial subshrub, growing to 1.5 to 2.5 m. In the first year after germination the plant produces a broad rosette of leaves. Echium can be annuals, biennials, evergreen perennials or shrubs, with simple, coarsely hairy leaves and funnel-shaped flowers borne in panicles or dense spikes in summer. Flowers are purple/blue with orange stamens.
3. Brugmansia aurea
Brugmansia aurea (Golden Angel's Trumpet) is a species of plant in the Solanaceae family. It is endemic to Ecuador. Brugmansia aurea is a perennial woody shrub-like tree, native to the highlands of South America. It can grow up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall, with long thin oval shaped leaves which can grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. The flowers are up to 9 inches (23 cm) long, narrow and trumpet shaped, and range in color from white to golden yellow. They are especially noted for their strong aromatic fragrance at night and large dark brown to black seeds.
Golden Angel’s Trumpet is native to the highland areas around the Andes mountain range in South America. It is very well known throughout southern Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. It has also been transplanted throughout Mexico and Central America, and it is frequently confused with Datura, as the plants contain similar alkaloid. Growing conditions: During winter, water sparingly and ensure there is a minimum night temperature of 4°C and day temperatures between 10-12°C. Position p In part shade and water and feed well in summer.
Hedychium is a genus of flowering plants in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, native to lightly wooded habitats in Asia. There are approximately 70-80 known species, native to India, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar. Some species have become widely naturalised in other lands, and considered invasive in some places. Some species are cultivated for their exotic foliage and fragrant spikes of flowers in shades of white, yellow and orange. Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, of which 'Tara' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
1. Brugmansia arborea
Brugmansia arborea is an evergreen shrub or small tree reaching up to 7 metres (23 ft) in height. Flowers are fragrant with almond, trumpet-shaped, nodding to sub-horizontal, white to ivory-white or cream. They are native to the Andes mountains of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, western Bolivia, and northern Chile. As the hardiest of all Brugmansia species in regards to both cold and drought, they are often found in the drier valleys of the Andes, in areas with an annual rainfall of 400–1,400 mm. Occurring at elevations of 2000 to 3000 m, it is not uncommon for them to receive light frosts. Growing conditions: part shade to shade, min temp 2-3c, feed and water well in well drained soil in summer.