Enhancing your Länai, Balcony, or Patio with Container Plants
CTAHR — Aug. 2002
and summer; heat tolerant and flowers best in full sun; prune back when too vigorous to stimulate the new wood on which flowers are borne.
Caricature plant—numerous leaf color forms in irregu- lar variegation patterns: bronze, pink, yellow, green, gray-green; sun or shade; tolerant of severe pruning when plants get too large.
Passionflower (passionfruit)—blue, pinkish, and red flowered kinds available; needs strong trellis or support and good drainage; moderate drought tolerance; full sunlight; wind tolerant.
Yellow orchid vine—leathery, dark green foliage with clusters of bright yellow flowers most of the year; full sun to partial shade; moderate tolerance of wind, drought, salt.
Ixora—dark, evergreen leaves; clusters of white, pink, red, red-orange, or yellow flowers; needs regular feed- ing and watering; maintain a soil pH of 5.5 because higher pH can cause yellowing; needs well drained soil to maintain a healthy root system; small-leaved forms are slower growing and more compact than big-leaved forms; scale and mealybug insects are problems and contribute to leaves blackened by sooty mold fungus; high light for best flowering.
Hilo holly—shiny, dark green leaves with clusters of red berries; slow growing; requires at least partial shade; has escaped cultivation and invaded some areas.
Pïkake—easy to grow, but excessive nitrogen fertilizer and watering cause long, sprawling stems; needs regu- lar pruning after flowering to induce new short flower- ing shoots; tolerates heat, drought, some wind; attrac- tive to mites.
Okinawan holly—has two leaf types: basal leaves that are dainty and prickly, and smooth-margined leaves borne on upright stems.
Heavenly bamboo—multiple compound leaves on up- right stems; numerous forms available, including varie- gated and dwarf; sun and shade tolerant; needs moist soil; clusters of white flowers are followed by red berries.
Song of India, Song of Jamaica—small, variegated leaves (India has yellow margins, Jamaica has chartreuse central banding) borne closely on somewhat droopy branches; requires some pruning to shape and may re- quire staking early on until strong enough to stand up- right; partial shade; moist, well drained soil.
Lantana—has a reputation as a thorny, invasive pas- ture weed, but new selections have no thorns and a com- pact growth habit and a variety of flower colors; a com- pact golden yellow variety makes a good planter-box or hanging-basket plant; there are trailing forms with pink- ish-lavender flowers; shear the plant to keep it compact; avoid excessive watering; grow in high light for best flowering; an insect imported to control the pasture weed can attack the flower clusters of cultivated plants.
Shrimp plant—tends to be a bit floppy, but careful prun- ing can keep it compact; two colors: red or yellow, and also a variegated leaf form; somewhat drought tolerant; sun or partial shade.
Acalypha—many leaf types, but a form with elongated, irregular shape and pink margins makes a good container plant; highly variegated bigger-leaved forms are mag- nets for spiraling whitefly and mealybugs; full sunlight for best color.
Fire spike—a relative of the shrimp plant, but more up- right with larger leaves; terminal clusters of small, bright red flowers; full sun or partial shade; can be too vigor- ous if watered or fertilized heavily, so prune it—it can take it!
Desert rose, Adenium—slow grower with rather suc- culent branches; bears white, pink, red, or bi-colored flowers; tolerant of heat, drought, and wind but needs light, well drained soil and moderate watering; popular lanai plant; mealybugs a problem.
Lollipop plant—another shrimp plant relative, bearing upright spikes of yellow bracts with white flowers; full sun or partial shade; protect from strong winds.
Pittosporum—several forms of this native of Japan have