Considered an archipelago, the Philippines consists of 7,107 islands located in Southeast Asia. The climate is tropical, consisting of hot and humid weather throughout much of the year, making it a prime area for growing a variety of flowering plant species. The region encompasses mountainous rain forests to coastal areas, with a diverse population of plant life growing throughout the region. Much of the same flora found growing in the Philippines will also grow in the United States.
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) is a member of the family Rubiaceae and the Philippines call the plant “Rosal.” This Chinese native blooms year-round throughout the subtropical areas of the Philippines. Plants produce white, fragrant flowers that have a wax-like feel. It grows into an attractive, large shrub with glossy, green foliage and reaches a mature height and spread of up to 8 feet. Shrubs have a rounded growth habit once mature. Gardenia prefers an acidic, well-draining soil for proper growth and flowering. Plants have a medium tolerance to drought conditions and are well suited for growing in the United States in USDA planting zones 8 through 10.
Oleander (Nerium oleander), called “Aldelfa” in the Philippines, belongs within the family Apocynaceae and is a North African and Southeast Asian native. A hardy, versatile, large shrub that with pruning is trainable as a smallish tree, oleander prefers dry, warm growing conditions. Plants have naturalized throughout much of the Philippines. It tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions from poor and dry to rich and wet. It has a fast growth habit and reaches 10 to 18 feet in both height and spread at maturity. Oleander has a high tolerance to both salt and drought and grows well within the United States in USDA planting zones 9 through 11.
Plumeria (Plumeria acuminata), called “Kalachuchi” in the Philippines, belongs within the family Apocynaceae and is a Mexico native. Plants prefer growing in warm, dry locations, making them well suited for growth throughout the islands. The white flowering variety is the most common species of the plant found growing in the Philippines. Other varieties found throughout the islands have flowers colored in orange, reds and pinks. Springtime starts the blooming season. Mature trees grow up to 20 feet in height and are suitable as specimens. Plants have a high tolerance to both drought and salty conditions. Plumeria is well suited for growing in the United States in USDA planting zones 10 and 11.
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