Gardening in the tropics at about 1600 meters is a real pleasure. The range of plant material that does well here is extensive. Managing the soils can be tricky but with a lot of organic matter and a little work they provide excellent growth, flowers and produce. As things move along I will expand this area.
Bedding Plants and Ground Covers
There are many bedding plants available in the nurseries. Below you will find an expanding list of those I see. I am linking to sites that have information on some that may be less well known outside of the tropics.
This is a great plant for our climate. It grows vigorously, blooms heavily and is becoming widely available.
23/08/2009 I made some cuttings of this Plectranthus about two weeks ago. They are now rooting out nicely. I used Rootone but I suspect this is not necessary.
These are best at higher elevations. Medellin is a bit warm for them but people can’t resist the plants when in bloom.
Also better at higher elevations.
A fantastic gesneriad that is used mostly in shady borders here although I have seen one planting in full sun.
These are very popular particularly in better off neighborhoods like Conquistadores.
I have seen Syngonium used as a ground cover in several landscapes. Just be careful to keep it out of the trees or it loses the juvenile foliage characteristics that make it attractive.
This ground cover is becoming very popular in Medellin. It is tough, tolerant of sun or partial shade and grows rapidly.
This attractive aroid with large strong purple leaves is very popular in Medellin, mostly seen in middle and higher income neighborhoods. It can generally be bought at the Botanical Gardens nursery as well as commercial nurseries around town. It seems to be tolerant of a wide range of soils and likes plenty of water. It also may be used in wet situations such as bog gardens. We are trying one up in the Santa Elena area (2400 meters) to see how well it grows in a cool climate. Nubia says she has seen it planted there but I’ll believe it when ours grows and prospers 😉 I planted an offset in the parking strip in front of the house here in town. Within a week someone decide they needed it more than we do. There is now a small hole in the planting begging for a replacement. A neighbor had warned me about such folks…