Although the cool tropical garden relies predominantly on foliage for it's effect, it can be further enhanced using a few flowering plants.
One of the great characteristics of tropical plants is that they keep growing all season. Damage caused by snails for example will soon be hidden by newer foliage. Compare this with Hostas, once they sustain snail damaged you are left with an ugly plant for the rest of the season.
Flowering plants for the tropical garden also need these characteristics. There are many attractive herbaceous flowering plants but unfortunately they usually have a limited flowering period. Along with this they also tend to go into gradual decay once flowering is over and seeds are set. Combining herbaceous perennials amongst your tropical plants will lead to very scruffy patches within the display.
So what you need are flowering plants with as many of these characteristics as possible:
- Continuous flowering
- Attractive foliage
- Vivid colours
- Easy to propagate
The longer a plant flowers, the more forgiving you can be about it's foliage.
When choosing flowering plants for your tropical garden, try to avoid buying plants or seeds that come in mixed colours. They are often cheaper when sold in this manner but chances are the less attractive colours will predominate. Not only this but mixed flowers give a garden more of a sea-sidey or cottagey look which is probably not what you are after.
Flowering plants for the tropical garden
- Cuphea ignea
- Mirabilis Jalapa
There is also a huge range of commercially produced bedding plants to chose from. Many of these bedding plants are tropical/subtropical in origin and will flower and look good most of the season. A lot of it boils down to personal taste.