Dracaenas, Petunia Flowers Rattlesnake Calathea and Crinum Lilies Showing Off in Orlando

It’s always a fun time to visit theme parks – which is any time. Watching the expression on my grandkids face never gets old. An added treat for me is the colors, textures, plants, flowers and landscaping. It’s fun to see how the plants and colors are combined to create some amazing combinations.

I’ve taken thousands of plant pictures and finally started organizing them. I decided it was time to share and add some commentary from my 5 decades of plant growing experience.

Disclaimer: I’m not a great photographer, I just use my phone.

The Common Dracaena Marginata – Braided

Below is the very common indoor houseplant Dracaena Marginata – nothing new here. However, I like to see common plants presented with an unusual twist or form. This “red-edged dracaena” is braided giving the plant a unique look.

red-edge dracaena braid at the Gaylord Palms Hotel 2017Pin

White Petunias Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets of white petunias near the castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

white petunia hanging baskets at Disney World Magic Kingdom Orlando Pin

If you want to keep your petunias full of flowers. You need to learn how to deadhead petunias. Removing the spent blooms allows the plant to put the energy into more flowers and growth instead of seed.

The Rattlesnake Calathea – Calathea Lancifolia


Over at the Gaylord Palms Hotel, which is a MUST SEE if you enjoy tropicals there was this potted Calathea rattlesnake known as Calathea Lancifolia. Normally, homeowners will only find this attractive foliage plant in a six pot. Allowing the plant to grow larger shows off its true beauty and vivid foliage patterns.

I’m not sure but the Calathea planted in the ground next to the “rattlesnake” is Calathea pseudoveitchiana.

Flowering Crinum Lily at Disney World’s Adventureland


The giant crinum lily can reach plant heights of 5 feet, add the varieties with “purple” leaves for attractive looks and top it off with show-stopping flowers.

You’ll find many crinum lily varieties like Queen Emma, Asiaticum, Americanum, in a wide array of colors, whites, pinks and some reds. I’m not sure of this variety but the flowers called me like a magnet.

Barrels Full of New Guinea Impatiens


After passing the big silver ball at EPCOT and heading over to “Canada” we found lots of color. New Guinea impatiens care comes pretty easy. These hybrids are colorful, the flowers are large and bright.

The Intoxicatingly Fragrant Angel Trumpet


The Brugmansia or Angel Trumpet has many characteristics which draw attention to this spectacular bush or small tree.

The plant is poisonous, the flowers are show stoppers in variety of colors, extremely fragrant and to top it off Angel Trumpet plant care is simple.

Trimmed like a tree, topped with creamy, blossoms, you cannot help but stare at its beauty. If you study your plants you’ll discover new ways to bring out their individuality.

The Colorful Croton Petra Indoors


One of the most beautiful and colorful plants for use in the landscape and indoors is the Croton Petra plant. As a kid I remember crotons planted all through the neighborhood.

We are asked on a regular basis about – How to care for a croton plant? Without going into detail, to get the most impact indoors or outdoors planted in a container on a patio Crotons need lots of bright light. Without bright light or full sun crotons never reach their color potential.

The one above is indoors at the Gaylord Palms Hotel where it gets plenty of bright lighting.

Sago Palms Growing At EPCOT

Over my decades of playing with plants, I’ve noticed a progression, especially down south. Many plant enthusiasts start with a fascination of a particular variety of plants. For me it was Anthuriums.

Over time, as interest and knowledge grows, palms and cycads draw them in. They provide a simple, stately elegance, like this planting of Cycas Revoluta at EPCOT.


The group pf sagos looks great but many homeowners may experience their sago palm turning yellow. This condition is usually a case of classic manganese deficiency.

The newest leaves on sago palms lacking manganese, may have display leaves which are completely yellow or exhibit yellow splotches and leaves which are smaller. The leaves turn brown with a frizzled appearance as they die.

Large Beds of Colorful Salvia


The use of color at any of the Disney World parks is amazing! I can only dream of having those abilities to paint a canvas with flowers.

For example, if you wanted some ideas on how to plant salvia this collection of newly planted salvia in a variety of colors once established will produce a wonderful visual. This bed which includes Scarlet Sage varieties of Salvia looks to be planted in a well-draining soil but able to hold moisture in the full sun.

Colorful Full Sun Coleus Beds at EPCOT


Like the croton, the coleus can put on a dazzling display when given the right conditions. Shade or sun, coleus plant care outdoors comes with one basic requirement. They need bright light or full sun like these above to show off their colorful foliage.

Coleus give you such an easy way to deliver color without flowers. When they do flower, remove the blooms!

Beautiful Container Grown Banana Plant


Mention bananas to most people and their thoughts dash immediately to the fruit. However, the banana plant on its own not only produces tasty fruit but adds a tropical look and feel to any setting.

Bananas grown outdoors find their leaves tattered and torn by the wind. By growing banana tree plants in containers, which may be large in size you can move the plants to protected areas to enjoy the true beauty of their foliage while waiting for fruit.

As we sort through more images we’ll continue to share.

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