One type of landscape design that we are often asked about is a tropical garden. These are hugely popular for several reasons such as the amazing colours that tropical plants have, plus a tropical garden is also a huge talking point when guests see it for the first time.
If you are wondering what constitutes a tropical garden when it is part of a landscaping project, here is how we would describe it. A tropical garden incorporates an array of exotic plants most commonly found in those areas of the world which are hot and humid, but also have design elements most associated with those areas including water features and ornaments. Key facets of tropical gardens are their diversity, colours, and exotic ambience.
For this blog post, we are going to focus mostly on diversity and specifically the huge number of plants that you can include in landscape designs that aim to make the garden appear to be a tropical one. As such, we have details on no fewer than ten plants that you should consider for inclusion in your tropical garden.
Tropical Plant #1 – Palms
It should surprise no one that palms are the first tropical plants we highlight. They certainly should be a part of any landscape design with a tropical theme. Bangalow palms, fan palms, and kentia palms are but three of the numerous options and with many palms having large leaves they act as great canopies in landscaped tropical gardens.
Tropical Plant #2 – Cordyline
Every tropical garden should be awash with colour and Cordylines are a group of tropical plants that will deliver plenty of colours. Known for their bold colours that stand out in any garden they are in, options include Kiwi Pride, Nigra, and Rubra. As well as a variety of colours, Cordylines also come in various sizes too.
Tropical Plant #3 – Ginger
Although most people know of ginger as an ingredient used in many recipes, few are aware of the beauty of ginger as its various varieties are growing. Their flowers and foliage have bold colours with choices that include Purpurate, Nutans, and Alpinia Zerumbet all perfect for tropical landscaped gardens.
Tropical Plant #4 – Kangaroo Paw
Not only is Kangaroo Paw Western Australia’s floral symbol, but it makes for an outstanding addition to tropical landscape designs. It has a distinct texture and bold colours, and the sunny conditions not just in WA, but in other states too, provide it with ideal conditions to thrive.
Tropical Plant #5 – Wax Flower
This is another tropical flower that loves the sun and therefore it is not surprising to find it thriving in states that have abundant sunshine, such as WA and NSW. It grows quickly, produces thick foliage, and is ideal for creating borders within a landscape design.
Tropical Plant #6 – Bird’s Nest Fern
Bird’s Nest Fern is a tropical plant that produces large leaves, and the resulting luscious foliage is what makes it ideal for inclusion in our list. It can be grown both in soil or in containers and is happy either in sunshine or in shade.
Tropical Plant #7 – Philodendron
Philodendron is a plant family with many members, so you have lots to choose from. They can withstand long dry periods and still retain their lush foliage which makes them ideal for tropical landscaping.
Tropical Plant #8 – Tiger Grass
Many people erroneously call this bamboo, but it is most certainly a member of the grass family. Able to grow as wide as 6 feet and up to 10 feet tall, they can be used for many functions in a landscape design. These include as a backdrop, and as a means of covering unsightly walls or fences on the garden’s boundaries.
Tropical Plant #9 – Elkhorn Fern
The name of this fern is derived from the fact that its leaves resemble a deer’s antlers. This distinctive appearance makes it a great choice for tropical gardens and as it grows along tree branches and trucks it thrives in humid, warm conditions such as is found in many Australian coastal areas.
Tropical Plant #10 – Bromeliad
If you want to ‘go large’ in your landscape design then look no further than Bromeliad. We say look no further because Giant Bromeliads are impossible not to spot given that they grow to huge sizes with their leaves forming each plant into distinctive shapes. This is also a tropical plant that suits being planted in groups.