7 Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Grow in the UKColin Campbell-Preston
The unpredictable, changeable and often unpleasant weather in the UK may guarantee that we always have something to talk about, but it can limit gardeners when it comes to growing exotic and unusual plants.
But there are lots of unexpected plants that will grow quite happily in the British climate. Try planting some of these in your own garden, you’ll be surprised with the results!
A signature accompaniment to many Mediterranean fish dishes, these tart citrus fruits grow from medium-sized trees which begin to bear fruit at a surprisingly early stage. They can be grown in the UK too! Plant in a sheltered and sunny spot and make the saying “when life gives you lemons” come true.
Chinese windmill palms
If you thought palm trees were reserved for white sandy beaches, think again. These stout palm trees have huge fan-shaped leaves that will add a tropical tone to any garden. Keep the plant sheltered from harsh winds and protect with straw in cold winter weather.
The striking white flowers and glossy green foliage of these lilies are timelessly beautiful. They’re also fairly hardy, and grow best in full sun or partial shade. The plant will flower in late spring to midsummer, but make sure you keep it well-watered.
These delicious, sticky fruits are better known for growing in hot climates, so the yield you’ll get when growing at home may surprise you. Ensure figs have a sunny location against a wall, and wear gloves when pruning as the sap is irritating to skin.
Mexican hat plant
This succulent perennial is also known as “mother of thousands” as it propagates by growing baby plantlets on the leaf edges. Not only does it look exotic, but the offspring plants make excellent gifts for friends and family!
These small deciduous trees epitomise Japanese flora, with vivid crimson leaves that put British autumn leaves to shame. They prefer slightly acidic sandy soil, and grow best in a sheltered position. As they are slow growing, they make ideal trees to grow in containers.
Better known for its zesty and delicious fruit, the flower of the passionfruit plant is possibly even more wondrous than the fruit flavour. Purple, white and many-layered, the flowers look more alien than anything you would expect to grow in the UK. This climbing vine grows quickly and prefers nutrient-rich soil and a sunny, sheltered spot. While the fruits may not cultivate or ripen particularly successfully in our climate, the flowers won’t disappoint.
Capital Gardens specialise in plants for London gardens, and are always well stocked in seasonal plants. To find out if we have a particular plant in stock, call us on 0208 874 2037.