‘Key’ to growing ‘holiday plants’ in UK gardens – ‘hot climate’ isn’t needed

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Growing plants can be a rewarding experience, especially if growing unusual varieties. Chris Bonnett, founder of Gardening Express, said: “Growing holiday plants at home is a really great way to add another element to your garden that other people may not have.

“A lot of people won’t be aware they can grow a lot of these holiday plants in the UK because naturally your first thought is that they must need a hot climate to survive which isn’t always the case.

“As long as the plants are pretty hardy, there is no reason why we can’t grow them here, they’ll just need to be kept away from frosts and harsh colds.

“You’re definitely at more of an advantage to grow holiday plants if you have a greenhouse or conservatory because they tend to stay pretty warm and let in lots of light but it’s certainly still possible to grow these plants without either of those things.”

One plant recommended by the experts at Gardening Express was the bougainvillea.

Known for its bright and colourful flowers, it can be found in places like Brazil, Peru and Southern Argentina.

The experts said: “Bougainvillea need plenty of room to grow and the key to growing them in the UK is to protect them from frost, making them perfect for those who have a greenhouse or conservatory.

“In terms of watering, it’s important to allow the plant to fully dry before watering again.”

Palm trees are often common in countries abroad, due to the warmer climates.

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However, according to the experts, most palm trees are “quite hardy” meaning they can also be grown in the UK.

They explained: “The chasun palm and needle palm are both good options.

“During the first week of planting you’ll want to water your palm tree everyday.

“After that, you’ll want to keep it moist but not clogged.”

Cherry blossom trees originated in China and found their way to Japan.

They’re popular due to their soft touch of colour.

They will thrive in the UK as long as they are in full sun and moist soil.

The gardening experts said: “Container grown trees can be planted all year round, but if you are trying to plant bare-root, then this should be done between November and March.

“Native to Japan, the Fatsia Japonica is also perfect for adding an exotic and jungle look to your garden and should be planted in spring.

“They’re great for growing in the UK as they need a shady and sheltered spot with dry soil.

“Just ensure you keep it protected from strong winds.”

The experts also recommended planting bamboo which is “easy to grow” and “low maintenance”.

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