tropical garden with cacti

How to Create a Tropical Garden

Dreaming of all things tropical but don’t live far enough North? Learn how to bring a touch of tropical paradise to your home, regardless of where you live.


The key to creating a tropical style garden is by carefully combining brightly coloured foliage. Maximum visual impact can be achieved by positioning plants with red, orange, purple, pink and bright green leaves adjacent to each other. Flowers with vibrant colours such as frangipani, hibiscus and canna lilies will add warmth to the garden. This will also create contrast between the ground cover and the flora.

Bamboo & Palms

Bamboo plants and palm trees are often the first things people think of when faced with the word ‘tropical’. These large plants are able to filter sunlight, mimicking their purpose in large, tropical rainforests. When planted in a thoughtful arrangement, bamboo and palms can also act as an excellent privacy screen. Ask a professional for advice on the best variety for your climate.

Flowers & Foliage

Tropical gardens are often predominantly comprised of foliage and not flowers. This ensures that vibrant colour is maintained in the garden year round. Foliage is often planted in groups of odd numbers to maximise colour and texture. When choosing plants, pay close attention to their size, shape, colour and texture.

Herbs & Spices

Asian herbs and spices are a fantastic addition to any tropical garden. They thrive in cool, moist spots that may otherwise have been left unused. Herbs and spices also make the garden smell great whilst deterring pests.


Tropical gardens should be approached in a different manner to traditional gardens. Instead of digging down to plant, gardeners should layer the soil with compost, garden clippings and mulch to recreate the natural process that occurs in rainforests. Plants should be pruned regularly to ensure they do not spread out of control.

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