Lush Tropical Landscape Ideas

Just because you don't live in the tropics doesn't mean you can't create a jungly feel in your own landscape. To create a lush and tropical landscape, grow exotic-looking blooms with fiery colors. Combine contrasting colors like deep green and lime green mixed with bright reds and yellows to enhance the tropical feel. Don't forget to bring in a key tropical component, water. This can be done with birdbaths, water features or fountains.

Tropical Border

Choose tropical looking plants to create a border around the lawn for a lush design. Combine different plant heights, colors and textures to create a tropical and well-balanced border. In the back of the bed, grow a large elephant ear plant. As the name suggests, the elephant ear has large heart-shaped leaves with a leathery green to green-gray color that resembles the ear of an elephant. This fast-growing perennial grows up to 6 feet in height and creates a lush effect to the landscape. In the front of the bed, combine coral, red and yellow plants to evoke a tropical feel. A row of red and yellow cannas and zinnias can fill the space with brilliant colors. A giant red hibiscus along the back of the border is the perfect tropical plant to create a bright burst of color with its large flower blooms.

Garden Path

Create a meandering pathway through the landscape and along the tropical border for easy access to different areas of the garden. A curved garden path made from stones like brick or slate contrasts with the surrounding plants for an inviting design. In between the stones to create a lush feel to the space, plant ground covers. The mound-forming blue star creeper has a plethora of tiny blue flowers and is a garden path must. Another lush ground cover is moss. Moss will evoke the feeling of being in the tropics and looks stunning along a garden path.

Water Feature

When you think of a tropical island, water comes to mind. The calming sound of waves beating on the shore mixes nicely with warm sand under your toes. The next-best thing is a water feature. The sounds of the water feature within the landscape create a soothing music, like being surrounded by clear blue water in the tropics. There are many different fountain sizes and colors that can help to create a seamless addition inside the landscape. Nestle the fountain inside the tropical garden border for a cascading focal point. Use the fountain within a courtyard surrounded by pebbles or stones. Around the fountain, bring in lush plants like vibrant green ferns and a creeping sweet potato vine. The trailing sweet potato vine will weave and wind around the base of the water feature for a lush and exotic feel.

Keywords: tropical landscape ideas, tropical flower border, garden path, water feature

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.