Regions / Lower South
Selecting plants suited to the Lower South climate is a key step to success.
Various initiatives have taken place to determine how well plants would withstand the cold winter temperatures (Plant Hardiness Zones) or when plants would start suffering from the heat (Plant Heat Zones).
The Lower South region lies in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8 and in AHS Heat Zones 7 through 9.
Luminous, Agastache rugosa Golden Jubilee' (Korean Mint) is an upright, clump-forming perennial with attractive spikes of fragrant, tubular, lavender-blue flowers from midsummer to early fall. Adding lovely vertical lines to the landscape, they are held over the golden-green foliage of aromatic, lance-shaped leaves.
Compact and very floriferous, Agastache rugosa 'Little Adder' (Anise Hyssop) is a short, well-branched perennial with a remarkably long floral display, extending from late spring to fall. Masses of tubular, two-lipped lavender-blue flowers, held in showy spikes, are borne atop a bushy foliage clump of licorice-scented leaves.
Agastache rugosa (Korean Mint) is a short-lived, erect, herbaceous perennial with eye-catching purple flower spikes, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), held over a light-green aromatic foliage of stiff, toothed leaves. Edible, the leaves exude an anise scent when crushed.
Agastache rupestris features sweetly fragrant, tubular salmon-orange flowers with purplish calyxes all summer. Eye-popping, it provides an outstanding garden performance and adds color as well as a lovely spiky texture to the garden. Hummingbirds will thank you for it.
Agave 'Blue Glow' is a slow-growing evergreen succulent which produces elegant rosettes of blue-green, chalky leaves with finely toothed margins adorned with a golden and red ribbon. A striking beauty which is particularly stunning when backlit with its glowing red and golden margin.
A charming and tiny variegated Agave, 'Cream Spike' is a highly ornamental evergreen succulent with small, solitary, rounded rosettes of blue-green leaves adorned with broad butter-yellow margins and dark brown spines. This Agave variety produces many offsets that can be easily pulled and re-planted elsewhere. It is perfect for small containers.
Smaller than its giant cousin, Agave americana, 'Mediopicta Alba'(Century Plant) is an evergreen perennial forming splendid rosettes of thick, spiny-edged, gray-green leaves, each with a bright creamy-white central stripe. The fleshy leaves are armed with recurved spines along the edges and a long terminal spine.
Smaller than its giant cousin, Agave americana, 'Mediopicta Aurea'(Century Plant) is an evergreen perennial forming striking rosettes of thick, spiny-edged, gray-green leaves, each with a bright yellow central stripe.
A splendid blue selection of Fox Tail Agave, Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue' is an evergreen succulent perennial which produces elegant rosettes of wide, flexible, blue-green leaves, without any teeth along their margins. Emerging from a tight center, the soft, pliable, voluptuous leaves arch gracefully back.
A fascinating North American Agave, Agave chrysantha (Golden Flowered Century Plant) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a pretty rosette of fleshy, sword-shaped, grey-green leaves which radiate gracefully from the center of the plant, giving it a neat and rounded shape. Deeply guttered, the leaves are lined with sharp spines along their edges and with a terminal spine.
Slow growing, Agave colorata (Mescal Ceniza) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a rosette of fleshy, nearly spoon-shaped, powdery blue leaves with particularly fascinating crossbanding. Rough textured, the leaves are deeply scalloped and lined with formidable, dark brown teeth along their margins and tipped with a stout terminal spine.
Incredibly majestic, Agave franzosinii is a very large, evergreen perennial forming a usually solitary rosette of thick, spiny-edged, powdery blue-gray leaves that arch gracefully. While many agaves are coated with a waxy glaucus that helps reflect sunlight and conserve water, this agave displays interesting dark green patterns where the wax has been rubbed off as the leaves grow.
Extremely cold hardy, Agave havardiana (Havard Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a tight rosette of fleshy, broad, cupped, silver-gray leaves. Adding an attractive texture and interest year-round, the leaves are heavily lined with dark brown teeth along their margins and tipped with a wickedly sharp black terminal spine.
Resembling a large artichoke, Agave montana (Mountain Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a rosette of fleshy, broad, upright, apple green leaves with large cinnamon-red teeth along the margins and a stout terminal spine. Adding intriguing beauty, the leaves carry on their lower surfaces the distinct imprints of the thorny leaf margins of the previous outer leaf-bud.
An unforgettable sight, Agave nickelsiae, previously named Agave ferdinandi-regis, is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a striking compact rosette of stout, smooth and spineless, dark olive green leaves. Each leaf is beautifully adorned with ornamental white bud prints. Lacking teeth along the edges, they instead exhibit narrow white margins and are tipped by a contrasting black terminal spine.
Surprisingly cold hardy, Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' (Whale's Tongue Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a solitary rounded rosette of thick, broad, distinctively cupped, gray to powdery-blue leaves. Adding interesting texture and interest year-round, the leaves are lined with small teeth along their margins and tipped with a dark gray terminal spine.
Surprisingly cold hardy, Agave ovatifolia (Whale's Tongue Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a solitary rounded rosette of thick, broad, slightly cupped, gray to powdery-blue leaves. Adding interesting texture and interest year-round, the leaves are lined with small teeth along their margins and tipped with a long terminal spine.
Slow-growing, award-winning Agave parrasana (Cabbage Head Agave) is a compact evergreen, perennial succulent forming pretty rosettes of broad, closely packed and overlapping, pale blue-gray leaves, armed with gnarled teeth along the edges. The thick, rigid leaves are often irregularly dusted with a silvery blue coating, that shows impressive bud imprints and creates a lovely mottled appearance.