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Max foliage with minimum soil and not afraid of sun

#1 User is offline   Heartlander 

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:21 PM

What plant/short tree can give max foliage with minimum soil and not afraid of direct sun?
I need the foliage to provide some privacy and shade.

Am I asking for the impossible? :unsure:/>
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#2 User is offline   lazyworm 

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 07:59 AM

the only plant that came to mind is Bird Nest Fern. : )
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#3 User is offline   Heartlander 

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 09:13 AM

View Postlazyworm, on Jul 11 2006, 07:59 AM, said:

the only plant that came to mind is Bird Nest Fern. : )


Thanks. but I have to rule it out becos it is not tall enough to provide privacy. Looking for somthing that is at least 4~5ft. The taller the better.
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#4 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 09:26 AM

What sort of planting conditions would they be in? When you say minimum soil, are you referring to constrained space as in small hole in the ground, or no place to put larger pots?

Also, how tall would you need the privacy screen to reach?

Some possibilities :
1. Raphis Palms (these are pretty drought tolerant), can reach 8-10 ft tall (at least mine did, before I had to remove them).
2. Acalypha Siamensis (old stye hedge plant) - must be grown as a hedge, can reach 6-7 ft tall. Also drought tolerant.
3. Bougainvillea - don't require that much soil relative to it's spread. You'd probably have to choose the upright growing ones instead of the sprawling climbing type.

Hope this helps.
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#5 User is offline   Heartlander 

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 12:41 PM

View Postmm, on Jul 11 2006, 09:26 AM, said:

What sort of planting conditions would they be in? When you say minimum soil, are you referring to constrained space as in small hole in the ground, or no place to put larger pots?

Also, how tall would you need the privacy screen to reach?

Some possibilities :
1. Raphis Palms (these are pretty drought tolerant), can reach 8-10 ft tall (at least mine did, before I had to remove them).
2. Acalypha Siamensis (old stye hedge plant) - must be grown as a hedge, can reach 6-7 ft tall. Also drought tolerant.
3. Bougainvillea - don't require that much soil relative to it's spread. You'd probably have to choose the upright growing ones instead of the sprawling climbing type.

Hope this helps.


There is no ground soil, juz pots of diameter 40~50cm. There is full morning & afternoon sun.

Raphis Palms - is it also called 'finger palm'? was told they require shaded light area. Under full sun, will get 'chao ta'. Nevertheless, I will still try this out. If I use a 50cm diameter pot, will it get tall fast?
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#6 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 05:04 PM

Grown in pots, I'm not sure if they will get that tall. Mine were grown in the ground. I had them grown in 2 locations, one in full sun, the other in partial shade. Thinking back, the ones that grew to 8 ft were in partial shade. I guess you could always try a pot first to see, before getting more :)/>

Good luck and do let us know how it progresses.
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#7 User is offline   selena 

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:24 AM

Bougainvillea are almost problems free. Can take rain, storm, direct sun, maybe some caterpillar attacks, no need to buy; any colour cutting will do..........wah the pros are more than the cons. This is a sun-loving plant.
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#8 User is offline   sweethalo 

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:40 AM

Hi Hi... what about heliconias? :blink:/> :blink:/> Lots of varieties to choose fr and lots of foliage and also flowers...plus it wldn't go wild in a pot...
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#9 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 12:18 PM

View Postsweethalo, on Jul 12 2006, 11:40 AM, said:

Hi Hi... what about heliconias? :blink:/> :blink:/> Lots of varieties to choose fr and lots of foliage and also flowers...plus it wldn't go wild in a pot...


I think Heliconias may not be that suitable for pot culture. They spread via rhizomes typically, and will need room for the new growth to take over as the old bits die off. Also, the tall ones, as Heartlander requires for privacy, will need fairly large pots as well, which his current space probably doesn't afford.
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#10 User is offline   Green Baron 

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 09:12 PM

Ficus microcarpa or benjamina will fit the bill . You can find these plants growing on cracks on buildings and drains. Thay can take full sunlight, need very little soil, and can grow into a BIG tree.

However, whatever plant you grow, you will need to provide them with sufficient water if they have lots of foliage.
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#11 User is offline   FieryDragon 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 11:23 PM

Can buy a 4 feet Ficus Benjamin from Ikea for about $50. Very little maintenance required apart from regular watering at the soil, and maybe a little fert will go a long way. It grows tall fast and regular trimming encourages growth
The only problem is this tree sheds dead yellow leaves a lot.
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