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Using Tropical Plants in the Landscape

June 13, 2013 2 min read

Using Tropical Plants in the LandscapeLong winters leave most of us longing for the tropics. So why not bring the tropics to you!? A new and exciting trend is happening in the garden world. The heat and humidity of summer is the perfect climate for some tropical beauties in your landscape!

Keep the following tips in mind…

  • Tropical plants make a statement, so use in a well suited area such as mixed borders or as a focal point near an entryway. If placed in the middle of a more traditional, northerly landscape they can look lost and out of place.
  • ‘Trops’ typically need more water than your average, well-established perennial. Keep this in mind as you will likely need to be watering on a regular basis especially if the weather is hot and dry.
  • All tropical plants are not created equal! Some require more moisture than others and/or more shade. Research your plants to make sure they can survive your typical summer. If you live in a milder climate with only occasional frosts, you may get away with keeping your trops outdoors year-round. You may even consider building a micro-climate for them! There are a growing amount of cold tolerant species on the market, like the beautiful Hibiscus Moscheutos that comes in a wide array of blooming colors.
  • Many people prefer to leave their tropicals in containers and decorate their patios, entryways and decks. This makes them particularly easy to bring indoors during winter.

Do you like the idea of using tropicals to spice up your garden, but have no idea where to start? Here’s a quick list of some good plants that will help get you going…

Hardy varieties like True and False Palms are great if you have a big space to fill. Tree Ferns are also wonderful, large plants with a tropical flare.

Canna lilies are large leafed plants that sport flower stalks mid-summer. These are highly prized for their variegated foliage and blooms that typically last until the first frosts.

Crotons, Jenny Craigs, Elephant Ears, Dracenas and Snake Plants are all used for their interesting foliage colors and textures.

Pothosand certain Coleus are wonderful trailing varieties that look stunning cascading over a pot or retaining wall.


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