Regions / Tropical South
Selecting plants suited to the Tropical 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 Tropical South region lies in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10-11 and in AHS Heat Zones 10 through 12.
Allium senescens (German Garlic) is a bulbous herbaceous perennial which forms a tuft of twisted, grassy-looking, green leaves and produces up to 30 fragrant round balls of soft pink-lilac flowers atop upright stems in mid to late summer. Lasting for several weeks, they attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Alliums are plants of exquisite beauty that deserve a place in perennial gardens. Easy to grow and undemanding, these very ornamental bulbs distinguish themselves by their great diversity in color, inflorescence, flowering height and bloom times. Many species bloom in early summer - just after the spring-flowering period and just before the exuberant full bloom of summer.
Impressive, Alocasia 'Portora' (Elephant Ear) is a tender perennial boasting enormous ruffled green leaves borne on strong purple stems. They are arrow-shaped at their bases and stand upright, pointing skyward, unlike the leaves of Colocasia which droop and point toward the ground. They can reach up to 4-5 ft. (120-150 cm) in good growing conditions.
A striking beauty with its dramatic, gigantic leaves, Alocasia macrorrhiza (Giant Taro) is a rhizomatous evergreen perennial which is excellent for bringing a lush look to gardens. Resembling the ears of an elephant, thick, prominently-veined, ruffled, green leaves are borne on rigid stalks (petioles) which jut vertically from a stout upright trunk.
A breathtaking beauty, Alocasia odora (Night-Scented Lily) is a rhizomatous evergreen perennial which is terrific for bringing a lush look to gardens or containers. Resembling the ears of an elephant, lustrous, brilliant green, paddle-shaped leaves are borne on strong stems. Large, they can reach 2 ft. in length (60 cm) and 1 ft. in width (30 cm).
A striking and beautiful houseplant, Alocasia x amazonica 'Polly' (Amazonian Elephant Ear) is a robust rhizomatous evergreen perennial with dark green, narrowly arrow-shaped, wavy-edged leaves, adorned with ribs and margins marked in bright creamy white.
A striking and beautiful houseplant, Alocasia x amazonica (Amazonian Elephant Ear) is a robust rhizomatous evergreen perennial with dark green, narrowly arrow-shaped, wavy-edged leaves, up to 2 ft. long (60 cm), adorned with ribs and margins marked in bright creamy white. Reminiscent of calla lily flowers, yellow flowers appear sporadically amid the boldly patterned leaves on older plants.
A prolific miniature Aloe, Aloe 'Crosby's Prolific' is an evergreen succulent with attractive, stemless rosettes of lance-shaped, deep green leaves lined with long, translucent teeth along their edges. Its fleshy leaves take on red hues when exposed to bright light.
Prized for its colorful flowers and attractive foliage, Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe) is an evergreen succulent shrub with branching stems holding many decorative rosettes. Each rosette consists of widely spreading, gray-green, sword-shaped leaves with conspicuous pale teeth along their edges.
Hardy and attractive, Aloe aristata (Torch Plant) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming charming rosettes, packed with fleshy, lance-shaped, incurved leaves with tufted tips. Pale green in the shade, the leaves turn dark green in full sun. Each leaf exhibits scattered white spots, raised near the base and becoming spiny towards the tips.
Well-known for the medicinal value of the juice of its leaves, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming clumps of rosettes of long, fleshy, narrow, light green leaves with whitish to reddish toothed margins. The leaves turn reddish purple when the plant is under drought stress. I
Beloved for its attractive foliage, Aloe brevifolia (Short-Leaf Aloe) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming a carpet of decorative rosettes, 4in. wide (10 cm), with broadly triangular spreading fleshy leaves. Pale blue in light shade, the leaves turn rosy-pink and golden-yellow in full sun, creating a very pretty display.
One of the most Ornamental Aloes, Aloe broomii (Snake Aloe) is a robust, evergreen succulent perennial forming a large, short-stemmed, dense rosette of light green leaves, 1 ft. long (30 cm). They are adorned with reddish brown teeth along the edges, which curl interestingly along the outer edges of each leaf.
Regarded as one of the most attractive foliage Aloes, Aloe cameronii (Red Aloe) is an evergreen succulent with upright stems of open rosettes. The fleshy, gracefully curving leaves are a rainbow of colors ranging from green to a rich coppery red, depending on sun and water.
A stemless Aloe, Aloe capitata var. quarziticola is an evergreen succulent perennial forming a beautiful open rosette of fleshy, tapered, gray-green leaves, up to 18 in. long (45 cm). Milky blue-gray in cloudy conditions, the leaves turn purple-tinged with brighter exposure.
Incredibly eye-catching, Aloe dorotheae (Sunset Aloe) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming clumps of bright green rosettes in light shade but turning glossy bright red in full sun. The fleshy, shiny leaves are flecked with white and adorned with prominent teeth along their edges.
Native to South Africa, Aloe ferox (Cape Aloe) is a large and showy, evergreen succulent forming a dense rosette of blue-green, lance-shaped leaves, often flushed with rose, up to 3 ft. long (90 cm). Each leaf is adorned with dark brown spines along the edges and on the leaf surfaces, especially on the lower surface.
Aloe hereroensis (Sand Aloe) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming single erect rosettes, or a small clump or rosettes of smooth, pale blue-green leaves that curve inwards and are often rose-colored or bronzed in the sun. The leaves are adorned with H-shaped whitish spots arranged in transverse bands on the lower surface.
Prized for its colorful flowers and interesting foliage, Aloe maculata (Soap Aloe) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming small rosettes of thick, sword-shaped, white spotted leaves adorned with sharp teeth along their edges. Pinkish red in full sun, the foliage turns bluish-green in part shade.
Adding a majestic presence to the garden, Aloe marlothii (Mountain Aloe) is a large evergreen succulent forming a dense rosette of fleshy, grayish green leaves, up to 5 ft. long (150 cm), with a broad base tapering to a sharp point. They are covered with reddish-brown spines along the edges and randomly on their upper and lower surfaces.
One of the most floriferous Aloes in South Africa, Aloe microstigma (Cape Speckled Aloe) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming solitary or small clumps of beautiful rosettes of blue-green leaves, which warm up to reddish brown if suffering from environmental stress. The leaves are adorned with conspicuous white spots, which contrast nicely with the reddish teeth along the edges.