Appropriate Planting Distances

by Cathy
(Puerto Rico)


My husband and I have designed a large tropical plant garden for our home in Puerto Rico and while we have been able to research appropriate light, soil and water conditions for the plants we have selected, we are still unsure about the appropriate spacing. We are planting Cordyline, Variegated Ginger, Ruellia, and Heliconia. We appreciate any insight you can provide.



The correct spacing will allow enough room between individual plants for each one to reach full growth. Space plants based on the maximum spread they will reach at full maturity.

For the specific plants you mentioned above, (Cordyline, Variegated Ginger, Ruellia, and Heliconia) determine the maximum spread each plant will reach, and space plants accordingly.

For example, the Cordyline terminalis spread is 2 to 4 feet. The suggested plant spacing is 36 to 60 inches. The Ruellia brittoniana spread is 1 to 2 feet. The suggested plant spacing is 24 to 36 inches.

If you wanted to plant these cultivars next to each other, base the spacing on the spread each plant will reach at maturity – 4 feet and 2 feet (this is the maximum spread). The spacing would be approximately 48 inches.

Note: There are different species of the plants mentioned above. Be sure to base plant spacing on the correct species.

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