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Tropical Landscaping Plants

Get tips from a professional landscaper on what plants to use for a tropical style backyard.

A video transcript featuring Scott Cohen, The Green Scene

To create a tropical look in this arid climate, we used a combination of plantings like Queen palms, cannas, Tropicana cannas, asparagus fern, hibiscus, geranium, camphors, fortnight lilies and bamboo. The combination of these plantings gives us a sense that it's a tropical environment, even though we're in the California desert.

One of the things that I like to do is look for different colored foliage. And I use plants with varying textures, so I'll use larger leaves like Queen palms, giant bird of paradise, and banana palms for larger foliage, and then agapanthus and statis for narrower foliage. Maybe I'll use foxtail fern to create a fern-type look, even though it's really in the asparagus family.

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