Tropical Gardening

A tropical garden features all the varieties of tropical plants and requires good rainfall or proper irrigation or sprinkler system for watering. These gardens typically need fertilizer and heavy mulching.
The tropical garden is no longer exclusive to tropical areas. Many gardeners in colder climates are adopting the tropical garden design, which is possible by the means of careful choice of plants and flowers.
Tropical foliage is typically characterized by large foliage and vibrant colors. Tropical growth is usually dense and lush, so don’t be afraid to crowd plants together to create a tropical effect.

Best plants for tropical gardening

Shade-Loving Tropicals

  • Secrecia, known commonly as purple-heart has beautiful purple leaves, and grows well even in shady areas. In this planting it is combined with another shade-loving plant, Algerian ivy.
  • Angel-wing begonia is another best choice, as it has large leaves and large flowers.
  • Prayer plant and Croton are common house plants these could thrive well outside in a shady garden during warmer months.

Sun-Loving Tropicals

If you have a sunny area, here are some suggestions for plants and flowers you might add to your tropical garden.

  • Hibiscus, come in a range of colors, and is considered a staple of tropical gardens.
  • Miscanthus cabaret works best as an ornamental tropical grass.
  • If you like the color purple, New Zealand flax is another visually striking grass that’s suited to a tropical setting.
  • Cardinal lobelia is another species that adds rich, purple color to a garden.
  • Canary reed-grass has a tropical appearance, and makes a nice ground cover.
  • Other flowering varieties you might consider are canna, black-eyed susan and the butterfly bush.
  • If you have a spot with well-drained, sandy soil, consider planting agave, a classic tropical variety that’s very popular.
  • Don’t forget to plant bougainvillea which is a “must.” These colorful, bush/trees respond well to irregular watering.

Planting Suggestions

  • The biggest and most important is sunlight. Your plants should get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Tropical plants grow rapidly, so they need some soil preparation. They grow best in well-drained soil.
  • The large leaves that profile tropical plants require the soil to be humid at all times, so irrigation might be a must-have for some gardens. Over-watering can kill your plants as well, as it will cause the roots to rot.
  • Select plants with strong root systems, and loose up the root ball when you remove the plant from the pot.
  • Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant.
  • Crowd plants together to create that lush, dense tropical look.
  • Select plants with very large leaves, so that you can create that typical tropical look.
  • In case of the application of fertilizers don’t put too much of nitrogen especially on flowering plants. It increases the growth of leaves and decreases the flower blooms.
  • When the temperature is high the organic manure is easily decomposed. It is so quick that the plants are cant able to take quickly and it goes waste. So give manure on small quantity and less often.

Here is a list of tropical plants that work well in non-tropical climates:

•    Acanthus mollis
•    Algerian ivy
•    Canna
•    Crocosmia, aka Lucifer
•    Passiflora caerulea
•    Paulownia tomentosa
•    Secrecia
•    Trachycarpus
A garden full of tropicals not only has its own beauty but also attracts its share of nature garden friends, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.