During summer in zone 9 it may certainly feel like the tropics; however, in winter when temperatures dip in to the 20’s or 30’s (-1 to -7 C.), you may worry about one of your tender tropical plants. Since 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 choices might include:
Below are some bold, bright flowering tropical plants for zone 9:
- African iris
- Amazon lily
- Angel’s trumpet
- Bird of paradise
- Blood lily
- Butterfly ginger lily
- Calla lily
- Gloriosa lily
- Indonesian wax ginger
- Night-blooming cereus
- Paphiopedilum orchids
- Pride of Burma
- Zephyr lily