Tropical Plants for Outdoor Summer Containers

Tropical Plants for Containers

If you're looking to plant tropical plants for outdoor summer containers, here are some suggestions that will help you to turn your outdoor space into a tropical paradise. What you can plant depends on where you live, so be sure to research your climate zone and find out what will thrive in your area!

Bird of Paradise

One of the easier tropical plants for outdoor summer containers, the bird of paradise will bring a lot of dramatic color to your garden. This variety needs good drainage and a fairly warm climate to thrive, and it will grow taller and stronger if placed in a somewhat shaded place.


Bromeliads will grow inside or outside in containers, and they prefer a warmer, more humid environment. Being adaptable plants though, they will tolerate almost any warm place that gets shaded, indirect light and decent moisture.


This festive plants comes in all sorts of patterns and color combinations. It is a hearty and happy variety that likes warm weather and indirect light. Coleus needs good drainage and regular watering to flourish, and can be propagated easily by placing clipping in water. Try planting several different plants for an explosion of colors!


Hibiscus flowers are gorgeous and will turn any patio into a tropical getaway. This plant requires good drainage, slightly sandy soil, and a layer of mulch on top of the soil to help keep moisture in (though watch out for mold and root rot!).

Perhaps one of the most popular tropical plants for outdoor summer containers, orchids will grow in any warm, humid environment. While they are easy to keep alive, getting an orchid to flower more than once can take a little time and effort. Make sure you do your homework if you're a serious orchid enthusiast!

Palm Outdoor Summer Containers

Ferns can be tough to care for in some environments, but if you're in a warm climate, it's not terribly difficult to keep them alive. The key is lots of airborne water - if you've got a fern planted by a bubbling fountain, it will be a happy plant.

Palm trees tend to do very well in containers, whether inside or outside. If you make sure you pick a palm variety that will grow well in your area, you'll have an easy road in front of you. If you're using containers, make sure you've got decent soil and good drainage to prevent root rot!

Learn more about container gardening in Examples of Container Gardens.

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Tropical Plants for Outdoor Summer Containers