Subtropical Plants in SE Pennsylvania

What is happening now because our climate is changing here, our zone that we have been has changed because of the microclimate, global warming and more houses, cars and carbon dioxide. Plants that were at one time not hardy here through the winter are, from the zone south of us. Also things that used to like our climate here in the summer time, when the heat gets really bad, no longer like it. So what people are doing now is buying plants under the category of “Subtropicals”. These plants are used to being in a hotter climate and they don’t peter out in the middle of summer.

All of these plants have to be started from cuttings because they are tropicals. They don’t seed themselves very well. You can find them at nurseries or very good flower and flower shops, like Valley Forge Flowers! David, a very knowledgeable horticulturist at VFF, showed some examples of these plants.

Any of the subtropicals can be used indoors and used as house plants. Here is David’s list!

Dragon Wing Begonia, It loves the heat. Can live in the sun or shade.

Ruellia, adds a beautiful blue to your outdoors. Just like the Dragon Wing, it can also take shade.

Angelina, it is a relative of the Snap Dragon. The Snap Dragon loves cool weather and the Angelina thrives in the heat. It seems like no matter how high the numbers reach, this plant thrives.

Lochroma, It is in the nightshade family and has a long trumpet bloom.

Flowering Maple, Traditionally a house plant but loves to be outdoors in the summer.

Plumbago, One of the few “True Blue” flowers. Blue is a hard color to find in a flower.

Oleander, Great pink color!

Hibiscus (Tropical),  There is also a perennial Hibiscus that can stay outside during the winter. It comes in yellows, pinks, and apricot.

Cassandra, This one can also be used as a house plant and brought outside in the summer months.

Gardenia, Very fragrant and has a lovely twist in the bloom.

Coleus, Adds a great foliage!

Caladium,  Loves heat and shade. This one can be trimmed as a topiary if it likes where it is.

Gold Eagle, loves heat, does not flower and acts as a great accent plant.

Lantana, This plant sometimes grows wild in florida. It has a fragrant foliage and a beautiful gradation of colors in the flowers.

Agastache, This plant is a Mexican sage and has an herb quality. It smells great!


If you have any questions, go to your local nursery or garden store. You can always come by Valley Forge Flowers too!

Contact us here: or stop by!




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