Hello Exotic Plant Lovers!

This is the weekend you've all been waiting for if you love subtropical plants and that exotic look. This Saturday is the Plant Sale of the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society which is held in our parking lot at Phoenix. There will be lots of unusual and fun hardy subtropicals available.

The nursery is also stocked with all kinds of great subtropicals which we highlight below in our list of "30 Cool Hardy Subtropicals".

You can also join Phoenix Perennials owner Gary in a workshop on designing "Hardy Subtropical Containers to Die For". He'll introduce you to a wide range of intriguing plants, then you'll get to pot up your own container.

Join us this weekend for a subtropical good time!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

Pixie Grapes Pre-Sale

Dwarf Grapes that only grow 3-4 feet tall but produce tons of fruit: Pinot Meunier, Cabernet France & Riesling!




Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society Annual Plant Sale
at Phoenix Perennials
Saturday May 21st, 9am-5pm, www.hardypalm.org

On the Saturday of the long weekend the "Palm Club" will be at the nursery for their annual plant sale. Get to the nursery early to scoop up the best plants. There are always lots of rare and unusual subtropicals to be had.


CONTAINER SERIES | Subtropical Containers to Die For | Gary | Sat May 21, 10am-12pm | $14 | There's nothing like hardy subtropicals to add "wow" factor to any garden. Now how about concentrating it into one smashingly dramatic container for a big impact in the garden? Gary will introduce a wide range of hardy subtropicals, chat about their care, and then discuss how to use them in containers. You'll then get to plant up your subtropical masterpiece to take home with you!




30 Cool Hardy Subtropicals

Most of the plants below are hardy in our gardens if sited correctly and, in some cases, provided with some winter protection. Want your back yard to look like your Hawaiian vacation? These plants are exactly what you need! And we have them now at Phoenix!

Trachycarpus fortunei - Windmill Palm - Windmill palm is one of the hardiest palms available. It is the species that you see gracing English Bay and gardens throughout the Lower Mainland. The City of Whiterock has even planted it as a street tree! Windmill palms will grow at least a foot a year once established -- in seven years our once tiny palms have grown to 10-12’. Pick up your palm today and do your part in creating the Canadian Riviera! Phormium (Various Cultivars) - New Zealand Flax - Phormiums have cornered the market on structure and drama, which is likely why they’re so popular. The erect or arching strap-like leaves come in diverse colours of pink, red, burgundy, chocolate, green and cream and are indispensable on the West Coast. Phormiums usually sail through our winters. However, the burgundy cultivars are generally hardier than the variegated ones. We stock 20+ cultivars each year.
Canna 'Pretoria'/'Bengal Tiger' - Canna Lily - 'Pretoria'/'Bengal Tiger' has fantastic tropical foliage striped with green and gold and topped with firey orange flowers in summer. Great for adding that subtropical look to your garden. Hardy to zone 7 if planted in well-drained soil and given a little mulch. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused. Canna 'African Sunset' - Canna Lily - FINALLY! A virus-free version of Tropicanna which seems universally infected everywhere in horticulture. 'African Sunset' has the same fantastic tropical foliage striped with red, yellow, orange, and gold and topped with firey orange flowers in summer. It is great for adding that subtropical look to your garden. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused.
Aeonium 'Zwartkop' - Aeonium - The Itoh peonies are intersectional hybrids between the tree peony (P. suffruticosa) and the garden peony (P. lactiflora). The result is an outstanding group of perennial herbaceous peonies with huge flowers in a wide range of unusual colours such as yellows, coppers, apricots, pinks, magentas and bicolours. The foliage emerges rich red and gradually turns to green. A mature plant can have over 50 blooms! We have lots of different cultivars right now! Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi' - Aeonium - Aeonium haworthii is endemic to the island of Tenerife forms small branching shrubs of succulent rosettes with fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves. 'Kiwi' has brilliantly coloured leaves centred with bright yellow with salmon-red to pink highlights. Leaves slowly change to green. Yellow flowers bloom in the summer. Grow in fullest sun for best colour. Bring indoors to a bright windowsill in winter for a striking houseplant.
Melianthus major - Peanut Butter Plant - This intriguing plant has beautiful rippled and dissected pinnate, powdery blue foliage on stems between three and six feet. It is shy to flower in our climate though I have seen the intriguing red spikes on a few occasions in Vancouver and Victoria. The most interesting aspect of this plant is the fragrance of the foliage which is very close to that of peanut butter. Plant with chocolate cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineus, to turn your border into a peanut butter cup! Digiplexis Illumination 'Flame' - Hybrid Foxglove - The Illumination series offers intergeneric hybrids between foxglove (Digitalis) and its Canary Island relative Isoplexis. 'Flame' sports spectacular tubular flowers that are bright reddish-magenta with orange-yellow throats. It looks like a foxglove crossed with a Hawaiian shirt. The flowers are densely packed on tall black stems with attractive foliage. Side branching and its sterile nature give an extended bloom time.
Asimina triloba (Various Cultivars) - Paw Paw - Paw paw is an intriguing eastern North American (including southern Ontario) understorey tree with large, beautiful, subtropical foliage, red flowers and sweet, custardy fruits with a unique flavour like banana, mango and cantaloupe! All plants will produce fruit but you need two different seedlings or cultivars for cross pollination. Citrus x meyeri 'Improved' - Improved Meyer Lemon - The Meyer lemon is a cross between a true (tart) lemon and either a mandarin or an orange. The result is a fruit that resembles a lemon but is rounder with a skin that is darker yellow and fruit that is sweeter with less acidity. Basically, it's delicious. The flowers are sweetly fragrant. Meyer lemons can produce year-round. Grow outdoors in the warm months. Treat as a houseplant in winter. Watch for mites and scale indoors.
Salvia 'Hot Lips' - Baby Sage - Very cool and a bestseller. This is a fast-growing wild selection of a Mexican sage which is adorned with stunning bicolour flowers -- white flowers with red lips -- from May until frost. But the expression of colour is temperature sensitive. In spring the flowers are usually all red, later bicoloured/hot lipped and in the heat of the summer all white, then returning to bicoloured and then red again in the fall. Will produce thousands of flowers in a season. Well-drained soil in full sun. Hard prune each spring. Musa basjoo - Hardy Japanese Fibre Banana - If the palm tree is the king of the subtropical garden then bananas must surely be the Queen. Musa basjoo, the hardy japanese fibre banana, adds subtropical flare and drama in spades! Reportedly ground hardy to zone 5 (but don’t tell anyone in Ontario!). Maintain height for next season by protecting the stems with an enclosure of leaves or bubble wrap. At the very worst after a cold winter your banana will resprout from the ground.
Opuntia imbricata - Tree Cholla - Opuntia imbricata is an extremely hardy and ornamental cholla cactus from the US and Mexico. The large, pink to purple flowers are 2.5” wide and will become a quick favourite of butterflies and hummingbirds. On the west coast, provide sharp drainage and protection from winter rain -- scree gardens or under overhangs of the house both work well. Elsewhere they can be planted out in the open but always in sharp drainage. Ensete ventricosum 'Maurellii' - Red Banana, Abyssinian Banana - This bold giant banana relative has six to eight foot long paddle-like green leaves infused with rich burgundy red at least along the edges but in good specimens in full sun throughout the foliage. Use in a large container or plant out each year for a dramatic display. NOT HARDY. Maintain above five degrees Celsius as a house plant, in the basement or in a greenhouse. Totally worth it if you love tropical drama.
Camellia sinensis Sochi Tea Seedling - Tea - This hardy tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is from the area around Sochi, Russia where they produce the most northerly tea in the world. Tea from these plants is very aromatic and flavourful. The plant has bright green, dense, ornamental foliage. The flowers are white to creamy white. Zone 7. Camellia sinensis Korean Tea Seedling - Tea - This hardy tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is from the area the Boseong region of Korea, famous for its annual Green Tea Festival each September. This selection is hardy and productive with good flavour. The plant has bright green, dense, ornamental foliage. The flowers are white to creamy white. Zone 7.
Camellia sinensis 'Tea Breeze' - Tea - 'Tea Breeze' is a selection of tea from the Kunming Botanical Garden. It is a hardy ornamental shrub or small tree with dense, glossy, dark-green leaves used for making tea. Single, white, fragrant, nodding flowers bloom from September-November. Leaves and roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Zone 6. Camellia sinensis 'Blushing Maiden' - Tea - This hardier selection of 'Rosea' is similar to 'Tea Breeze' but with pink flowers. It is a hardy ornamental shrub or small tree with dense, glossy, dark-green leaves used for making tea. Single, pink, fragrant, nodding flowers bloom from September-November. Leaves and roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Zone 6.
Citrus reticulata 'Owari' - Satsuma Mandarin - Citrus reticulata ‘Owari’ is a satsuma mandarin orange that is hardy outdoors in coastal BC! Plants form lush, tropical-looking, evergreen shrubs to 5-8 ft tall, bloom with white, incredibly fragrant flowers, and produce excellent crops of sweet, juicy, seedless fruit just like you buy in boxes at the supermarket but these you can pick off your very own tree at Christmas time! Plant against a warm wall. Provide overhead protection for the leaves and fruit in winter. Osmanthus fragrans 'Thunbergii' - Sweet Olive - A great evergreen shrub or small tree for the late winter/early spring garden. Orange-yellow, extremely fragrant flowers with bright red new growth. Plant in a protected location. The dried flowers are used as an herbal tea or as an addition to black or green teas. They are also used to make jams, cakes, dumplings, and liquor. Osmanthus is known in China as 桂花, guìhuā, and 木樨, mùxī. Zone 8.
Citrus bergamia - Bergamot - Bergamot fruit resembles an orange in shape, but is green or yellow like a lemon. Sweeter than a lemon, it is prized for its fragrant and delicious juice, which also makes highly regarded marmalade. The peel is also famously used as the flavouring for Earl Grey tea.

Gardenia 'Kleim's Hardy' - Hardy Gardenia - Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! This is a HARDY gardenia! The star-like single flowers have an intense and intoxicating fragrance and appear most profusely in early summer and sporadically thereafter. This extremely hardy selection has survived minus 18 degrees Celsius! Prefers full sun to light shade and will bloom best where walls or patios provide extra night time warmth in spring and summer. Plant in a protected location just to be safe. Evergreen.

Olea europaea 'Universal' - Olive - From the Nikita Botanic Garden in the Ukraine comes this valued olive prized for its large fruit and high oil content. A pollinator is likely required. Olea europaea 'Arbequina' - Olive - 'Arbequina' is one of the most popular Spanish olive varieties used for gourmet quality oil and olives. It forms attractive, small trees that are naturally compact. The flowers are self-fertile and the fruit is early-ripening and borne even on young plants.
Agave parryi - Parry's Agave - Dramatic bluish-grey succulent foliage from compact rosettes. One of the most widespread and hardy agave species, A. parryi can withstand minus 29 Celsius. In our region protect from winter rain with extremely sharp drainage or overhead cover. Plants bloom once -- around the age of 20 -- but produce lots of pups to keep your clump going! We also grow var. truncata and var. huachucensis. Agave montana 'Baccarat' - Century Plant - The current best chance for a hardy agave in Vancouver is this Yucca Do Nursery selection. Hailing from moist mountain sides at high elevations in northeast Mexico, A. montana commonly experiences mist, rain, frost and snow in the winter months. It grows to a two feet tall by three feet wide with broad, glaucous leaves, each ending in a large black spine. The stunning silvery bud imprints on the leaf backs are reminiscent of cut crystal. Provide good drainage. Larger plants will be hardier.
Agave potatorum 'Desert Diamond' - Butterfly Agave- Agave 'Desert Diamond' has green leaves with bright cream and prominent margins form a round rosette. The tiny cinnamon brown marginal and terminal spines emerge yellow, transition to light brown, and then finally age to cinnamon brown. This small agave is perfect for container culture and makes a great houseplant in the winter for a sunny windowsill. A sport of 'Kissho Kan'. Hedychium 'Tahitian Flame' - Hardy Ginger - 'Tahitian Flame' is a hardy ginger that produces large apricot flowers during in late summer with a strong, sweet fragrance. It has a good upright habit and beautiful variegated foliage with varying striations of creamy white in each leaf. Hedychium are related to the culinary ginger Zingiber officinale. Though the rhizomes look similar it's best to just eat the culinary species. Makes a good container specimen in colder climates.
Hedychium griffithianum - Hardy Ginger - A great subtropical accent in the perennial border. Tropical-looking foliage provides interest all season long. Tall 30-45 cm. tall cylindrical spikes of white fragrant flowers that are truly captivating. Newly introduced to horticulture and easy to grow. They are sub-temperate and grow to specimens without much effort. Plant in the sunniest hottest spot in the garden in rich soil and provide good water. Mulch with fallen leaves in winter. In colder regions grow in a pot or store in dry peat moss and keep above zero. Hedychium coccineum 'Disney' - Hardy Ginger - ‘Disney’ produces racemes of fragrant, red-orange flowers in late summer with tropical-looking foliage that provides interest all season long. Mulch with fallen leaves in winter. In colder regions grow in a pot or store in dry peat moss and keep above zero.


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada.

3380 No. 6 Road (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
Richmond, BC | 604-270-4133 | www.phoenixperennials.com

Opening Dates and Hours
February 26th to October 30th, 2016

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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