Blooms of the Season: Tropicals!

The vibrant colors and textures of tropical flowers and foliage invoke sensations of warm summer nights and tropical paradises. This scan highlights some great plants to create that tropical paradise in your garden.

Cissus rhombifolia’s grapevine-like leaves and tendrils “climb” through the background of this image. Plant this climber in full to part sun and allow it to climb and trail throughout the garden. The foliage and tendrils add texture to your displays as the greenish flowers and bluish black berries are insignificant.

Alternanthera ‘Red Carpet’ has oblong leaves with drops of neon pink over burgundy tones. Clearly grown for its vibrant foliage, A. ‘Red Carpet’ is an upright plant that will brighten your landscape or containers through the summer heat.

Bougainville’ Raspberry Ice’ has striking pink blooms with variegated foliage. This tropical has the one two punch with dramatic foliage and dynamic flowers; ideal for your hanging baskets or as a colorful groundcover.

Solenostemon ‘Meandering Linda’ is a creeping coleus that bears crinkly, chocolate-purple leaves banded in rich raspberry-pink, with touches of cream along the edges. photo credit: J. Coceano

Solenostemon ‘Meandering Linda’ is a creeping coleus that bears crinkly, chocolate-purple leaves banded in rich raspberry-pink, with touches of cream along the edges. Coleus can be grown in full sun to medium shade. Pinch the flowers off to retain the shape and dramatic focus on the exciting foliage.

Begonia ‘Streaky Jeans’ is a great begonia for beginners because it plays well with others. photo credit: J. Coceano

Begonia ‘Streaky Jeans’ is a great begonia for beginners because it plays well with others. Featuring unique green star-shaped leaves with maroon coloring along the edges, it performs best in partial sun.

Brilliantaisia subulugurica, giant salvia, can grow as tall a sunflower, creating a towering display with lilac flowers. photo credit: J. Coceano

Brilliantaisia subulugurica, giant salvia, can grow as tall a sunflower, creating a towering display with lilac flowers. This warm-climate shrub is great in large containers and creating dramatic tropical-like plantings in your sun drenched annual beds.

Now that you have learned some great ideas about how to create a tropical paradise in your own backyard, find some of these plants and similar cultivars at the Unusual Tropicals and Annuals Sale on Saturday, May 17.

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