Posts Tagged ‘instant jungle international’

Using Succulents in Vertical Gardens

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Succulents can turn an empty wall into a lush, beautiful living piece of art.

Are your backyard walls looking a little drab?  Want to brighten up the side of your house? If you don’t have a lot of room to garden, think outside of the box, or rather, towards the sky!  As with all small spaces, thinking vertically is a great way to repurpose your space. A new and upcoming trend is vertical succulent gardens.  In the last blog Instant Jungle talked about these special arid plants that are not only hardy but also come in a spectrum of different beautiful colors, shapes, sizes and textures.  Though you can landscape using succulents, another way to creatively utilize these plants is to create a vertical hanging wall.

What is a succulent wall?  It is exactly what it sounds like—a garden of a variety of different succulent plants that collectively create a vertical mirage.  Think of it as sort of like vine plants that climb up the side of walls, except succulent gardens are more contained and can be customized to different shapes and colors utilizing different succulent species.  Because succulents have short roots, they can thrive with virtually no soil, and thus can hang freely from a wall without much maintenance effort.  And, because succulents are arid desert plants, they require a very minimal amount of water to survive.

Instant Jungle is a big fan of vertical succulent gardens, and in fact one of our recent big projects involves installing and setting up a beautiful succulent wall for a prestigious Hollywood hotel client.  Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks when we unveil more details about this exciting project!

Succulent gardens make wonderful art pieces and even whole-wall gardens.  For more information about how to turn a wall into a living piece of art, give Instant Jungle a call at (800) 447-4007, visit one of our three locations in Southern California or visit our website at

Maintaining Bamboo is Easy!

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Bamboo makes great landscaping plants and living fences, but homeowners need to remember to maintain their bamboo to prevent it from growing rampant.

Instant Jungle loves bamboo, especially the versatility of the plant and its uniqueness in growth and color pattern formations.  We are a strong advocate in creatively using bamboo to landscape exteriors; for example, we love that bamboo can be used as an eco-friendly living fence that not only gives homeowners privacy but also looks stunning in backyards.  Though beautiful, many people assume that bamboo can be a tricky plant to maintain, and if not watched over carefully can run rampant and proliferate all throughout your backyard! This is a myth: bamboo is actually quite easy to contain.

Bamboo species can be split into two main categories: clumpers or runners.  The latter is the type that people have to be careful of when growing; runner bamboo types proliferate by rhizomes, root-like stems that grow underground and feed up new shoots and which can proliferate within dozens of feet from its original planting site.   If owners do not tend to their runner bamboo, the plant will grow out of control.

For homeowners using bamboo as a living fence, this poses a slight problem.  In order to control running bamboo from running into neighbors’ backyards, homeowners must tend to their bamboo yearly.  The simplest way to control running bamboo is to cut off unwanted shoots every spring season.  This is only a temporary solution, as bamboo grows through its underground rhizomes.  Removing any rhizomes that stray away from the contained area will make it easier to prevent unwanted bamboo from popping up in different areas.


Gardening with Succulents

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Succulents are hardy plants that come in many different sizes, colors, shapes and textures. Create a charming garden like this one using succulent plants.

Not everyone has the ability to grow and maintain a lush garden in their backyard, but that’s okay. For those of you who were not born with a natural green thumb, you should not shy away from landscaping and plants.  In fact, Instant Jungle has just the right plant fit for you—succulents.  Succulents are a group of plants that have characteristically fleshy leaves, evolutionarily developed for storing water in order to survive arid climates (or a forgetful plant owner!) throughout the world. You may already be familiar with popular succulents such as aloe and cacti.   Not only are these plants low-maintenance and resilient to accidental neglect, but they also come in hundreds of varieties with different and beautiful colors, shapes, sizes and textures.   Get creative and create extraordinary landscapes in your front yard with different succulent species, or plant a couple in small ceramic pots to decorate around your home.  The possibilities are yours to explore!

Even though succulents are highly resilient, they are not indestructible! Here are a couple of pointers for growing succulents:


Succulents like light, but be careful with how much you expose them to the sun! Many succulents’ leaves will burn if exposed to direct sunlight.  On the other hand, not enough sunlight will cause a succulent to stretch and elongate, warping the shape of the plant.  Monitoring your succulents’ leaves will give you a good indication of how much more or less sun your plant should be getting.


Succulents need abundant water during the summer seasons.  Allow the soil or potting mix of your succulent to dry in between watering, but also be careful not to underwater, either! During the colder seasons, water your succulents every other month to avoid root rot.  Although initially an overwatered succulent might look healthy, its roots are probably deteriorating and rotting away at the plant.  Again, monitor your succulents’ leaves to see whether or not you are properly watering your plant; overwatering usually causes discolored leaves, while underwatering will cause leaves to shed and develop brown spots.

Instant Jungle International carries a wide selection of succulents and other exotic and tropical plants.  If you have any further questions about succulents, feel free to give us a call on (800) 447-4007. We’re happy to help! To learn more about our company, please visit us at one of our three locations in Southern California or at our website at

Bamboo Myths

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Planting exotic bamboo is the new trend in Southern California

Although the trend for bamboo is growing fast, there’s still a lot of questions out there about this tall, striking plant. Instant Jungle International has been dealing with bamboo and other tropical plants for our entire 30-year career, so we wanted to share some of our knowledge by answering some frequently asked questions.

1.  Doesn’t all bamboo run rampant once planted?

Bamboo comes in two forms, clumping and “grove-like” or running bamboo. Running bamboo can be easily contained with root barrier. Root barrier is usually a 30 or 40 mm polyethylene plastic sheeting that encircles the area where you want the “grove-like bamboo” to stay contained. It is supplied in 24”, 30” and 36” depths and ships in roll

2.How fast does bamboo grow?

Bamboo varieties differ in rate of growth. The timber varieties grow fairly fast and can grow quite tall, ranging from 25’-45’ in maturity. Other varieties reach a shorter height and grow somewhat slower.

3. How many kinds of bamboo are there?

There are hundreds of varieties of bamboo. Most varieties that are used ornamentally in garden number about 20-30.

4.  Are there bamboo types that can be used indoors?

Some bamboo varieties may be used in an interior application– there must be sufficient overhead lighting and good ventilation

5.  Is there bamboo that doesn’t need a lot of water or light?

Instant Jungle builds and supplies “replica” bamboo, which are “silk” bamboo. We use real canes and attach silk leaves to the branches.


Need Privacy? Use Bamboo As A “Living Fence”

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Celebrities use living fences to ward off paparazzi, but this couple has used it effectively in a small space in Venice Beach, California, creating a lovely place for their family to relax and entertain without the neighbors being able to look in. (Photo courtesy of Sunset Magazine)

Looking for a little privacy in your backyard?  Building a fence might be an option, but can make your backyard feel too closed in and unpleasant.  And, we have to admit, fences are a bit old school! If you are looking for a modern twist on the fence, consider using  “living walls”, the trend of using living plants as privacy fences. Bamboo plants make excellent choices for creating a privacy hedge—their height and vibrant foliage colors make them a unique way to artfully, yet very subtly, barricade your backyard from unwanted eyes.  And, planting a bamboo fence is much more cost-effective and eco-friendly than erecting a fence!  Sunset Magazine agrees that living fences are the latest trend, and that they are here to stay.

Instant Jungle carries a huge selection of unique and beautiful bamboo species.  Homeowners to acclaimed landscape architects to high-end hotels have sought out our bamboo species for their interior decorating and outdoor landscaping needs.  If you are looking for an attractive bamboo plant to use as a living fence or for any other landscaping purpose, come by to one of our three Southern California locations.  If you have any questions about bamboo trees or if you would like to learn more about our company, please call us at 800.447.4007 or visit our website at

Unique Specimen Plants Sale EXTENDED!

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

We have a great affinity for unique plants and we can’t help sharing it with other people. That’s why Instant Jungle has extended our sale on special plant specimens until March 31st, 2011!  This past year has yielded unusually wet weather for us Southern Californians, but that means the conditions are perfect for planting!  Moister soil is most conducive to planting palm trees, and also the abundance of rainfall this year will be a great precursor to the scorching sun during the summer.  Get a head start this season—come on by to Instant Jungle to check out our extensive selection of unique plants, including palms and bamboo, and to get started on your new garden or landscaping today.

Please feel free to contact us at Instant Jungle for information, recommendations and pricing. All of these plants featured here are only available while supplies last, so call us for information on specific quantities. We’re here to help!

Call us toll free at (800)447-4007! Click on the names below to see photographs, descriptions, common names and pricing.

Unique Specimen Plants at Instant Jungle

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Our Bottle Palms, or Beaucarnia Recurvata, is one of the items on sale until March 15th.

Instant Jungle is more than just a nursery. We provide unusual and hard-to-find plants for our customers, especially those that need landscaping for large residential, commercial or resort projects. At Instant Jungle, we like to carry plants that suit residential backyards as well as those that can be placed immediately into a new hotel’s pool landscaping.

. To the naked eye, many of these plants look identical, especially the bamboo species. What makes them different?

As we discussed in a previous blog about bamboo and living screens, there are two major types of bamboo: “running bamboo,” or Phyllostachys aurea; and “clumping bamboo,” or Bambusa. Clumping bamboo is better for planting directly into the soil, where running bamboo needs some sort of root barrier to keep it contained within its designated area in the landscaping. It will still create a beautiful bamboo grove.

Besides being “runners” or “clumpers,” each of these different bamboo types have different colorways and maximum growth heights. Please click on the name of the plant below to read the description of each of the plants to see if they are a right fit for your landscaping.

Still not sure? Please feel free to contact us at Instant Jungle for information, recommendations and pricing. All of these plants featured here are only available as supplies last, so call us for information on specific quantities. We’re here to help!

Call us toll free at (800)447-4007. Click on the names below to see photographs, descriptions, common names and pricing.

Instant Jungle’s Projects for March

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Kentia Palm Trees

Instant Jungle is half-way through one of our most recent projects out in a Newport Coast property.  The plant selection process started early during this particular project; the owner, architect and landscape contractor all decided that it would be best to bring in the giant palm trees before they started any other construction.  This way, the crane used to carry in the palms would have a completely clear path during transportation.  On a recent beautiful and sunny Saturday morning, the architect and one of the homeowners came to Instant Jungle’s Santa Ana location and hand selected some Kentia Palms for the property.  Before Instant Jungle shipped out the palms, we quickly pulled them aside at the nursery for a final approval and inspection.

48-Inch Box Double-trunk Kentia Palm Ready to Ship!

We will be updating as this project progresses, so keep checking back at Instant Jungle’s blog for more news.

Instant Jungle is a full-service retail and wholesale nursery offering a wide selection of exotic and tropical plants, bamboo species and palm trees as well as many traditional indoor and outdoor plants. If you need new landscaping material or if you are simply looking for something to spruce up your living room, Instant Jungle will have something for you.  Please feel free to browse our website for more information, or you can visit one of our three Southern California locations.

Instant Jungle Bids Goodbye to 2010 with a Fantastic Palm Installation

Friday, March 4th, 2011

We concluded 2010 with a project for an exclusive, beautiful property overlooking the entire Newport Beach Harbor. The main component of the project was to line both sides of the property entrance’s perimeter with one of our unusual temperate bamboo species. We also provided two perfectly matched 30’ Phoenix Canariensis palms on each side of the main front entrance foyer. On top of all that, we provided and assisted with the installation of some very fragile (and pricey!) aloe species.

We transported and lifted the pieces by using a 90-ton crane. It was a tedious process but Instant Jungle made it work.

Strapping in the plants without damaging them was the most challenging aspect of this project. Instant Jungle successfully transported all the pieces without hurting a single leaf!

Like moving pieces of art, these plants all required very delicate and meticulous maneuvering. With our years of experience and expertise, we were able to carefully mobilize and install all the pieces without damaging a single stem. So how did we manage to do this? By transporting everything via a 90-ton crane! Moving the pieces was easy—it was the bracing and rigging each plant onto the crane that was the most challenging part of all.

To top off our year, Michael Dilley from MDZA Landscape Architecture, one of Instant Jungle’s most prominent clients, sent us the following heartwarming thank you note:


Phyllostachys Bambusoides or Giant Timber Bamboo

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

This 36-Inch Short Box Phyllostachys Bambusoides is over 40 feet tall.

Phyllostachys Bambusoides

Common name: Giant Timber Bamboo

These 40’-50’ bamboo plants have 3” diameter canes, with more culms this spring emerging. Very serene and magical bamboo for a tall, grove-like effect.

Please contact us for quantities and pricing: (800) 447-4007

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