Your version of ‘tropical’ may take you to a lounge poolside; to a densely canopied rainforest; or to a breezy island getaway. I’d follow to all three, to be honest! Here in nearly South Florida, we can create any of these vacation-like settings with the help of Tropical plants. From Heliconia, to Ground Orchids, to Mussaenda, our tropical favorites dig it here!
I have a dream of red, pink and white specked Caladiums planted near light pink Curcuma, and among those some Xanadu filling in near a few pink and dark green Ti plants that poke out, with some purple and yellow and pink Ground Orchids, all mixed together and growing lushly with some Bromeliads edging all that beauty. I want a shady spot near that succulent tropical display where I can sit and sip sparkling water.
There are tricks to remember once you’ve caught tropical fever. Most of these tricks go back to the Florida-friendly principle you hear us reference so often RIGHT PLANT, RIGHT PLACE. Some tropical plants need low light, some tolerate full sun better than others, and many like moist soil. Finding the right place in your landscape is the first step to creating a tropical retreat, well it’s really the second. The first is falling head over heels for a tropical beauty, like Medinilla magnifica. Think about what is growing well in your garden now, consider the exposure (morning light in the East, lower light in the North, etc.) in that place and the kind of soil (loose, compacted) there. We’re always happy to help you plan a spot for something you love or help you design a brand new area of your landscape. We have the soil amendments that new tropical plants will love.
Another thing to remember about Tropicals is that many will need protection from wind and from dips in temperature. They can be covered with sheets or cloth or, if kept in containers, they can be brought inside when we experience temperatures below 50 degrees (for certain plants.)
And perhaps the most important fact to remember about creating a Tropical retreat in your Florida garden is that it is totally possible!