The Tropical Look

Lush foliage, swaying palm fronds, flamboyant flowers and intoxicating heady scents of frangipanis, gardenias and jasmines. This tends to be the idealic image created in the minds of most people. Interestingly, it is possible to create the tropical look in cooler climates beyong the tropics and subtropics.

Key Points:

  • Look for foliage colour rather than flowers
  • Focus of masses of one colour rather than a a mix of all colours - plant lots of the same thing for visual impact
  • Include plants that provide stimulation to the sense of touch - soft foliage, furry foliage, spikey foliage, rough bark, etc
  • Realise the amount of natural rainfall that occurs on your property and select plants that will survive with that amount of rainfall.

Plants to consider:

  • palms - both fan and feather frond types
  • aroids - such as Allocasia, philodendrons, etc
  • frangipanis - evergreen and deciduous, large and dwarf forms
  • warm climate bulbs - Cyrtanthus, Sprekelia, Eurcharis, Priophys, etc.
  • flowering plants - brazilian cloak, hibiscus, ixora, etc

For more inspiration, refer to subTropical Gardening magazine -

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