It’s not impossible to achieve a tropical-style garden, even with the unpredictable UK weather. Loved for his large, bold foliage, tTropical plants will help you create a lush and colorful garden, perfect if you want to add style and drama to your outdoor space.

“The key to creating a beautiful, exotic planting scheme, reminiscent of vacations in the sun, is to use large, bold, dramatic foliage and brightly colored flowers,” says Isabelle Palmer, Beautiful houseThe Garden Chronicler.

Structure is key, so consider combining tall plants with mid-level plants and low-level plants. ‘Place at different heights to produce a lush jungle effect. If you’re using containers, the bigger the pot the better, starting with the tallest plants at the back,” Isabelle suggests.

For example, bamboos and banana trees offer height and structure, so they’re perfect for creating a space that feels like your own private retreat, while ferns offer medium height, and hostas and begonias add flair. lower ground cover.

So, can tropical plants survive a colder climate? “There are many hardy varieties of lush plants that can withstand colder temperatures,” says Isabelle. “Planting flowers in warm colors will give your garden a sunny feel. Bright red crocosmia, bright yellow cannas, bright pink dahlias and the sweet scent of russet lily will evoke your senses and remind you of dazzling, sunny places.

There’s a lot to choose from, but we’ve rounded up 19 tropical plants that are perfect for growing in your garden.


1. Chusan Palm/ Trachycarpus fortunei

    A very attractive low maintenance palm with fan shaped leaves. It is a hardy plant and although it is incredibly hardy in very cold winters, it is a good idea to wrap its leaves.

    2. Bean Tree / Catalpa ‘Bungei’

    It is a slow growing tree with large leaves that form an umbrella shape. It’s great to give a little garden a shady, jungle feel.

    3. Bamboo / Phyllostachys nigra

    Bamboos are the perfect plant for a tropical garden; they are robust, persistent and space-saving, so they do not take up too much space. Opt for a bushy-growing type like black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra, rather than the spreading varieties.

    4. Ginger Lily / Hedychium aurantiacum

    A truly tropical-looking orange flower, Ginger Lily is a bulbous plant that will push through the ground in early summer to produce red flowers at the end of the season.

    tropical plants, black bamboo
    black bamboo

    Jeannick TessierGetty Images

    tropical plants, ginger
    ginger lily

    sept75Getty Images

    5.Fatsie/ Fatsia japonica

    Easy, abundant and versatile, Fatsia and its climbing relative Fatshedera, have large, glossy, evergreen leaves providing the perfect tropical backdrop to the garden. Mature plants will produce exotic spikes of creamy white flowers.

    6. Ponytails / Equisetum arvense

    These shoot out of the ground in spring. These are unusual but very exotic plants – they also spread, so place them with care!

    7. Lilies / Zantedeschia aethiopica

    This lily will be evergreen in sheltered locations and produces the most elegant white swan-shaped flowers in spring and summer.

    8. Japanese banana / Musa basjoo

    The perfect tree for a tropical planting, the banana tree produces large, lush green leaves and edible fruit each year when ripe. It is suitable for growing in borders in milder parts of the UK, but will need protection in winter.

    tropical plants alum lily, zantedeschia
    lilies

    Maria Dattola Photography

    tropical plants, banana palm
    japanese banana

    Wilatlak VilletteGetty Images

    9. Bear Panties / Acanthus mollis

    Tall and stately, this perennial produces huge white and purple flowers in summer and will be evergreen in a sheltered location.

    10. Tree Fern / Antarctic Dicksonia

    Slow growing (it will form a thick, tree-like stem as it grows), Dicksonia antarctica is topped with a crown of large, filigree fronds. Ferns are especially great if you have a shady spot.

    11. Trills / Trillium grandiflorum

    Early in the year, this plant’s large, three-petalled flower grows through its low, glossy foliage. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to find on the floor of an enchanted jungle.

    12. spanish dagger / yucca gloriosa

    Yucca gloriosa is a very hardy evergreen and sends out a long shoot of creamy, bell-shaped flowers.

    tropical plants, trillium grandiflorum
    Trillium grandiflorum

    PhotosGetty Images

    tropical plants, yucca gloriosa
    yucca gloriosa

    Karine de MamielGetty Images

    13. Bird of Paradise / Strelitzia

    Nothing is more exotic than the bird of paradise. As its name suggests, the structure of this beautiful colorful plant resembles that of birds. It is ideal for sunny borders or kept in a pot, but as temperatures drop in autumn bring the plant indoors.

    14. Canary Island Date Palm / Phoenix canariensis

    The spectacular Canarian date palm has the most beautiful dark green leaves. It should grow in a sunny place, sheltered from cold winds.

    15. Eucoma / Bicolor eucoma

    Eucomis look like ginger or pineapple plants with tufts of leaves above their star-studded flowers. Choose Eucomis bicolor for its purple stems and green flowers for a touch of freshness.

    16. Lobelia / lobelia tupa

    For blooming red flowers of a dazzling nature, introduce striking lobelias such as Lobelia cardinalis and Lobelia tupa.

    tropical plants, eucomis bicolor
    Bicolor eucoma

    photo hamsterGetty Images

    tropical plants, lobelia tupa, devil's tobacco
    lobelia tupa

    PhotoshoppedGetty Images

    17. Rodgersia / Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superb’

    Imagine a perennial plant with huge horse chestnut leaves and huge flower candles sticking out of it. It’s Rodgersia. It dies in the winter but will come back up in the spring to almost 6 feet if it is happy and well watered!

    18. Cabbage Palm / Southern Cordyline

    For softer, more sheltered locations, cabbage palm functions as a low shrub or can be trained as a tree.

    19. Begonia / Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’

    With lopsided leaves and abundant blooms, begonias are a staple for a tropical-style garden. Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ features purplish leaves and an array of individual orange flowers.

    And finally…

    There’s no point filling your garden with tropical plants if you can’t immerse yourself in them. To continue the theme, decorate your outdoor space for complete relaxation mode. Focus on comfortable furniture such as hammocks, hanging chairs and small garden sofas, or if you’re short on space, invest in floor cushions and brightly colored outdoor rugs.

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