Archive for the ‘Tropical Plants (non-hardy)’ Category

First Days Of Fall…. Bring In Your House Plants

The final days are summer are over. It’s time to move your tropical plants indoors before night temps in the low 40°F arrive. These plants thrive outdoors in summer temperatures and high humidity, but cannot survive being left outdoors. Container plants such as Ficus (rubber) trees, orchids, Norfolk Island pines, scheffleras, bromeliads, gardenias, palms, and […]

Crown Of Thorns Is A Versatile Plant

Crown of Thorns plant (Euphorbia milii) is a thorny slow growing succulent native to Madagascar (USDA hardiness zones 9-11). In colder regions of the U.S., it is an easy- care flowering houseplant that seems to thrive on neglect. It blooms almost year-round. Outside, in a garden setting, it blooms nonstop from spring thru mid-fall here in the Mid-South […]

Mussaenda: A Stunning Tropical For Summer Gardens

Mussaenda (Mussaenda spp.) is a small tropical tree or large shrub. It’s a spectacular bloomer that grows to 10-15 feet tall in tropical zones (USDA zones 10-12). It is sometimes called “tropical dogwood” or “Buddah’s lamp”. In large containers it will reach 1-3 feet tall. Mussaenda blooms from late spring to mid-fall in mild-winter areas. Bloom […]

Tropical Beauty Of African Rose Mallow

African Rose Mallow (Hibiscus acetosella), aka Red-leaf Hibiscus and false Roselle, is grown in most of the U.S. as a colorful annual, although it is rated as a perennial shrub for USDA Zones 9-11. It is native to Africa and, as expected, thrives in hot tropical environment such as in the deep South or Southern California […]

Pineapple Lilies For Summer Garden

Pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp.) are native of South Africa and are easy to grow (USDA hardiness zones 7-10).  Several hybrid cultivars are winter hardy in zone 6 if provide a protective layer of mulch or loose leafy compost. Plants have basal rosette of strap-like, wavy-edged, purple-spotted, dark green leaves which spread upward and outward to […]

Agaves Like It Hot, Dry and Sunny

Agaves (Agave spp.) are long-leaved succulent landscape plants. These native perennial succulents  grow in desert-like environments (USDA hardiness zones 8 and warmer). Plants grow in a rosette form with long their fleshy leaves frequently tipped with one or more sharp spines and a prominent bloom spike with cup shaped flowers. Most are native to the Southwest U.S. […]

Firebush Is One Tough Texas Flowering Plant

Firebush. aka scarlet bush (Hamelia patens),  is indigenous from Mexico to Central America (USDA hardiness 10-11). Treat it as a tempermental perennial in zone 9, and an annual everywhere else it is not hardy. This fast growing plant blooms through most of summer into fall with showy clusters of tubular red buds and flowers. Firebush thrives in Texas heat […]

Gardenias Continue To Disappoint In The Mid-South

The lure of fragrant white flowers have mid-South gardeners (zones 6 and 7) wanting to grow gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides). New cultivars, supposedly hardier than previous ones, hit garden centers every spring. Unfortunately, zones 6 and 7 winters usually prove them wrong. Recent purchases of new cultivars ‘Frostproof’ and Pinwheel® and older selection ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ have […]

Sweet Potato Vines

Ornamental sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) have been around since the late 1980’s, but their popularity have soared over the past decade. These sweet potatoes aren’t for the table. The colorful vines thrive in the intense heat of U.S. summers from May through September (zones 5-11). These easily grown plants work well as a low-growing bedding plant, […]

Night Blooming Plants For Temperate Climates

If you are working away from home all day long, you might consider growing a few plants that bloom at night. Here’s a short list of plants whose flowers will add beauty to your evening garden: Evening Primrose (Oenothera glazioviana)  – this biennial grows 1-5 feet tall. Plant(s) are basal growing in year one and produce sturdy floral […]