10+ Awesome Tropical Garden Ideas

If you are looking for some awesome tropical garden ideas, look no further! We have compiled 10+ of the best Tropical Garden Ideas to inspire your design. Explore these creative and unique designs that will help take your backyard or patio from drab to fab. From a modern pop of color in an otherwise traditional yard, to a tranquil setting with cascading waterfalls and lush foliage, we have it all!

How to Design a Tropical Garden

To create a truly tropical paradise in our own backyard, it’s important to understand the “come hither” feeling these gardens evoke. They’re enough to soothe and rejuvenate anyone; just look at your computer desktop when you visit the tropics! Why not invite all of that into your own backyard?

Key Components of a Tropical Garden

The air of peace and tranquility is a characteristic of the exotic garden style, which can be adapted to any climate with the right combination of plants.

Regardless of what plant species comprise your tropical landscape, these are the key elements you need for success:

  • Foliage should be the focal point of your tropical garden. Lush, leafy foliage is a popular theme in tropical gardens. Large leaves and cozy ferns combine with contrasting textures to create a visually striking garden.
  • Surround yourself with plants to show off your garden’s natural beauty. Use multiple levels to create an encompassing landscape of densely layered plantings with varying heights, from towering trees and shrubs to ground cover. Hanging baskets and raised beds are wonderful for this effect.
  • Keep it Vibrant: Creating a tropical garden often involves the bright colors of flowers and cushions, which call to mind the exotic birds common in rain forests.
  • Celebrate water with your home’s landscape. In order to feel like you’re transplanted to a tropical locale, it’s important that your garden has an abundance of plants with large leaves and features water in the form of fountains or ponds.

The following plants work well in tropical gardens

Gardeners looking to infuse their gardens with all the wealth and wonder of a rainforest should consider planting Plumeria, Alstroemeria, Callas, Cannas and Agapanthus. This list of plants give foliage in various shapes and sizes which will suit any taste, from a tropical vibe to something more traditional.

If you garden in a cooler climate, such as upstate New York, then you might be wondering what other hardy plants could add both color and lush foliage to your tropical display. Here are a few favorites for adding beautiful flower-bright colors and gorgeous green leaves:

  • Hostas: These tough foliage plants are known for their colorful leaves and make perfect additions to gardens.
  • Lily of the Valley: This plant, remarkably hardy in cold climates, has dark-green leaves perfect for a tropical garden’s appearance.
  • Floweres that grow well in a cold climate: Japanese and Siberian Iris can create the dramatic effect of waterfalls with their tangled leafy stems topped by colorful blooms.
  • Daylilies: These cold-tolerant plants have leaves similar to a palm’s leaves, and they fit right in with a tropical garden or border.

A custom garden is a relaxing place for some down time, and with so many tropical-themed gardens in existence, they’re an apparent commonality. The lush plants help to relax you by creating a thick cocoon of peace around you.

Let’s explore 10+ tropical gardens that are great representations of the relaxed environment you find on a typical island getaway. So imagine walking through one in your own backyard – you don’t have to travel somewhere to experience that heat!

Surrounded by lush greenery

hanging lanterns in a tropical garden


A successful design for a tropical garden is to create the sensation of being surrounded by plants and foliage with a rainforest canopy overhead, or an environment which is designed to simulate standing in one.

This space is soothing for outdoor entertaining with a calming black, green and silver palette. Simple wood and cane elements are present.

The Importance of Mulch

Tropical Hawaiian Flower Garden


Having ample negative space is key for a tropical flower garden to flourish. Typically, this means mulched areas or those that are covered with cement or sand. Having grass may be possible in rare circumstances for the tropical garden.

Colour playing

Tropical Garden Design Ideas 1


To liven a space up with tropical colors, choose plants that come in vibrant shades. Some of the best choices for foliage are cordylines, heliconias, and crotons.

Select flowering plants such as ginger flowers to create an explosion of color show while introducing plant-life that will automatically change with the season. Group them together so

Verdant pathways

lush pathways


One of the most important factors in a tropical garden is density. Tropical plants grow and intertwine with one another, making it necessary to have all your tropical plants close together. In order to create a jungle-like feel, plant clumping or spreading greenery next to taller ones.

Scale and drama

scale and drama of a tropical garden


A palm tree can, with the right height, make a striking addition to any tropical garden design. You should not have trouble finding dwarfed species of palms in you want to limit your garden space but still add an exotic flavor.

Keep Them Hydrated

Tropical Garden Waterfall


To maintain the health and beauty of tropical flowers, keep a consistent supply of water flowing to the roots.

In their native soils, plants do not receive full saturation daily like they would in other climates. Therefore, it is critical that we simulate this humid environment when growing rare flowers indoors by keeping a steady flow on water coming to our plants’ roots

Quick Cannas

Garden Cannas


Tropical plants can be difficult to grow in a cold-climate, and many die just before they hit shoulder height. However, canna lilies are the perfect way to bring some height into your tropical garden-in just one summer.

Landscape Design

Tropical Garden Design Ideas 4


When designing a tropical garden, keep in mind that informal elements are key. Avoid formal hedges or straight lines and use water as an element to help transform the space into one reminiscent of its native environment. Curved walkways, designed trees/shrubs should be added for interest and provide lots of visual stimulation.

Design With Vines

Passion Flower Vine


Climbing over fences and across trellises, vines add intrigue to tropical gardens. Technically all annual vines are of a tropical nature, but some grow more exotic than others.

A Tropical Tree

Angel's Trumpet


Planting a true tropical tree may be difficult in cold climates, for these trees must be left outdoors or moved indoors when frost threatens. Better yet, you can cultivate a shrub into the mystical shape of a child’s fantasy with careful pruning.

Tropical Plants

Tropical Garden Design Ideas 6


Tropical gardens have several elements that will produce a lush, tropical oasis. The best way to incorporate these elements is by using layers in your garden design. Some things to think about are tall trees like bamboos or palms as well as smaller plants like ground covers and understory plants.

Tropical entryway

front gate tropical garden ideas


Give your front garden a lush makeover with some luxuriant, colorful plants that are indigenous to warm climates like bromeliads, palms and plumerias.

Resort vibes

resort vibes


The choice of décor you use in your garden will help set the tone. Go for bright, cheering textiles and a comfortable cedar or reed sun lounger to conjure up memories of relaxed beach vacations. Make an even more powerful statement with a luxury hotel-style seating area that says “garden.”

Modern monochrome

modern monochrome tropical garden


This garden provides a small-scale view of tropical plants with broad leaves, which creates contrast in this layout. Layering plants of different heights and sizes keeps the space here alive while white stepping stones inlaid throughout also add texture.

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