USDA hardiness zone 8 refers to the region of the United States that encompasses the western and southernmost borders all the way from Washington State to North Carolina. With longer growing seasons and warmer winters, many plants that enjoy a rainforest or warm climate growing condition will be found to flourish. If you are seeking ideas for excellent choices for planting in zone 8, consider these recommendations from experts when planting your home or landscape garden.
The strawberry tree, also known by its botanical name of Arbutus unedo, is a small evergreen that will grow well from zones 7 through 9 in full sunlight, eventually reaching 30 feet high and equally as wide at maturity. However, the strawberry tree can also be pruned for less height and width as a small ornamental shade tree. Its small red fruits are edible for humans and will also attract a variety of birds and animals.
Laurenstinus, known also formally as Viburnum tinus, produces small white or pink flowers and has an odd off season blooming habit of producing its flowers in late winter to early spring. Laurenstinus is an evergreen shrub that will reach a maximum height and width of 12 feet at maturity and grows well in sun to partial shade and a variety of soil conditions, from neutral to mildly acidic.
The Mexican orange tree, also known by its botanical name of Choisya ternata or mock orange, gets its name from the aromatic fragrance of orange that this evergreen bush emits, in the absence of ever producing any fruit. The Mexican orange tree is not a tree at all, and will reach a maximum height of eight feet at maturity. Its clusters of fragrant white flowers will appear in the spring and summer bloom season. Care must be taken when propagating the Mexican orange tree as fragrances can vary widely between varietals. It is best to purchase a young established tree rather than growing the Mexican orange from seeds or cuttings for this reason.
The lovely cherry laurel, often referred to officially as Prunus laurocerasus or commonly as English laurel, grows into a dense evergreen shrub that can reach as high as 30 feet at maturity. This flowering, fruiting tree produces lovely clusters of flowers followed by dark purple drupe fruits that have a cherry-like appearance.
The New Zealand daisy-bush, also known formally as Olearia haastii, produces flowers that closely resemble the traditional daisy. This evergreen shrub is an excellent choice for a blooming border or ornamental shrub. It grows well in sandy, loamy soil with partial or full sunlight for several hours per day.
The Japanese pittosporum, also known alternately as Pittosporum tobira, is an evergreen shrub that is increasing in popularity as a choice for landscaping as well as decorative foliage in cut flower arrangements. Japanese pittosporum prefers full to partial sun and is amenable to a variety of soil and moisture conditions.