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Indoor Plants, HOUSEPLANTS, Summer

Tropical Plants for Your Garden or Patio

June 1, 2023


Tropical container gardening has become increasingly popular because it is well-suited for small spaces and brightens up every patio. Whether looking for a foliage filler or a flowering plant with exotic blooms, tropical plants are the perfect companion for your summer garden.


Placing a few tropical plants into your garden beds and container designs can transform your traditional planters into a tropical jungle filled with unique foliage textures and lavish, bright florals.


While some plants struggle in humidity, tropical plants thrive in it! Tropical plants originate from hot, sunny southern climates and are used to intense light levels, and they also flourish in the morning light that lasts until 1 or 2 in the afternoon.


Keep soil moist during their blooming period and water the plant when it starts to wilt. Too much or too little water for all tropical patio plants will result in foliage turning bright yellow and dropping.


The combination of sunlight and regular fertilizing will ensure continuous bloom. Fertilize every 1-2 weeks with water-soluble Parkwood® Flower Plant Food 15-30-15 or apply Smart Cote® Hanging Basket Food 14-14-14. These controlled-release granules, applied to the soil surface, feed plants for six months with just one application.



Add height and drama to any garden with its large green leaves and exotic yellow and orange flowers.


Produce long, arching, thorny branches. The flowers look like delicate paper but are, in fact, bracts. The actual flower is small and white inside the outer showy bracts that can be brilliant pink, purple, lavender, peach, orange or white. Some varieties have attractive, variegated foliage. Given lots of sunlight, Bougainvillea blooms all summer long.


Large, heart-shaped leaves have a fantastic display of colour in combinations of white, green, and pink. They love hot, humid weather but will do best in partial to full shade – the full sun can damage the leaves. Caladium is the perfect companion beside your Hosta’s or ferns.


Pinks and greens on cordyline will take your summer garden to new heights. They look their best in areas that need a mass planting or specimen.

This tropical plant brings the summer heat to your garden with bright red, yellow, and orange-striped foliage. These colours easily translate into your fall garden too!


Have glossy foliage with white, hot pink, ruby red and yellow flowers and are similar to Mandevilla but doesn’t grow as tall.


These exotic vines have shiny, heavily textured leaves and pink or white trumpet-shaped flowers that can be 7.5 cm (3″) across. Twining woody stems make this a rampant grower as well.


Palms are the perfect addition to adding drama to containers. Robellini palms, Majesty palms, and Areca palms are popular types to add height and texture.


This tropical vine grows quickly in full sun and is perfect for covering an arbour. The blooms are intricate and come in red, blue, mauve and pink, and the fruit is edible.


This foliage plant not only looks great hanging from a shelf in your home, but they also make a fabulous addition to tropical themes contained gardens as a thriller! Pothos will gracefully cascade down containers available in various shades, such as bright green (Neon) and variegated (Marble Queen).



Instead of tossing out tropical plants, you took care of all summer, bring them inside! Do a little research to see what the plants need to thrive indoors.


Here are some tips for transitioning your plants inside:

  • Bring your patio tropical inside around late September before night temperatures get cool.
  • We recommend spraying them with an insecticidal spray to remove and prevent any pests. Be sure to treat the soil with Wilson Fungus Gnat Spray.
  • Light levels in the northern hemisphere are depleted from December to March; during this time, tropical patio plants will rest. Unless you have an exceptionally bright sunroom or conservatory, chances are plants won’t continue to flower and may experience significant leaf drop.
  • Water your plants less through the winter months, stop fertilizing and keep them in a slightly cooler room. Don’t forget a moisture meter, so you water your plants properly!
  • In March, you can water more frequently and fertilize again.

Visit one of the Sheridan Nurseries greenhouses to find an impressive selection of fresh, exotic, tropical patio plants. Our plant experts can provide helpful advice to find the perfect plant for your location.