Humid subtropical climates are usually found on the east coasts of continents like the southeast of the United States, the southeast of South America and South Africa, and the eastern area of Australia. These areas are influenced by temperate, ocean air that creates warm summers and mild winters. The average temperatures during the summer are 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and winter temperatures rarely fall below 32 F. The high humidity of these regions makes warm days feel oppressive. Rainfall is accumulated throughout the year so there is not a drought or overly wet season. Humid subtropical areas create an ideal growing climate.
Bird of Paradise
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) produces orange and midnight blue blossoms that resemble an exotic bird. This ornamental plant originates from South Africa where it thrives along riverbanks. The bird of paradise plants grow slow and form clumps of large banana-type leaves. When propagated from seed, it takes four to seven years for the bird of paradise to bloom. To speed up bird of paradise propagation, propagate plants through plant division every two or three years.
Song of India
Song of India (Dracaena reflexa) is an evergreen shrub that grows 8 to 15 feet tall and spreads 6 to 10 feet wide. In sheltered areas, it can grow 15 to 20 feet tall. The song of India produces white summer flowers in partial sun or shade. This accent plant is drought tolerant and overly sensitive to salt spray. The best use of this plant is in a formal landscape.
Red Chinese Hat Bush
Red Chinese hat bush (Holmskioldia sanguinea) in an evergreen that originated in the Himalayan region. It grows 5 to 8 feet tall and spreads just as wide. It makes an attractive shrub because of its umbrella-like growth. This bush produces bright orange hat-like flowers year-round. Red Chinese hat bush is used as a hedge, specimen plant or garden border. It looks best when planted behind a screen of short plants because it becomes thin at the bottom. Red Chinese hat bush becomes woody as it ages. Rejuvenate this bush by cutting it back close to the ground every couple of years.