My Favorite Book on Cold Hardy Tropicals

Dr. David Francko has written an excellent book about growing warm climate plants in cooler areas titled “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”

This is actually my favorite book on Cold Hardy Tropicals.  I got to meet Dr. Francko a number of years ago when he gave me a tour of the Miami University Campus. I was considering at the time writing my graduate thesis on Cold Hardy Palm trees. The tour was very informative and it was inspiring seeing all the interesting plants growing in southern Ohio.

Getting to the book review itself I purchased this book when it was first published and have referenced it ever since. I think the title says it all for those of us interested in growing interesting tropical type plants. Palms Won’t Grow Here and other myths. Warm Climate Plants for Cooler Areas. 

The book goes through very thoroughly all the aspects of growing exotic plants in cooler climates. Chapter One begins with challenging the myths of “It won’t grow here” There is a primer on subtropical gardening including a short history of the topic including Victorian era England which had a strong interest in the subject. There is also a discussion on the effect that future climate change could have on gardening. This chapter also discusses the conventions that occur in the book.

Chapter 2 is a primer on north by south gardening. There is an explanation of why palms grow in Florida and a discussion of cold hardiness. Plant hardiness maps are discussed including the fact that zone maps change over time. The concept of Microclimates is explained in this chapter. In chapter three Microclimate based landscape design and planning is discussed. Chapter Four is about four season care of warm climate plants. Chapter Five discusses Cold Hardy Palms.  Chapter Six introduces Broadleaved Evergreen Trees and Shrubs.

Chapter Seven discusses warm climate deciduous trees and shrubs such as Crape Myrtle. Chapter Eight goes over other warm climate plants such as Bamboo, Banana’s and Yucca. At the end of the book is an appendix with additional information. The book is generously endowed with high quality color photographs as well as black and white photographs. Anyways I hope you like my review. This is my favorite book on Cold Hardy Tropicals and it doesn’t disappoint.

Here is a link if you wish to purchase this book from Amazon. Please be aware that I  receive a small commission if you make a purchase which helps support the costs of running this website.