When one thinks of a tropical climate, they usually picture the sunny beaches or unmatched forests of Costa Rica, or maybe an expedition into the heart of the Amazonian forests. But when it comes to having a tropical garden, you don’t have to visit any of these countries to see one, because you can literally create one in your own backyard.
Tropical gardens all about dense plants, and that’s the effect that you want to go for, as well. You can design your garden in three different plant levels, and here are some ideas to help you get started:
- The upper layer should consist of tall tree ferns, palms, and tall shrubs. Plant suggestions: ivory curl tree, Abyssinian banana, Alexandra palm, Golden cane palm.
- The middle layer must have plants with dense foliage that are of different shapes and colors, with flowers blooming in between them. Plant ideas: cane begonia, flag ginger, Brazilian plume, zebra plant, lady palm.
- The bottom layer should have dense plants with rich foliage. Plant ideas: aglaonema, maranta, coleus, bird’s nest fern, lily turf.
Caring for a Tropical Garden
When you’re done landscaping a tropical garden, you’ll basically have a vacation spot all year round. As far as caring for your tropical garden is concerned, you have to remember four things:
- Organic matter is great at retaining moisture in the soil, so you will have to add compost or well-rotted manure into the soil, to make sure that your plants stay healthy.
- Cow manure and compost are great for feeding the soil in spring and summer.
- Use composted leaves to mulch around your plants. Pea straw can help with moisture retention as well.
- These plants are very water-hungry, do you will either need a drip-watering system to do the job for you or you’ll have to manually water the plants using a garden hose.
Important Tips & Tricks
The best part about landscaping a tropical garden is that there are so many combinations of variations to what you can achieve; no two residential tropical gardens will ever look the same. Here are some pointers that will surely put you on the right path to creating a unique slice of Heaven into your own back/front yard:
- Make sure that you have all the tools required for such a project. Some of them may already be lying around the garage, others you’ll have to buy. You probably already own a rake, a shovel, and a good pair of garden gloves. You will also need a wheelbarrow for flowers, compost, soil, and accessories required to spruce up the garden. If you don’t own a wheelbarrow, you can read more reviews on some of the best ones and make an informed purchase.
- Consider the fact that not all tropical plants will grow in just every type of climate in the world. Some of them are resistant to mild winter, but others are not, so it’s best to plant sun and warmth-loving plants in pots that you can bring inside during the colder season.
- Large leaves are a very important part in creating the tropical ambiance you want in a garden of this type. Look for plants that have imposingly-large leaves, and feel free to mix up colors and different shapes to get the most stunning visual effects.
Must-Have Tropical Garden Accessories
Of course, there are many different accessories that go well with a tropical garden, but there are two very important ones that are a must-have: stones and water.
You can recreate a body of water through a pond that gives the garden a tropical look to die for. If you are on a budget or don’t have enough room to go crazy with this body of water, you can literally plant a water bowl/pot and work your way around that.
If you want a low-budget fountain idea, you can simply stick a pipe in the ground, connecting it at the bottom to a water source (it can be a regular hose, but buried in the ground so no one can see it). Then, place stones of different sizes around the pipe, covering it from the ground up, until the pipe is buried in the pile of stones. Make sure no stones obstruct the top of the pipe, so that water can run out from it. You’ll create a stunning cascade, with water flowing down the stones.
Terracotta plant pots can also be a wonderful tropical garden accessory, particularly if they look really old or if you give them a vintage look yourself.
Tropical gardens aren’t as high maintenance as you might think, but you should still care for them accordingly. Even if it doesn’t cost a fortune to landscape a garden like this one, you don’t want to waste money, so make sure that your plants grow healthy.