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15 Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden

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There are several types of tropical plants throughout the world. In this article, we’ll discuss 15 of the most popular tropical garden plants.

These 15 types of tropical plants are the perfect additions for a warm climate garden. Most of these garden plants can start growing at any point in the year and bloom beautiful, brightly colored flowers.

15 Types of Tropical Garden Plants

15 Most Popular Types of Tropical Garden Plants

  1. Elephant Ears
  2. Birds of paradise
  3. Hibiscus
  4. Canna Lily
  5. Royal Standard Hosta
  6. Lily of the Nile
  7. Jasmine
  8. Male Fern
  9. Ghost Lady Fern
  10. Calla Lilies
  11. Bromeliad
  12. Kaffir Lily
  13. Red Ginger
  14. Chenille
  15. Orchid Primrose

1. Elephant Ears (Colocasia)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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  • Sun/shade needs: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water needs: Water regularly and plant in a humid climate
  • When to plant: For zones 3-8, plant Colocasia bulbs in the spring. In zone 9-11, plant and grow at any time in the year.

2. Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai)

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  • Sun/shade needs: Full sun or partial shade in a desert climate
  • Water needs: Water regularly
  • When to plant: Plant in well-drained soil in spring or early summer if purchasing a potted plant. The soil should be able to dry in-between waterings.

3. Hibiscus (Hibiscus Syriacus)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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  • Sun/shade needs: 6 hours of full sun
  • Water needs: Water 1-2 times per day
  • When to plant: Plant tropic Hibiscus plant seeds in late spring or early summer. Add plenty of nutrients to the soil before planting.

4. Canna Lily (Cannaceae)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun

Water needs: Water twice a week (minimum)

When to plant:

Plant Canna Lily bulbs in spring or summer or start the plant indoors in a pot during colder seasons. In tropical climates, Canna Lilies can grow all year.

5. Royal Standard Hosta (H. Plantaginea x H. Sieboldiana)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Part shade / Full shade

Water needs: Average water intake

When to plant:

Plant in well-drained soil during spring or at any time of the year in warm climates. White flowers bloom in summer, and the plant is highly fragrant.

6. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus Africanus)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun to partial shade

Water needs: Once a day watering

When to plant:

Plant the Lady of the Nile during springtime or when the garden soil has warmed to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant grows best when planted with organic compost or fertilizer.

7. Jasmine (Jasminum)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun or part shade (6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day)

Water needs: Lots of water

When to plant:

Plant Jasmine flowers between June and November in moist soil. Give the jasmine lots of space. SFGate recommends at least 8 feet of space for healthy root growth.

8. Male Fern (Dryopteris Filix-mas)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun

Water needs: 1 to 2 inches of water per week or more, depending on the type of soil. Ferns grown in sand need frequent watering.

When to plant:

Plant in spring with plenty of space around each fern.

9. Ghost Lady Fern (Athyrium)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Part shade / part sun

Water needs: Average water intake – partially drought resistant

When to plant:

Plant Lady Ferns in spring in an area that gets lots of shade.

10. Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia Aethiopica)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Partial shade to full sun

Water needs: Water regularly

When to plant:

Calla Lilies grow best in loose, well-drained soil. When planting Calla Lily bulbs, plant them in a partially shaded area during spring, after the last frost or cold front in a warm climate.

11. Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun to partial shade (all light conditions)

Water needs: Water once a week

When to plant:

Bromeliad plants can start at any time of the year, but for cooler regions, plant them in the summer.

Fun fact – Bromeliad will sometimes turn completely green if they are not getting enough sunlight. There is effortless maintenance with this tropical garden plant.

12. Kaffir Lily (Clivia Miniata)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: No direct sunlight; partial sun is okay

Water needs: Water sparingly, do not let the soil dry out

When to plant:

Plant Kaffir Lilies between March and May. Blooms in late summer.

Further information – toxic to pets when ingested

13. Red Ginger (Hedychium Rubrum)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun / light shade

Water needs: Water regularly with WARM water

When to plant:

Plant a Red Ginger in any season but bring indoors or cover when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

14. Chenille (Acalypha Hispida)

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Sun/shade needs: Full sun to partial shade

Water needs: Water regularly

When to plant:

Chenille grows best in well-drained sand, clay, or loam soil. Plant in early spring or at any time and bring indoors when the outside temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

15. Orchid Primrose (Primula Vialii)

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden
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Sun/shade needs: Full sun

Water needs: Water regularly

When to plant:

Plant these perennials in early spring and watch them bloom in mid-summer.

Where to Plant These Types of Tropical Plants

Plant your tropical garden plants according to their sun or shade needs. Pair the tropical-themed garden with short palm trees or fruit-bearing trees like a banana tree or papaya tree.

Remember that these types of tropical plants will need lots of water and lots of sunlight.

Use sprinklers to ensure that the tropical plants never go thirsty, and if you do not live in a humid climate, consider purchasing a greenhouse to grow the tropical plants better.

Types of Tropical Plants for Your Garden

Seeds for all these types of tropical plants are available online. However, you can also purchase pre-grown potted plants and transfer them directly to the soil.

To help the potted tropical plant survive, use organic compost and all-natural fertilizer when moving the plant and water it with warm water.

Be sure to give the plant time to acclimate itself and do not make any further changes to the soil around it for several days.

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