You don’t have to fly to Hawaii or St. Lucia to enjoy the lushness of the tropics.
You can make your garden feel like you’re on permanent vacation by adding exotic plants and tropical flowers. Garden centers in the South carry a surprising number of tropical plants and tropical-looking plants that offer spectacular flowers and foliage. Some exotic plants are perfectly winter hardy, while others won’t take frost. But you needn’t say good-bye to your tropical plants in November. Many can be easily overwintered indoors.
There are a plethora of tropical trees you can plant as well. From the vibrant and exotic Coral tree to stunning flowers of an Orchid or Empress tree to the lush leaves of the Banana tree, tropical trees flourish in the south—as long as you have plenty of sun. Young palm trees, however, love the shade—consider planting them for a true exotic feel in your garden. Most palms are tropical or subtropical; a few are surprisingly hardy, thriving in towns like Birmingham, Atlanta, and Norfolk. Find out which types of tropicals will survive in your area.