Bringing the South to your backyard: tropicals in the spotlight

Every year, many Quebecers fly to sunny destinations in search of warmth and the good wind from the sea. These heavenly places are ideal to recharge your batteries and to fill your memory box with a thousand colours. Despite our unavoidable climatic constraints, it is possible to reproduce this tropical atmosphere at home, in your yard and on the terrace, thanks to tropical or tropical-looking plants. Here are 5 perfect plants to recreate the tropical decor you love so much:

Majesty Palm

The Majesty Palm grows easily and quickly, making it a great plant at a great price to give your garden a tropical feel. Place one or a few in strategic locations in your yard, and surround the pot with a few colourful annual flowers for maximum effect. If you want to put it in the ground, bury the pot directly, it will be easier to bring it indoors at the end of the summer, because of course you will want to keep your Majesty Palm in the house during the winter. Water it well, don’t let the soil dry out too much as the fronds (leaves) turn yellow quickly. It likes the sun, but also tolerates partial shade. Fertilize with an all-purpose plant food every 4 weeks to prevent yellowing.

Canna

Cannas and their beautiful yellow, red, orange or pink flowers growing along an upright central stem add a lot of colour and height to your flower arrangements. The wide green, purple, or variegated foliage is somewhat reminiscent of a banana tree. Cannas are particularly fond of sun and warmth, so it’s no wonder they are often found in municipal landscaping, decorating medians where the warm rays of the sun hit hard. They are a bulbous plant (with thick rhizomes really, but they are treated like other bulbs, such as dahlias) that you will need to bring in and store properly before frost if you want to replant them, either in pots or in the ground for next season. Remove spent flowers and water regularly.

Colocasia

Colocasia is affectionately called elephant ears because of the shape of its large leaves, which can resemble the ears of pachyderms. They can be different shades of green, even approaching black. This majestic plant gives a lot of volume and presence to the tropical style arrangements. Place the pot or plant the colocasia in the sun, and water it well as it enjoys humidity. Bring your tropical beauty inside for winter to enjoy its year-round splendor.

Banana tree

The banana tree is an herbaceous plant. It is considered the tallest grass in the world. It can reach two meters in record time. It is a sun and heat loving plant, but can tolerate some shade. Use it in a bed or pot to add splendor to your tropical-inspired yard. Water well! The Maurel variety offers beautiful red coloured leaves on a green background with nice prominent veins. Its leaves are said to be wind resistant. If you have a warm, light-filled room, you can bring your banana tree inside for the winter where it will continue to grow. Be sure to maintain a good humidity level.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers are closely associated with tropical countries. In fact, they are found everywhere, even on local clothing and fashion accessories. The huge, vibrantly coloured flowers are perfect for bringing exoticism to any setting. Some varieties are perennial and hardy in our climate. But the southern hibiscus is grown in pots that you can bring inside in the fall. Place this wonder in a very sunny spot and water it well; the soil should remain moist at all times. When you bring in your hibiscus in the fall, don’t be surprised to see its leaves fall off, this is normal. New ones will grow as the plant adapts to its new environment. Indoors, you will need to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.

Have fun trying to recreate the tropical atmosphere in your yard. You will feel like you are on vacation all summer long. Several pieces of furniture and accessories can further enhance the effect, so be creative! You can also take advantage of summer to bring out your houseplants, cacti and succulents, which are sure to give your landscaping a southern feel. To find a wide selection of tropical plants for your garden or home, come visit us.

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