Foolproof Winter-Hardy Tropical Plants

Many of the plants that project the tropical look aren't winter hardy below 15 to 20 degrees (USDA Zone 8). Here are some beauties that can go as low as Zone 6 or 7.

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Japanese Fiber Banana

Banana is one of the first plants most of us conjure to mind when we envision the tropical look. With its long and broad, leafy foliage, it is a great plant to create a tropical feel in the garden. Treated strictly as ornamentals, these types of bananas are grown for their foliage, not for fruit. Bananas can grow to 15 feet tall and be quite dramatic with their large leaves. Use bananas in large containers or as specimen plants in landscape beds. The most cold-hardy variety is Japanese fiber banana (Musa basjoo) which doesn't have the beautiful coloration of the more tropical ornamental bananas but, if well mulched, has even come back from -20 degrees Farenheit. Image courtesy of Monrovia.

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