Growing evergreen tropical plants in Tenterfield, NSW

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Shirley Hardy
Shirley Hardy's picture
Growing evergreen tropical plants in Tenterfield, NSW

A few years back I thought I'd be a smarty pants and grow some tropical trees that are indigenious to the SE Queensland/Northern NSW area in my garden. I bought a Small Leaved Tamarind; several Kodas; and several Native Frangipanis. I gave a couple of them away. 

Eventually I planted them in the garden and they survived but did get a severe case of sunburnt and then a black frost killed them, so I thought. Actually I thought they were all dead 2 years ago and chopped their trunks down to half their size and gave up hope of them surviving. There were no leaves on the trees at this point. Come the next Spring, they all came back to life and regrew from the ground up

I've left these trees to survive on their own with no watering on my part except watering once or twice over summer when it's really stinking hot. 

This is what I've learnt - my above mentioned evergreen trees are fully decidious.The koda and the small leaved Tamarind (or the Frangipani?) are supposed to be partially decidious if grown in a colder climate but not fully decidious. Mine are all fully decidious. 

As soon as the cold Autumn nights sets in the Tamarind starts going dormant and starts dropping leaves. The other two species hangs on for a bit longer.

As a result of this I have learnt one very important lesson - now that I know they are fully decidious - DON'T CUT THEIR TRUNKS. Also, heavily mulch around their roots.

Shirley Hardy
Shirley Hardy's picture

I've figured out how to keep the Native Frangipanis' leaves on them in autumn/winter. Heavily mulch with lots of organic matter. That seems to be doing the trick anyway. 

I'm at Tenterfield, NSW. (Formerly known as "Hyperbirds".)

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