The best plants for Zone 10 in the USDA Hardiness Zone map grow in climates with temperature lows of only 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of the warmest zones on the National Arboretum’s list of zones. Cities in this zone include Los Angeles, California, Naples, Florida, Victorville, California, Miami and Coral Gables, Florida. These areas experience winter lows of just 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. There is only one warmer zone, Zone 11, which is measured in Honolulu, Hawaii. Note that zone is not the only determinant in a plant’s success. Soil type, rainfall, sunlight, heat and humidity are also important considerations.
Bougainvillea is a flowering plant native to South America that flourishes in Zone 10. It is named after the French admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville. It has thorny woody wines that grow up to 36 feet tall. The bougainvillea can be evergreen in areas with adequate rainfall or deciduous where there isn’t. The flowers have a white center surrounded by colored bracts. The blooms come in colors such as magenta, pink, red, purple, white, yellow and orange. It can bloom throughout the winter in zone 10, when few other plants do. The bougainvillea is resistant to disease and pests. It can grow in a pot or up to the size of a tree. It can also be grown along a trellis or as a bonsai. It is versatile, showy and hardy.
Cassia fistula is known as the Golden Shower tree for its cascading clusters of yellow blooms. Native to Asia, it is the national tree of Thailand. The fruit of the cassia fistula is used in Ayurvedic medicine. The tree grows quickly to heights of 30 to 60 feet. When it blooms in the spring, the tree is virtually covered by yellow flowers. It grows well in dry climates with well-drained soil and full sun.
The lemon-scented gum tree is native to Australia. Known by the scientific name corymbia citriodora, this tree can grow to heights of over 150 feet. It has smooth pale bark and leaves that smell of lemon. The essential oil from the leaves is used in perfumes and insect repellants.
Ficus elastica goes by several other names: the rubber plant, the rubber bush, the rubber fig and the Indian rubber bush. It can grow to heights of 130 feet with a thick trunk. The flowers of the rubber plant, like other members of the Ficus family, need to be pollinated by the fig wasp. Thus, most of the cultivated varieties are produced with asexual propagation. This tree is grown for ornamental purposes around the world. It prefers full sun, moderate heat and wet conditions.
The ensete ventricosum is also called the false banana, the Abyssinian banana or the Ethiopian banana. Native to Africa, this showy tropical tree grows to heights of 20 feet. It is popular in landscaping for its large leaves with bright red midribs. When the plant is about eight years old, it will flower and bear fruit just once before dying.