Between the two Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer, lies a zone that encapsulates the tropics. Beyond each of these are areas commonly called subtropics.
Both are capable of having a range of climate conditions covering low and high temperatures, humidity, rainfal and sunshine. As such the plants grown in EACH area can be diverse, but yet specialised and adapted to that respective climate and environmental conditions.
The subtropics tend to be subjected to hot and humid summers, cool and dry winters with most rainfall in the summer to winter period - as experienced in South East Queensland, Australia.
However some areas within the subtropics can expereince frost and extensive drought.
Slection of plants may at first seem daunting, but with guidance this becomes much easier. Look for help in:-
Trees - consider a range of evegreen and deciduous
Bulbs - less diversity is available but worth searching for them
Climbers - many available, some weedy
Succulents - many available, but avoid species that come from traditional Mediterranean climates
Shrubs - celebrate the huge selection of foliage and flowering shrubs
Palms, ferns, cycads, etc - excellent selection available
Plants that can be difficult to successfully grow if the wrong species is selected:
- roses and other 'cottage plants'
- traditional bulbs and succulents
- traditional stone fruit and vegetables
For this reason, it is better to grow tropical species of fruit and vegeables, flowering plants and other tested plants grown in your neighbourhood.
For more ideas on species, check out... www.stgmagazine.com.au
Written by Paul Plant