How far should plants such as birds of paradise, cordylines and bromeliads be spaced apart?

Posted under Home gardening advice | 2 Comments

My wife and I have just bought our first home and are planning on creating a tropical feel in our backyard. We live in Queensland, Australia.
We are completely new to gardening, but have worked out what plants we want to put in – we just don't know how far apart we should be spacing them from each other!
We are looking to plant the following: golden cane palms (along our fenceline to act as a screen from a two-storey house that overlooks our yard from one rear corner); cordyline rubra (underneath the palms, but between each and maybe slightly behind them); birds of paradise (the type that grows to about 1.5m – in front of the cordyline, between the palms); bromeliads (various varieties – at the front).
Any advice on how far apart these should be planted would be much appreciated.
I'm thinking of putting the golden cane palms about 1.5m apart along the fenceline, so that the leaves will overlap slightly and create the screen – would this be about right? This is the most important.
My aim here is to have a fairly dense look (for that tropical feel) without having each of the plants fighting each other for water so much that they die – we are in the middle of huge drought here in SE Qld and on extreme water restrictions!
Our garden bed is an L shape about 1m wide, extending 10m along our back fence and about 5m down the side fence.

You garden should look really good when established. The distance between the palms sounds right, but beware of the bird of paradise plants. The small variety would be very good, but the large ones spread into enormous clumps over time and are really difficult to remove. (In saying this however, I do love them and have a large clump in my own garden, which looks fantastic).

With bromeliads, you can plant them as close to each other as you wish because they don't mind how many times you move them. I have a large and varied collection of these and move them whenever I need to fill a SHADY space elsewhere in the garden. They can also be separated as they multiply. They are my favourite plant in the garden, because there are so many varieties and they give a splash of colour to shady places. Also, their "flowers" last for months. GOOD GARDENING !!

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2 Responses to “How far should plants such as birds of paradise, cordylines and bromeliads be spaced apart?”

  1. csthedays Says:

    Bird of Paradise: http://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/porcupines.html

    Golden Cane Palm: http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/38367/index.html

    http://www.plantsinternational.com.au/db/Alexandra_Palm.php3

    Send me some dates! LOL!

    Cordyline Rubra: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1571243.htm

    Bromeliad: http://www.plantsindesign.com/care_tips.htm

    If you get pineapples from them, cut and dry the delicious things and send along with the dates please!

    Oh, I forgot to mention….rain barrels….they could save your plants in severe water restriction times. Your fence will be beautiful when you are done I'm sure!
    References :

  2. Jean G Says:

    You garden should look really good when established. The distance between the palms sounds right, but beware of the bird of paradise plants. The small variety would be very good, but the large ones spread into enormous clumps over time and are really difficult to remove. (In saying this however, I do love them and have a large clump in my own garden, which looks fantastic).

    With bromeliads, you can plant them as close to each other as you wish because they don't mind how many times you move them. I have a large and varied collection of these and move them whenever I need to fill a SHADY space elsewhere in the garden. They can also be separated as they multiply. They are my favourite plant in the garden, because there are so many varieties and they give a splash of colour to shady places. Also, their "flowers" last for months. GOOD GARDENING !!
    References :

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