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Tetrapanax - is it worth a try?

PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,026
I like large leaved plants (in moderation!) and am thinking about adding a Tetrapanax to one of my sunny borders.  From what I've read, they seem to start off neat and tidy but can then get tree-like, depending on climate.  The plant's hardiness doesn't seem certain in the UK - I'm not keen on digging plants up and overwintering them indoors.  I'd welcome any advice please from our experienced forum gardeners!  Many thanks in advance.


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,325
    Beautiful plant, needs cutting back each year to prevent it becoming a monster.
    Probably not hardy where you are, but will probably grow back from the base.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,026
    Thank you @punkdoc.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,711
    edited 5 January
    I love the shape of the leaves.
    Much to my amazement I found a super Tetrapanax papyrifer Rex at National Trust of Scotland, Inverewe Gardens on West Coast of Scotland.
     On the same latitude as Moscow and Hudson’s Bay, the garden benefits from the effects of the Gulf Stream.

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,655
    I'd love one, but tried in the past and the ( small ) plant didn't make it through the winter. 
    They sucker madly when happy and pop up all over the place so I can't understand why they're so expensive to buy initially.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,026
    Thank you @Silver surfer, that's a lovely plant!
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 417
    We have had one for about twenty years and it gets to about the same size as in the Scottish garden above. It's in a pot, we haven't ever protected it in winter and it's never been cut back by the frost here in norwich. In some years it's evergreen but normally the leaves fall off as they have done this year. 
    There is one up the road from us that is two stories high and take up the majority of the front drive. It has obviously suckered lots and grow in to a rather stunning, but intimidating, thicket. I wouldn't be put off by putting it in the ground as they are easy to control.    

    I think the price is simply due to people cashing in on how popular they are. Ours was cheap and I've since given away a few dozen off shoots but you can get it for a decent price if you look around (seen a 9cm pot for a tenner recently or about 20 quid for a 7.5 liter). 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,026
    Thank you @thevictorianzFH0qqPW, I think a pot might be the answer.  That's about the size I'd like it to grow to, not a suckering thicket!
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,655
    "9cm pot for a tenner"  :o Too pricey for me
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,026
    Very helpful feedback thank you.  On reflection, I don't think it would suit my situation.  I'm going to try growing Ricinus from seed as an annual.  Similar leaf shape but more controllable I think!  
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