17 Plants for a Thriving Tropical Landscape

Tropical crops are a luxurious that the majority of us solely get to take pleasure in as houseplants, or in the event you’re lucky to have one, in a greenhouse to overwinter. However for some fortunate gardeners, a tropical panorama is absolutely attainable. 

Tropical crops have particular wants and attributes which have developed in accordance with their native climates. Most of those crops want heat climate, well-draining soil, loads of rain, and pretty excessive humidity. 

A beautiful factor about these crops is that the majority of them are evergreen. Utilizing that phrase for a palm tree could seem humorous, however they fall into this group. A few of these tropical crops may be perennial in cooler climates, and plenty of may be grown as houseplants.

Whether or not you reside in a tropical or sub-tropical local weather or need to create a tropical paradise inside your private home, listed here are a few of our favourite tropical crops that can maintain your house feeling like a trip year-round!

Angel’s Trumpet

Angel’s trumpet is a tall, evergreen tropical plant with lovely, aromatic trumpet-shaped flowers.

Botanical Identify: Brugmansia

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: As much as 30’
  • Season: Summer season
  • Hardiness Zones: 9-12

Angel’s trumpet, or Brugmansia, is a surprising, night-blooming tropical plant. It’s evergreen, retaining its shiny inexperienced foliage year-round. This plant is usually grown as a small tree, though it could actually attain heights as much as 30’ tall below the fitting circumstances. The flowers are lengthy and trumpet-shaped, in pink, yellow, and white shades.

Brugmansia blooms within the night, releasing a delightful perfume. It makes a beautiful plant near an outside sitting space, the place its magnificence and fragrance may be loved. The ‘Cherub’ selection is a surprising peaches and cream coloration with a pale inexperienced inside. Watch out about this plant round younger youngsters and pets, as all components of the plant are toxic. 


Close-up of a flowering Strelitzia plant, commonly known as bird of paradise. The plant is known for its unique and vibrant flowers that resemble the beak and plumage of a bird. The leaves are large, oar-shaped, fan-shaped. They are thick, leathery and glossy green in color. The flowers are composed of orange and blue petals forming a structure that resembles a bird in flight or a bird's beak.
The Chook-of-Paradise plant, native to Africa, has beautiful, bird-like flowers in vibrant colours.

Botanical Identify: Strelitzia 

  • Solar Necessities: Brilliant Oblique Gentle
  • Top: 5’
  • Season: Fall-Spring
  • Hardiness Zones: 10-12

This widespread plant will get its frequent title from the looks of its flowers. These thrilling blooms resemble unique birds in shades of yellow, orange, blue, and white. The genus is native to Africa and grows within the Southeastern tropical and subtropical local weather zones. These crops like loads of gentle, however an excessive amount of direct solar will trigger leaf scorch.

In tropical landscapes, these crops thrive finest below a brightly lit cover. Gentle filtered via overhead crops is finest. Chook-of-Paradise crops want loads of water and humidity throughout their rising and blooming season. The most typical species of Strelitzia is the basic S. reginae. This species has the brightest and most noteworthy flowers.


Close-up of a flowering Bougainvillea plant in the garden. The plant has spear-shaped leaves with a glossy, bright green texture. The flowers are small, tubular, creamy white with large, papery, bright pink bracts. Bracts are modified leaves that surround the flowers.
It is a sun-loving vine with colourful bracts resembling flowers in varied shades.

Botanical Identify: Bougainvillea

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: 20’-30’
  • Season: Fall-Spring
  • Hardiness Zones: Sep 11

Bougainvillea is a tropical, sun-loving, shrubby vine that appears superb grown on the aspect of a construction or a trellis. That is the one in case you are searching for a big plant with main flower energy. The thorny vines are woody, make an ideal espalier, and may attain as much as 30’ lengthy, rising as much as 3’ per yr.

This plant has a particular, Mediterranean look, though it’s native to South America. The components of the plant which are regarded as flowers are colourful bracts, papery leaflike constructions. The flowers lie throughout the bracts and are small, yellow, and tubular. 

The bracts are available in shades of orange, pink, white, yellow, purple, and crimson. I’m a fan of the Sunset orange selection, because it served because the backdrop for my wedding ceremony pictures, however there are such a lot of attractive varieties it’s tough to decide on a favourite. 


Close-up of flowering plant Bromeliaceae. The plant is elongated, flat, xiphoid, with pointed ends, arranged in a rosette or spiral, forming a central cup-like structure known as a "tank". The leaves are dark green with hints of bright red, yellow and orange.
They’re appropriate as houseplants in non-tropical areas, providing year-round colourful blooms and engaging foliage.

Botanical Identify: Bromeliaceae

  • Solar Necessities: Half Shade
  • Top: 1”-3’
  • Season: 12 months-Spherical
  • Hardiness Zones: 9-10

Bromeliads make good houseplants in non-tropical climates, including a burst of coloration after they bloom and engaging foliage year-round. The huge, pointed leaves are palm-like and develop in a telescoping rosette. The completely different species fluctuate extensively in dimension and coloration, with the smallest being barely greater than an inch tall, to almost three ft on the largest.

These crops are usually epiphytic, preferring their gentle filtered via an overhead cover. Bromeliads are simple to look after and don’t have any specialised wants. When nearing the tip of its lifecycle, a bromeliad will usually produce a big flower earlier than dying. To not fear, although; they recurrently ship out offsets to switch the father or mother plant. The pineapple plant is a member of this genus that produces candy, scrumptious fruit as an alternative of flowers.

Canna Lily

Close-up of a flowering Canna Lily plant in a sunny garden. The leaves of Canna Lily are large, broad and spatulate, usually growing alternately along the stems. They have noticeable veins and are dark green in color. The flowers are large, showy, reminiscent of bright tropical flowers. The petals of the flower are wide and rounded, forming an elegant shape. The flowers are bright orange.
Cannas are placing backyard crops with massive leaves harking back to banana crops and vibrant flowers.

Botanical Identify: Canna

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: 3’-5’
  • Season: Summer season
  • Hardiness Zones: 9-10

These knockouts make a powerful assertion within the backyard. With their massive, colourful leaves and complex flowers, there are few rivals for these family of ginger and banana crops.

The leaves are lengthy and resemble banana leaves, with many sorts bearing variegated foliage. Cannas develop from rhizomes, in order that they reproduce yearly, and in a comparatively brief time, a handful of crops can flip into a big, colourful grouping. 

Canna flowers are available in shades of crimson, pink, yellow, coral, and white, in addition to combos of those colours. They resemble lilies, however they aren’t. Their flowers bloom atop tall stems, blooming finest in full solar. The Chou Chou selection produces great cream-colored blooms coated in pale peach freckles and with a peach-colored throat. 

Coral Vine

Close-up of an Antigonon leptopus flowering plant in a sunny garden. The plant is a highly flowering vine with large heart-shaped bright green leaves with serrated edges. Flowers grow in large groups, creating a stunning range of colors. The flowers are small, delicate and tightly clustered together. They are pink, tubular, with five petals.
It is a must-have for tropical gardens, with lengthy vines, heart-shaped leaves, and clusters of pink blossoms.

Botanical Identify: Antigonon leptopus

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: as much as 30’
  • Season: Late Summer season  – Winter
  • Hardiness Zones: Sep 11

Coral Vine goes by many names. Some name it Mexican Creeper; others check with it as Queen’s Wreath. It doesn’t matter what you name it, it’s vital for any tropical backyard. Lengthy, skinny vines department off and sport shiny inexperienced heart-shaped leaves. The vine is sort of fairly by itself, resembling a young grapevine. 

When in bloom, Coral Vine is a sight to behold. Lined in clusters of essentially the most great, delicate pink blossoms, this plant has an extended blooming season. It is extremely engaging to pollinators and, when in full bloom, creates a pleasant butterfly and bee-watching spot.

It may well change into invasive, because it spreads by each seed and rhizome. Nonetheless, I had this in my yard in South Florida for a few years and by no means had hassle controlling the unfold. Then once more, I really like the stuff!


Close-up of Zingiber officinale plants in the garden. This perennial plant has long, lanceolate leaves arranged alternately on vertical stems. The rhizome is thick, knotty, pale yellowish in color, covered with a light brown skin.
Ginger is a flexible plant utilized in cooking with well being advantages, that includes tall leaves and vibrant flowers.

Botanical Identify: Zingiber officinale

  • Solar Necessities: Half Solar
  • Top: 3’-4’
  • Season: Fall
  • Hardiness Zones: Sep 11

This Asian native has change into a staple in lots of the most noteworthy culinary circles. It has many well being advantages as an ingredient, so rising it as an edible makes this an additional particular plant. Ginger crops develop from rhizomes, the edible portion of the plant. The leaves are tall, flat, and ovate, and typically variegated.

Ginger is greater than only a kitchen helper, although. Many types of ginger are fairly lovely and produce massive, colourful flowers.

Shampoo ginger, often known as ‘Awapuhi kuahiwi, is finest identified for its massive, crimson, pinecone-shaped flowers that produce a sweet-smelling sap that can be utilized for laundry hair.  


Close-up of a flowering tropical Heliconia plant in a garden. The leaves are large, elongated, arranged spirally or fan-shaped. They have a glossy texture and are dark green in color. The flowers resemble lobster claws and are bright red with yellow margins, growing on long strong stems.
This distinctive plant options tall, spreading clumps with lobster claw-like flowers.

Botanical Identify: Heliconia

  • Solar Necessities: Half Shade
  • Top: as much as 15’
  • Season: Spring and Summer season
  • Hardiness Zones: 10-11

Heliconia, usually referred to as False Chook-of-Paradise, has flowers resembling the opposite genus. Nonetheless, they aren’t intently associated.

Relatively, they’re family of the banana and ginger households and are extra just like the Canna lily in construction. Heliconia has tall, flat leaves, and tends to unfold, creating massive clumps. 

This plant is excellent for filling an area however can crowd out different crops if it doesn’t have sufficient house. The flowers are crimson, orange, or yellow and are mentioned to resemble a lobster’s claw. They’ll bloom all through the nice and cozy months if given correct care. They like a little bit of shelter from direct solar, although, and carry out finest with shiny filtered gentle or gentle shade.


Close-up of a flowering Anthurium plant in the garden. Anthurium leaves are large, glossy, heart-shaped. They are dark green in color with a leathery texture and a shiny appearance. The flowers are modified leaves called spathes. The spathe is waxy, shiny and brightly dyed red. The spathe surrounds a fleshy spike called the spadix, which is covered in tiny, densely-packed bright yellow flowers.
Anthurium or Laceleaf crops are beautiful additions to indoor and outside tropical gardens.

Botanical Identify: Anthurium

  • Solar Necessities: Brilliant Oblique Daylight
  • Top: 16”
  • Season: 12 months-Spherical Cycles
  • Hardiness Zones: 11-12

Laceleaf, or Anthurium, makes great houseplants. In addition they develop outside in hotter climates and are a surprising addition to the tropical panorama backyard.

Able to blooming year-round with the fitting care, the blooms are leathery and shiny in shades of pink, white, and crimson. Along with the nickname Laceleaf, anthuriums are additionally generally referred to as flamingo flowers due to their look.

To keep away from leaf burn, anthuriums have explicit publicity wants. They want shiny gentle, nevertheless it have to be oblique or filtered to protect the integrity of the shiny leaves. Many species are epiphytic, rising on different objects like timber. Anthurium scherzerianum, or Painter’s Palette, is a wonderful cultivar with white flowers which are dusted on high and backed with shiny crimson.


Close-up of a flowering Mandevilla plant in a sunny garden. Mandevilla is a beautiful flowering vine with glossy, dark green, elongated, alternate leaves. The leaves have a smooth texture and a pointed tip. The flowers are large, funnel-shaped, bright pink, with a waxy texture.
This versatile tropical plant with engaging flowers is appropriate for container gardening in cooler climates.

Botanical Identify: Mandevilla

  • Solar Necessities: Solar
  • Top: as much as 20’
  • Season: Spring – Fall
  • Hardiness Zones: Sep 11

Mandevilla is a gorgeous and versatile flowering tropical plant. It’s effectively suited to container gardening, so it may be efficiently grown in cooler climates so long as it’s introduced indoors within the winter. It’s much less choosy concerning the solar, performing effectively in full solar and half shade. Some varieties are shrubby, whereas others are likely to climb extra.

Like most tropicals, it enjoys heat climate and many humidity. Grown indoors, it can doubtless require some supplemental humidity. It’s a heavy feeder and may be fertilized each two weeks with out hurt. The Alice DuPont selection produces attractive, deep pink blooms and grows as much as 20’ tall.


Close-up of a flowering orchid plant in a tropical garden. The leaves of the orchid are large, oval, glossy green in color, grow in the form of a rosette. The flowers are small, consist of three petals and three sepals of almost the same shape. Petals and sepals are bright pink with white edges.
Various and widespread, orchids thrive as houseplants and outside in tropical climates.

Botanical Identify: Orchidaceae

  • Solar Necessities: Brilliant Filtered Gentle
  • Top: 1’-3’
  • Season: Varies
  • Hardiness Zones: 6-12 Varies

There are such a lot of superb genera and species of orchids that it’s tough to cut back these crops to 1 class. These principally epiphytic and predominantly tropical flowering crops have discovered their manner into an area of maximum recognition as houseplants.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re lucky sufficient to stay in a tropical local weather, you may develop them outside, on timber, the best way they develop within the wild.

Orchids have particular wants, together with excessive humidity, shiny, oblique daylight, and good air circulation. These may be tough to duplicate in cooler climates, so into the greenhouse they go. In tropical and subtropical climates, you need to use a pair of nylons to tie an orchid to a tree. By the point the nylons deteriorate, the orchid may have rooted to the tree and will probably be happiest there. 

If I had to decide on only one species of orchid to maintain, it must be the Cattleya orchid. This huge and durable kind of orchid can deal with extra solar than most species and produces beautiful, aromatic flowers which have earned them the nickname Corsage Orchids.

Decorative Banana

Close-up of Ornamental Banana (Musaceae) flowering plant in the garden. The plant has lush foliage, unique fruits and stunning flowers. The leaves are bright green in color, large, wide and resemble the typical shape of a banana leaf. The fruits are shaped like miniature reddish-pink bananas. The flower is large, exotic, bright pink with long orange stamens.
Banana crops, the biggest herbaceous perennials, supply scrumptious meals and delightful foliage.

Botanical Identify: Musaceae

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar to Half Shade
  • Top: 15’-20’
  • Season: 12 months Spherical
  • Hardiness Zones: 7-10

Most individuals consider banana crops as timber. Nonetheless, they’re really the biggest herbaceous perennials. Whereas some varieties are grown for the scrumptious and nutritious meals they produce, others are grown just because they’re lovely. These family of the Ginger household produce massive, lovely, lush leaves that create a beautiful backdrop for the tropical backyard.

They’re additionally hardy to zone 7, the place they may die again within the winter and reemerge as lovely as ever within the spring, bringing alongside offsets in every new yr.

Bananas produce flowers, which come earlier than the fruit or seed pods. These flowers are sometimes fairly beautiful. They like partial shade and wish shelter from robust winds that may injury their broad leaves. The Dwarf Cavendish is a highly regarded decorative banana with edible fruit and fairly, crimson markings on its leaves.

Ardour Vine

Close-up of Passiflora incarnata flowering plant in the garden. This perennial plant has lush foliage and charming flowers. The leaves of Passiflora incarnata are deeply lobed and palmate, with three to five pointed lobes. They are bright green and provide an attractive backdrop for showy flowers. The plant produces exquisite and intricate flowers. The flowers are large, have a unique structure with five sepals, five petals and a noticeable complex arrangement of filaments and stamens in the center. The petals are pale purple, and the threads are bright purple.
Passionflower is a tropical vine that serves as a butterfly host plant, that includes massive and unique flowers.

Botanical Identify: Passiflora incarnata

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: 10’-30’
  • Season: Spring – Fall
  • Hardiness Zones: 7-10

Passionflower, or ardour vine, is a tropical flowering vine that’s woody in tropical and subtropical climates. It’s a root hardy perennial to zone 7. Native to the Southeastern United States, this vine serves as a butterfly host plant and a meals supply for wildlife. 

Passionflowers are available in shades of pink, purple, blue, crimson, inexperienced, yellow, and white. They’re massive and unique in look, with intricate patterns of stamens within the heart, surrounded by uniform petals and sepals. Incarnata Alba is a range with pure white flowers that’s chilly hardy right down to Zone 6.


Close-up of a flowering Plumeria plant in a sunny garden. It is a tropical flowering tree with thick, fleshy branches covered with glossy, elongated leaves. The leaves have a leathery texture and are arranged in spiral tufts at the ends of the branches. They are dark green in color. The flowers are large, waxy yellow with white margins. The flowers are characteristically shaped with overlapping petals and a prominent tubular centre.
Plumeria, or Frangipani, is a small aromatic tree well-known for its lei-making flowers.

Botanical Identify: Plumeria

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: 15’-20’
  • Season: Summer season – Fall
  • Hardiness Zones: 10-12

Also referred to as Frangipani, Plumeria is a delightfully aromatic, flowering small tree that boasts the most typical flowers utilized in making leis. They’re a stunning tree for any subtropical or tropical panorama. Plumeria flowers are so aromatic that they’re exceptionally widespread amongst perfumers. Their perfume is extensively utilized in cosmetics, candles, and different house perfume merchandise. 

The lengthy, fleshy trunks of the Plumeria tree can retailer loads of moisture, making them just like succulents in that manner. They thrive in scorching, sandy soil sorts and tolerate direct solar very effectively. Plumerias are available in many colours and have many various, distinctive scents. ‘Riviera Rainbow’ is a captivating, multicolored selection with pink, white, and yellow pinwheel-shaped flowers.

Prayer Vegetation

Close-up of a growing Calathea zebra plant in a sunny garden. The plant has large, elongated and oval patterned leaves. The leaves have bright zebra-like stripes that alternate between dark green and lighter shades of green. The leaves have a glossy texture.
Calatheas, often called prayer crops, want temperate climates indoors and shade outside.

Botanical Identify: Calathea

  • Solar Necessities: Medium to Brilliant Oblique Gentle
  • Top: as much as 2’
  • Season: Spring – Summer season
  • Hardiness Zones: 11-12

Calatheas are generally bought as houseplants, as they like extra temperate climates and don’t like direct solar publicity. Nonetheless, they develop very effectively below a cover in an outside tropical panorama. Generally often called prayer crops, Calathea has a singular behavior of elevating their leaves at night time and reducing them in the course of the day to optimize their solar publicity.

Calathea crops do produce flowers when they’re comfortable. Some gardeners want the plant put its vitality into leaf improvement, although, so eradicating the flowers will assist the plant to preserve vitality.

They usually flower as soon as per yr, in the summertime. There are various lovely varieties with engaging foliage. The Rose Painted Calathea is especially placing, with deep purple undersides to the leaves and patterns of a number of shades of inexperienced on high.


Close-up of a flowering Protea plant in a sunny garden. The plant has distinct, lanceolate, dark green leaves with a waxy-glossy texture. The flowers are large, exotic, calyx-shaped, revealing a cluster of perianths and styles tipped with pollen. External sharp-looking petals are burgundy-red.
It is a tropical genus of flowering crops that require well-drained soil, daylight, and airflow.

Botanical Identify: Protea

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: 3’-26’
  • Season: Spring – Fall
  • Hardiness Zones: 8-11

Protea is a genus of over 1,000 species of flowering tropical crops. They vary extensively in dimension, from a modest 3’ to a towering 26’ tall. They like very well-draining soil, numerous daylight, and good air circulation. Proteas are tropical crops with first rate chilly tolerance. They’ll survive temperatures as little as 23°F, making them hardy to Zone 8.

These crops are finest identified for his or her flowers. Floral designers covet these massive, intricate flowers. They’ve an extended blooming cycle, opening first to a cup form after which revealing a big cluster of perianths and kinds tipped with pollen.

The King Protea is known as for its massive flowers that resemble a crown. It’s extremely recognizable and has been named the nationwide flower of South Africa.

Vacationers Palm

Close-up of a flowering plant Ravenala madagascariensis in a sunny garden. The plant has large fan-shaped leaves resembling a peacock's tail. The plant produces bright creamy white flowers that emerge from boat-shaped structures.
The Vacationers Palm, resembling Birds-of-Paradise, has fan-like leaves and boat-like flowers.

Botanical Identify: Ravenala Madagascariensis

  • Solar Necessities: Full Solar
  • Top: 30’
  • Season: 12 months-Spherical
  • Hardiness Zones: 10-11

The Vacationers Palm just isn’t an precise palm in any respect. Relatively, it’s a relative of banana crops and Birds-of-Paradise. It resembles the Chook-of-Paradise however is far bigger, reaching as much as 30’ at maturity. The leaves develop in large fan-like formations that resemble a peacock’s tail. These crops can develop very massive, in order that they want loads of house. 

This native to Madagascar has very attention-grabbing flowers. At roughly 5 years, the plant will produce creamy, white flowers born by boat-like constructions. These crops produce an incredible quantity of nectar and are pollinated of their native surroundings by lemurs!

Remaining Ideas

Every of those crops will all assist to create that trip aesthetic, whether or not you’re creating an outside tropical panorama or looking for out unique houseplants. Even in the event you don’t stay in a tropical local weather, you may nonetheless deliver the tropics to your private home. In case you’re fortunate sufficient to stay on this widespread local weather year-round, you need to use these crops to create a private tropical oasis!

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