If you are looking to create a lush garden, one that gives you a tropical look, them you need to find the right plants.
Tropical plants include both foliage and flowering plants, you don’t need to limit yourself to few palm trees, although they can be a great start. Fruit trees, flowering plants, and orchids can all be included in your very own tropical garden.
Tropical Trees and Shrubs
Start with the structure of larger trees and shrubs, consider :
Foxtail Palms are fast growing and easy in a range of climates.
Look for the unusual Barringtonia calyptrata, glossy foliage and fragrant white flowers.
Diamond Joey palms have some of the lushest foliage you can imagine.
Add a little height with the fast growing Alexander palm. Or choose the beautiful blue grey fan like foliage of Bismarckia nobilis.
Consider Syzygium cormiflorum a Lily Pilly commonly known as the White Apple.
Cordylines are tough and easy to grow, new colourful varieties in shaded rom pink to red, as well as lush green.
Crotons with their large glossy colourful foliage add colour year round.
Bromeliads are another, great foliage and texture on easy care plants.
Clivia are the in between plant, foliage and flowers.
Licuala cordata – wonderful large lush foliage.
An all time favourite, Gardenias have flowers, fragrance and foliage as well. Look for the unusual Gardenia vietnamensis.
Impatiens are the all round plant, they are long flowering and the New Guinea varieties are easy to grow.
The Ornamental gingers include Heleconia, Alpinia, Zingiber and Tapeinochilos.
Kohleria warszewiczii flowers from summer right through untillate autumn, distinctive pink flowers with pale lemon to white lips spotted with pink. Grow this one in bright indirect light.
Choosing the right plants
Before considering buying tropical plants in is essential to evaluate the climate and position. Some plants will grow well in cooler climates, others will not.
Some can cope with an artificial micro climate, a warm sunny position protected from cold winds and frosts with a little added humidity, other plants will simply not survive.
Tropical Trees and Larger Shrubs
The backbone of any garden is always the larger trees and plants and in a tropical garden this is no different, trees and shrubs suitable for this sort of climate include : Palm Trees, Cycads, Delonix Regia (Royal Poinciana), Dracaena Draco, Medinilla, Hibiscus, Bauhina Purpurea (Orchid Tree), Annona Cherimola ‘Cherimoya’ (Custard Apple), Tipu Tipuana, Cassia Javanica,
Lower Growing Tropicals and foliage plants
All gardens require plants for under planting, beneath the large structural trees and shrubs, those suitable to create a tropical look include:
Acalypha, Alpinia, Bougainvillea, Coleos, Coloccasia, Cordylines, Caladiums, Calatheas, Clivia, Croton, Cyathea Cooperi, Calotropis Gigantea, Frangipani, Gardenia, Heliconias, Hibiscus, Impatiens, Iresine, Ixora, Fagraea Berteriana or ‘Perfume Flower Tree’, Caesalpiniodae ‘Candle Bush’, Microsorium Scolopendria Plypodium, Philodendron, Liriope, Mandevilla, Musa, Pachystachys lutea Sanchezia Speciosa, Tibouchina Urvilleana, Zingiber
Tropical plants are readily available to buy online in Australia from leading tropical plants nurseries listed below or browse our tropical plants list for ideas, inspiration and growing notes.
As for lists of tropical plants, it is almost impossible to provide a comprehensive list of what is available, however some of the most popular species include :
- Palms Trees
- Tropical orchids
- Bat Plants
- Water Lilies
Tropical Plants are available for sale online from the following participating nurseries.
Australia's finest bamboo display gardens. Non-invasive clumping varieties at competitive prices for screens, windbreaks, garden ornamentals, timber and shoots. Small suburban garden right up to the commercial growers. Can ship to anywhere in Australia. Hervey Bay, QLD. OPEN 7 DAYS
PO BOX 150 El Arish Qld 4855
Largest online selection of tropical exotic plants in Australia. Heliconias, gingers, cordylines and brugmansias. Retail center open by appointment only.
FEELNSEEDY – PH: 0409049209
158 Kings Road Glass House Mountains Qld 4518
Tropical plant specialist featuring large variety of gingers, costus, heliconias, tropical grasses, frangipanis.
PARADISE DISTRIBUTORS – 07 5441 5921
JULATTEN TROPICAL GARDENS – PH: 07 40941207 fax: 07 40941610
22 Meadow Road Julatten Qld 4871
Tropical plants & foliage, primarily heliconias & gingers. Cut flowers on request to all states except Tasmania.