Many a gardener will have seen plants when on holiday in some exotic location and wished that they could be grown in the garden back home. Naturally most tropical plants need a tropical climate, but there are some that will thrive in cooler regions. By careful choice of plants it is possible to create a tropical style in your own garden. The ten plants that will give you a tropical feel are described in an article by Lauren Dunec Hoang which I found on the Houzz website.
Picture your dream tropical destination. Perhaps you hear palm fronds rustling overhead and smell the sweet fragrance of jasmine drifting through the garden. For those of us who don?t live in tropical climates (we?re jealous of you who do), it?s still possible to evoke the beauty of an island-style garden with plants that thrive in temperate climates.
Take a look at these 10 plants for a tropical-style garden, including a vine with an intoxicating fragrance and colorful plants for containers.Variegated shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet ?Variegata?, USDA zones 9 to 11; find your zone) grows with Mexican weeping bamboo (Otatea acuminata, zones 9 to 11) in a San Diego garden.
General growing tips. The plants described below grow best in temperate, cool-winter climates, such as coastal areas of California, parts of the Pacific Northwest, and the south and southeastern U.S. Many are frost-tender and should be planted in sheltered areas of the garden or covered in frost blankets if a freeze is predicted.1. Palms
Palm trees are synonymous with the tropics, and planting one or more gives a garden a tropical-island theme. Grow a large Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis, zones 9 to 11) as a specimen tree for the backyard, or plant smaller pygmy date palms (P. roebelenii, zones 9 to 11) in pots on the patio. For cold-winter regions, look for hardy palms such as needle palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix, zones 8 to 10), windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei and T. takil, zones 7 to 11), California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera, zones 8 to 11) and European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis, zones 9 to 11).
Where they will grow: Hardiness varies by species; many cold-tolerant palms are hardy to 8 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 13.3 to minus 9.4 degrees Celsius; windmill palms are some of the toughest and can be cold-hardy down to minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 20.6 degrees Celsius.
Water requirement: Moderate; some varieties drought-tolerant once established
Light requirement: Varies by species, from full sun to light shade2. Angel?s Trumpet
(Brugmansia spp.)With dramatic nodding flowers in white, pink or yellow, angel?s trumpet makes a beautiful accent plant in tropical-style gardens. Plants grow as small shrub-trees, reaching 5 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. In cold-winter regions, grow angel?s trumpet in a large container, where it will thrive all summer with regular fertilizing and water. Then bring containers to overwinter in a greenhouse or by a sunny window indoors. If grown in the ground in cold-winter climates, plan on lifting angel?s trumpet in fall and overwintering it in a greenhouse.