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Recommendations please!

Hi All
I'm hoping someone can help me!  I am trying to plant a tropical style garden.  We bought four banana trees last year, and did everything everyone said but I think they have died.  I need to replace them with something similar, but that will survive the UK winter.  I have lots of underplanting which is growing well, so I don't want to disturb that too much.  I am looking for a tropical style tree with a slim trunk, so you can see the underplanting, with interesting leaves.  We are all so upset that we have lost the bananas I don't think we could cope if we lost anything else throughout the winter, so it has to be hardy and possibly evergreen!  No bamboo though!  We have clay soil.  Thanks in advance!


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Sorry to hear about the Banana plant dying. It's likely to be too cold to be left outside, especially this year with extreme cold and windy conditions.

    I think the best option is to go for more tried and tested robust plants that can create a tropical feel. Take a look at Fatsia Japonica. Large slightly arching glossy leaves and evergreen. This plant can eventually get big and tall, so a really useful plant to create a tropical feel. They cope in damper heavier soils and also can grow well in shady areas.

    Also look at the Chusan Palm, Trachycarpus Fortunei. If you prepare the soil well with lots of organic matter added into the soil and then also add grit on top, this plant should do well. I have seen them planted in some extreme windy areas and they cope with the cold winters in the UK too, which is a bonus.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,681
    Hardy gingers (Hedychium) can give a similar look, they're hardier than bananas but still would appreciate s winter mulch to be safe. Tetrapanax papyrifera "Rex" is more tree like, very tropical looking with big leaves. You can also try hard pruning certain trees such as Catalpa, Ailanthus or Paulownia - cutting them to a low stump each year keeps them at a smaller size but makes the leaves really huge and tropical looking
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • FireFire Posts: 18,927
    Can I ask if you fleeced the bananas over winter or otherwise protected them?
  • Chris-P-BaconChris-P-Bacon Posts: 943
    Where in the UK are you? makes a big difference as to what you can grow.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,715
    Can we have pictures.tall slim,cordylines,yucca phormiums all tropical looking. My bananas are just  emerging and out of the frost free green house.ivr got s fatsia,might be jungle looking I wouldn't say it's tall slim or tropical
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