Hardy tropical plants can turn your temperate garden into an exotic tropical plant garden reminiscent of a Hawaiian rain forest with cold hardy tropical plants. You may be surprised at just how many varieties of tropical looking plants are hardy for your zone.
More Information About Tropical Looking Plants
It's a jungle out there! We have a large selection of cold hardy tropical plants including Curcuma (Hidden Cone Ginger), Canna (Canna Lilies), Musa (Banana), Hedychium (Ginger Lilies) and more. These exotic plants make your temperate garden resemble a tropical paradise.
Some of us here in the cool latitudes (and even some people in the nerdy latitudes) have exotic plant envy and want a garden full of tropical looking plants. Luckily for us, there are a few equatorial plants that have developed some cold hardiness and there are a few temperate zone plants with a distinct tropical exotic plant look. Make your temperate garden reminiscent of Hawaii today with tropical-looking exotic plants like bananas, cannas and aroids.
Hardy Tropical Plants
Exactly which cold hardy tropical plants you can grow in your garden depends on where you live. In our zone 7b garden in Raleigh, NC we have many hardy tropical plants for sale including:
- Bananas like Musa, Musella, and Ensete
- Large-leaved perennials and tall perennials like Tetrapanax, Philodendron, Heliconia, Manihot, Hedychium, Canna, and Curcuma
- Hardy forms of exotic tropical ginger lilies like Zingiber and Alpinia
- Elephant ears like Colocasia, Alocasia, Remusatia
- Exotic aroids like Amorphophallus
- Tropical tall ornamental grasses and other grass-like plants such as Arundo, Saccharum and Chlorophytum
- Exotic-looking bamboos like Fargesia, Borinda and Bambusa
- Shade-loving exotic plants like Aspidistra, Rohdea and Tupistra
- Tropical flowering exotic plants like Bauhinia, Begonia, Cuphea, Gloxinia and tropical Dahlia
- Woody-perennials like Cycas, Hibiscus, Abutilon and Brugmansia
- Tropical-looking hardy Ferns like Coniogramme
- Hardy Palm trees such as Phoenix, Sabal, Washingtonia, Rhapidophyllum and Butia
Exotic Desert Plants
In addition, there are certain temperate zone and desert plants that are distinctly exotic- looking in temperate climates including:
- Succulents like Agave, Aloe, Yucca, Dyckia, Echeveria, Nolina, Opuntia and Dasylirion
- Bulbs like Dracunculus, Zantedeschia and Hymenocallis
- South African natives like Eucomis and Scadoxus
- Ferns like Onoclea, Thelypteris and Pteris
The list below contains many more cold hardy tropical plants for all types of gardens. When you are ready to buy tropical looking plants for your garden, check out our online list of exotic plants for sale.
Read our article - How to Over-winter Tropical Plants
Check out our Gardening Unplugged videos
Gardening Unplugged is our series of short garden chats recorded during our Open Nursery and Garden Days.