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Being
in this Midwestern state of Minnesota allows us to really appreciate the warm
weather and tropical plants that we see when going on vacation each winter. While
there are many bright and interestingly shaped plants in the tropics, many of
them aren’t practical in Minnesota’s climate. The winters are sure to kill off
the large palm trees and destroy the fragile flowers that represent the tropics.
Even though many of these tropical plants may not be viable options for living
in the Midwest, there are still some hardy tropical looking plants that can
stand the extremely cold winters here, and can give your garden that tropical
ambiance that you so admire while on vacation.

All
plants are split up into various zones depending on how they can handle
different weather. This is a ranking system that is designed by the USDA called
the Plant Hardiness Zones. Throughout the state of Minnesota there are
different zones ranging from zone 3a to zone 5a. The lower the number means the
more hardy the plants, so the 3a plants can handle colder weather than the 5a
plants. Around the Twin Cities, you will want to look for plants in the zone 5a
range. This will help you narrow down what kinds of plants can survive in this
climate.
Here are some tropical looking plants that can handle
zone 5a temperatures.
Scrub Palm
Though
this is a palm tree, it isn’t like the usual tall and lean ones you see
covering the beaches of Hawaii. This is a shorter tree with short palm branches.
Looking at it, you wouldn’t think it would be categorized as a tree, but it is.
It’s a very hardy tree at that, being able to handle temperaturesas low as
-24°F.
           
Pawpaw Tree
“A
Pawpaw is a nice and tall leafy tree. It can stand between fifteen and thirty
feet tall. This tree does well in zones 4-9, meaning that it can survive some
harsh climates, including temperaturesas low as -25°F. This is a nice way to
add some height to your tropical looking garden,” said Chris Ochs, spokesperson
for a landscaping company.
Rose Double Knock Out
It’s
time to add a pop of color to your garden. With the Rose Double Knock Out, you
will see fabulous red, two and a half inch blooms from a shrub that stands
about three feet tall. As the name suggests, this is a rose shaped balloon that
has impressed garden lovers from all over. This tough flowery shrub can even
handle temperatures as low as -20°F. This makes it a must have in any Minnesota
tropical themed garden.
Caroline Gable
Another
bloom to add is the Caroline Gable. Managing cold up to -15° F, this is sure to
become a favorite in your garden.
“These
sweet, delicate looking flowers spring from a four to five foot tall plant. This
is a hybrid of the azalea family, and produces pink blooms. While the leaves of
the plant are a deep green with a glossy appearance, they have this tropical
look to them,” said Jessica Tesdall, landscaping professional and spokesperson
for a Minnesota roofing company.
The
dream to bring a tropical garden to your own Minnesota backyard can become a
reality when you find the right plants that can handle the tough Minnesota
winters. By researching plants under your correct Plant Hardiness Zone, you are
sure to find some tropical looking plants that will make your garden look like
those that you admire on your vacation.