Garden people, suggestions for outdoor enclosure

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm trying to get something to grow in my outdoor enclosure that will come back each year(our winters get down to single digits at times). Or maybe a hanging basket that doesn't die after a season. I'm trying to get something flowering that will attract insects, bees, etc. I was thinking of maybe planting a wild honeysuckle vine in the cage, which BTW is huge about 8x10x8 feet. A tree with good branches might be nice too, but I usually just throw my large potted plants in there over the summer.

The problem I'm having with all this is it's a shaded area most of the day. It is on the edge of the woods, so not a whole lot of direct sun. Very humid and foresty. Anything come to mind?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’d go for a combination of plants! I think anything planted in the ground will have a better chance of survival as potted plants will freeze a lot faster.

I bought a live oak tree from Woodie’s that has survived our Baltimore winters in a pot, so far. It’s evergreen. I think passionflower vine can be cut and grow back each year if you overwinter it with heavy mulch covering (like a big pile of leaves). Honeysuckle sounds like a good one if non toxic.

Some plants used as hedges will flower with really small flowers that attract tons of flies and smaller insects. We have one next to our front steps and it drives me crazy with the flies, but noname would approve! You’d have to prune it though to thin it out more like a tree.

what about some thornless bramble? We have some that grow wild here all summer and winter - flowers spring through June.

hardy strawberries as ground cover?

blueberries can grow quite woody, too, but not sure how chamsafe, as some fruit trees have arsenic (might be mixing that up but toxicity) in all parts… but my hardy blueberry bushes are more like little trees.

Clover and dandelion is a great ground cover that will attract pollinators, and return each spring.

just spittballing some ideas while sitting outback with Charlie :)
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are some agricultural plants that flower in the spring and summer that can handle lower temperatures. Have you considered Almond Tree's, certain Apple Tree varietals, or Cherry Tree's? They have got good branch circumstance and can handle the cold.

Then landscape with vines that bloom all summer. Honeysuckles?

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are some agricultural plants that flower in the spring and summer that can handle lower temperatures. Have you considered Almond Tree's, certain Apple Tree varietals, or Cherry Tree's? They have got good branch circumstance and can handle the cold.

Then landscape with vines that bloom all summer. Honeysuckles?

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich

I believe that all of the flowering fruit trees such as apple, pear, and especially cherry, have high levels of toxicity in all parts of the plant. I have a mini orchard in my backyard and had hoped to use the same plant in my free range is… So I changed my mind once I learned of the toxicity values.
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I believe that all of the flowering fruit trees such as apple, pear, and especially cherry, have high levels of toxicity in all parts of the plant. I have a mini orchard in my backyard and had hoped to use the same plant in my free range is… So I changed my mind once I learned of the toxicity values.
I have used their branches for so long toxicity has never been an issue for me. However If his chameleon is a vegetarian of course stay away these from agricultural plant species. However I have done reading that states that up to 95% of the tropical plants in most rain-forests are toxic. If James's chameleon is a montane rainforest species his chameleon is highly likely to be adapted/evolved to stay away from toxic foliage. If it is to much of an issue I would not worry about it. I just use those agricultural species for branches and free ranges most of the times.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
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Persnickety Parson's

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm trying to get something to grow in my outdoor enclosure that will come back each year(our winters get down to single digits at times). Or maybe a hanging basket that doesn't die after a season. I'm trying to get something flowering that will attract insects, bees, etc. I was thinking of maybe planting a wild honeysuckle vine in the cage, which BTW is huge about 8x10x8 feet. A tree with good branches might be nice too, but I usually just throw my large potted plants in there over the summer.

The problem I'm having with all this is it's a shaded area most of the day. It is on the edge of the woods, so not a whole lot of direct sun. Very humid and foresty. Anything come to mind?

What state are you in again,I have a few suggestions but I need your generalized local first.

Butterfly gardening is one of my hobbies
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
What state are you in again,I have a few suggestions but I need your generalized local first.

Butterfly gardening is one of my hobbies
He is in Pittsburgh PA, Kanada.

it is true most tropical plants have a level of toxicity - but its the type of toxicity that is key. Many have insoluble oxalate crystals that can cause burning and irritation if ingested, or sap that causes irritation. Cherry trees and other related fruit trees have cyanide in all parts of the tree (highest concentrations are in decaying leaves I believe). I misspoke earlier when I said arsenic, couldnt recall off the top of my head.
 

Persnickety Parson's

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hosta plants maybe a great fit, just make sure to get the varieties that like shade, and there are MANY that do so, and are proven bee and bug attractive.

Another idea is the sedum plant "Autumn Joy" a proven bug magnet. And handles shade very well.

Both are winter hardy, but only flower once a year.

Clover may also work, though that should be planted in the fall so the seeds get a winter dormancy.
 
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snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hosta plants maybe a great fit, just make sure to get the varieties that like shade, and there are MANY that do so, and are proven bee and bug attractive.

Another idea is the sedum plant "Autumn Joy" a proven bug magnet. And handles shade very well.

Both are winter hardy, but only flower once a year.

Clover may also work, though that should be planted in the fall so the seeds get a winter dormancy.

oooh I thought about mentioning hostas as low growing plants. I used to have them growing along the completely shaded side of my porch.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Lol, nobody likes reading this long stuff but here it is. Hope it helps

Here are the best bee-friendly plants for your garden:

1. Lavender
The trusty lavender plant is an all-time favourite for bees as shown in a study conducted in 2013 by scientists at the University of Sussex. Highly-bred varieties of lavender such as grosso, hidcote giant and gros bleu were shown to be the most attractive to bumblebees.

2. Blue Borage
The same study found that honeybees were most attracted to blue borage flowers. The blue borage – also known as starflower – is a medicinal herb with edible leaves and flowers. The herb grows happily in the UK climate but its origins trace back to the Mediterranean.

3. Marjoram
Marjoram is a herb popular amongst honeybees and other pollinators. In fact, it was found that the herb was the best plant all-round.

4. Abelia (Bee Bush)
These delicate white flowers are prominent from spring through to fall and attract both honeybees and bumblebees.

5. Pussy Willow
Pussy Willow trees help feed queen bumblebees as they go on a hunt for new colonies in early spring. This tree helps bees through pollen-scarce months of March and April.

6. Crocus
The crocus flower tends to appear during autumn, winter or spring but it’s the spring crocus that bees are attracted to. These flowers are easy to look after and will reappear year-after-year.

7. Lilac
Lilac produces nectar, pollen and essential blossoms for bee pollinators. The flowers reproductive success results in a growing bee population. The flowers tends to blossom in the spring through to summer and entice bees with their brightly-coloured petals.

8. Foxgloves
Foxgloves are said to be “fluorescent” at night, acting like a “landing strip” for bees as they can see in ultraviolet light. The foxglove is one of the best early summer bloomers for bees.

9. Monarda (Bee Balm)
The Monarda plant is regularly recommended for bees and other pollinators as it’s a reliable garden plant. The plant is also edible and useful to help skin irritation.

10. Chives
In order to attract bees, chives need to flower. Chives are easy to grow and easy to maintain, providing a beautiful herb to use in your kitchen and helping to save bees at the same time.

So there you have it, 10 of the best plants and flowers to attract bees to your garden and provide a vital habitat for these amazing creatures.
 

Persnickety Parson's

Chameleon Enthusiast
A lot of those plants are very light needy, despite being excellent suggestions otherwise.

Of the ones listed, crocus seems like the best fit.

Lilac is really hit and miss, I have a few and rarely do I see insect activity around them.
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would really just go and walk your local nursery and research tree's you that look good for your chameleons too you. That is probably the best way to go about it. The nurseries are likely to only stock outside plants that can tolerate your winters. That is going to be what your looking for anyway.

You can special order if they do not have plants/tree's you are specifically looking for. That should not be a problem.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 

Persnickety Parson's

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would really just go and walk your local nursery and research tree's you that look good for your chameleons too you. That is probably the best way to go about it. The nurseries are likely to only stock outside plants that can tolerate your winters. That is going to be what your looking for anyway.

You can special order if they do not have plants/tree's you are specifically looking for. That should not be a problem.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich

Most of my local nurseries don't know their heads from their elbows, at the very least the best you can hope for in my case at least is that a majority of the plants are matched to the state. Anything else is a shot in the dark.

:)
 
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