Sep 22, 2017

Flash Sale for Spring 2017

We are having a flash sale on selected cordylines, gingers, palms and heliconias. Be quick! It won't last long. Click Here.

Mar 29, 2017


We are happy to say we have dodged a bullet and Cyclone Debbie had moved further south before making landfall.  The effects were catastrophic for some communities and we have a great amount of sympathy for our neighbours to the south. We were hammered in Cyclone Larry and then again with Yasi. It is a horrible feeling. We are wishing a swift recovery for all of you. Stay Strong.

We would like to offer customers that have been affected by Debbie a 25% discount on all plants between now and August 1st 2017.  At present time, you’ll be thinking about other things but we are hoping in some small way we can help with your recovery. Pease do not use this coupon if you are not in a cyclone affected area!!!!

Just use the coupon code Debbie if you are have had significant damage to your property.

Something For Everyone

If you happen to be out of Debbie's clutches you are still in luck. Anyone who uses the coupon code April for the month on April will receive a 15% storewide discount on all plants so spread the word!!!

Apr 30, 2016

May Special!!!

El Arish Tropical Exotics is running a cordyline sale. 15% off Cordylines for the month of May

Hawaiian Sunset

Nov 9, 2015

News!!!! Change of Shipping Days and New Website!!

We’re changing our shipping days! Due to the large amounts of customers that order on weekends we will be adjusting our cut off day and shipping days. Traditionally we have had a 9 am Friday payment/order cut off for plants to be sent on Mondays. It takes us time to collect, sort through, clean, soak and wrap our plants. We are finding the majority of our customers are ordering on weekends as it is when they have time to shop and then waiting as they’ve missed cutoff for payment. We are changing our cutoff to 9 am on Monday morning to accommodate weekend shopping. Plants will now be mailed out on Thursday. This will mean much shorter wait times for weekend shoppers.  Monday November 16th will be the last Monday send out. It will also be the cutoff for Thursday November 19th send off. If you are concerned about plants travelling on weekends don’t be as the time it takes to get to some customers will actually be shorter!
It takes us time to prepare and pack plants!

We be busy!!

Also in the News our new website should be up and running by next week. We’re very excited customers will be able to track orders via the website, create accounts to monitor what they’ve bought and we’ll be able to offer repeat customers discounts and our paypal issues should be sorted. Please take a look as we will also be running a large list of sale plants. Time to buy yourself some early Christmas presents!
                                                                         Happy Gardening!!  
                                                                          Ann & Scott Cains

May 9, 2014

Psittacorums in the Tropical Garden

Psittacorum "Kathy" is an excellent cut flower and landscaping plant
Psittacorums are upright small heliconias indigenous to South America. They are popular cutflowers and selective breeding and hybridization has given us a wide range of colours, bract size and growth form. Psittacorums are often called parakeet flower or parrot flower because of their stunning tropical colours. They prefer a warmer climate but some like Petra will handle a sheltered position as far south as Coastal Sydney. They make perfect plant for mass planting or erosion control. To keep them looking their best it’s is recommended that they are whipper snipper or mowed down every few years and compost or manure added to the bed as they are very heavy feeders. They grow well in full sun, prefer freely draining soils with high organic matter and regular application of complete fertiliser every four to six weeks, particularly during the hot and humid months.
If you are in a tropical or subtropical garden and love having fresh cut flowers then psittacorums are perfect. They flower year round and can last for up to two weeks in a vase. They are not fussy, need little care and take up very little space but will continuously pump up flowers if they have adequate nutrition and water.
"Lillian" is one of my favorite pinks

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “Heliconias will take over your garden” Like bamboo they suffer from a certain notoriety associated with ignorance and poor plant selection. Just like bamboo heliconias can be loosely divided into running or clumping varieties. Both are rhizomous plants that both send new shoots a long way off (running) or send new shoots up close and form a clump. Before planting either it is important to know which you are planting and whether they are suitable to your garden design.
Psittacorums are the running variety of heliconia that cop the most flack in the gardening world. Easy to propagate, quick to flower, eager to flower in pots and stunning flowers perfect for floral arrangements make the ideal plant in the right position and climate. They are generally readily available in nurseries in the tropics and subtropics and will quickly fill garden beds. However, the same things that make them such a quick fix can make them a nightmare in the long run. Because they like to run! Not happy to stay put psittacorums tend to need space to move; without a barrier to prevent the rhizomes from creeping, they will happily escape into your lawn and crowd out other plants. Psittacorums are not particularly cold hardy so in cooler areas this will not be so much of an issue but from Brisbane up you will need to seriously consider plant placement.
" Lady Di" is breathtakingly beautiful! A real garden standout.

 You can find the range of psittacorums we currently have in stock here. We will be adding to the range in spring

"Peter Bacon" is a stunning combination of pink and orange.

Apr 1, 2014

Mini Cordylines Best Landscaping Cordylines Part 2

Kaui Beauty Mini with Winter Color

Mini cordylines are smaller, more compact cordylines that usually have dense foliage and an upright growth habit to less than 1 ½ meters. Because of their compact size they can be used as an edging plant, mass planted, are extremely useful in courtyard gardens and look great in pots.
Mini cordylines offer fantastic versatility in landscaping as well as colourful foliage for flower arrangements. They are generally very vigorous and robust and there is a great selection available for both full sun and part shade conditions. The advent of tissue culture and megawholesale nurseries has had a negative impact on varieties you will find in most retail nurseries and places like Bunnings. So many plants these days are propagated for “pot impact”, trends and temperate climates rather than longevity or long term desirability in a tropical or subtropical garden. Unfortunately that makes a large range of mini cordylines difficult to find for the home gardener.
At El Arish Tropical Exotics we grow a pretty good selection because we just love them! Below we’ve highlighted some of our favourites for landscaping.
You’ll find a surprisingly high number of mini cordylines that do well in full sun. Some of the toughest come from the compacta family.  Cordyline compacta is a dense tight plant with deep purple leaves that turn eggplant black in full sun. Cameroon is another mini from the compacta family that is equally as tough and vigorous. Cameroon is similar in size, shape and growth habit to compacta with more chocolate colouring and leaves edged in lime green. Both are also grown commercially as foliage for cutflower arrangements as they last for weeks in arrangements. In recent times other sports of compacta have come on the garden scene Moonlight has yellowish brown to a silvery plum leaves, while Gold Edge is similar to Cameroon with a thick bright yellow edge. Brand and Lime is another sport from Cameroon and has lime green leaves with coffee colour markings and is not quite as robust in growth as its mother plant. Chocolate Swirl has attractive variegation in leaf but prefers a little protection from afternoon sun.
Cameroon is a great all rounder with year round color.
If you are looking for fast growing with strong colour you can’t go past
Another mini developed in Tissue Culture with beautiful variegation is Amanda’s Blush. Base colour is dark red and leaves are edged and variegated with pink. This is a standout when massed planted in the garden. It prefers very good drainage and a well lit position with some protection from the hot sun. Some other great varieties with full juno leaves and great colour are Suzi’s Choice, a striking mini with deep pink flushes of pink on leaves and Kauai Beauty Mini, deep bronze/green leaves new growth flushes red in cooler months. Both are very strong landscaping plant and good consistent growers. Best colour is achieved in the cooler months.
Maliaalways has strong pink color in full sun

Many of the great mini cordylines available in Australia like so many other world class cordylines have been bred in Hawaii. Along with Kauai Beauty Mini some other excellent choices for tropical landscaping include Malia, Maui Silva, Hawaiian Girl, Miss Hawaii, Kalani Koa, Mini Mauna Kea Juno, Mini Mauna Kea Snow, Green Jade, Haole Top and HaoleBronze.

In between mini cordylines and what is considered standard size cordylines are a group that can go either way. 

Daintree Delight
While Tutu and Daintree Delight are still considered minis they are slightly larger than the average mini.  Vanuatu, Jamie Boy, Robin’s Red Breast, Vanuatu, Holiday Inn, Kaui Rose, Aussie Delite and a number of other cordylines that have a compact size in common. These in betweenies are perfect for smaller spaces or for dense plantings. They can help give the illusion of a space being larger than it is.
Remember a mini cordyline isn’t necessarily a small grower left to its own device. Generally it is preferable to prune the tops occasionally so they will achieve a bushy shape. The tops can be used as propagation material or can be used as foliage for flower arrangements. A grouping of mini tops can make a stunning table arrangement.
Firecracker is a strong grower and has beautiful color
Mini Cordylines are easy to grow in rich well drained soil. They will achieve best colour when fertilized regularly with seasol and mulched regularly. With a little TLC you can achieve year round colour and texture in your garden by landscaping with mini cordylines.

You’ll always find our “in stock” selection here.  We also offer a number of bulk buys for mini cordylines. You'll find all our cordyline bulk buys here. We hope you’ve learned a bit about minis!

Happy  Gardening!   
I Absolutely Love Suzi's Choice!

Nov 12, 2013

New Tropical Plants to Buy Online

We’ve just added a heap of new plants to the website and just wanted to let everyone know.
In our edibles section there are Panama Red Passion Fruit, Edible Pepper, Piper Betle Vine, Root Beer Tree  Many of the beautiful tropical plants that we grow in our gardens as ornamentals hail from far away exotic lands. In the areas where they are native, their beauty is often second to their value as a source of food and medicine.

We’ve added a new section to the website called Medinillas  Among the most beautiful flowering plants of the world are the Medinilla. With tropical foliage and stunning flowering clusters of pink flowers, the Medinilla is a show stopper, surprisingly easy as a houseplant, anywhere. There are approximately 400 species of Medinilla. Often used as house plants in cooler climates they can be grown outside in tropical and subtropical climates. Medinillas do best grown in bright, indirect sunlight, in a warm humid environment. They prefer high humidity which can be achieved with regular misting and rich very well drained soil. . Semi-epiphytic in the wild (like orchids) They g rows well in large pots in a shaded outdoor position or bright light indoor position. In a moist tropical climate can be grown like an orchid in the fork of trees or tied to tree ferns. We love Medinillas and are constantly expanding our range. Here you’ll find what is currently in stock. But be quick they move fast and we have limited numbers!

We’ve also added variegated spider lilies. Quickly becoming the must have tropical landscaping groundcover. The strappy leaves have a grey green color with cream variegation on either side. White spidery flowers appear in the wet season. Looks gorgeous mass planted in a moist sunny position even when not in flower.

You'll also find a few favorite heliconias back like Black Cherry and Prince of Darkness as well as Criswick being listed for the first time.

We have also been  adding and relisting new cordylines. Cordylines are native to a number of places including Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. In recent years they have gained tremendous popularity as a landscaping plant. New and colorful hybrids, their ability to hold their own in a drought and the way in which they compliment so many other tropicals has led to a sort of cordymania in Australia. They are a must have is you are looking for tough tropical plants that will help you achieve a lush look.
Cordylines are very easy to grow. They like rich soil with good drainage and fertilizer in the growing season. Some cordylines prefer partial shade, some color up better in full sun and some are comfortable with both. 

Keep an eye out as we will be adding more in the next few weeks!

Jun 5, 2013

Price Drop on Bulk Buy Cordylines

Our shadehouse is pretty packed at the moment with beautiful cordylines. In an effort to make room for spring propagation we've decide to beef up our bulk buys, drop prices and offer super bargain deals on some cordylines. This is your opportunity to purchase cordylines at a fraction of the cost of buying at a retail nursery. Minmass planting cordylines is a great way to add Wow factor and year round color to any tropical garden. So don't miss out!!

You'll find bargain cordylines listed here.

Waihee Rainbow

May 8, 2013

Best Landscaping Cordylines part 1: Full Sun Cordylines

If you are looking to add a little colour to your tropical garden cordyline fruticosa cultivars are a great place to start. Cordylines come in a wide range of sizes and shapes from large growing varieties like Negra and Pele’s Smoke to small compact minis like Amanda’s Blush and Firecracker. In 2008 we wrote our first blog article on cordylines. Since then I’ve learned a lot more about cordylines as I developed a very serious cordyline addiction. I think it would be fair to say we have the largest range of cordyline fruticosa varieties for sale online in Australia. I’d like to share a little of what I’ve learned in a series of articles designed around specific tasks and types of cordylines. In this article I’ll be exploring what are considered full sun cordylines.

Cordylines add a splash of color to Tropical Gardens


Peter Buck is definitely one of the best full sun landscaping cordylines available. In Hawaii it hugely popular and is gaining popularity with professional landscapers in Australia, especially in SE Qld. It has a great growth habit and is stunning when it is left to grow as a singular head as well as cut back to multihead. The leaves are large, down turned and slightly undulating. The colour can vary from a bright pinky bronze to a deeper pink . Best colour is definitely obtained in full sun conditions with an added bonus of colour being maintained year round. If you are driving through the MacKay area you will see it used to stunning effect in the traffic island beds. Try using Peter Buck contrasted with other pink toned cordylines like Bronze Glow or Anja and cordylines with narrower leaves like Roostertail or Dorothy.
Peter Buck mass  planted in full sun
Lilinoe is a very tough full sun stunner. Another popular Hawaiian landscaping cordyline, its upright deep pink red leaves appear to glow in sunlight. Similar but a superior cultivar to Firebrand it is closely related to Auntie Lou a Ti that is widely used in Hawaiian funerary gardens. Lilinoe is another cordyline that maintains year round colour and looks great contrasted with deep green giant mondograsses, other pink tone cordylines or darker colored cordylines like Kealakai. While it may not seem to be the most exciting cordyline or similar to other cordylines it in fact is one of the best landscaping cordylines available. I strongly recommend this one!
Bronze Glow complements pink tone cordylines well
Roostertail in an older Australian variety that is coming back into style. It tends to look its best when turned into a multiheaded bush. Another very tough landscaping cordyline, it’s a kaleidoscope of colourful cascading narrow leaves that hold year round colour. You can use this cordyline sparingly or if you are after a more lairy effect mass plant it. This is a very tough cordyline which makes it one of the most suitable cordylines for the cooler climate tropical style gardens.
Lilinoe, Definitely a favorite!and Roostertail above
Maize is a larger growing cordyline that is almost like an oversized Roostertail. It has large leaves narrow leave with pink tones that colour up best in tough full sun conditions. Maize makes a great screening cordyline for a narrower area, it will eventually grow to about 3 meters. Originally from Tahiti, this versatile plant is becoming very popular in Australia.
Another Tahitian beauty is Tahitian Silk. The large drooping leaves are variegated and slightly undulating. It is a strong fast grower that makes an attractive specimen plant.
A few other large growing cordylines that take full sun include Negra, Pink Diamond and Pele’sSmoke and Kilauea . As these particular varieties get larger their leaves spin around the stem. Aside from looking quite striking they can also help create a microclimate for more tender plants. Negra is widely used in landscaping because of its large almost black leaves.
We offer bulk buys on many of these full sun landscaping cordylines for customers who are planting large areas or interested in mass planting. Please make sure you check out our Specials section.
Pele's Smoke

NOTE: It’s important to remember that a cordyline grown in optimal conditions (well drained moist soil with plenty of organic matter that is fertilized and watered regularly in high humidity and a warm climate) will look alot better than a neglected cordyline. Also remember if you are in a less than tropical climate creating a sheltered microclimate will help keep your cordylines looking lush and vibrant. Generally, In tough environments cordylines will look better in part shade.

Cordylines grown well in full sun

Mixed planting with cordylines