Learn to Growing Tropical Plants in this classic book from John Mason, Princoipal of Australian Correspondence Schools, Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, Fellow Institute of Horticulture (UK)
This full colour book covers design, construction and maintenance of gardens in the tropics and sub tropics.
Designing your garden
Creating and maintaining your garden
Vines and climbers
Bulbs and Perennials
Orchids and Bromeliads
Cacti and Succulents
Palms, Cycads and Ferns
Extract from the book
WHAT IS SO UNIQUE ABOUT WARM CLIMATES
Warm climates all have one thing in common; they get hot during the day. Apart from this they can vary a great deal from place to place. There are places in the sub tropics which can record very cold temperatures at night (eg. Desert areas and high mountains); and there are places which are extremely dry as well as places which are very wet.
Generally light levels are higher, and day lengths don't shorten or lengthen to the same extremes that they do in cooler climates.
Wherever there is water in a hot climate, humidity can increase. Humidity can be good for some plants and bad for others; and will be greater in wet climates, after rainfall, near lakes and canals, in irrigated areas or around plants which are mulched with moist organic materials.
Storms can be more fierce in the tropics. Rain often falls heavier, winds blow stronger, and plants can be badly damaged by cyclonic conditions.
Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring don't seem so obvious in warmer climates.
There are really only two, more obvious seasons: the wet and the dry.
All of these factors can have serious affects upon the way some plants perform.
WHAT CAN YOU GROW EASILY?
The best way to know what grows well in your locality is to look around at other gardens in the area, and note what other people are growing most successfully.
Many plants grow much faster and easier in hot climates than in temperate areas; but often the diseases, pests and weeds will also develop faster. Some plants listed in this book can in some areas grow so well that they become invasive and turn into weeds. The easiest plants to grow are not always the most vigorous.
Remember vigorous plants may require frequent cutting back. Look for plants which are generally resistant to pests and diseases, tolerate adverse conditions, but do not grow so vigorously that they become invasive.