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Thread: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

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    MarkTX's Avatar
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    Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Ok, my free form pool build is done. I want to have a tropical look. Anyone have suggestions on what plants to use in my area? I want a Bali tropical lagoon look, but don't want to buy plants that die when it freezes. I can compromise. Need some help here. Thanks.
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Someone suggested a certain type of palm tree and banana plant that were freeze tolerant in another thread. But I can't remember which thread it was, unfortunately.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTX View Post
    Ok, my free form pool build is done. I want to have a tropical look. Anyone have suggestions on what plants to use in my area? I want a Bali tropical lagoon look, but don't want to buy plants that die when it freezes. I can compromise. Need some help here. Thanks.
    A lot of tropical-looking things can survive in Houston, but it sounds like you want things that will thrive. PM me and I can tell you who I used. His recommendations were great, and he did a really professional install. Plus, his prices were really competitive.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
    Wet Edge® Pearl Matrix®, Hayward® SwimClear™ 525 ft², Hayward® Goldline Controls® PS-8
    4x Hayward® TriStar™ pumps, Paramount PCC2000® ICS, TF-100 w/Speedstir

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Quote Originally Posted by JayBauman View Post
    A lot of tropical-looking things can survive in Houston, but it sounds like you want things that will thrive. PM me and I can tell you who I used. His recommendations were great, and he did a really professional install. Plus, his prices were really competitive.
    Not the OP, but I would like to know who you used as well, sending PM
    Thanks
    2016 Build: 32x8 Gunite, 6,700 gallon IG pool including 6x8 spa and 6x8 tanning ledge w/ 2 bubblers. 32' raised wall with two sheer descent water features. Travertine Coping w/ split faced Travertine on raised wall face. 2HP VS Jandy pump, 400k heater, Rainbow Chlorinator, 4 Colored LED Lights. 459sqft spray deck plus. IAqualink remote, Polarus 9350 Robot Cleaner.

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    Sunbaby's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    I have been trying to do some landscaping this year too. I have added a few things (I talked to a nursery here locally that only sells things that can be grown in our area). They don't sell palms though - so I am still looking. For the palm I am thinking a dwarf date palms (pygmy) they are small - I don't want something that gets big. Please post what you find! And pics if you have them!!!!!!!!!
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Sunbaby's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    These are split leafs they get really big - hoping to have them kind of surround the hot tub . . .

    [IMG]So tired by Wendy Baldwin, on Flickr[/IMG]

    http://herselfshoustongarden.com/200...natifidum.html

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also have a foxtail fern that I just LOVE. Haven't planted it yet - but you can see it in the corner of the spa. Just not sure where to put it yet.

    http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/orna...agus-ferns.htm

    - - - Updated - - -

    Of course I also have elephant ears - haven't planted those either. Trying to take it slow and place everything very deliberate. HOWEVER - I am more worried about affording the palm I want - I want a multi trunk dwarf to go where the pool meets the hot tub - and I really need it before planting the rest. gah they are pricey.
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    I have to say, I really love your spa Wendy. Definitely one of the best designs here on TFP!!

    (Nice choices on the landscaping around the spa too!!)

    Happy planting,

    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Sunbaby's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Gah! Thank you Matt!!!
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    I live SW of Houston in Richmond so we don't get quiet as cold as you. I can tell you that Queen and Pygmy date palms will freeze and require protection. Pygmy is good down to about 31 or so degrees. Queen down to mid 20's. I also have Canary Island date palm and needle palms and those did not have an issue so far. Here is a link to a picture of my pool at google photo below. If you want to know the names of any of the palms or plants please let me know. Flippy

    Google Photos

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunbaby View Post
    I have been trying to do some landscaping this year too. I have added a few things (I talked to a nursery here locally that only sells things that can be grown in our area). They don't sell palms though - so I am still looking. For the palm I am thinking a dwarf date palms (pygmy) they are small - I don't want something that gets big. Please post what you find! And pics if you have them!!!!!!!!!
    Pygmy date palms can get pretty big. Mine is about 10' X 10' now with six trunks. See my link above it is the palm to the right and behind the waterfall.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    GAH!! I am glad I checked here! I want something that I can prune without a ladder - the ones I was looking at said 8' or smaller - which I thought would be ok with my big loppers. But they also told me they would be fine in our area - and I specifically asked about cold tolerance! I hate it when people try to sell you something just to make a sale!

    Flappy your pool and palms are beautiful!!!!!
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    I took out three queen palms last year (very hard for me to remove 25' trees) as they froze and burned badly in winters '13 and '14. We didn't plant them nor would we have planted them in our zone. I can give a big shout out to spanish daggers which give great interest and no fruit dropping into your pool.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Thanks for all your responses. My neighbor with a 2 yr old pool has queen palms that I get to enjoy over my fence, and I was planning on those, but guess I will not do it after all. And JayB, I read thru all 16 pages of your build, very nice! I will do some more research based on all the new info. And Suzy, I have about 12 foxtail ferns in my front yard, and they definitely work in our area. One year (2014?), the hard freeze turned some of them all brown, but my lawn service just trimmed them about one inch above ground level, and they came right back in the spring/summer.
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    viburnum awabuki does very well in Houston. It grows fast to a nice max height of about 14', is a broad leaf evergreen shrub that I would call faux-tropical and we had almost no freeze impact on it from the last 2 cold winters. It is kind of utilitarian in the ligustrum japonicum sense, so you wouldn't want to over use it, but it has it's place in the kind of planting you are trying to achieve.

    plat.
    Modern Geometric-ish Social Pool (4'-5'-4') ~13' x 47'. Sun shelf. Perimeter overflow spa. RiverFlow Swimjet. Dog ramp. "Bubble Lounge"©
    Link to my patio build, completed 2013
    Link to my pool build, Aug '15 - Sep '16

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    I bet butterflies and hummer birds love them as well!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Okay, I am humbled by your botanical knowledge What does "It is kind of utilitarian in the ligustrum japonicum sense" mean exactly? I need to cover up or block a lot of ugly brown privacy fence if I can.
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Viburnums are nice looking plants, but ligustrums are awful, imho.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    While not exactly traditional tropical, consider planting citrus, in particular I would suggest Owari Satsumas and maybe Improved Myers Lemons for the NW Houston area. Satsuma is cold tolerant down to about 23 degrees, and can survive bursts to around 15 degrees when mature. Myers lemon need some protection at anything below 32.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Isaac, good call! I don't know why I didn't mention citrus, musta been the smell of those nasty ligustrums that clogged my brain!
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    platipus's Avatar
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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTX View Post
    Okay, I am humbled by your botanical knowledge What does "It is kind of utilitarian in the ligustrum japonicum sense" mean exactly? I need to cover up or block a lot of ugly brown privacy fence if I can.
    Marla nailed it. Ligustrum has been over used a LOT. It makes a fine hedge and that is sort of the problem. It gets used for long expanses and it's like painting with just one color. Oleander suffers the same issue. It's hardy and makes for good screening, so it gets used so much it no longer has impact.

    I will make the argument to one exception to how ugly it is. As a hedge yeah. It does the job, but it's just kind of there. We have it in our front yard as do our neighbors. We used to have one bush of it in the backyard and all it did was take up space which was fine, but it wasn't attractive. That was until our landscape architect had it fully trimmed out with all under growth removed. It was an AMAZING transition. A single mature Ligustrum if pruned correctly can be striking. We up-lit it and it just jumped out and was really beautiful... But it was also just one single bush of it in this case. And then of course one year later it died. Branch by branch... LOL. At least it went out in a blaze of glory sort of.

    So just be careful deploying the Viburnum is all I am saying. It makes a REALLY nice screening plant, but pick one area or two at most with enough space between them. It's not super expensive either and FAST growing so you can also use it to stretch your landscaping dollar by spending a bit more on specimen grade stuff with the money saved.


    plat.
    Modern Geometric-ish Social Pool (4'-5'-4') ~13' x 47'. Sun shelf. Perimeter overflow spa. RiverFlow Swimjet. Dog ramp. "Bubble Lounge"©
    Link to my patio build, completed 2013
    Link to my pool build, Aug '15 - Sep '16

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    Re: Tropical Plants in Houston / Cypress Area

    What about azaleas or knock out roses? Hibiscus could also work.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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