Top 12 Must-Have (& Easy!) Plants for a lush Tropical Garden


In this article, Irene will provide a curated selection of plants to start your own tropical paradise. She has chosen these plants based on their availability and how easy they are to care for.

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This article is perfect for those who are starting out a garden or wanting to redo their garden but are not sure what to buy.

We will cover 12 plants, ranging from large plants like the Frangipani and Heliconia to medium-sized plants like the Dieffenbachia and Homalomena. We will provide information on the characteristics of each plant, including their origin, appearance, and care requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • This article provides a curated selection of 12 plants to start your own tropical paradise.
  • The plants are chosen based on their availability and ease of care.
  • The article covers a range of plant sizes, from large plants like the Frangipani and Heliconia to medium-sized plants like the Dieffenbachia and Homalomena.
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Frangipani

Frangipani, also known as Plumeria, is a beautiful tree with origins in Central America. It is widely available across India and Southeast Asia.

Frangipani trees have large, colorful flowers and can be used to hang other plants. The tree comes in a variety of colors, making it an interesting addition to any garden.

According to folklore, if a girl puts a flower on her right ear, she is available, and if she puts it on her left ear, it means she is taken.

Frangipani requires a lot of space to grow and flourish, making it unsuitable for small balconies. However, if you have ground space, it is a great addition to your garden.

Heliconia

The Heliconia is a plant related to the ginger and banana family and can grow up to 15-20 feet tall. It has large foliage and bright, beautiful flowers that come in a variety of colors.

The Heliconia can either hang down or stand upright, depending on the variety. It requires ground space to grow, so it is best to plant it in the ground rather than in a balcony.

However, it can become quite invasive if not properly controlled, so it is important to maintain it.

Overall, the Heliconia is a great addition to any tropical garden for its lush and vibrant appearance.

Fern Tree

The fern tree is a larger fern that adds grace and volume to any tropical garden. It has large, lace-like fronds that dance in the wind and rain, making it a beautiful addition to any outdoor space.

However, it is important to note that the fern tree is a bit more fussy compared to other plants like ginger. It requires specific care to thrive, and moving it from one spot to another can cause it to brown out.

If you want something more fuss-free, consider a ginger plant instead. Ginger plants have widely spaced leaves, which can give the same graceful effect as the fern tree.

Additionally, ginger plants are very easy to care for and have a variety of flowers, including the red ginger, jungle queen, jungle king, and ginger torch.

The ginger torch, also known as bunga kantan in Malaysia, is not only beautiful but also edible.

Overall, the fern tree is a great option for those who are looking to add some elegance and volume to their tropical garden, but it requires more attention and care compared to other plants.

Ginger Plant

The ginger plant is a great addition to any tropical garden. It is easy to care for and comes in a variety of flowers, including red, pink, and ginger torch.

The ginger plant is also edible, making it a useful and beautiful addition to any garden. It is a medium-sized plant that is perfect for filling up spaces in between larger plants.

The ginger plant is a great choice for those who want a fuss-free plant that is easy to care for.

Bird Nest Fern

The bird nest fern is a beautiful plant that can add volume to any garden. It is an epiphyte, which means it can grow on trees in its natural habitat.

However, it can also be planted in a pot with coco chip as the potting media. This plant can potentially grow very large, so it is important to consider its size and growth when planting it in the ground.

It is recommended to put it in a pot to control its growth.

Overall, the bird nest fern is a great addition to any tropical garden due to its large size and graceful appearance.

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb cane plant, is a commonly overlooked plant in the plant community.

It is an affordable plant that is still available at a reasonable price. The leaves of the Dieffenbachia plant can grow quickly and into very large forms with patterns on them, giving them natural variegation that is permanent and stable.

This plant is a great addition to any tropical garden and is perfect for those who want to add some greenery without breaking the bank.

Homalomena

Homalomena is a plant that is widely available in nurseries in tropical countries. It has large, rounded leaves with a nice texture that make it a cute addition to any garden.

While it may not be a showy plant, it serves as a nice complementary filler plant to the other more showy plants in the garden.

It is also an affordable option for those looking to fill up spaces in their garden.

Boston Fern

The Boston Fern is a common plant that is readily available and can be purchased at a reasonable price. It is a plant that is best hung up or placed in an elevated position to achieve that extra layered look in the garden.

The Boston Fern is known for its ability to grow out its fronds and drape them everywhere, giving a cozy and graceful view to the garden. It is a great addition to any tropical garden and is an easy plant to care for.

Pothos

Pothos is a popular plant that is easy to care for and perfect for beginners. It is also known as Devil’s Ivy, and its scientific name is Epipremnum aureum. The plant is native to the Solomon Islands and is a member of the Araceae family.

Pothos is a vine plant that can grow up to 10 feet long. It has heart-shaped leaves that are green or variegated with yellow or white. The plant can thrive in a variety of light conditions, from low to bright, but it prefers bright, indirect light.

Pothos can also tolerate a range of temperatures, but it does best in temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the best things about Pothos is that it is very easy to propagate. Simply cut a stem and place it in water or soil, and it will grow roots and form a new plant. Pothos is also a great air purifier and can help remove toxins from the air.

Overall, Pothos is a great plant for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. It is easy to care for, looks great in any space, and has many benefits for both the plant and the environment.

Aglaonemas

Aglaonemas are a group of tropical foliage plants that are native to Southeast Asia. They are known for their striking leaves, which come in a variety of colors and patterns. Aglaonemas are easy to care for and make great indoor plants.

Here are some key features of Aglaonemas:

  • They prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light levels.
  • They should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
  • They do well in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C).
  • They are generally pest-resistant but can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites.
  • They come in a variety of leaf shapes, sizes, and colors, including shades of green, silver, pink, and red.

Aglaonemas are versatile plants that can be used in a variety of settings, from homes and offices to public spaces. They are often used in interior design to add color and texture to a room. With their easy care requirements and beautiful foliage, Aglaonemas are a great choice for anyone looking to add some greenery to their space.

Caladium

Caladium is a tropical plant that is known for its heart-shaped leaves and vibrant colors. It is native to South America and can grow up to 18 inches in height. Caladiums are popular for their ornamental value and are often used in gardens, landscapes, and indoor spaces.

The leaves of the caladium plant come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, white, and green. They are often marked with intricate patterns, making them a visually appealing addition to any space. Caladiums prefer warm and humid environments, making them ideal for tropical regions.

Caladiums are relatively easy to care for, but they do require consistent watering and fertilization. They thrive in well-draining soil and partial shade, making them perfect for planting under trees or in areas with filtered sunlight.

Overall, caladiums are a beautiful and low-maintenance plant that can add a pop of color to any garden or indoor space.

Wandering Jew

The Wandering Jew, also known as Tradescantia zebrina, is a popular houseplant with beautiful purple and silver striped leaves. This plant is native to Mexico and Central America but is now widely available across the world. The Wandering Jew is a low-maintenance plant that is perfect for beginners and those who want to add some greenery to their indoor spaces.

Some key features of the Wandering Jew include:

  • Easy to care for and maintain
  • Grows well in bright, indirect light
  • Can be propagated easily from cuttings
  • Requires well-draining soil and moderate watering
  • Can be grown in hanging baskets or as a trailing plant

The Wandering Jew is a great addition to any indoor space, adding a pop of color and natural beauty to any room. With its unique striped leaves and easy care requirements, this plant is sure to be a favorite among plant enthusiasts and beginners alike.

Monstera Deliciosa

The Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a popular tropical plant that is native to the rainforests of Central America. It is a climbing vine that can grow up to 20 feet tall in its natural habitat, but it can also be grown as a houseplant.

The Monstera Deliciosa is known for its unique and distinctive leaves that have large, irregular holes or cuts. These holes are believed to help the plant survive in its natural environment by allowing light to pass through the leaves, which helps to prevent damage from strong winds and heavy rain.

This plant is relatively easy to care for and can tolerate a range of light conditions, from bright, indirect light to low light. It prefers well-draining soil that is kept moist but not waterlogged, and it benefits from regular fertilization during the growing season.

The Monstera Deliciosa is also known for its edible fruit, which is a tropical delicacy that is enjoyed in many parts of the world. The fruit is similar in appearance to a green ear of corn and has a sweet, juicy flavor that is often described as a cross between pineapple and banana.

Overall, the Monstera Deliciosa is a beautiful and unique plant that is sure to add a touch of tropical charm to any garden or indoor space.

Sandy

I’m just a plant lover from Central Florida with a passion for sharing knowledgeable facts about all things plants.

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