How to Plant Tropical Trees


Tropical plants require very warm climates to survive and flourish. One of the great advantages of residing in a hot climate is the ability to grow these tropical varieties of plants and trees. Tropical trees, such as palm trees and banana trees require conditions similar to their native habitats. Plant some of these tropical trees in your own landscape and enjoy the enrichment they add to your yard with their lush, green growth.

Step 1

Select a sunny area in your landscape for your tropical trees. Although some tropical trees grow as understory plants, most require areas of the landscape with full sunlight to partial shade. Choose an area that provides some protection from strong winds. The large leaves of many types of tropical trees, such as banana trees, tatter and fray in windy locations. Consider the mature height of your tropical trees when selecting a location. Avoid planting large trees in areas near power lines or permanent structures.

Step 2

Prepare the soil for your tropical trees. Many of these trees require moist, well-drained soil compositions. Increase the amount of organic nutrients in your existing soil by adding some compost. Use commercially packaged compost to avoid introducing weed seeds and bacteria into the soil near the roots of your tropical trees. Mix your compost into the top 6 to 8 inches of existing topsoil in your selected site. Add some fertilizer to the soil before planting your tropical trees. Tropical plants require large amounts of available nutrients to flourish. Select a fertilizer specified for use with your variety of trees.

Step 3

Dig holes at least twice as wide as your tropical trees' rootballs. Make the holes as deep as the rootballs to ensure level placement in the soil. Do not plant your tropical trees in deep depressions that collect water from surrounding areas of your yard.

Step 4

Lift your trees by their rootballs and place in the center of your prepared holes. Do not lift these tropical plants by their trunks or leaves. Place your hands under or around the rootball when transporting them from their containers to the holes. Replace the backfill around the edges of the rootball and press down with your foot, removing any air pockets in the loose soil.

Step 5

Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around your tropical trees. This mulch helps hold in moisture near the roots of these water-loving varieties. Water your trees well after planting in your landscape. Tropical trees thrive in moist soils that mimic their natural habitat.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Water


  • University of Illinois Extension: Some Tropical Plants to Consider
  • "The Green World of Horticulture"; William G. Hopkins; 2007
  • The Palm Haven: Palm Trees, Cycads, Bromeliads and other Tropical Plants
Keywords: plant tropical tree, grow palm trees, plant banana tree

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.