Trees Suitable for the Tropics

abugoogoo

Sapling
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Morning, ladies and gents.
I live in South Florida, and am looking for some suggestions on species that I can grow/will do well here in my sunny, hot and humid as hell corner. Right now, I have some Brazilian Rain Trees, a couple of red maples (which do grow in S FL, but are not doing particularly well), a shimpaku, couple of other juniper, a Chinese elm, a Brazilian grape, a couple Kingsville Boxwood and Serissa, and some Umbrella Thorns. So anything other than those, if you've got pics, show them off please, I wanna see 🧐
Many thanks, have a great day folks.
 

abugoogoo

Sapling
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South Florida
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FICUS. they grow like weeds in your area...
willow leaf, microcarpa,natalensis, burtt davyii ......
Yes of course... I've been kinda hesitant on those to this point because I've never actually seen one and it's hard to tell what they're actually like from pics online... I feel like alot of the pics are photoshoped from actual enormous trees and whatnot. It looks like it's pretty difficult to shrink the leaves, and they look ridiculous with the full size ones. Gonna go by a bonsai nursery soon and look at them. Thanks!
 

abugoogoo

Sapling
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Buttonwood, olives do ok, privets, bougainvillea, live oak, gumbo limbo, jaboticaba, bald cypress.. the list goes on and on and on.
Gonna pick up a bougainvillea next, and I'm also gonna check out the olives, those look interesting and thanks for that... I have a huge jaboticaba, it's one of my favorites. The gumbo limbo, privet and live oak r no good from what I've seen, the proportions don't look right
 

abugoogoo

Sapling
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Starfox

Masterpiece
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Costa Blanca, Spain, zone 10b
USDA Zone
10b
Casuarina as well, as far as I know they are very invasive for you guys so there should be loads around.
Not sure if you can own one legally though.

Trees like Callistemons and Melaleucas and plenty of tropical and sub tropical Eucalyptus out there to choose from.
 

abugoogoo

Sapling
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South Florida
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Casuarina as well, as far as I know they are very invasive for you guys so there should be loads around.
Not sure if you can own one legally though.

Trees like Callistemons and Melaleucas and plenty of tropical and sub tropical Eucalyptus out there to choose from.
Holy cow, the casuarina looks incredible. Never heard of that one b4, or the callistemon for that matter, also super cool. Thanks so much!
 

Forsoothe!

Masterpiece
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Michigan
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Casuarina are weeds everywhere for your area and you can spot a ~grove~ on open land at the edge of town and collect some. Naturally, they don't look anything like the bonsai form in nature, just like a big long leaf Pine from a distance. The "needles" are segmented, unlike Pines. The grow on suckers so you pick one under two feet, loosen the soil, jerk it out of the sand, cut off the stolon connecting it to the mother tree if there are some roots coming out of the tree base and you're done.

There are lots of Ficus with small leaves, like Burtt Davii...FBD 2019_1222EditRepot0007.JPG
Ficus benjamina 'Golden Benjamin'...
FGB 20190303_143912.jpg
Ficus benjamina 'Too Little'...
FTL f 2020_0111Edit0003.JPG
Ficus benjamina 'Too Little' var 'Dutch Treat'...FDT L 2019_1218Edit0032.JPG
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Island'...
FGI 2018_0821AABSshow20180009ab.JPG
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Mound'...
FGM Green Mound Fig.JPG
Ficus orientale...
FO 20190304_164940.jpg
Ficus 'Tiger Bark'...
FTB 20200128_163417.jpg
Ficus salicifolia (willowleaf)...
FW 2007 FSBC Show.JPG
And, yes all figs get to be very large trees in nature, but adapt to bonsai really well. You can see here that these leaves all reduced well.
And for color, there are lots of varieties of Desert Rose...
DeR 2019 AABS Show Desert Rose.jpg
You live in a tropical Heaven/Hell. Make the best of it!
 

abugoogoo

Sapling
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South Florida
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Casuarina are weeds everywhere for your area and you can spot a ~grove~ on open land at the edge of town and collect some. Naturally, they don't look anything like the bonsai form in nature, just like a big long leaf Pine from a distance. The "needles" are segmented, unlike Pines. The grow on suckers so you pick one under two feet, loosen the soil, jerk it out of the sand, cut off the stolon connecting it to the mother tree if there are some roots coming out of the tree base and you're done.

There are lots of Ficus with small leaves, like Burtt Davii...View attachment 302406
Ficus benjamina 'Golden Benjamin'...
View attachment 302415
Ficus benjamina 'Too Little'...
View attachment 302408
Ficus benjamina 'Too Little' var 'Dutch Treat'...View attachment 302407
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Island'...
View attachment 302409
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Mound'...
View attachment 302411
Ficus orientale...
View attachment 302412
Ficus 'Tiger Bark'...
View attachment 302413
Ficus salicifolia (willowleaf)...
View attachment 302414
And, yes all figs get to be very large trees in nature, but adapt to bonsai really well. You can see here that these leaves all reduced well.
And for color, there are lots of varieties of Desert Rose...
View attachment 302416
You live in a tropical Heaven/Hell. Make the best of it!
I think I know just where to find some of the casuarina, thanks for the detailed response on how to harvest them. I've got a nursery not too far with 3 or 4 ficus species, gonna go look at them today, thanks alot!
 

Arlithrien

Mame
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Orlando, FL
USDA Zone
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Some of the sun loving plants I've been training are pomegranate, weeping willow, poinsettia.

Not sure if they can handle your climate though.
 

abugoogoo

Sapling
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South Florida
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Some of the sun loving plants I've been training are pomegranate, weeping willow, poinsettia.

Not sure if they can handle your climate though.
I will surely check them out. Thx so much for the suggestions!
 

W3rk

Shohin
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MD
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Yes of course... I've been kinda hesitant on those to this point because I've never actually seen one and it's hard to tell what they're actually like from pics online... I feel like alot of the pics are photoshoped from actual enormous trees and whatnot. It looks like it's pretty difficult to shrink the leaves, and they look ridiculous with the full size ones. Gonna go by a bonsai nursery soon and look at them. Thanks!
If you are in South FL there must be some nurseries near you where you can physically visit and see various Ficus species. I highly recommend Burtt-Davyi and Willow Leaf Ficus in particular, as others have mentioned.

If you are near the Gulf look up Wigerts and if they are a reasonable distance for you make a trip and check them out, you will not be disappointed.
 

bluesky

Yamadori
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Spain
Sageretia - Chinese sweet plum. They're lovely, in my opinion massively underrated or maybe just misunderstood. They have tiny leaves, pink to red when the leaves are budding and hardening for a couple of weeks, so it looks a bit like they're flowering all year round. They make wonderful shohin and mame, and thrive in a warm climate.

Sageretia, May 2020 by Dave bluesky, on Flickr

Sageretia mame informal 2, May 2020 by Dave bluesky, on Flickr
 

Timbo

Shohin
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Kalkaska, MI
USDA Zone
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Texas Ebony, Tamarind, Manila Tamarind, Acacia, Jacaranda. First two are slow growers. Lots more to chose from. I dunno if you can buy those, I would think all those should work in south Florida.
 
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