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Old 03-14-2008, 07:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

After three years of researching, I've come up with a list of my favorite plants that can help transform your backyard into a tropical oasis. First list is of tropical looking plants. The second list is evergreens that will give your garden winter interest.

Tropicalesque plants
Musa Basjoo
Musa Sikkimensis
Phyllostachys bissetii
Phyllostachys aureosulcata
Sasa Genus of bamboo
Indocalamus tessellatus
Fargesia dracocephala 'Rufa'
Magnolia tripetala
Magnolia grandiflora 'Edith Bogue'
Magnolia fraseri
Magnolia macrophylla
Petasites japonicus
Canna musafolia
Your favorite hardy ferns
Your favorite hostas
Your favorite Iris
Paulownia tomentosa
Hibiscus Fireball
Asimina triloba
Kniphofia northiae
Catalpa
Albizia julibrissin ‘Rosea’
Desmanthus illinoensis
Impatiens omeiana
Arisaema consanguineum
Aesculus
Astilboides tabularis
Figs
Hakonechloa macra


The Broad leaf Evergreens
Daphniphyllum macropodum
Ilex glabra
Ilex crenta sky pencil
Ilex pedunclosa
Viburnum pragense
Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Aucuba japonica
Trochodendron aralioides
Magnolia virginiana moonglow
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’
Pieris japonica
Kalmia latifolia
Disporsis pernyi
Asarum europaeum
Hedera helix 'Prince Avenue'
some Epimediums

There are many others too. These are just the ones I've researched and like the most. I hope others living in the rather boring USDA Zone 6 find this useful. And please feel free to add to my list. I'm always looking for new plants to try!

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

I would add Sabal minor and Rhapidiophyllum hystrix as well.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

I've had a hard time finding very many broad leaf evergreens for zone 6-7. You have no idea what that list means to me!
Awesome!!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

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Originally Posted by CookieCows View Post
I've had a hard time finding very many broad leaf evergreens for zone 6-7. You have no idea what that list means to me!
Awesome!!
Glad I could help!

For Zone 7, a great looking broad leaf evergreen Genus are the Illiciums:

Illicium floridanum
Illicium henryi
Illicium parviflorum

I'm in a very cold Zone 6, but Illicium floridanum and Illicium henryi have held up pretty well. The leaves curl up in the cold though. So during days it is well below 32 they don't look so happy. Illicium floridanum looks a little beat up right now, but Illicium henryi looks very good considering it went below zero twice and stayed below freezing for a few weeks. I think the snow pack really helps them in my location, so I can't really recommend them for all of zone 6. I'm not sure how long they'll last here either since this was just their first winter.


austinl01, you're right! In the warmer parts of Zone 6 Sabal minor and Rhapidiophyllum hystrix would be fun to try out. For me, its probably too much trouble trying to protect them during a winter here.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

We are in zone 6 and have many varieties of tropical style plants and cold hardy palms and musa
check our website at Tucked Away Farms - Califon, NJ
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Illicium floridanum last summer



Illicium floridanum in the middle of winter



Illicium floridanum today



It look very good all the way until March. A couple of deep freezes in March did major damage. And a freeze a couple weeks ago did a little more.

Went all the down to minus 4 degrees twice, both in February... I think?

It was 87 degrees today! All the trees are greening up!
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

One of my favorite plants!

Kniphofia northiae last summer (first year)



Kniphofia northiae today



Looks fried right? Well, it looked much worse two weeks ago. As soon as high temperatures reached the 60s, 70s and 80s of the past two weeks, it started growing by greening up in the center and pushing up new leaves. Great plant! May not be evergreen in zone 6 but it did survive below zero temperatures here. Looks like it could be a monster this year!

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Old 04-20-2008, 01:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Thanks for the list Chris!
I needed it!
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

No problem!

Here's a photo of my very small Ilex pedunclosa.... I took it yesterday.



Really looking forward to seeing this one turning into a decent size shrub or tree. It made it through one winter in relatively good condition. Hopefully it will prove to be fully hardy here. Large broadleaf evergreens are truly a rare find in my area.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Update on a few plants.

Illicium floridanum. Starting to look good again....



Kniphofia northiae



Fargesia Rufa



Magnolia tripetala



Magnolia grandiflora 'Edith Bogue'

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Old 07-02-2008, 10:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Not on the list above, but here is my Kniphofia caulescens



Impatiens omeiana



Magnolia grandiflora ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

that are some nice plants, I really like the silver leafes of the Kniphofia caulescens
!
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

they look great! i love the magnolias!
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

PLZ try fragaria ''lipstick'' a evergreen cold hardy strawberry which also produces purple flowers and berrys
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by dablo93 View Post
that are some nice plants, I really like the silver leafes of the Kniphofia caulescens
!
Thank you! I agree the foliage is lovely. I'll try to post a picture when it flowers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mskitty38583 View Post
they look great! i love the magnolias!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodewijkp View Post
PLZ try fragaria ''lipstick'' a evergreen cold hardy strawberry which also produces purple flowers and berrys
Thanks so much for the suggestion! I'm always looking for new broadleaf evergreens to try and Fragaria lipstick is one I haven't heard about before. The fact that it flowers and produces fruit is a bonus too!
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

When we lived in Oregon, Red Tipped Photinias were a favorite broadleaf evergreen for us and I started looking for them after moving to Kentucky. Finally found a couple little sticks and planted them about 4 years ago. Last year I stumbled across a lot of articles about a leaf spot fungus that they are prone to that has made them pretty much obsolete in the south and said they usually die at around 4 years old so I am waiting to see what happens. I'm so bummed to learn about this. I'm wondering if they'll last longer because of the drought we're in.

They really do grow 3 to 5 feet a year. Mine are huge and very dense now.

I don't know if Photinia has another name that you already have listed but thought I'd mention it for people that live in dry climates.

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Old 07-05-2008, 05:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

i made a page about fragaria ''lipstick''

PlantFiles: Detailed information on Ornamental Strawberry Fragaria 'Lipstick'

read the article below.

also if you want the real deal be sure to get the dutch cultivar or the ''stickbolwi cultivar'', there are alot of sellers that sell the wrong plant.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieCows View Post
When we lived in Oregon, Red Tipped Photinias were a favorite broadleaf evergreen for us and I started looking for them after moving to Kentucky. Finally found a couple little sticks and planted them about 4 years ago. Last year I stumbled across a lot of articles about a leaf spot fungus that they are prone to that has made them pretty much obsolete in the south and said they usually die at around 4 years old so I am waiting to see what happens. I'm so bummed to learn about this. I'm wondering if they'll last longer because of the drought we're in.

They really do grow 3 to 5 feet a year. Mine are huge and very dense now.

I don't know if Photinia has another name that you already have listed but thought I'd mention it for people that live in dry climates.

Deb
Thanks! Photinia x fraseri is on my list of plants to try!

Lodewijkp, thank you for the tip. That's good to know!
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

In Reply to your Post Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6:

Thank You SOOOO much! I live in a dreadfully ugly and boring area (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), and I've been dying to find anything more tropical, broadleaf, and evergreen-looking, as most people around here go too far with the dry, arid, rocky, desert theme. It makes my skin crawl and itch just to look at it! It's all bland and dull; at best they plant a pine or cypress tree. I've held off planting anything in my yard unless it is more suited to coastal and tropical climes. God bless you for making a list! Some of us refuse to be stuck with the lazy, easy, (and ugly) way out! I feel better already!

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Old 10-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Tropical Looking Plants for Zone 6

Yunnan Banana Musa sp. "Yunnan" is another for the list mabe even good for zone 5......
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