Friday, October 31, 2014

Tropicals in the Coastal South Garden

Tropicals are the backbone of a hot humid, summer garden in the Coastal South.

Dark Purple Datura and Orange Tithonia, brilliant colors for a Tropical Summer Garden. They like hot sunshine. Both are seed grown. Datura is root hardy.

Rhodofiala bifida, one of a number of summer bulbs that add to the show, here with Setcreasea and Chartreuse alternanthera.

Kniphofia, the Red Hot Poker

 Summer features exotic Crinums and Hymenocallis as well as those shown here.

Bengal Tiger or Pretoria, either name is correct for this Canna.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, known in Texas as Pride of Barbados.

Caesalpinia and Esperanza are good companions. Both 
are easy from seed: Pride of Barbados may take a second  
or even a third year's growth from roots to put on blooms.

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, Porterweed in Purple and Coral, attractive to butterflies, one of my favorites. Cuttings or seeds, sometimes root-hardy.

All my Tropical Gardens are not in hot sun and all are not in brilliant colors.

In dry shade under a Live Oak tree grows a tropical garden of mostly Gingers. I can't expect Alpinias to bloom here, but the tropical foliage is just beautiful. Curcuma does bloom, as does Hedychium.

Hedychium, Butterfly Ginger

Justicias: White and Red Shrimps

White Garden beside the GH has white Lantana montevidensis,
and White Datura, White Pentas and White Echinacea, in sun. 

Anyone who chirps, "I only buy perennials," has no idea what they may be missing. I only buy what I've researched and believe to be suitable for my garden. 


Sometimes it takes a second look. Loropetalum, which we depend on for earliest spring color even ahead of azaleas, takes a second bloom in September. Not as spectacular as the early spring show, it is still worth a second look.

Dee Nash has a great post on Tropical Plants in the Summer Garden this week.

I could go on and on. I have another post to make featuring Muhlenbergia capillaris and other grasses.


  1. I love that red, purple and chartreuse combination and, after seeing how well the Caesalpinia does in your garden maybe I'll try growing some from seed. The Pride of Barbados sold in the nurseries are ridiculously expensive.

  2. These are all wonderful Jean. I have the Pride of Barbados in yellow. This post has me wanting to add to my own tropical gardens.


  3. I loved this look at so many of your tropicals. That Pride of Barbados flower is spectacular. I wonder if it's something I could try to grow from seed and overwinter. Although I really don't have any more room in the greenhouse. Tithonia from seed is in the plans for next year. This past year annuals were the backbone of my new front garden. I have four trees there that are going to get bigger, and wanted to fill in the space temporarily. Annuals were the solution.

  4. Great post Nell Jean. I grow Stachytarpheta jamaicensis too in blue, purple, the red and I used to grow the pink too. I also love datura. I wish it were root hardy here. It's not. I take cuttings of the S. jamaicensis, They aren't easy to get going, but do well once they root. Thanks for the link love. ~~Dee


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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