Temperatures during the winter months in zone 7A, which includes parts of Oklahoma and Virginia, are between 0 and 10 degrees F. Temperatures in zone 7B, which includes parts of Arkansas and Georgia, are between 5 and 10 degrees F. A few tropical plants will survive during the winter months and summer months when planted in these particular zones.
Windmill Palm Tree
This plant is native to Paris and can grow in zone 7 and survive harsh winters with snow and ice storms. This is unusual for palm trees, but the windmill palm has proven its hardiness over time. The full-grown trees can reach heights of 12 feet. The plant has a long stem with cascading green leaves on the top.
Bengal Tiger Canna
The Bengal Tiger canna gives the garden some much-needed fall color. The plant can survive zone 7 winters, but should have at least four inches of mulch covering the roots. The leaves are green with yellow stripes and flower stems shooting upward with orange flowers.
This tropical plant is hardy and does very well in zone 7. The plant is considered a foliage plant since the flowers bloom in late summer and are found near the bottom of the plant. The plant is grown in Japan and the flowers are pickled after harvesting. In the United States, the plant is grown for its uniqueness.
Chinese Yellow Banana
The Chinese yellow banana adds color and fragrance to the garden. The plant grows to be four or five feet tall and can survive in zone 7. However, if the plant roots cannot be kept warm with mulch or some other ground cover during the winter months, it should be taken indoors to keep it warm.
The butterfly ginger is a late summer plant that blooms. It produces a white flower in early October, when planted in zone 7. The flower produces a heavy fragrance.
Spiked Ginger Lily
The spider ginger lily is native to Nepal and China, but does well growing in zone 7. The plant has yellow and orange spike flowers that bloom in late summer for some fall color.