Just because a vacation to an island paradise isn’t on your summer calendar, that doesn’t mean you can’t create that vacation feeling at home… All you need are the colors and scents of tropical plants.
Bonus… Most tropical plants are easy to care for. (Because who wants to work on vacation?)
Create island magic with bold colors and heavenly fragrance.
There are a number of tropical shrubs that just shout paradise. One we love and have to have every summer? The beautiful hibiscus. At home in a large container or put straight into your sunny garden, the big, bold blooms of the hibiscus come in the warm colors of summer: yellow, red, pink and orange. Tuck one of these beauties behind your ear and hey, you’re in Tahiti.
And what about the marvelous mandevilla? If you have a trellis or a fence, plant a mandevilla vine and by summer’s end, the whole thing will be covered. You can also plant one in a large hanging basket and let it grow down. What a gorgeous cascade! What a lovely fragrance! This fast grower has dark green leaves and is covered in white, pink or red flowers.
It’s not all about blooms. Big, colorful leaves can steal the show.
Tropical plants are also loved for their big, showy foliage. Elephant ears, banana trees and gingers are just a few of the big-leafed tropicals that thrive in our northern Virginia hot, humid summers. Plant them in pots or right in the ground; they’re happy anywhere in the sun, although the ginger is also happy with a bit of shade in the afternoon.
The bright green, orange, yellow and red found in the leaves of crotons mean these plants can make a tropical statement all by themselves.
They have a strong, upright growth habit and also pair well with softer annuals planted around their base.
As an added bonus, the croton’s color holds well into autumn, making it look quite seasonal with its golden shades.
Speaking of shade, if you have it in your garden, you have a home for caladiums. Their big heart-shaped leaves are loved for their bold colors and patterns.
Caladiums are easy to grow and can brighten up a shady spot with great tropical appeal.
Mass these plants under a tree and you’ve found your afternoon vacation spot.
Finally, no tropical garden is complete without at least one palm. A small, sturdy Sago palm will fit nicely in a pot, while Majesty and Chinese Fan palms will rustle in even the slightest breeze.
Add a nice bamboo wind chime and close your eyes; you’ll swear you’re in the islands.
Don’t forget your tropical showers…
Any of these gorgeous tropicals are easy to grow and thrive in the heat, but they do require a daily drink. (Those little umbrellas are not required!)
Plant your tropical in containers so you can bring indoors during cooler months. Just make sure to use only containers that have ample drainage. And don’t forget to feed your plants monthly during the growing season.
You’ll find helpful information and inspiration for your tropical stay-cation at your friendly Garden Market. We can’t wait to see what you create!