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Cold winter weather doesn't necessarily mean you must give up your dreams of having a tropical garden at home. There are several varieties of cold-hardy tropical plants you can grow in the ground or in containers to bring the atmosphere of the tropics anywhere you are. Here are some suggestions for tropical plants that grow well in colder climates:
It doesn't get much more tropical than the banana plant. While the varieties of banana plants you can grow at home aren't likely to produce edible fruit, they still make stunning additions to a tropical garden. Though technically a herbaceous plant rather than an actual tree, some bananas can grow upwards of 12 feet tall in the right conditions. Luckily, this is the case even for colder climates.
The best option for a cold weather winter garden is either the Japanese banana or the Dwarf Cavendish banana. Trimming it down to a stump and mulching heavily during the winter will help it survive in temperatures well below freezing and allow it to bounce back in the spring.
Bamboo is an extremely resilient and fast-growing plant. While some species can be invasive, clumping varieties won't spread, making them an excellent choice for cold-hardy tropical plants. Some of the biggest advantages of bamboo are its utility and low-maintenance needs. You can plant clumping bamboo around the edges of your yard to create a natural privacy fence. Besides the occasional trimming, bamboo doesn't need much regular maintenance to thrive, and will last through snowy winters with ease.
For a colorful addition to your tropical garden, consider planting canna lilies. These cold hardy plants have foliage as bright and aesthetically pleasing as their blooms. Some produce large, variegated leaves in red, pink, orange and even dark purple.
While technically cold-hardy, canna lilies should be dug up from the ground before the first frost. You can save the bulbs inside until it's time to replant them in warmer weather.
While these suggestions are all suitable for colder temperatures, it's always a good idea to research specific plant needs before adding them to your garden. Knowing how best to care for plants will help them thrive and keep your garden lush all year long.