How to Create a Tropical Paradise in your Backyard

tropical gardening

We are beginning to see glimmers of summer, and we are all excited and ready to experience the joys of the season. Summer is about having fun, relaxing, and creating memories.

The busy year and warmer weather have enhanced our need for a tropical escape. Bring paradise home and create a tropical oasis in your backyard! Make your home an oasis and enjoy your private retreat every day.

Transforming your Backyard into a Tropical Paradise

backyard oasis

We would all love to be on a white sand beach, toes in the water, sipping a cold beverage, and feeling the warm sun on our skin. Why not create that feeling at home? Creating a tropical backyard is easy and so rewarding. A backyard oasis is a space of solitude and beauty. It is your personal haven to unwind and recharge. Skip the stress of traveling, a tropical backyard design allows you to bask in the vacation vibes any time you want. Turn your empty patio or landscape into a private retreat for peace and quiet, or for entertaining family and friends.

There are important design elements for creating a tropical backyard oasis. Special lighting, water features, and outdoor décor can truly enhance the experience, but the key element for transforming your backyard into a tropical paradise is the plants!


Selecting the Right Plants for a Tropical Backyard Paradise

tropical plants

The ideal tropical-themed backyard needs bold foliage, flowering plants with bright blooms, colorful pottery, and vertical accents. Tropical plants create the feel of the jungle layered with texture and color. At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have a fantastic selection of plants that will make your backyard feel like paradise.

Need inspiration? Here are 5 fantastic options that will thrive in your Texas garden and create a gorgeous tropical backyard design!


Hibiscus is a must-have for your home retreat! The bold blooms and glossy foliage are the essence of paradise. When selecting your Hibiscus plant variety, consider the planting location and the Hibiscus hardiness.

tropical hibiscus

There are two different types of Hibiscus plants, annual and perennial. Annual Hibiscus can not tolerate outdoor temperatures below 50 degrees F. They are best grown in containers so you can easily move them indoors during the cooler months. Their prolific blooms thrive in sunshine and flowering will be less during the winter when light is limited. Next spring, move them back out onto your patio, you will continue to love their vibrant blooms.

tropical hibiscus

Tradewinds® Tropical Hibiscus is a sun-loving semi-tropical shrub. It thrives in light and heat, and does best in 4 hours of daily sun. Tropical Hibiscus plants produce daily flowers from spring to fall and the blooms are excellent for cutting and displaying in a floral arrangement. The most important aspect to your Hibiscus plant care is watering. Don’t allow your Hibiscus to dry out. Tropical Hibiscus plants prefer slightly moist soil and need daily watering, especially when planted in containers. Proper watering will also prompt the blooms to open faster so you can enjoy the gorgeous colors.

jazzy jewel

The Jazzy Jewel® Hibiscus collection from Monrovia® provide beautiful flowers through the fall. They thrive in well-draining soils that are consistently moist, and should be watered deeply and regularly during the first growing season. Ideal for flowerbeds and containers, plant in a sunny location and enjoy the beautiful blooms year after year!

perennial hibiscus

Perennial Hibiscus is a herbaceous perennial that dies back each winter, and remerges in spring. During the summer, these plants grow quickly and reward you with massive clusters of blooms. In fact, the beautiful flowers can even reach the size of a dinner plate! Perennial Hibiscus is a cold-hardy Hibiscus plant that can tolerate temperatures down to the 20-30 degree range, making it ideal for planting in your Texas flowerbeds.



Hosta is a perennial favorite for shade gardens and an ideal choice for your tropical backyard design. They are low maintenance plants that provide lush tropical-like foliage that remains dense and low to the ground. Hostas originated from East Asia and were brought to Europe in the 1700’s. They are a variety that gives some of us nostalgia from our parents or grandparents gardens. Today, there are thousands of different varieties available in a range of green hues, leaf sizes, and fun textures.

hosta plants

When planting Hostas, good drainage is important. Keep roots moist when freshly planted. Once they are established, they are very tolerant of drought-like conditions and will thrive in our Texas summer.


Tropical backyard landscapes need vertical accents for a dynamic and full look. Dracaena Spike features tall spikes of foliage in vivid colors. It is mainly used as an annual in containers and in landscaping, and you can grow Dracaena plants indoors during the winter months.

dracena spike

Dracaena Spike plant sun requirements range from full sun to partial shade. In fact, they can thrive in virtually any location. New plants should be watered daily as they prefer a consistently moist soil, but once they are established they are very tolerant of dry conditions.



Mandevilla, also known as Dipladenia, is a tropical vine that thrives in our Texas summers. It is a common patio plant that will fill your space with breathtaking foliage and blooms. It should be planted near a fence, trellis, or other landscape structures. Mandevilla is ideal for planting in containers. Pair your tropical vine with stunning pottery for a super stylish accent to your tropical backyard design. At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have a vast selection of colorful pottery available in many sizes and designs for you and your home.

mandevilla vine

Mandevilla flowers are dependent on the type of light they receive. They need full sun to produce an abundance of blooms, but they can tolerate partial shade. Mandevilla flowers are large and tubular making them an ideal choice for attracting beneficial pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds to your landscape. To keep your tropical vine thriving, water regularly and keep the soil consistently moist.


elephant ears

Elephant Ears are the perfect choice for adding a tropical feel to your patio or landscape. The bold and striking foliage features large decorative veining leaves that resemble an Elephant’s Ear. They have a number of uses in your garden and can be used as background plants, as edging along walkways, and for a beautiful focal point in your tropical backyard design.

elephant ear plants

Elephant Ear plants are easy to care for and grow and they prefer a rich and moist. Choose upright Elephant Ears (Colocasias) for sunny areas and down swept Elephant Ears (Alocasias) for your shady gardens. Water regularly, even when established. This fantastic tropical plant can thrive in flowerbeds or containers. During the winter, Elephant Ears can be grown indoors and treated like a houseplant. When temperatures start to cool, you can dig it up and transplant it to a container, or for easier gardening, grow them year-round in your favorite pottery so you can easily move them indoors.


Care Tips for Your Tropical Paradise

planting tropicals

Your tropical plants need rich, well-draining soils to thrive. When planting flowerbeds, use Calloway’s Premium Flowerbed Garden Soil to provide optimal conditions for vibrant blooms and healthy foliage.

When planting in containers, use Calloway’s Premium Container Potting Soil for results that you will love. Our potting soil contains essential ingredients to help your plants get the best start for healthier, continued growth.

calloway's tropical plant food

Keep your tropical backyard thriving with quality plant food! Enjoy more beautiful foliage and vibrant blooms with Calloway’s Premium Tropical Plant Food. Our 15-5-10 special formula will help your tropical plants have healthier growth.


Shop with Ease

tropical oasis

At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have just what you need to create your tropical oasis! Visit us today and explore our entire collection of seasonal blooms, fantastic pottery, indoor plants, fresh vegetables, stately trees and shrubs, and so much more! Shop one of our 28 neighborhood stores, serving our loyal customers for over 35 years.

Have questions? Ask our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals; they are here to help!






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