The Q&A Archives: Tropical low maintence look in Oregon

Question: I would like suggestions of tropical looking plants for an area approximately 10' by 70' in front of 30' fortina trees. plants that can be planted and left to grow with little maintenance. I believe our zone is 5, The willamette valley region.

Answer: Tropical looking plants tend to have lush, green foliage and, while I can't promise they'll be as low maintenance as something like a juniper, they will certainly be eye-catchers in your garden. In zone 5 you can grow Zantedeschia (common calla), Gunnera (with huge leaves, looks a little like rhubarb leaves), Colocasia (Elephant's ear) - I garden in Seattle and the foliage dies down in the winter but the tubers remain in the ground, producing new foliage each spring - Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia), star jasmine, and Musa (banana). Hope these suggestions are just right for your garden!

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