A stunning jungle plant from South America with tropical looking delicate foliage. It can die to the ground in winter but can soon reach up to 3m in a season. The leaves are truly exotic and are a great contrast to other large tropical leaves in the garden. Max height 3m Max spread 1.8m. Full sun.Well drained soil. Frost hardy to -5, possibly more.
Costus arabicas ‘Variegata’ (Spiral Ginger)
Crêpe Ginger, Crêpe Paper Ginger, Spiral Ginger, Spiral Flag, Cane-Reed, Malay Ginger, White Costus, Corkscrew Ginger. Root hardy in warmer locations/milder winters with heavy mulching. Keep dryish in winter. In most locations, dig the rhizomes, keep in a frost-free environent and plant again in Spring.
Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’
A stunning variegated tropical plant from South America with delicate looking foliage. It’s a fairly fast growing plant . This is the edible variety of Manihot.
Max height 1.8m. Max spread 1.8m. This rare plant does best in full sun and well drained soil.
This is a tender plant so best in a heated greenhouse or indoors for winter.
Young Schefflera taiwaniana plants will require protection from the frost but once established mature plants are hardy to -5c to -10c. They prefers being planted in a sheltered spot around other foliage to keep the humidity high. Dappled light is best, but with good strong light to keep growth healthy. Most healthy schefflera plants grow very rapidly, putting on 3 feet of growth each year.
Schefflera rhododendrifolia has proven itself hardy outdoors in the British climate and is one of the hardiest of all Schefflera. It has palmate foliage grows to a large schrub hardy to -10c and is frost hardy to -5c. Growing as a small tree of exotic appearance, it requires a sheltered position in gardens, away from the very coldest areas or a bright spot out of direct sunlight.
Grow in well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Young plants may need to be kept frost-free, but will survive outdoors in most areas once up to 1m or so, if sheltered from cold, drying winds.
Also known as the Starfish Lily, these truly exotic looking beauties are a real gem for a sunny spot. Producing an upright stem with a profusion of intricately dotted and crinkly-edged star-shaped flowers, when they burst into bloom in mid-summer, you’re in for a real treat! Despite their exquisite and delicate looks, they’re easy to grow and actually fairly hardy. In warmer parts of the UK you can grow these outdoors in the sunniest part of the garden and enjoy a repeat display from them every year without having to worry about lifting them.
Climbers make such a big impact in a garden, scrambling up trellis, pergolas or garden arches and create a colourful and beautiful living screen. Gloriosa is a fast-growing annual climber with the most spectacular, exotic-looking and flamboyant blooms. Producing these elegant blooms repeatedly all summer long, you can look forward to a long-lasting and effortless display of punchy colour which will add that extra level of lushness to any exotic planting scheme. Gloriosa are perfect for growing in a sunny spot. Being an annual climber, they don’t need a lot of space either. So, if you need a climber which will happily grow in a pot – on a balcony or terrace, for example – this is a super choice!
Growing Hedychium, also known as Ginger Lily, is the next big thing in the UK. These tropical plants boast everything you could possibly want to add to a jungle-like planting scheme, including large architectural banana-like leaves and big, showy flowers. With a narrow footing, these impressively tall plants make a huge impact without taking up too much space, so whether your garden is large or small, you can pack these lovely leafy plants in for a really fabulous show. What’s made them increasingly popular in recent years is their ability to withstand a typical UK winter, meaning they can be left in the ground and will grow back again the following year.
With truly astonishing flowers which resemble a bird of paradise, this compact White Egret Orchid is a lovely plant to add the finishing details into any tropical planting scheme. Its dainty size makes it the ideal choice for growing as a patio centrepiece where its intriguing looks can be admired up close. This rare beauty is easy to grow given the right conditions, preferring being under the shelter of dappled shade. It’s half hardy so it will need to be started off inside and positioned outside from late spring.
Zingy coral red is a true colour of the tropics, and what better way to bring big splash of summer vibrancy than with this elegant and sophisticated goddess-among-plants, Bessera elegans, lovingly known as Coral Drops. With this beautiful variety, you get to enjoy a stunning profusion of bright vermilion pendulous blooms during summer, each with a canopy of outward petals and detailed by a contrasting purple stamen. Flowering on tall, upright stems, Bessera elegans has a delicate airy appeal and creates a relaxing movement among stockier plants. They look particularly good next to leafy cannas.
No jungle planting scheme would be complete with a few shady characters, and Dracunculus vulgaris fills the role perfectly! This gothic looking Dragon Arum sits happily at the foot of leafy canopies, shooting up impressive fronds of unusual splayed foliage. During summer, large deep purple spathes unfurl revealing a long pointed ‘finger’. This unusual beauty always causes a stir in the garden, and it’s just perfect for tucking into forefront gaps in the border. They’re mostly hardy too – a good covering with compost of dry mulch is enough to protect them from the winter weather and they’ll come back for another fearless performance the following year.
The Sauromatum venosum or Voodoo Lily has that undeniable exotic look. Put a few of these in the shaded pockets of the garden and enjoy the delightfully dotted display from their brightly patterned spathes and stems. Each hooded flower unveils a distinctive deep-purple spadix as it opens and lasts for ages. Just as impressive are the tall stems with a round of long, large green leaves. Give these hardy plants a sheltered spot surrounded by shrubs or other large foliage varieties and they’ll be quite at home, putting on an easy and long-lasting display year after year.
Enjoy a tufty floral explosion with these curious pompom plants, Scaxodus multiflorus. These bright scarlet wonders are most unusual and very rarely seen, so here’s a great opportunity to grow something very unique indeed. Also known as the Blood Lily or Shaving Brush Plant for both its colour and bristly look, this fiery bulb is grown in a similar way to Amaryllis. They’re perfect for growing in pots in the windowsill and will fit right in to a tropical-themed conservatory. Alternatively, pot it up outside in early summer and flaunt this rare gem on the patio table.