The cat’s claw ( Ficus Jumilla ) – in the photo that opens this post – is a robust plant, with small leaves and slow-growing, but quite resistant woody branches. It is a vine that serves to line large walls, exceptionally adaptable in narrow paths because it has evergreen and tiny leaves.
As an adult, it supports well with living with pets, pedestrians, and cars. It can be placed at public entrances and passages. Cat’s claw requires pruning in adulthood, as the top ( crown ) opens like a tree on top of the walls and produces a fig-like fruit, very bluish-green and inedible.
This plant creates a homogeneous texture on the walls and stones, similar to a lawn, and can be grown in the shade. Cat’s claw likes fertile, moist soils.
Another foliage to be mentioned, because of its beauty and versatility, is bamboo. There are many types and to use them we must choose the most suitable one, the one that best fits the space you have. In the image above is a vase cultivated with dwarf bamboo, which forms a beautiful clump in the garden composition.
Delicate foliage, always green, bamboo transmits tranquility. It is a plant with multiple branches forming overlapping planes, thus giving the impression of an infinite horizon. Whether large or small, with slightly arched and flexible offices, bamboo arches the space just below, favoring the ground lines. It is uniquely beautiful on the edge of lakes, streams, and fountains.
Bamboo adapts perfectly to damp, sandy soils and semi-shade. It can be planted in indoor pots, as long as the plant is adapted to shade.
However, this type of foliage requires two precautions: when planting it, make sure that there is room for expansion (avoid nearby places, sewage boxes, telephone lines, and light). If there is any restriction, plant growth should be blocked near the roots with plastic plates. If the type of bamboo is large or aggressive, it can also be prevented with concrete blocks or stones.
There are several other types of bamboo available on the market. The gracilis Bambusa is more delicate and controllable. Small in size, it is up to two meters high. The Bamboo mosso is among the most expensive to be especially suitable for large indoor pots or oriental gardens. It has slow growth and can reach up to three meters in height, with a single thick and tortuous stem.
Already the giant bamboo (pictured above) and the Brazilian flag cannot be controlled, once established, the bamboo will grow, and not even fire can kill it completely. Therefore, here is the second caution when taking with this type of foliage: when planting them, avoid places too close to houses. Between properties, it can become unmanageable and, because it produces a lot of straw, due to the naturally falling leaves, a layer of dead matter forms in the soil. Depending on the location, this buildup can become a fire hazard, especially in times of drought.
Bamboos are very useful for horticulture. Its branches can support tomatoes, pods, arbor, channel water streams and its leaves are excellent for protecting the soil.
Another foliage option to create the infinite background feel is the Amazon star (Hemerocallis amazonica). This beautiful plant, which appears in the photo below, is between 50 cm and 1 m in height. It has broad, flexible, and green leaves. The Amazon star serves to fill dark corners of the garden. Once or twice a year, this floral tassel produces five to six beautiful white flowers!
The star of the Amazon likes rich and deep soils and spreads by rhizomes, causing each year, new seedlings are born. It blooms very well on semi-shaded balconies and deep flower beds. This foliage needs a lot of fertilizer for the leaves and flowers. The use of manure and bone meal should be bimonthly, discontinuing use during flowering. But beware: the Amazon star does not tolerate cold climates.
It is also possible to use palm trees. The Rhapis palm has dark green webbed leaves with five to seven leaflets (hand-shaped) and multiple stems (trunks), covered by a thick dark fiber at the leaf insertion. Each year, it produces new individuals, creating over time a dense colony that can last up to five years each.
Highly valued for indoor cultivation, this foliage fits perfectly in shallow, well-fertilized pots and soils and can form a small palm forest in gardeners up to 1 m deep. It does not tolerate pruning very well on its leaves, which sometimes look burnt at the ends. It is a slow-growing, controlled plant that tolerates lower temperatures but not direct sunlight.
Finally, the former ( Phormium Tenax), just below, is foliage originally from New Zealand, but which adapted very well to Brazil. There are four varieties here: red with orange leaves, variegated with green and yellow striped leaves, green and dwarf. It has long hairy, erect spear-shaped leaves that, by their natural shape, keep dogs, cats and pedestrians away.
This palm tree is handy in fences up to 1 mt high and does not require much care. Its leaves provide long and very resistant fibers, which serve to tie the fruits of the harvest. It can be planted in indoor pots containing beautiful foliage of intermediate size.