Zone 9 Tropical Plants: Tips On Growing Tropical Gardens In Zone 9

Image by Edson Hardt

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

During summer in zone 9 it may certainly feel like the tropics; however, in winter when temperatures dip in to the 20s or 30s, you may worry about one of your tender tropical plants. Because zone 9 is mostly a subtropical climate, it’s necessary to select tropical plants that are hardy in zone 9 and grow non-hardy tropical plants as annuals. Continue reading to learn about growing tropical gardens in zone 9.

Caring For Tropical Plants in Zone 9 Gardens

When you think of the tropics, you probably visualize brightly colored, exotic-looking flowers; large, interesting shaped foliage in various shades of green, gold, red and orange; and, of course, palm trees.

Palm trees play an important role in zone 9 tropical gardens; they are used as specimen plants, backdrops, windbreaks and privacy screens. However, not all palms are hardy in zone 9. For zone 9 hardy palms, try these varieties:

Since cold temperatures and frost can happen in zone 9, it is important to take precautions and cover tropical plants when frost is in the forecast. Zone 9 tropical plants will also benefit from mulching their root zones before the coldest winter months in your area. Non-hardy tropical plants can be grown in pots to easily take indoors before cold can damage them.

Tropical Plants for Zone 9

Palms are not the only plants that provide dramatic foliage and texture to zone 9 tropical gardens. For example, you can add tropical-looking, colorful foliage such as:

Large, tropical trees can provide a shady oasis in hot, humid zone 9 tropical gardens. Some good choice might include:

Below are some bold, bright flowering tropical plants for zone 9:

More Information about Zone 9, 10 & 11
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