Enhancing your Länai, Balcony, or Patio with Container Plants
CTAHR — Aug. 2002
been introduced; a compact form known as ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’is a good selection for containers; full sun or light shade; moist well drained soil; good wind tolerance.
Panax, Ming aralia—several species contribute to the group of plants we call panax; the dark green, finely divided leaf types called Ming aralia are popular for shaded or full-sun lanai and can also be adapted to inte- rior culture (but don’t shift them between inside and outside, as the leaves will fall off with the change of environments); upright growing, useful for screening; moderate drought tolerance; maintain adequate mois- ture to avoid losing the lower foliage; mealybugs like the leaf axils.
False eranthemum—several leaf types, some with ir- regular patterns of purple to pink and gray-green to creamy yellow and another form with yellow veins; flow- ers are either whitish with pink spots or rose-pink with dark pink spots; shrubby and tolerant to pruning; full sun or partial shade.
Indian hawthorn, yeddo hawthorn, kokutan—ever- green, leathery leaves; shrubby growth, but slow grow- ing; full sun to light shade; fertile, well drained soil; good tolerance of wind, drought, salt.
Hibiscus—many flower types (large/small, upright/pen- dent, single/double) and a great range of colors; the large hybrids are somewhat more difficult to keep going than the more common, single, hedge types; flowers last but one day; shrubby, and can be kept compact with pruning; mealybugs, mites, aphids, thrips, whitefly—you name it and hibiscus can attract it—still, popular for their color contribution; keep nutrition up for flowering and be ob- servant for flower bud drop, which signals insect or mite attack; red-flowered hibiscus can also develop galls on the leaves as a result of the erineum mite; full sun to par- tial shade; heat and somewhat drought tolerant.
Dwarf schefflera—irregular, shrubby growth with long- lived, dark green, compound leaves; good wind and drought tolerance; full sun to shade; tolerates pruning and training; attractive variegated forms are available.
Croton—many shapes and colors of foliage make this one of the choices for container color; thrives under full sun but will tolerate interior conditions as well when acclimatized to the low light conditions; fertile, well drained soil, regular fertilizing and watering; not for- giving of drought (drops the leaves), but well established plants will re-leaf; tolerant of pruning to shape and im- prove compactness.
Yellow-throated rondeletia—an uncommon plant, even in gardens; small, dark green leaves, clusters of red-or- ange flowers, somewhat like lantana; slow growing and shrubby; wind tolerant and somewhat drought tolerant; full sun for best flowering.
Firecracker plant, lökälia—sprawling, fine textured shrub with cascades of tubular red flowers; very drought and wind tolerant; full sun for best flowering; because of its drooping habit, it is often used in planters in park- ing garages, but it can also be managed as a hanging basket.
West Indian holly, leea—upright grower with shiny, multiple-divided leaves; terminal flower clusters fol- lowed by clusters of red to black fruits; a purplish-red leaf form also available; good for screening; full sun to light shade; fertile, well drained soil, but needs even moisture; susceptible to spiraling whitefly.
Dwarf clusea—uncommon in gardens, but a more com- pact and shrubby plant than its cousin the autograph tree; medium green leaves; full sun to partial shade.
Crown of thorns—Thai nurseries have come up with many new hybrids that are very tolerant of the dry, windy, high-light conditions found on many lanai; beyond these, however, are a number of novelty selections, including some miniature ones.
Sansevieria—these are tough plants that stand full sun, partial shade, drought, wind, and moderate neglect; many species to choose from, from tall to compact, with flat to rounded leaves, and with many kinds of variegations and growth habits; some are named cultivars, while oth- ers are relatively unknown species; all are adaptable to pot culture; need good drainage; avoid over-watering.