What’s life without a little colour?

What’s the beauty of a tropical garden without the warm colour combinations that give you that upbeat energetic feeling?

Adding colour to your garden is so much more than picking a bunch of colorful plants. Simply, it’s breathing life into your garden.

So go through our list of colourful trees you can plant for your tropical garden and let us know what you think.

1. Golden Shower Tree (Cassia Fistula): Yes it really is a golden shower! This tree is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful.

The golden shower tree usually grows to 10 metres in height and has bright yellow flowers which are cylindrical in shape (probably why they are called golden showers)

Golden shower tree

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That’s not all, the Cassia Fistula tree is your classic case of beauty and brains or in this case, beauty and usefulness. The tree can be used to relieve constipation, common cold, fever, intestinal disorders and skin disorders.

Perfect for your tropical garden, this tree prefers a deep well-drained, moderately fertile sandy loam, a position in full sun and is fairly drought resistant.

2. Flame of the forest (Delonix regia ): It’s a flame all right, but only in the most beautiful of ways! It grows from about 20 to 40 feet high, has a crooked trunk and irregular roots.

In December and January, you can’t really refer to Delonix Regina as a flame because most of the leaves would have fallen off. But watch the flames come alive from January up till March!


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Just like the golden shower tree, this tree is also drought resistant and medicinal. It helps cures night blindness, it checks elephantiasis and produces a laxative that helps expel worms from the body.

3.Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia): Flamboyant and breathtaking might be understatements when describing a Jacaranda in full bloom. The explosion of brightly coloured purple flowers covering the tree’s canopy is guaranteed to make your knees weak.

And when they fall off onto the streets? You have a magical purple carpet to walk on!


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A great fit for your tropical garden, if you want to see the best of their lavender blooms they should be planted in full sun.

Tip: Plant your Jacaranda in an open spot with sandy soil and full sun

4. Frangipani (Plumeria): Neglect this beauty and she’ll keep blossoming. The Frangipani tree is your best bet when you are too busy to tend your garden.

However, show it a little respect, and you will be rewarded with plentiful flowers which are bigger and stronger in colour.



If you just received your plant, make sure to pot them, keep in semi shade or keep in full sun in mornings and shade from midday and afternoon until the roots start sprouting out of the pot’s bottom.
You should know that when the stems of your plant are becoming soft, it is caused by a fungus that manifests during a wet and cool weather.
Tip: Your frangipani can be to your preferred size if you take the time to prune regularly.

5. Firecracker (Russelia): The firecracker does exactly what it’s supposed to do, it explodes. To define its effects correctly, when in full bloom the firecracker looks like it’s raining flowers.

The branches of this plant are slim and lack foliage reducing them to bracts. The tree grows to about 3 to 5 feet in height and spreads from about 6 to 12 feet.


Zone 9 Tropicals

Just like the plants in your garden, the firecracker grows in full sun and has a high tolerance for drought. Really, it does require full sun for best flowering and fullest growth.

You should know this plant is usually bothered by chewing insects, nematodes and mites.

6. Sky Flower (Plumbago): This is an excellent choice for your tropical garden as it loves heat, can survive humid weathers and can tolerate drought.
Plumbago is actually a shrub and can grow 6 to 10 feet tall with a spread of 8 to 10 feet. It is also loved for its high resistance to pest and disease. The shrubs grows to its fullest potential when exposed to the sun but if you are willing to sacrifice some of the bloom it can tolerate a bit of  shade.


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Tip: Plumbago shrubs tend to become leggy and will need occasional pruning, but if you trim often or too much, you’ll sacrifice some of the bloom

7. Lantana (Lantana Camara): A flower that attracts butterflies always wins! The combinations of red, yellow and orange flowers in small clusters definitely breaks the green monotony of your garden.

All you have to do is choose a sunny location and plant them in a well-draining soil.


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Lantana may develop root rot if it’s kept too wet. It is also affected by lace bugs which cause the foliage to turn gray or brown and then drop off.
8. Canna Lily: The first thing you notice about Canna lilies are their large banana like leaves. The only difference is they are completely colourful and beautiful.

Cannas like plenty of heat so take note to place them under the sun. To keep the leaves looking spectacular year after year you might have to do a bit of work. They need to be kept moist. A Monthly fertilizer that is relatively higher in phosphate is also useful for continual bloom.


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9.  Chenille plant (Acalypha hispida):  The first thing that comes to mind when you see these beauties are expensive ornaments. This is because of the red to purple flowering parts of the chenille plants and the lustrous leaves (they actually look like chandeliers).


Credit: Online Plant Guide

The flowers are very long lasting, gradually fading and browning as they age. It’s exotic name Chenille is a french word meaning hairy caterpillar. With proper care and favourable conditions, it will bloom several times a year.

This plant has also been used in traditional remedies, as a laxative, diuretic, expectorant (for asthma) and in the treatment of leprosy and kidney ailments.

10. Alpina: If you’d love to wake up to hummingbirds sipping from the plant nectars in your garden, you should consider the Alpina tree. It has really bright violet-blue flowers over grey-green foliage. If you prefer cutting your plants, this is an excellent choice.


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As expected, Alpinas are drought resistant and love full sun or a partial shade.

Though the flowers are vulnerable to leaf miners and sawfly, thereby disfiguring them; you can simply trim off the spoilt foliage and your plants will grow fresh leaves.

11. Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thurnbergia Alata): If you are wondering why Susan has a black eye, if could be because the flower is cheerfully made up of 5 salmon, white or yellow petals and has a brownish-purpleish dot right in the middle. Like the glue holding them all together.

Black eyed susan

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When grown as an annual plant, it can reach 8 feet; when grown as a perennial, it can get to 20 feet. The flowers want a moist, well-drained soil in full sun with some afternoon shade.

When planted indoors, they could be vulnerable to whiteflies, scale or spider mites, so take care to expose them to as much sunlight as you can manage.

12. Crown of thorns: To be honest, the name is a right fit. But the near-year round bloom more than makes up for it’s shortcomings.

It is also easy to care for because it adapts well to normal room temperatures and in dry indoor environments. If you forge to water or feed it occasionally? No complaints!.


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Tip: You should wear gloves when working with crown of thorns. The plant is poisonous if eaten and the sap causes skin irritations. Crown of thorns is also poisonous to pets and should be kept out of their reach.