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My Wild Backyard and Vivariums

My Garden Plants
My Critters
Feeder Insects
Terrarium, Vivarium
Critter Caresheets
Building Large Terrariums
Making a Keep Box
Making Outdoor Critter Houses
Backyard Pond Attraction
Wild Birds
Garden Insects
Butterflies and Moths
My Garden Plants
Wild Yard Plants
My Backyard Gallery
A Library of Links

Just a basic list of types of plants I already have. Sometimes I don't have a positive I.D. but I added a few I think I have at least some kind of identification on.

Fruits and Berries



I gathered my blackberries as wild growing in the alley between me and my neighbor's yard, and spots where it was growing in my own yard. I also added two domesticated vines I found at Walmart. With wild vines, the berries will be smaller and the vines very thorny and thin. Find the base of it and dig it up by its roots after cutting the vine about a foot from where the root base is. I have a raised bed made out of timbers with large branches over it just for the blackberries alone because they'll eventually make a bushy bramble patch, or the vines will stretch out for yards if you let it. The birds will love it.


I have two blueberry bushes growing against a tree. You need two to make berries. I got them at a local garden store while they had berries on them and hope to get some more out of them this year. They need well draining soil with a preference for sandy peat moss and high nitrogen fertilizing.


Mine was given to me so I'm not sure what kind of kumquat tree it is. I might be able to find out a little better when or if it makes fruit. Right now it's only 2ft tall having it's first winter in my garden.


Hawaii Blue Ageratum


I have this bedding flower all over the place just from getting a couple of little pots of it from the garden store. It would be ideal as a low growing edge for gardens and side walks.



I really like these plants. The snails do too, I find them all over them but they don't seem to be causing any serious damage.

Four O'clocks


I like these flowers, they grow fairly tall but they can also fall over from their own weight. The seeds are very easy to see and gather after the flowering.



I'm a big fan of hibiscus and trying to get a number of them to survive their first winter with me.



I have more marigolds than I really want but they look nice and are very hardy. Seeds are very easy to gather and the plant itself is easy to pull up and transplant, making a little ball of surface rooting.

Miniature Roses


I think they're slow growing but easy to take care of.



They grow pretty low to the ground and make an interesting cluster of little pods where all the tiny little seeds are.

Bulbs, Flowers and Leafy



These are an interesting, big flower that was given to me. I'm not sure what kind it is.

White Daffodil


It's ironic because I tried to buy some daffodil's and the squirrels ate my bulbs and there was some here all the time. I transfered some daffodil bulbs in my yard not knowing what they were because we kept mowing over it. I didn't think the bulbs survived the transfer but it's been a full summer and winter now and they're already up and blooming. I rescued some more in the empty lot next door to me and planted them all over my yard.

Daylily - Destined to See


I haven't seen this one make a flower yet. It's only one bulb and I'm hoping it will come up this spring and make a flower. I'll get more of these as it makes tubers rather than seed. Some daylilies are edible while others are poisonous. Getting the right one though, you can eat the shoots, buds and flowers.

Trumpet Lily


Most possibly a Candy Crinum. I rescued several bulbs from the empty lot next door and planted them in different places. They don't like shade too much but they'll still grow in it.

Lace Handkerchief Iris


Beautiful, I love the irises, especially the Siberian one's over the bearded ones. I have even more but I've forgotten what they were.
Blue Siberian Iris


Very rich blue and already making off-shoots and spreading out.

Caladium Aaron


I have a few caladiums but I like the Aaron the most. It doesn't like full sun, bummer, but it gives my rain barrel on the side of the house a neat tropical feel with all the fern and things there.

Elephant Ear - Taro Dasheen


I have one elephant ear my brother gave me, and it has made just a plethora of pups. I'm gonna have to start giving some away by next year.

Laguna Gladiolus


It's beautiful, and it's green. I might get the green star gladiolus too but I do kind of have a host of big flowers as it is. These gladiolus are my first, so I didn't plant the bulbs deep enough and they grew up, and then started falling down. I replanted them a little deeper, I hope I didn't actually kill them off but you never really know with bulbs until spring.

More Leafy Things and Grasses

Dieffenbachia Camilla


I put this outside and it doesn't like the cold but I mulched it so it may make a come back. This will get very tall and leafy which would be very ideal for the tree frogs and lizards around my house. Next time I go for something like this in the yard I'm going to get hostas.


I planted a store bought fern along the side of my house, mainly because there is a wild fern poking out from under the house. I had no idea what kind it was but I thought it had the right idea, I just couldn't transplant any of it and risk loosing the little batch down there. I think it's a native marsh fern, Thelypteris Palustris Schott. I bought the house fern seeds in a small bag of soil already rooting, and they look exactly the same as the marsh fern but don't grow the same. Among a few distinct differences, the fern under the house grows on a rhizome.
Mondo Grass


I'm using this monkey grass as a sort of edge plant around the pond I'm making. I had to plant it before the pond is finished but it's on top of a sort of dune I made above the actual pond level with some daffodils and some other bulbs I found in the yard and rescued from the mower. I dunno what they are yet.

Wandering Jew


I have both varieties. The purple stuff and Zebrina which was a stick laying on the ground by my car at the garden store one day, so I took it home and stuck it in a pot to see if it would survive. So far it has. The most I have is the purple stuff and it is epidemic hehe. It can survive as just a piece of stem on wet cement, take root and start to leaf, you can't even compost the trimmings it grows so well. It makes tiny, very pretty, stark pink flowers.

Arrowhead? -
Sagittaria latifolia
Bat Wing? - Alocasia
Asarum Splendens?


That's as close as I can get to identifying this plant, they're my only three suspects. It grows all over the alley between me and my neighbors yard so I transplanted some into my yard. It makes an elephant ear looking leaf but grows as a ground covering vine. It grows great in my tropical vivariums for my tree frogs and I'm trying to encourage it to over grow around our air conditioning unit as well as places that are just too shaded even for the grass to want to grow back after I leveled my yard.

Trees, Vining, Reedy and Bushy stuff

Dwarf Patio Banana Plant - Musa


These are not frost tollerant and need plenty of mulch if you can't bring them inside for the winter. You cut them down when they start to grow a pup or after flowering/bananas. I just got mine so I haven't seen banana's yet. They require plenty of nitrogen/fertilizer in a fast draining, slightly sandy soil. Keep them warm. Otherwise, these little banana trees do well and this one in particular is a Musa Super Dwarf Cavendish, patio banana that will only get about 4ft in height at the most. I found it on Ebay from Hirt's Gardens.

Truly Tiny Banana Plant - Musa


A miniature version of the Dwarf Cavendish Banana. Grows only 24" tall. I bought it off Ebay from Hirt's Gardens too.

Brown Turkey Fig Tree - Ficus Carica


I got these online as well, they came as some sticks. I hate that but, sometimes it's hard to get anyone to say if what they're selling has roots or not. Still, I potted it in potting soil after dipping the bottoms of the stems into a powder of root stimulator. Ferti-lome is a good brand or "Schultz Root Growth". So far they're still alive and I hope they make some leaves for spring because I'm looking forward to the turkey fig. They make very big figs and don't require another tree to make fruits.

Celeste Fig Tree - Ficus Carica


I got this fig tree first even though you need two trees with this one to make figs. It was lawn mowed by accident so I thought it was killed but it's making a tentative shoot through the ground right now. If winter frost kills a fig tree it will grow back like this, as long as the roots are alive, they'll come back.

Dracaena Marginata


The closest I could get to identifying this odd little tree. Another rescue from the empty lot next door I wouldn't mind buying if I could. The house that was there had burned down. I planted this in the back yard by a raised bed after prying it out of a plastic pot it was over growing in and trying to bust out of. It does the exact same thing as a Dracanea. Very slow growing and as its lower leaves die and eventually fall off someday if I don't pull them off, it looks like some kind of cane stalk.

Chinese Privet Shrub - Ligustrum Sinense


I got this with a hedge in mind but the trees I received were thin, mostly branchless and tall. I have some spaced out between my private fence and the pond project. They're leafing out allot better than I thought they would after trimming them in half. Even though I don't expect a thick hedge out of it any time soon it will eventually make those tiny white flowers which butterflies love. I hope it will hedge to attract birds and other critters as a hide out.



I think the one in my front yard did not survive this winter but I have more growing in the back by the compost and it's doing fine. Slow growing with thorns, it can become a long vine or bonsai it into a tree. You can make more of these with cuttings and root stimulant. So far out of all my trimmings though I've held one survivor and all I did with that one was just stick it in the garden dirt and leave it alone.

Horsetail - Scouring Rush
Equisetum Hyemale


I got this specifically for the pond. It's just a small bunch surviving this winter in a raised bed at the moment but horsetail can get rather tall and out of hand if it's too successful. I really wanted some bamboo though and just didn't have the yard to go with the regular stuff. Fortunately horsetail gives me the chance to scale that down to reeds and would thrive around something like my pond. It might even attract one of my most fave insects, the dragonfly, and if they nymph, something to climb up in relatively safe from birds.

Bromeliads and Air Plants

Bromeliad Vriesea


This is the closest I could get to my bromeliads, I got them from Walmart and they dunno either. I have some more or less just because I like them. I haven't seen any frogs take to the one on my porch and they don't do well in my vivariums because it's usually just too wet.
Neoregelia pauciflora


I got one of these as a cluster for my tree frog vivarium but they were dying in it so I transfered the last one into a pot and put it on my front porch. It's doing well and even survives the winter. It has one pup and I hope it will make more but it's a very slow grower who doesn't sit well in the soil as far as taking roots, and neither of them have made any pups thus far.
Neoregelia sarmentosa


Closest I could get to some my brother gave me. It's an entire cluster of over two dozen of them. I've transplanted only three into different places and put the cluster in a garden spot at the side of my house where I can keep my eye on it. I'm hoping the tree frogs will like it and the spot it's in has some rooting of a wild bindweed (morning glory type) that should be sprouting out this spring to make the wall of vines around the fencing these guys are in. So there will be shading for them coming.


Mosquito Citronella Geranium


The mosquito plant! This has a very sharp, citrus smell that repels mosquitoes and I'm trying to get my little bushel of it to flourish and multiply. Cuttings easily transfer but the plant can be picky about surviving in shade. It makes a beautiful, orchid-like flower.


I guess I'm not big on herbs but I have two beds I hope to finish this spring and put my peppermint back in it with adding some varieties. Spearmint, chocolate mint, banana mint and orange or lime mint. I'm rather fond of the plant and I'm still learning the art of drying it to retain its taste for home made teas. It flourishes in good potting soil and light shade and trimming the leaves off for yourself will make them very long. They grow more roots every few inches, making them very easy to transfer as a cutting.

Succulents, Cacti and Agaves

Aloe Vera


I have so much aloe vera I planted it in allot of places around my yard. My best one's are in my two raised beds in my front yard (more like the side of my house in the front). They're rather large and already have long, blooming stalks. My biggest one is the "mother" plant, almost 3ft tall. I'd like to get more of them to look like my favorite one's do and then I could just give them away or sell them. Aloe Vera multiplies in pups like a herd of rabbits but I just can't bring myself to cull the crop. I'd like to see every last one of them to turn out like their grand momma. You can snap a piece of aloe vera off and rub it on burns, cuts and insect bites among its other various medicinal and cosmetic uses.
Aloe Variegata


I got this aloe because it looks interesting. It's very slow growing.

Blue Echeveria


This succulent was expensive to buy but it has two pups now and produces stem blooms fairly regularly. It's a beautiful plant and needs to have something like aquarium gravel between it and the soil for its roots.

Mother In Law's Tongue - Sansevieria Trifasciata


I have allot of this agave in different areas and pots. They make pups and grow pretty tall. Ideal for a tree frog, they have a nice look about them and I'm looking forward to mine making large clusters.

Mother of Thousands


I think this plant is unusual. It makes babies on the ends of its leaves as the leaves grow and then the babies fall off. I have allot of it from just one "mother" plant and spread them out all over the place just to see who would take where.

Desert Rose - Adenium Obesum


I bought these as seeds and started them out in my large, indoor terrarium where I still have some waiting for this spring before I set them outside in new pots. I put one outside just to see how well it would do through the winter at about a thumb sized. So far so good. You can make more of these with their cuttings but the milk they'll bleed is poisonous and it's better to do it in the winter months. A very interesting plant that can get rather big and bulbous with its trunk bulk. I only wanted one but the plant itself is just expensive. I'll see how well these shoots do and find places for them.

Agave Lophantha (hybrid)


I took this pic of my largest lophantha. I don't know what this lophantha is hybrid of, but lophantha's grow wild in the Rio Grand and I like the look of it. It is very spiny with a thorn on each tip and thorns down the 'leaves'. It grows by producing new leaves in the middle and opening out and makes pups from a long root or at the base. If you don't catch one soon enough you might end up with a rather long looking lophantha. They can be illusive. I have one smaller lophantha whose pups I found by digging it up for a transfer and looking under it. I have three offspring from both in the back yard but this is a very slow growing plant and if they're pot sized, go ahead and pot them for a few years.

Mexican Grass Tree - Dasylirion Longissimum


I got this rather by accident, I was looking for something else and got these seeds by mistake. Four of the seeds managed to survive me though and have sprouted like two or three leaves each. This makes a fat, short little trunk with the grass growing on top of it and out in a splendor. At least, I believe the one I have is a Sotol.

Some Desireable's I Don't Have or Plan to Get

Escargot Begonia


This unusual begonia grows its leaves like a curly-fry and I'd like to eventually find one for myself. More of a house plant because it isn't cold tolerant and would need to come in for the winter.
Sassafras Tree


Sassafras can get pretty big like any other tree but I want at least one and I have several different spots I can put a tree in the back yard. It'll fruit/seed in about ten years if it lives that long and my shaded back yard is fine as long as the ground isn't too wet like by the pond. I love its colors and smell and we used to make sassafras tea so it's reminiscent as well. Root beer used to be made out of sassafras (the root also makes the tea) but was banned by the FDA because it caused cancer in lab rats. It has never been known to cause it in humans however.
Sterling Silver Tea Rose


I like tea roses the most. I'd like to get this sterling silver hybrid, lavender-blue or a hybrid tea rose called Blue Girl, which is more of a lilac color. Plus a red rose bush and a Texas yellow. Roses like allot of sun so I don't really have much yard for it cause it's all shade in the back yard but the side of the house and one spot between the raised beds along the car port would do.

Organic Gardening

Growing Bananas

Escargot Begonia