WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

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CatWitch
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:15 pm

WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby CatWitch » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:25 am

We are hopefully completing on a house near Sitia in the next month, fingers and toes crossed. I want to create a "tropical" looking garden, aka Hunte's Garden, Barbados. I know I will be limited on what can survive the heat/dry conditions and that I will need to grow many plants from seed, but where on the island can I buy palm trees and exotic plants please? Do I need to import them directly from Amsterdam etc.?

Yin&Yang
Posts: 716
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Yin&Yang » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:15 am

I am not near to you but palm trees, bird of paradise, hibiscus and similar plants can be found at garden centres here. All but hibiscus seem to thrive on our land. Please be aware that these plants seem to survive exceptionally well in the warm and hot months but can suffer in the winter extremes.
Someday is now : )

Kilkis
Posts: 11968
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Kilkis » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:38 am

Take a lot of advice on the palms. The island is now plagued by a palm beetle that is decimating palm trees all over the island. Try to find out if there are species available that are resistant to it. I would also suggest being careful about what you import as I believe the palm beetle was brought in on imported non-indigenous palm varieties. If people had stuck to the indigenous varieties the destruction might not have occurred.

I found that bird of paradise plants are quite slow to develop. I planted one that had three flowers on it when I moved in. For about 4 years every year three flowers would bloom at about the same time, die and that would be it. Suddenly in the fifth year it started to produce more flowers and they developed over a longer period of time. Each year since it has produced more and more.

Also take advice on what to grow depending on how close to the sea you are situated. There are many plants that do not do well very close to the coast while further inland they do fine.

You might find The Mediterranean Gardener by Hugo Latymer useful. It was published by the RHS so presumably reliable.

Warwick

margarita
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:36 pm
Location: Kalyves area

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby margarita » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:02 am

The Mediterranean Garden Society has a branch in Crete

http://www.mediterraneangardensociety.org/branches-crete.html

with many knowledgeable members.

The society produces many useful books and leaflets.

Jeffstclair
Posts: 1413
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:05 am

Sound advise from Warwick..I will just add, while you are planning your garden ,be mindful of the water situation this end of the island and plan a system that will collect the precious rain water and re use the grey water the house will produce. Also choose plants that once established will tolerate the very dry conditions that has become the norm out East ... This winter has been good and wet , but it follows many dry winters. Our village spring is running very very slowly again after stoping completely last year ....oh and welcome to Crete and welcome to the forum ....

CatWitch
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:15 pm

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby CatWitch » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:47 pm

Thank you. Scary that the palm beetle came in on imported plants which are supposed to be screened for pests, i would have thought. Same as vine weevils in the UK I suppose. More sensible to buy indigenous I agree. I might be better to grow certain plants from seed from screened companies. I saw the 2017 pictures of snow around Sitia which was pretty impressive but a lot of plants wouldn't have enjoyed it. I am going to try to grown Dragon Fruit and Star Fruit too, it will be interesting to see what I can actually establish and what survives.

Yin&Yang
Posts: 716
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Yin&Yang » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:05 am

When thinking about plant selection, consider also the very strong winds we get here. We have lost many a plant to wind. But then our house is out in the middle of nowhere so we have no protection from its ferociousness.
Someday is now : )

CatWitch
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:15 pm

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby CatWitch » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:14 am

Hi, well we made it out here eventually, albeit completion took until November (don't ask) followed by delays due to knee surgery having fallen off the boat we live on near London, then Covid!
The advice on dryness and wind is really useful, thanks. I have learnt a lot from the Mediterranean Gardening Society site too.
We have a few months here now to start the garden projects and have made the local garden center guy smile as we handed over the money for pots and lots of plants. He even threw in half a dozen for free.
The problem is the whole back of the house is just rotivated soil! No shade, literally anywhere! I am struggling to know where to put plants so they can establish with no shade, but those we put in last year have done well, the blue stralitzia is huge, its the tall variety, and the Cannas have tripled in size, they seem to like it here. Not seen any palms for sale yet of any size but will keep looking. After visiting Vai with its multi-trunked palms I was sold on some of those.
Any ideas on where to buy some decent sized trees for instant shade/impact, particularly mango, Star Fruit, Lipstick palms and palms please? Do I need to look in Athens? I think we definitely need to build a arbor or similar. We do have an old chicken shed area which I am converting into a potting/nursery area as it is shaded.
I feel a bit intimidated by gardening here and that I have a lot to learn, but I am up for the challenge. Advice always gratefully received.

Yin&Yang
Posts: 716
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Yin&Yang » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:39 am

You might also like to check out Gardening in Crete on Facebook- a most useful place to ask questions regarding plants, planting, sources for plants etc. Garden centres near to us have their larger specimens nearby but in another place so it might be worth you asking the ones near you if they have what you want, elsewhere. I would advise against planting anything until the cooler, rainy season.

Lynn
Someday is now : )

Jeffstclair
Posts: 1413
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:54 pm

The Garden centre on the national road at Agios Nikolaos ..by the traffic lights ..where you turn left for Iraklion have palms ... I've never stopped and looked but they seem to always have them ...sorry I don't know the name of phone number ...try the online yellow pages ...I have bought fruit trees from the garden centres in Sitia ....the one by the traffic lights and the one a bit before the bottom of the hill into town ....hope this helps ....

Orson Wellies
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Orson Wellies » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:25 pm

The one thing I find about Garden Centres on Crete is that they are quite limited in what they offer.
I have lived here for 18 years and enjoy my gardening and am always looking for something different.
I use various places, including ebay. I have had plants delivered from Spain, mainland and the canaries, Portugal, UK, Gemany and many from Holland.
For plants I like http://www.myplantshop.eu. For something really different I have used http://www.canarius.com/en/ A bit pricey but some of their plants are impossible to find anywhere else.
I find the Trachycarpus Wagnerianus Palm almost bullet proof. Not too large, around 6M max, and copes with the south winds extremely well. Also I find that the Dracaena Draco (Dragon Tree), the national tree of Tenerife thrives here, but, I never find it for sale here. I grew one from seed that I kept in a pot for 10 years then put in the ground 6 years ago. It absolutely took off.
Also, Trithrinax acanthocoma is a lovely hardy palm that prefers alkaline soil, unfortunately again, I haven't found for sale here. I bought from Holland.
Keep in mind that Crete has alkaline soil and some plants can suffer from Chlorosis as iron is more difficult to absorb in alkaline soil. Chelated iron can help greatly with this problem.

The 2 main problems I have found is south winds, very devestating. Cold wet winters. Heavy wet clay soils in winter will kill a lot of tropical plants. I have successfuly grown some tender plumerias (Alba, Pudica, Sercifolia, Thai, Australian etc) by amending the soil. I dig a large hole, fill with Coco Peat and lava rock or perlite and plant them in this. This gets them through the winter without root rot.

Seeds are a wonderful way of getting the unusual. Many of my plants were started from seeds. There are many options available for seeds, but, I find http://www.rarepalmseeds.com very useful.
I have grown some wonderful aloes from seed that I don't find here. Aloe Plicatilis is one of my favourites, thrives here. Most aloes will thrive here, but, few are offered for sale. You can also find on ebay. Aloes, Adeniums, Plumerias can all be posted bare rooted without any problem. They will soon spring back into life.
Also, there are some really tropical looking yuccas that will thrive here. Yucca Rostrata, Brevifolia (Joshua Tree) and many more.
If you truly want something different, you will have to look further than the garden centres on Crete.

altohb
Posts: 930
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:51 pm
Location: Sitia

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby altohb » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:04 pm

Jeffstclair wrote:The Garden centre on the national road at Agios Nikolaos ..by the traffic lights ..where you turn left for Iraklion have palms ... I've never stopped and looked but they seem to always have them ...sorry I don't know the name of phone number ...try the online yellow pages ...I have bought fruit trees from the garden centres in Sitia ....the one by the traffic lights and the one a bit before the bottom of the hill into town ....hope this helps ....


Also - Manos Rodanakis, in the agricultural shop on the opposite side of the road from the garden centre by the traffic lights, is a certified agronomist, and should be able to give advice on what is best to grow in your garden.

Kookla
Posts: 136
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Kookla » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:09 pm

Orson Wellies - great name! and what a detailed post. I shall be browsing some of those sites myself!

Orson Wellies
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:38 pm

Re: WHERE TO BUY TROPICAL PLANTS AND PALMS

Postby Orson Wellies » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:14 pm

Hehe, thanks.
Hope they are of help to you.
Happy gardening.


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