Vibrant orchids, the fragrance of jasmine, the splash of water, and the pleasant swirl of butterflies: when you think of a tropical paradise, that description probably isn’t too far off from your mental image.

And while stepping into that paradise may seem like a pipe dream, the truth is that it’s not too far off! Here in Sarasota, our balmy subtropical climate makes it possible for some of our favorite tropical landscaping ideas to thrive—as long as you put in a little work.

If you’re ready to turn your backyard into an oasis, there are a few fundamental tips to keep in mind. Here are the tropical landscape ideas you should know before you head outdoors.

Be Bold

One of the defining characteristics of the most beautiful tropical landscape designs is the boldness of size and color. This means that the right vibrant plants, from hibiscus flowers to birds of paradise, can add a brilliant pop of color to your landscaping.

In terms of size, a great example would be the broad leaves of most species of palm trees. These are common and hardy enough in our area that you should have no trouble finding them—and if you’re lucky enough to have a palm tree established in your yard already, consider making it a point of interest in your design.

Create Outdoor Living Areas

Whenever possible, do your tropical backyard landscaping around new or existing outdoor living areas.

Consider enhancing an outdoor patio with vining passion flowers, for example. You might also place smaller tropical plants in containers around an area designed for entertainment. You can also use small plants as bordering fences, or you might go bold with bamboo as a privacy screen.

If you can, add water features to your living areas as well. After all, upgrading your backyard oasis is easier if you have a small pond, fountain, or waterfall to create the mood!

Keep the Chaos Under Control

Unless you’re hoping to recreate the wild, unruly look of an actual rainforest with your landscaping, it’s a good idea to remember one of the basic fundamentals of landscape design. The one-third rule tells us that roughly one-third of your yard should be tropical plant beds, and the other two-thirds should be for your lawn, pool, or living spaces.

Buy Plants Grown Locally

As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to get plants grown in the area where you live, as these plants are most likely to survive the local climate.

Luckily for us, Florida’s climate has a lot in common with the natural habitats of most tropical plants, meaning you shouldn’t have a problem finding greenery that will thrive in your yard. Bougainvillea, hibiscus, and even orchids grow well here, as long as you care for them.

Choose the Right Materials and Textures

When considering your hardscapes, think about your textures with an eye for detail. Instead of opting for traditional concrete, opting for tropic-inspired materials can bring your design to the next level. Shop around for paving stone for your walkway, add a mosaic pattern to your patio, or scatter lava rocks around your ground cover, for example.

Make the Most of Your Tropical Landscaping

If you’re not sure how to whittle down your ideas for your tropical landscaping design, partner with our team of experts. From the first design ideas to the final installation, we’ll help you create the oasis you’re envisioning for your yard. To learn more about how we can bring your tropical landscape to life, contact us today!