When you use tropical plants in your landscape, it brings a hint of the exotic to your yard. To make these plantings even more interesting, you might want to add stones around them to create an even more impressive display. However, while positioning stones around your tropical plants will certainly create aesthetic appeal, they also serve certain practical functions as well.
Simulating the Natural Environment
Normally, the native environment of most tropical plants provides plenty of moisture in the soil and the air. However, when you place tropical plants in your landscape, it's going to be necessary for you to take measures to ensure that they get this extra moisture. Positioning stones around your tropical plants serves two purposes. To begin with, they absorb heat from the sun and radiate it throughout the day close to the roots of the plant, helping the plant to stay warm. They also help to keep water from evaporating from the soil around the plant, which helps maintain the moisture at the level that these plants need.
Choosing the Stones
When it comes time to choose the stones you're going to use for your tropical plants, there are many options available. You can use small stones like decomposed granite or pea gravel around more delicate plants and flowering varieties. When you use decomposed granite, try to choose a color that works well with the color or blooms of the plant. The larger stones can be used around shrubs and tropical trees. For fruit trees and other similar trees, stones about the size of baseballs work well to accent the area. For certain tropical plants, you might want to use volcanic rock to re-create their original environment.
Positioning the Stones
How you will position the stones around the plants will be influenced by the type of plant and where it is located in your landscape. It's a good idea when placing the stones to add a layer of landscape netting first, securing it in place using landscape pins. This netting will not only help hold the stones in place, it will also help prevent the growth of weeds between the stones. Try to avoid damaging the roots of plants as you place the stones.
Maintaining the Stones
For the most part, when you use gravel or stone in your landscape it requires very little maintenance. Unlike mulch, stones don't decay or require frequent replacement. However, you can get debris and dirt on stones or gravel, so you might want to use a garden hose to regularly rinse them to keep them clean.
Talk to a professional like Landscape Perceptions to learn more about how you can use stones to accent your tropical plants.
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