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Outdoor Garden Plants for Tennessee

Tennessee incorporates the USDA hardiness zones of 6a to 7b. Plants listed as appropriate for these zones or higher can live and thrive in gardens in Tennessee. Plants for the state of Tennessee should be no lower than zone 6a-hardy, but will be fine if they are over zone 7b in hardiness. Check the plant tags to see the exact zone that they are listed for.

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose, or Helleborus orientalis, is from the Ranunculaceae, or buttercup, family. It is an evergreen perennial with dark green leaves up to 18 inches long and 16 inches wide. The mound gets 16 to 20 inches tall with flowers 2 to 3 inches long, in white or greenish white with a pink or purple tinge. Plant a Lenten rose in rich well-drained soil in heavy to light shade. Propagate via division in the fall or summer season or by seed.

Small Leaf Viburnum

Small Leaf Viburnum, or Viburnum obovatum, is from the Caprifoliaceae, or honeysuckle, family. It is an easy-to-grow evergreen that will attract birds. The shrub gets up to 30 feet tall with 1 to 2 inch leaves. 6 to 15 feet is more common for height. Flowers are tiny and white. Plant a small leaf viburnum in full sun or partial shade. Propagate via cuttings in the spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in fall.


Montbretia, or Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora, is from the Iridaceae, or iris, family. It is a fast-growing, low-maintenance perennial. Leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. Flowers are red, orange, or yellow and funnel shaped, 2 inches wide. Plant a montbretia in full sun or light shade with a well drained soil. Propagate via offsets.


Roselle, or Hibiscus sabdariffa, is from the Malvaceae, or mallow, family. It is a fast-growing annual. It will get 4 to 7 feet high and nearly as wide with 6 inch dark green leaves. Flowers are yellow, 3 inches wide, and will appear in October. Plant a roselle in full sun with regular watering. Propagate via seed.

Palm Sedge

Palm Sedge, or Carex phyllocephala, is from the Cyperaceaee, or sedge, family. It is an evergreen. This will have 1 to 2 feet stems with a leaf whorl, like a small palm tree. Plant a palm sedge in partial to full shade, or in full sun if additional waterings will occur. Propagate via seed or division.

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