Tropical plants can’t survive our Iowa winters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring them outdoors during the warmer months! Exotic plants bring such a fun flair to the scenery. If you plan on having lots of backyard get-togethers and barbecues, decorating your space with pretty palms and colorful tropicals will instantly transform your yard from ordinary to extraordinary!
Here Are Some Creative Ways to Add Tropical Plants to Your Outdoor Decor
Keep in mind that if your plants have been indoors for a long time, a sudden transition to the outdoors might be a shock to their systems. Transition them outside gradually by bringing them out for a few hours each day until they’ve built more tolerance to summer sunshine. Once they’re ready to stay outside, try any of these styling tips for incorporating tropical plants into your yard decor!
Leafy Potted Palms for Lounge Areas
A big, breezy palm instantly brings the poolside paradise vibes. If you grow them in pots, you can keep them outside during the warmer months and then bring them inside for the winter! We love gathering tall palms around sitting areas with comfy lounge chairs—the leaves create a canopy overhead that feels luxurious and serene.
Some palms are a bit sensitive to intense, direct sunshine, so check the sunlight preferences of your palms before you pick a spot to place them. For more sun-sensitive varieties, place them somewhere that gets gentle morning light followed by shade from the afternoon sun.
Statement Plants for Mixed Containers
To create an attractive mixed container arrangement, you need one tall, flashy statement plant to act as your focal point. Tropical plants are perfect for this! When the season ends, you can overwinter your container indoors or toss the summer annuals and relocate your tropical plants to an individual houseplant pot. Some of the best tropical plants for container arrangements include:
Remember to plant them with compatible plants with similar sunlight and watering needs. Come tropicals like Cannas and Crotons love direct sunlight, but others like Alocasia prefer shade from the bright afternoon sun, so choose wisely!
Jazz Up Your Outdoor Dining Area
Go from ‘basic backyard barbecue’ to ‘swanky 5-star patio restaurant’ by surrounding your outdoor dining area with avant-garde tropicals! Fan Palms, Birds of Paradise, and Monsteras have a fashion-forward, cutting-edge appeal that brings so much style and attitude to your space. Now you can skip spending a fortune at fancy restaurant patios and start getting your friends together at your own exclusive backyard club. Put together a charcuterie board with some fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect party night!
Bringing Your Tropicals Back Indoors
Once the temperatures start to hover around 50°F, it’s time to bring your plants inside. Before you bring them in, you’ll want to give them a generous coating of insecticidal soap or neem oil spray to kill any pests hiding in their leaves. Bring them inside and keep them in a separate room away from your other plants for a few days—this will prevent bugs from spreading to your houseplants. Inspect your houseplants for telltale signs like fine webbing, sticky residue, bite marks, or any other suspicious symptoms, and use some of that insecticidal soap or neem oil to keep them bug-free!
On the hunt for tropical plants for sale in Des Moines? Visit Ted Lare Garden Center and explore all the gorgeous exotic varieties for indoor and outdoor decorating!