Skip the Plane Ticket - Plant a Tropical Container Garden!
Listen, we get it - there's nothing better than hopping on a plane knowing that when you land, you'll be in a tropical paradise. That being said, we also know that traveling isn't always an option, so why not plant yourself a lovely staycation right at home?! Brilliant colors, fascinating textures, and larger-than-life leaves will turn your garden into an exotic oasis - even if you live in a cooler climate!
While planting in the ground is an excellent option for many, container gardens are the perfect place to start experimenting with tropical plants, especially if you're a little hesitant. So, are you ready to create a dramatic display by mixing tropical plants with bright, hardy annuals? Let's explore how to achieve this look with some of our favorite tropical container garden combinations.
How to Create a Tropical Container Garden
When it comes to starting a tropical container garden, there are two main things to consider - culture and appeal. Be mindful when selecting plants to choose species with similar cultural needs, such as light and water requirements. As you can imagine, mixing plants with totally different needs will make it very difficult to satisfy them both, but don't worry - we'll provide you with some popular pairings below!
Once you've selected some compatible plants, it's time to think about their appeal in terms of color, height, and texture. Look for varieties that complement one another, and again, we'll hook you up with some helpful design tips in this article.
Our Favorite Recipes for Tropical Container Gardens
Recipe One: Blazing Beauty
If you're someone who craves the heat of the tropics or just loves fiery colors, this one's for you! Start with the striped foliage and towering, electric orange blooms of Canna Tropicanna. These beauties add both dramatic color and architectural interest to the design. Add the lush green leaves and glowing flowers of Ginger Indian Surprise for a little extra brilliance, and finish the look with the dark, nearly black leaves and brilliant red blooms of Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff. Dahlias may not be tropical, but they guarantee months of beautiful blooms and will thrive in the conditions of your mixed planting.
Recipe Two: Pineapple Paradise
Striking emerald leaves and fragrant, long-lasting blooms make Pineapple Lilies a welcome addition to any tropical container garden. Plus, they play nicely and look positively sensational when paired with Alstroemeria Lucky, a plant producing lovely, white flowers with a rich, rosy flush at the throat of every bloom. The cherry on top of this dreamy display is the rosy pink foliage of Caladium Sweetheart, which stays flower-bright all season long.
Recipe Three: Sweet and Spicy
This combination starts with the tropical, flowering Ginger, which flaunts broad, lush leaves and highly fragrant blooms that attract butterflies in droves. Blend several varieties for extra charm, such as the warm orange blooms of Greenii and the soft, creamy flowers of Ellipticum. Alstroemeria Colorita Ariane provides the perfect finishing touch to this container garden with butter-yellow blooms adorned with prominent rosy blushes and striking mahogany whiskers.
Recipe Four: Big and Beautiful
Alocasia and Colocasia make a grand statement in large tropical container gardens with their massive leaves, reminiscent of an elephant's ears. For this recipe, we're pairing the deep, dark, velvety foliage of Colocasia Black Magic with the contrasting white and green leaves of Caladium Aaron and the elegant white flowers of Alstroemeria Claire. Trust us on this one - bigger is better!
Secrets for a Flawless Tropical Container Garden
- Achieve a truly tropical look by planting closely and densely, just like in a jungle environment.
- Plan for a combination of plants that provide different levels, with tall, medium, and low or trailing species.
- Use Canna Lilies, Banana Plants, or Elephant Ears as the tallest plants to be featured in your tropical container gardens.
- Plant Flowering Ginger, Calla Lilies, Agapanthus, or Pineapple Lilies to fill out the middle height of your tropical container gardens.
- Allow Alstroemeria, Caladiums, or Dwarf Eucomis to shine as the low-growing plants in your tropical container gardens.
Alright, now it's time for you to create your own tropical escape!
- Rachel Bortles