April 16, 2014

After the last blog post on tropical plants in Michigan, you may be thinking you would like something a little “safer”, especially after this very harsh winter we are having.  If the idea of having to protect a marginally hardy plant, or facing the fact that a very cold winter may kill your precious investment, then these plants may be more to your liking.

They have the feel of the tropics, but are very hardy here.  Here is a list of plants to try!

* Actinidia kolomikta – Hardy Kiwi Vine


* Crocosmia spp. – Montbretia


* Hakonechloa macra – Japanese Forest Grass

Hakonechloa Macra Aureola

* Hibiscus moscheutos – Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus Moscheutos)

* Lilium candidum – Madonna Lily

Madonna Lily (lilium Candidum)

* Miscanthus varieties – Japanese Silver Grass


* Rheum palmatum – Ornamental Rhubarb

Red Rhubarb

Also, using certain colors can give your landscape a tropical feel.  Very bold, rich colors are often associated with warmer climates.  Colors like red, orange, yellow and fuschia are among the colors you might think of.  Of course knowing how to combine these colors is crucial.  You wouldn’t want to put red and fuschia right next to each other.  Foliage colors also play a role in creating this feel.  There are several chartreuse foliaged plants available now, which creates a bright warm feeling.  Some examples are sweet potato vine (an annual) or coral bells which have several varieties of colorful foliage.

Just as with the sweet potato vine mentioned above, annuals can be a great option for season long color that will provide that tropical feel.  Some great annuals that come to mind are celosia, New Guinea impatiens, fuschia, amaranth, canna, calocasia and papyrus.

Whether you are looking to recreate a tropical paradise or just interested using some unique plants that have a warm feel to them, we can help put your thoughts into reality with the creative use of these and many other interesting plants.