My new obsession โ€“ tropicals!

Ok so here’s the deal. I have this thing about the supply chain… basically, it’s not infallible. Things could happen. And with our economy, who knows what could happen?

And here’s practical little me saying – zomg if the food chain was interrupted how would I get MANGOS or AVOCADOS??? LEMONS AND LIMES???

This thought has been ricocheting around in my brain for about a year now so gradually I have started researching growing tropical plants. Not that I really think I’d have a big crop, but hey, if bananas or pineapples were expensive or impossible to get I think it would be nice to have them once in a while. Plus, it’s just COOL to grow tropicals indoors.

So here’s my little collection so far! I am very proud of each of my pieces. I don’t know if I will ever get fruit or anything but it is FUN to have them, I love it.

Here’s a couple that are really fun! I won’t get anything out of them until someday when I have a good-size greenhouse, though, but it’s still a novelty. The vine on the left is a vanilla orchid. The flowers bloom for ONE DAY only and need to be hand-pollinated in order to grow a bean. Oh yeah, and it needs like 40 feet of length in order to be mature enough to flower. That’s why I need a greenhouse ๐Ÿ™‚

The one on the right is Piper Nigrum AKA black pepper. Somewhat easy to grow from what I’ve heard but also one that needs a LOT of room to climb. It’s a vine so I’ll basically need to get a greenhouse with a really big looping trellis. The berries grow in little clusters. What we know as black peppercorns are actually the immature green peppercorns dried. You can also make white pepper by allowing the berries to mature and removing the outer shell. Either way, they are very potent, way moreso than the black peppercorns you can buy so I am really hoping I can try them! Something a lot of people do is just crush the green berries right off the plant and use them. Lots of experimenting potential… if I just happened to have a huge greenhouse with lots of room for this vine to roam, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are two of my citrus trees. I just got them a few weeks ago when I went to Home Depot with my mom and happened to naturally sorta gravitate towards the plant section. What did I see but not only a Meyer Lemon for $14.95 but also a SATSUMA mandarin! I was having a hard time finding them, and mail-order it would be hard to beat finding 4 foot trees in such great condition for only 15 bucks! So I got the two…

… and then the other day I went back and got another – a navel orange. The last one they had, too! Isn’t it beautiful? Just $15, too… a steal considering what I’d pay for a tree like that shipped to me. The first two had already put on new growth in the week they were at my house so I decided to get this one. They had a few other citrus trees but those were the main ones I wanted. I might still go back for a blood orange, though, that one looked cool, but I’m running out of room on the ONE window I can keep them by ๐Ÿ™‚

And this one doesn’t technically count as a tropical but I forgot to blog it earlier with my starts ๐Ÿ™‚ These are my grape cuttings that I got earlier this year. I got 5 Thompson Seedless, about 20 Concord, and 4 each of two different wine grapes, Chardonel and one other I can’t remember.

Anyway, I completely did them wrong (the Thompson and Concord, that is) so I am not expecting much of a turnout but you can see I do have SOME! The big leaf you see is the Chardonel wine grape (thanks, Gary!) and the one right behind it right on the vermiculite is a Concord (and there’s one more Concord putting out a leaf but you can’t see it in this pic). I know some more of the starts are still alive so I guess we’ll see what the turnout is like once it’s time to plant them. I hope Papa gets his tractor ready! Hopefully we’ll have quite a few to plant.

Oh and honorable mentions that don’t have a photo – I currently have a pineapple that is trying really hard to grow roots and two germinated key lime seeds that I have planted. Key limes do grow true to seed so I’m hoping to get some trees, although I could just swing by Home Depot and get a 4 foot lime tree for 15 bucks! lol… I am terrible. I got a choice of $50 gift card from work when I won a drawing and what did I choose? Home Depot so I could get gardening and irrigation supplies… haha I am such a nerd. Oh well. I still have about $18 left, so I could probably go get another tree. Just no place to put it.

Oh and I also have some ginger, two pots of it but no sprouts yet, those are just recently planted.

So, not bad, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. Bethany, the chardonnel always come in a lot ealier then the norton and chambourcin, wait a while the buds should be opening soon.

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