9 Best Trees to Plant in Tropical Zone 10

Beyond Palm Trees

Zone 10 is one of the warmest zones found in the United States. The plants that have adapted grow in this area offer many colorful choices that will brighten your garden. Since frost only rarely appears in this zone, many of these trees flower and fruit throughout the year. While zone 10 includes only a small portion of the country, it's important to remember that many of these trees (and some varieties of trees) can be grown in containers and kept outside only for the summer months.

Warning

The sap (latex) of some ficus (fig) species can allergic skin reactions. Avoid contact with the eyes, and if picking fig fruit, make sure to wear gloves.

  • 01 of 09

    Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis)

    Aleppo Pine

     

    nikitje / Getty Images

    Aleppo pine, also called Jerusalem pine, hails from the Mediterranean and can grow up to 80 feet tall. One use for this pine species is as a living Christmas tree. Since the ground usually does not freeze much, you do not have to dig a hole ahead of time. Once the season is over, simply plant outside and water well to help the roots become established. In its early years, you could also choose to keep it in the container to use the following Christmas as long as you remember to keep it watered regularly.

    • USDA Zones: 8 to 10
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Sandy and loamy soil that needn't be very rich
  • 02 of 09

    Banana Tree (Musa spp)

    banana Tree By Plants On Field
    Andrea Long / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Even though it is not a tree (it is a herb sometimes called plantain), most people consider the banana to be one. It is one of the most familiar tropical plants, and since there are varieties as small as 1 foot tall, they can be included in most gardens. In addition to the standard sweet banana that you see in the grocery store, you could try growing plantains, which are starchier and usually fried when cooked or finger bananas, which are about the size of an adult thumb and are sweeter than the regular banana.

    • USDA Zones: 9 to 10. There are also cold hardy banana trees available for sale.
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Fertile, moist soil
  • 03 of 09

    Common Fig (Ficus carica)

    Child picking figs with grandfather

     

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Ficus carica is the common fig that we use in cooking. Originating in western Asia, the fig tree can grow up to 50 feet tall under the right circumstances. In the United States, however, it is usually a smaller tree or even a shrub. It's important to note that in cooler areas it's best to keep your fig tree in a container and bring it in for the winter. If you're lucky, not only will you have a lovely plant, but you may also have a tasty fig harvest!

    • USDA Zones: 8 to 10, though some varieties can handle cooler zones
    • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Well-drained clay or loam
  • 04 of 09

    Canary Island Pine (Pinus canariensis)

    Canary pine tree

     

    Ana Maria Serrano / Getty Images

    The Canary Island pine (so-called because it originates in the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain) features needles that are quite long and hang down towards the ground. A big tree that can grow up to 80 feet tall and 30 feet wide, it also has 6-inch long cones and red bark.

    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Italian Stone Pine (Pinus pinea)

    Umbrella pine

     

    DavidCallan / Getty Images

    This species, also called the parasol or umbrella pine, is native to the warm Mediterranean areas of southern Europe. While it can grow up to 60 feet tall, it is available in containers for use as a living Christmas tree. It is the tree that provides the pignoli (or pine) nuts used in Italian cooking.

    • USDA Zones: 8 to 10
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: clay, loam, or sand; slightly alkaline; well-drained
  • 06 of 09

    Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

    Jacaranda
    Svetlana Zhukova / Getty Images

    The Jacaranda is a great tropical tree that produces fragrant, purple, trumpet-shaped blooms. It is commonly used as street trees, and the purple blossoms really stand out when in bloom. It can be a bit messy once the flowers fall, so you may not want to use them around a pool or anywhere else that you would like to avoid cleaning up often. Jacaranda can be grown as an indoor container plant, but it will not bloom.

    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Sandy with good drainage
  • 07 of 09

    Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)

    Palm tree lined street

     

    Natalia Macheda / 500px / Getty Images

    One of the most familiar palm trees in the tropical areas of the United States is the queen palm. It is often seen used to line streets and decorate commercial landscapes. Native to South America, it can grow up to 60 feet tall.

    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Enriched sandy soil
  • 08 of 09

    Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis)

    Weeping bottlebrush

     

    Dynamoland / Getty Images

    The weeping bottlebrush, native to Australia, can be used as a specimen in your garden since it has both vibrant red flowers and a weeping habit. If you leave it unpruned, it will grow into a round shrub. The common name of bottlebrush does accurately describe the appearance of the blossoms, which are made up of red stamens.

    • USDA Zones: 9 to 11
    • Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil: Moist, well-drained soil
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)

    Chinese windmill palm

     

    pichaitun / Getty Images 

    The windmill palm is one type of palm tree that can tolerate part shade to full shade. It features three-foot-long fan-shaped fronds whose fibers are used to make a variety of products. Windmill palms are unusually salt-tolerant, which makes these plants a good choice near the coast.

    • USDA Zones: 7B to 11
    • Exposure: Full sun to full shade
    • Soil: Well-drained fertile soil

Tip

There are quite a few citrus trees (and shrubs) that are able to grow in a zone 10 garden. The height will vary depending on which species you choose—and your choice of species depends, of course, on whether you prefer oranges, grapefruit, lemons, or limes.