General Discussion:


Messages posted to thread:

Tony 09-Mar-01 06:45 AM EST   
Susan09-Mar-01 09:00 AM EST   
Linda09-Mar-01 11:41 PM EST   
The Budding Poet10-Mar-01 02:10 AM EST   
Janet10-Mar-01 10:08 AM EST   
The Budding Poet11-Mar-01 12:13 AM EST   
Dave Craigen04-Aug-01 12:38 AM EST 3   
Will Creed04-Aug-01 01:00 PM EST   

Subject: Tropicals
From: Tony
Date: 09-Mar-01 06:45 AM EST

I have a huge problem. I have a class to teach about tropicals and I have no idea what to talk about.I do have the knowledge to teach the class, I just don't know what to say. How do I condence a semester long University course into an hour and fifteen minutes? If any one has anything that they think I should talk about, I would like it if you told me, it would be a great help!

I also have a question to pose to everyone.

Does anyone know how to take care of a Lytchee (aka litchee, litchi, et al.) Tree? I know how to plant it, thanks to a freind in Austrailia but now I don't know what to do when it sprouts.

Thanks for the help! Tony

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: Susan
Date: 09-Mar-01 09:00 AM EST

Who are you teaching - adults or kids?

If it's adults, they're probably most familiar with tropicals as house plants, so why not talk about the natural tropical environment of the plants and relate that to what they 'put up with' in a house and how to improve their environmennt as a house plant?

If the audience is kids, why not talk about the plant hunters and their expeditions to find new plants for home and garden - emphasize the adventures and dangers (Douglas and the wild bull!) and make them realize the exotic origins of those boring old house plants their parents have! Try using a globe and some common tropical house plants and show them that they can have the world in their livingroom! (It might be an interesting approach for the adults too!)

In either case, I think the key is to make it interesting - focus on a small part of the whole and don't even try to cover a whole semester in an hour! If you do, you'll likely sound disorganized. People will think your talk is more interesting if they go away with one or two really captivating bits of information than a broad overview which doesn't give them anything in particular to focus on. I think you could make a really fascinating talk for either children or adults with the plant hunter approach. It's an area that not too many people are familiar with but one that has lots of links to every-day gardening...

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: Linda
Date: 09-Mar-01 11:41 PM EST

I have taught a similar course as a special interest night course. Most people want to know why their plant died. (overwatered) How to prune it. The different ways to propagate tropicals. Any new plants on the market as well as where to buy them is also of interest. A question and answer time is always a must but expect to answer questions from all areas of horticulture.

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: The Budding Poet
Date: 10-Mar-01 02:10 AM EST

Tony. What a wonderful wealth of warm thoughts. We could use some heat.

You might also wish to consider this ‘ hot’ topic; growing exotic tropical plants in our gardens. The plethora of books that came out recently on this topic is a strong indicator that there is a ‘growing’ interest here. “Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs, "The Exotic Garden": Designing with Tropical Plants in Almost Any Climate By: Richard R Iverson, "Tropical Look""Bold and Exotic Plants" By: NOEL KINGSBURY, Andrea Jones

Check out Art Drysdale's recent article on "Tropicals for the Home and Garden" elsewhere on this site.

Last fall we had Marc(Anthony) Ladouceur, king of denial(zonal), talk to our local horticultural society on exotic plants for a shocking garden. He is a prominent young businessman from the banana belt just east of Ottawa. Would you believe Zn 4b? He recently won acclaim for his lush bold borders in a Canadian Gardening magazine contest with his bananas, citrus, palms, peaches, magnolias and bamboos. Like Glenn Clark one of his mentors he stunned and shocked us with the variety exotic plants that he was growing here in the north. His talk was well received and this summer we are looking forward to a tour of his tropical garden. If you care to chat with him, I would be happy to relay a message.

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: Janet
Date: 10-Mar-01 10:08 AM EST

Budding Poet, what horticultural club is that? I read about Marc Ladouceur in the Citizen, and would love to go on a tour of his garden, so could you post the date here when it happens? Or will it be in the newspaper? (I'm south of Ottawa)

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: The Budding Poet
Date: 11-Mar-01 12:13 AM EST


It's the Manotick Horticultural Society. check out our 2001 Agenda At the I Can Garden Clubs & Assoc for places and times. Fellow gardeners always welcome

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: Dave Craigen
Zone: 3
Date: 04-Aug-01 12:38 AM EST

Actually, an indoor tropical question. Is this the right place? We have a rubber plant (correct name unknown) that is three eight foot long stalks with healthy leaves from top to bottom. Problem is it is hitting the ceiling. Can it can be divided some how? Shortened by?????? We love it and want to see it carry on.

Subject: RE: Tropicals
From: Will Creed
Date: 04-Aug-01 01:00 PM EST

Dave - The botanical name for your rubber plant is ficus elastica. Rubber plants should be pruned back periodically, preferably before they are hitting the ceiling.

Cut the tallest stems back as far as you can stand it. As long as the plant is healthy, new growth should emerge just below the point of the cut. Use sharp scissors or pruners to make the cuts.

I would not recommend dividing or repotting.

Will Creed, Horticulturist Horticultural Help, NYC

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