Give Your Yard Some Exotic Flair with This Tropical-Look Garden Plan

These brightly colored leaves and flowers will make a bold, beautiful display all summer long.

A well-placed container filled with colorful plants provides a show-stopping focal point in this tropical-look garden plan. A tall purple-leaf canna in the center of the planter grabs attention with both its large leaves and brightly hued flowers. The heart-shape leaves of purple and chartreuse sweet potato vines create a cascade of color as they spill over the side of the container onto the surrounding plants. The twisted and contorted branches of a Harry Lauder’s walking stick make an exciting backdrop for the sun-loving planting. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for hummingbirds; they’ll especially be attracted to fuchsia’s unique blossoms that resemble layered, brightly colored skirts.

tropical look garden plan with canna illustration
Illustration by Tom Rosborough

Plants for Creating the Tropical-Look Garden Plan

  • 2 Golden spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Anne Greenway’): Zones 3-8
  • 1 Fuchsia ‘Tom West’: Zones 7-1
  • 4 Red-orange lantana: Annual
  • 2 Variegated English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Glacier’): Zones 5-9
  • 2 Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’): Annual
  • 1 Ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum): Annual
  • 1 Purple-leaf canna (Canna x generalis): Treat as an annual
  • 1 Harry Lauder’s walking stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’): Zones 4-8
  • 2 Purple-Leaf sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas’): Annual
  • 1 Lilyturf (Lirope muscari ‘Big Blue’): Zones 5-10
  • 1 Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora): Annual

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Tropical-Look Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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