Backyard Oasis For Anywhere

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No matter where you live � in the tropics, or somewhere substantially colder � you may be interested in creating a small tropical oasis in your backyard. Though it is certainly easier to gain the 'tropical' effect in a climate that's somewhat close to tropical, growing a tropical garden is even possible if your area gets well below freezing during the winter. Depending on where you are located, you may need plants that are a little bit more resilient to the cold or rain, of course. Not everyone can live in a tropical paradise,but everyone can grow a tropical garden.

If you're looking to give a little tropical edge to your backyard garden, look no further than hibiscus, bamboo, ginger and gardenia. When you picture a tropical garden, your mental image probably includes at least one or two of these plant varieties. Here are some tips for growing some of these tropical plants in your own backyard:


The Hibiscus calls to mind images of Hawaii, Jamaica and the Caribbean. This tropical flower can be coaxed into living in more temperate areas with careful attention. You'll want to choose an area of your garden that gets as much sunlight as possible and has well-draining soil. Space the plants out three to six feet from each other, and make sure that they get at least an inch of water per week.


Gardenias can add a touch of color to your backyard garden, but you should be aware of a few things before attempting to grow these temperamental plants. Gardenias require extremely well drained areas and often fall victim to pests. Although the flowers and plants themselves are quite beautiful, they will require a significant amount of attention in order to keep them healthy.


Those planning to grow bamboo should be cautioned that many varieties will easily overtake any space they're given. Some also grow to extremely tall heights in a short period of time, which may not be ideal for your garden. Look for a slow spreading variety known for a reasonable height, and consider planting your bamboo within a concrete barrier so that it doesn't take over the rest of your garden. Otherwise, bamboo is relatively hardy, making it a good choice for many climates.


Ginger is known for beautiful clusters of white and pink buds, blooming into cheerful yellow flowers. Often used as landscaping around homes in warmer climates, it has the potential to grow up to three or four feet tall. In cooler climates, it can be grown indoors as a potted plant. Outdoors, ginger plants enjoy filtered sunlight, a sheltered location, and humidity. It doesn't do well in direct sun, soggy soil, or areas that frost over during the winter.

Naturally, there are plenty of other plants that you might want to consider, depending on your location. Palms and ferns of all varieties can add an additional tropical flair to your backyard oasis. Regardless of the plants you choose for your tropical garden, make sure that the area is properly prepared for the plant's needs, including its sunlight, drainage and pH requirements. Different plants grow differently in various geographic locations, and it will certainly be advantageous to assess your challenges prior to planning your garden. Consider consulting with a garden supply store in your area, since gardeners in your region will be aware of the particular challenges of growing different species there.

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Author: Rene Thompson
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