The Q&A Archives: Ornamentals for Zones 9/10 (Mexico)

Question: I live in Puebla, Mexico and want to grow some lilac and viburnum. We are at a high altitude, 7,000 feet and have New England-like spring/fall weather year round, with light frosts at night in Dec. and Jan. Even when the weather is cold at night, however, it warms up to the 60's or 70's in the day. Our sun is VERY strong here. My question is whether lilac and viburnum would grow in this kind of a climate. I have heard they both need a hard freezing winter for their hibernation period but do not know if that is true or not. We are missionaries here and would love a touch of home growing in our garden. Please advise, and thanks for your time on this. Susan Grim Puebla, Mexico

Answer: It sounds from your description that your area would be classified as zone 9 or 10. I'm afraid that neither lilac nor viburnum would thrive there. Why not try something more adapted to your climate? (It sounds like a wonderful climate--especially since we had snow here in Vermont this morning!) Some good, and probably familiar, shrubs to try are: Camellia, winter jasmine, fatsia, crape myrtle, Japanese privet, Chinese privet, oleander, rosemary, and witch hazel.

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