Damian Russell is a nursery pro with over 12 years of experience. He has designed countless landscape designs across California and Texas. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, Damian brings his nursery knowledge to his writings to provide you with the best yard care tips.
The gentle swaying of green palm fronds overhead provides a lovely atmosphere, but no tropical paradise is complete without a myriad of vibrant blooms. In this portion of our Tropical Backyard Ideas series, we will discuss the best flowering trees and plants to transform your yard into absolute tropical immersion.
Adding the presence of colorful flowers to your landscape is essential to completing your backyard oasis and having the opportunity to walk out your door into a tropical escape.
If you haven’t read the other articles in our Tropical Backyard Ideas series, check them out for some tasty drink recipes that are sure to delight your tastebuds, as well as the top palms to plant around your pool, patio, or pergola!
Flowering trees are best utilized as centerpieces for the focal areas of your tropical landscape design. This technique will draw attention to these beautiful trees and allow them to stand out amongst the rest of your palms, trees, and plants. Here are some of the best flowering tree varieties to accent your yard with rich colors.
These awesome trees have a lush, filtered shade canopy that brings a graceful feel to any landscape. With rich, golden-yellow blooms appearing in the spring and fall, the Tipu is a wonderful way of adding beautiful color, shade, and curb appeal to your yard. They are also very easy to care for and very hardy.
With their enormous white blooms and large, deep green leaves, these popular trees fit wonderfully into a tropical planting palette. The copper-colored underside of their leaves creates extra texture, and their foliage is thick and dense, making the Magnolia a great choice for a shade tree or privacy hedge as well!
There are few trees that can compare with the amount of vibrance a Crape Myrtle brings to the table. Dependent on the variety, you are presented with an array of purple, pink, magenta, red, or white blossoms. Crape Myrtles also feature a textured bark and fiery fall color.
Also known as a Lilac Tree, the Vitex showcases long spires of purple flowers from spring into the early fall. They are extremely hardy and function very well as medium-sized ornamental trees. Vitex trees are a drought-tolerant solution to equipping your tropical landscape with purple flowering trees.
FLOWERING SHRUBS & PLANTS
Smaller plants such as shrubs and vines that blossom are the key to adding the final touches to a perfect tropical backyard oasis. Nesting these around your larger trees creates depth to the design. They can also be planted in pots on your patio or as smaller accents in select locations. Introducing these smaller flowering plants into your yard develops layered textures that tie your tropical landscape together and give it a final polish.
The Hibiscus is one of those few species of plants that are synonymous with the tropics, and for good reason! The large blossoms and deep green leaves exude a rich tropical quality. They can have red, pink, peach, white, yellow, or even bi-colored blooms, making them perfect for adding that extra pop of color to your landscape.
From its versatile growing pattern to the coat of orange trumpet-shaped flowers they produce almost year-round, there is much to enjoy about the Cape Honeysuckle. They are easy to care for and can be grown as bushes, hedges, vines, trellises, and even small topiaries. Their orange-red blooms add a nice flash of color to any landscape design.
While Hibiscus flowers might give off a tropical air, the Plumeria flower might be the most iconic tropical flower out there. This is the star act of the Polynesian Lei. They produce flowers in many unique colors and have an incredible fragrance. Plumeria trees also can make very showy ornamental and accent trees when they become mature specimens.
Need more tropical backyard ideas? Check out our other articles on creating a backyard paradise or give a call to one of our professional landscape designers. Our design experts have designed thousands of amazing yards in Tropical styles as well as Modern, Mediterranean, and Southwestern styles, to name a few. Our design professionals are always available to help you in creating the yard of your dreams. From concept to planting and beyond, we’ve got you covered!
To enjoy more tropical backyard ideas, check out our other articles in this series:
Updated March 2022 by Luke Kalawsky