Welcome to Subtropical Memphis!

Memphis TN is a great place for gardening. It is located in the Southwestern area of the state on the Mississippi River in the Delta region. Unlike the rest of the state which is hilly to mountainous, Memphis is a mostly flat, swampy area of river bottomlands. It is the most subtropical part of the state having the longest frost free period and the highest winter minimum temperatures.

Historically Memphis has been situated in horticultural hardiness zone 7b, which indicates an average expected low of 5F to 10F. In practice, the average low for the last 30 years is about 13F at the airport. This actually puts the city in zone 8a, while areas just outside the city will typically be several degrees colder at night, generally falling in the overall 7b rating for the region. Due to the location so far inland, the variations of winter lows can be quite wild. So some winters may only see lows drop into the high teens, while it is also possible to visit single digits now and then.

All this being said, the idea of growing tropical and subtropical plants in Memphis has not seen its full potential. This site serves as a showcase for subtropical plants that are both fully hardy in Memphis and those that push the limits but survive with an extra bit of care once in a while. If you are a resident of the Memphis TN area and are interested in adding some tropical and subtropical flare to your garden, take a few minutes and browse the site. My intentions are to provide you with some plant suggestions outside of the normal choices in Memphis gardens.

All of the plant photographs you will see on this site were taken by me or friends of mine in the Memphis area in order to show that the examples I provide do indeed grow here. In the spirit of promoting tropical and subtropical gardening in Memphis, you may use any of my pictures in your own sites as long as you give a link back to this site. If you have questions on the locations of any of the plants in my photos, as long as they are in a public area, I will provide the address or general area.

Use the menu at the top to browse the articles. Please enjoy and feel free to email me with any questions or comments at subtropicalmemphis@yahoo.com.

9 thoughts on “Welcome to Subtropical Memphis!

  1. I love this site. Keep the updates coming. I’m from San Diego and have been wondering about tropical plants surviving in the Memphis metro. I want my backyard to be reminiscent of SD.


  2. I’m very interested in getting 2 palm trees in my courtyard. I had 2 Palm trees in the courtyard in 2014 and we had a very cold winter. I live in midtown


  3. I just found your site and am glad I did. Thanks for sharing. I’ve recently moved to Memphis from Detroit and am trying to find my way with trees here. I just returned from Texas with a couple of live oak seedlings and was searching the web to find info on how these might do in Memphis. I found your article on live oak and am encouraged. I’ll bookmark your site and will return here often for more Memphis-based info. Thanks!


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