Cannas love the sun and heat, a common location around pools. Just remember to give them regular watering. Their wide leaves in a range of foliage colours add an instant tropical feel. Taller varieties have an even bigger impact and can be used to hide an ugly wall or fence.
There’s nothing that says tropical like a palm tree! They’re perfect around pools as they don’t shed small leaves which make cleaning a nightmare and the wide fronds create welcome shade during the hotter parts of the day. Good varieties which won’t get too large are Golden Cane and Kentia palms.
With their large, showy flowers that come in red, orange, pink and yellow, Hibiscus are a must-have for any tropical scheme. Select an evergreen variety so you don’t have any trouble with leaves falling into the pool. Hibiscus flower right through the summer swimming season. For best results prune in spring and regularly remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
Cordylines are a versatile plant with many different species and varieties that will suit most situations. If your tropical scheme includes palms, which throw a lot of shade, cordylines are perfect as they tolerate low light conditions. The wide foliage comes in shades of green, pink, purple and even black so you can use them to add colour too. The various varieties also have different growing heights so you can choose one to suit containers or for planting at the rear of garden beds.
While not technically a tropical plant, the Agave attenuata’s wide green leaves in attractive rosettes make it suitable for a tropical landscape. Virtually maintenance-free, this agave can handle full sun as well as low light conditions. Trim off the old withered leaves further down the stem to keep it looking neat.