Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Tropical Plants in Oregon

...
purple bougainvillea image by Martin Garnham from Fotolia.com

Located in Zone 8 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map, Portland, Oregon shares the same zone as Tifton, Georgia and parts of Texas, but the climate is quite different. While temperatures in these areas do not traditionally drop below 10 F, Portland lacks the humidity of the south. It is, however, protected from coastal influences by the Coast Range of mountains. The growing season in Portland is about 275 days and rainfall is moderate.

Some tropical plants grow well in this area, however, winds may tear delicate leaves.

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) is an evergreen, shrubby vine that can add color to any landscape and does well in Portland's temperate climate. Bougainvillea gets its color from the large bracts that surround the small white flowers the plant produces. These bracts may be vibrant magenta, white, crimson or yellow. The vine, which has a spiky stem, may be trained to grow up a trellis or wall.

  • Located in Zone 8 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map, Portland, Oregon shares the same zone as Tifton, Georgia and parts of Texas, but the climate is quite different.
  • Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) is an evergreen, shrubby vine that can add color to any landscape and does well in Portland's temperate climate.

Bougainvillea has fragile roots; be careful not to damage them when you plant bougainvillea. Cut the container off the plant, rather than pulling the plant out to protect the roots. Bougainvillea may be planted in full sun in Portland and requires moderate water once it is established.

Canna

Cannas (Canna) are tuberous-rooted perennials that are native to the tropics, but do well in Portland's temperate climate. Because the soil does not freeze in Portland, these plants may stay in the ground year round, but will die back in colder weather. Cannas grow on upright stalks, have leaves that resemble those on banana trees and a showy flower spike at the top. These plants spread quickly and may become invasive.

  • Bougainvillea has fragile roots; be careful not to damage them when you plant bougainvillea.
  • Bougainvillea may be planted in full sun in Portland and requires moderate water once it is established.

Best used in borders or in a grouping of multiple plants, cannas are available in a range of colors and sizes, including the Rover Bellflower (C. rapunculoides), a sturdy plant which does well in difficult soil and the Peach-Leafed Bluebell (C. persicifolia), which is available with blooms of blue, pink or white and grows to 3 feet.

Cannas should be planted in full sun and require ample water during the growing season.

Tree Mallow

Tree mallow (Lavatera arborea) is a tropical-looking plant whose bloom resembles the hibiscus, but is smaller. An evergreen shrub in Portland, tree mallow is easy-to-grow and provides a showy bloom in pinks, roses and whites throughout the summer. This plant, which can grow to 8 feet, has leaves that resemble maples.

The bicolor variety (L. maritima) has pink flowers of up to 3 inches with purple centers, while the L. thuringiaca variety has purple-pink flowers and blooms nearly year round.

Tree mallow should be planted in full sun and requires regular to little water.

  • Best used in borders or in a grouping of multiple plants, cannas are available in a range of colors and sizes, including the Rover Bellflower (C. rapunculoides), a sturdy plant which does well in difficult soil and the Peach-Leafed Bluebell (C. persicifolia), which is available with blooms of blue, pink or white and grows to 3 feet.
  • The bicolor variety (L. maritima) has pink flowers of up to 3 inches with purple centers, while the L. thuringiaca variety has purple-pink flowers and blooms nearly year round.

Related Articles

Flowers Native to Cuba
Flowers Native to Cuba
Tropical Plants in Houston
Tropical Plants in Houston
The Best Hydrangeas for Zone 8
The Best Hydrangeas for Zone 8
North Carolina Plant Identification
North Carolina Plant Identification
Rare Plants of the Philippines
Rare Plants of the Philippines
Plants That Need a Lot of Water
Plants That Need a Lot of Water
Flowers That Look Like Tulips
Flowers That Look Like Tulips
How to Fertilize Croton
How to Fertilize Croton
Tropical Plants of California
Tropical Plants of California
What are the Palm Tree Types in Central Florida?
What are the Palm Tree Types in Central Florida?
Different Kinds of Flowers From El Salvador
Different Kinds of Flowers From El Salvador
Tropical Plants in Oklahoma
Tropical Plants in Oklahoma
Jasmine Flowers & Colors
Jasmine Flowers & Colors
Flowers That Do Well in Arizona Heat
Flowers That Do Well in Arizona Heat
Hydrangeas & Zone 10
Hydrangeas & Zone 10
India Carnation Plant Care
India Carnation Plant Care
The Varieties of Dieffenbachia
The Varieties of Dieffenbachia
Bougainvillea vs. Torch Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea vs. Torch Bougainvillea
Garden Guides
×