Narrow Screening Plants for Southern California: Tropical Option

I don't have a tropical type of garden, but a lot of people in Southern California do.  One very
fast growing screen for a tropical themed garden is Strelitzia nicolai, commonly known as Giant Bird of Paradise.  It is in the same genus as the smaller one Strelitzia reginae, but S. nicolai is more like a banana plant in form and size, with white flowers instead of blue and orange.  Here's Strelitzia nicolai planted to form an effective narrow-ish screen.  These were planted from 5-gallon containers and reached 8-10 feet in just a couple of years:

Strelitzia nicolai

Here's an older well-established group of plants in Newport Beach, California.  The caretakers have been pulling off the pups and leaving the original plants to grow bare at the base.  New pups continue to emerge.

Strelitzia nicolai

This plant has big heavy leaves, big heavy flower stalks that die, they need some grooming and refreshing to look their best, and can be ratty in winter, all typical caveats for tropical/subtropical plants, but in the right spot, if you want a tropical effect screen not too wide and tall, this plant can work.

Tropical Plants for Home and GardenLandscaping with Tropical Plants: Design Ideas, Creative Garden Plans, Cold-Climate SolutionsTropical Gardeners' Guide to Healthy Plants


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