Among home gardeners, exotic plants have an important place due to their originality. The knowledge of sowing, planting and maintenance techniques is essential for successfully growing your exotic plants. If the palm is the most popular exotic plants, garden centres now offer a wide variety of choice: trees and shrubs, fruit trees, fragrant and tropical plants and other novelties such as carnivorous plants.

Exotic plants are originally from tropical countries with a hot and generally humid climate. Extremely aesthetic, they are a popular choice for decorating homes by providing them with a touch of exoticism and originality. Knowledge and mastery of propagation techniques now allow anyone to have multiple varieties of exotic plants at home.

Growing shrubs and exotic trees

Shrubs and exotic trees can be grown as interior decorations by easily becoming accustomed to your living room or the sunroom. They can either be grown from seeds or cuttings or they can be bought as seedlings. Some trees, such as the variegated ficus, can reach 100 feet (30 meters) in height, and are grown as bonsai or in large pot. This species likes brightness but should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Regular trimming during growth is essential for obtaining leafy plants. To avoid root rot, be sure to check that the root ball is dry before watering. Howea, en exotic plant native to Australia, is a very decorative palm tree that measures up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) in its natural environment. It is distinguished by its dark green branches that are spread flat along the trunk. Howea enjoys a warm semi-shaded environment; temperatures that drop below 55 ° F (13 ° C) can be detrimental to its vitality. It must be watered using limestone-free water and by taking care to dry the root ball between subsequent water supplies.

Growing exotic fruit trees

Citrus fruits are among the most appreciated exotic plants due to the fragrance they release and the availability of fruit production within your hands’ reach. There are seedlings ready for transplanting that can be found in nurseries. To grow well, the lemon tree needs cool temperatures during the winter and not excessively hot ones in summer. To get a nice and intense bloom, the substrate must be rich and repotting should be done every 2-3 years in the spring to properly maintain production. It consists of repotting the soil and plant in another container, removing the roots, and cutting off the stems that are too long or too weak. The Cherry silverberry is a shrub that provides abundant fruit resembling cherries that have a nice sharp flavour. They are sown at a one-inch (2 cm) depth in sandy soil and the germination occurs within 2-8 weeks. The Cherry silverberry loves full sun exposure that is also sheltered from the wind.

Cultivating the most original exotic varieties: fragrant plants and carnivorous plants

Given that exotic plants like warmth, growing scented plants in a cold greenhouse is limited to certain species that tolerate frost as is the case of oleander, jasmine and verbena. Unlike exotic plants, growing carnivorous plants requires special attention. Indeed, to achieve successful growth, a terrarium or an old aquarium needs to be set up to recreate and maintain their natural growing conditions: high humidity level around 90%, calm atmosphere, waterlogged and acid soil, installation of a peat bog landscape with pieces of wood, stones and moss.

Some useful tips

Most tropical plants like humidity, so it is recommended to spray the leaves or clean them with a damp sponge. Like house plants, exotic plants need to be fertilized with a specific fertilizer every two to three months. The most appropriate place for growing exotic plants is a sunroom exposed to light and that does not undergo significant temperature changes. For fruiting plants, monitoring the presence of scale insects or fungal diseases is essential to prevent the onset of diseases. For women who seek easy-to-grow domestic species, the dracaena or cornstalk dracaena is an exotic plant known for its ease of adaptation. It requires little or no maintenance. This is a particularly hardy plant that can withstand the lack of water and sun.

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Published in Garden maintenance by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011