Vanuatu – Tropical Plants

Many of our most magnificent gardens can be found in hot places. The range of plants available for such situations, provide a palette of unique textures, colours and shapes.

The heat, and humidity in moister areas, encourages diversity of plant life. With the right approach, and careful selection of plants, a hot place can be turned into a very livable garden.

Heliconia  

What causes an area to be warm?

There are a number of things which contribute to a garden space becoming hot. Most heat will come directly from the sun. Generally the closer an area is to the equator the warmer it is. The average maximum daily temperature will generally increase the further you move away from coastal areas. The sea or ocean has a temperature moderating effect. Temperature also decreases as altitude increases, so even in tropical regions high altitude sites will normally be significantly cooler than adjacent lowland sites. Some coastal areas may also remain warmer than other areas at the same latitude (distance from the equator) due to the presence of warm ocean currents.

Cloud cover has an effect on air temperature near the earth's surface, by keeping it cooler in the day, but warmer at night as warmth cannot escape the atmosphere.

 
 Crinum 

Tropics

Tropical areas are those parts of the world that fall between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which are lines of latitude lying 23.5 degrees north and south, respectively, of the equator. The most highly populated parts of these areas are typically hot and humid most of the year, with a mainly dry period during the winter and a pronounced wet season during the summer period. Humidity becomes even higher during the rainy season. Many of these areas may also be subject to cyclones and severe storms. Vanuatu lies between 13o south of the equator and 23o south of the equator.
 

 
Calathea zebrina 

 

Sub-tropics

Generally warm like the tropics, but conditions may be more seasonal. Temperature fluctuations may be greater than for tropical areas. Sub-tropical areas can suffer from frosts, particularly inland areas. They can also have very hot days. Subtropical climates can be generally described as areas outside the tropics which exhibit a few features similar to those found in the tropics. Areas outside the tropics can be described as zones south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and zones north of the Tropic of Cancer.

 
Acalypha godseffiana variety 

Greenhouses

A greenhouse is simply a structure or building used to provide suitable growing conditions for particular plants that could not normally be grown, or could only be grown with difficulty, in the outside environment. Tropical plants are most commonly grown as greenhouse or indoor plants in cooler climates.

 Zingiber spectabile
 
 
 
 
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