Growing Tropicals in the Midwest

We know you’ve dreamed about having a banana plant or a bamboo or two in your garden. But can they grow in the Midwest? Yes, you can grow tropicals in your garden either as annuals or perennials. So get ready for those big shiny leaves and gorgeous colors.

Botanists at the University of Illinois advise that you can grow tropical plants in the Midwest by “using traditional tropical plants and tropical-looking temperate zone plants to create the feel of a tropical setting.” Tropicals need high heat, humidity and large rains. For the most part, our summers in Ohio live up to that standard! As a result, most tropicals can do well in containers or in the ground.

Miami University Botanist Professor David Francko, the author of “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”, grows banana and palm trees in Ohio. He claims that if you choose the correct plant, place it in the right area, and care for it fastidiously, you can add a nice Southern Hemisphere feel to your property.

Be sure to visit us at Stockslagers Garden Center and ask our advice on warm-climate plants. Success has been experienced with the Needle Palm, Dwarf Palmetto, Heavenly Bamboo, and certain types of bananas.

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