Tropical plants have a look and feel all their own. Whether you truly live in a tropical environment or you’re somewhere colder growing them in containers or as annuals, tropicals can give your garden a distinct, otherworldly look. Here are our top 5 tropical plants for gardens:
1. Bird of Paradise – The name of this plant alone implies tropical climates. Bird of paradise plants put out highly unusual brightly colored flowers in spiky shapes that resemble, for all the world, a tropical bird in flight. It can reach up to 5 feet (1.5 m.) in height.
2. Banana – Bananas are a diverse family of trees that can be suited to a wide range of needs. Some banana trees are grown specifically for their flowers, while others are sought after for their fruits. There are also hardy varieties of bananas that allow you to grow this usually tropical fruit in colder climates. While some banana trees grow to huge heights, dwarf varieties stay very small and can be grown in containers.
3. Canna – Cannas are beautiful flowering plants with bright blooms and showy, often variegated foliage that comes in every shade from green to fluorescent red. The bulbs can be dug up in the autumn and replanted in the spring in colder climates.
4. Ginger – Another plant grown both for its edible and its flowering qualities is ginger. Red ginger is an especially popular variety for its impressive clumps of fragrant, bright red flowers that attract all kinds of pollinators.
5. Palm – Palm trees are a quintessential part of tropical gardening. They are very diverse, coming in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Dwarf and small varieties can be grown in containers. They are also far from restricted to tropical climates. Some varieties of palm will even survive below freezing temperatures, bringing a tropical flare to even chilly gardens and landscapes.