Tropical Feeling

by | Jun 25, 2018

Perennials and flowering shrubs

These plants have do not require special winter treatment:

  • Proven Winners ‘Summerific’ Perennial Hibiscus: These full sun lovers are lovely shrubs with HUGE blooms! (Zone 5)
  • Rose-of-Sharon Hibiscus: Our answer to tropical hibiscus! In full to part sun, these flowering shrubs will provide blooms July through October and can grow up to 10′ high and wide. (Zone 5)
  • Crocosmia: Arching stems of nodding hot red or golden yellow blooms and slender green foliage make this plant a perennial garden favourite. The hummingbirds love it too! Plant in full sun. (Zone 5)
  • Ligularia: This beauty has bold leaves and towering spires of yellow blooms. It prefers rich, moist soil and full sun to thrive. (Zone 3)
  • Aralia ‘Sun King’: A plant with exotic yellow foliage for shade or sun. (Zone 6)
  • ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta: Giant foliage (growing up to 4’ high!) definitely gives this hosta a jungle feel! Place in part to full shade. (Zone 3)

Above: Windmill Palms; below: ‘Mojito’ colocasia

Plants that can stay outdoors but require a bit of winter protection

  • Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica): This plant is a large grower with totally tropical foliage! Plant in part to full shade. Aucuba japonica is another good shrubby option for shady spots. At Zone 7 they are just tender for our area, but if they’re planted in a protected spot they will need minimal attention in winter unless we’re due for a cold snap.
  • Green Bananas: These plants form a large, showy cluster of trees that can grow up to 14′ tall! ‘Musa Basjoo’ bananas are the hardiest (Zone 5), but still benefit from wrapping for winter protection. Red Banana ‘Ensete maurelii’ is Zone 9 and definitely needs to be protected for winter, so consider keeping it in a container. Both need full sun.
  • Windmill Palms: These palms generate the natural palm netting along the trunk and the seedpods you’re used to seeing in more exotic locations. Wrap them with N’Sulate in winter if they’re planted in the ground or, if they’re kept in a container, move them into a bright, frost free area. Windmill Palms are happiest in full sun. (Zone 8)

Plants that need to be lifted and brought into a frost-free area for winter

Bring them in well before frost and set them out again after the last threat of frost has past in the spring:

  • Colocasias & Alocasias: Both are commonly called Elephant Ears, but to tell them apart, Colocasia leaves point down while Alocasia leaves point up. Alocasias prefer part sun to shade and moist, but not heavily wet, soil. Colocasias enjoy more light and can tolerate more moisture in the soil. They are elegant and look so pretty in a breeze! (Zone 8)
  • Canna Lilies: With stunning foliage and bold blooms, Cannas are wonderful focal point plants for sunny locations in summer. Some stay compact to about 3′ tall, while others can grow to over 6′! They’re fantastic in containers too. (Zone 9)
  • Phormiums: Terrific ‘thriller’ plants for their sturdy, colourful, and ‘spiky’ foliage. These plants require full sun to thrive. (Zone 9)

Houseplants that can be set outside for summer

Generally speaking, you can set houseplants out once nighttime temperatures are consistently 18°C or higher, and most prefer to be in spots with bright, filtered light. Acclimatize them for a couple of days before setting out, and follow the same procedure when bringing them back inside in late summer (check for critters before they come back inside, too). Be cautioned, some are happier with the change of scenery than others. Our suggestions for best candidates to make the move include: 

  • Bougainvilleas (sun)
  • Dipladenias (sun)
  • Boston ferns (shade)
  • Caladiums (shade)

For these tropical beauties and more, visit Minter Country Garden today!