Success with a tropical garden almost depends on selecting and growing the right plants.
Tropical plants require lots of sun and water and do well in healthy soils with a lot of mulch and nutrients. Think bird-of-paradise, travellers’ palms, ornamental bananas, citrus trees, ferns and orchids.
The list of plants that you can choose from is endless.
Some tropical plants can also grow in colder and drier climates albeit with more effort to provide enough water and food. Canna lilies, crotons, hibiscus and many palm varieties are some of the notable candidates.
Climbers such as the Algerian ivy and passion fruits also reinforce that wild and rugged tropical look and feel.
Whatever plants you settle on, it is important to try and figure out how large each one will eventually get and space them appropriately.
Knowing the mature sizes will also help you locate plants correctly by keeping a hierarchy from the ground covers in the foreground to the mid-sized shrubs in the middle-ground and eventually the larger shrubs and trees at the back.
Such hierarchy is important in ensuring each plant consistently gets enough sunlight.
Another distinct quality of a tropical garden is the abundance of life. You can attract birds, bees and butterflies by growing some nectar-rich blooms such as sunflowers and including a few feeders at strategic points.
But few strategies can beat having a beautiful water feature in the middle of your tropical haven.
Besides creating an unbelievable tropical ambience, a good water feature will unlock water’s life-giving quality and enable ornamental fish and aquatic plants to thrive in your tropical garden.
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