Tropical Foliage and Colour for Your Garden

Tropical foliage and Colour for your Garden

Living in a subtropical climate, there are a lot of coloured foliage plants available for your garden. These plants add permanent colour to your garden whereas, with green foliage flowering plants you have to wait till their flowering season occurs.

Coloured foliage plants get the most colour in their leaves when they are in full sun. Coloured leaves require more sun to maintain their colouring.


This is specimen is Hibiscus ‘Rose Flake’. It’s foliage is in full colour when in full sun. Also has a smaller type hibiscus flower. As with the rest of this species of Hibiscus, it has medium salt resistance in beachside situations. It performs best in loose soils like sand but also needs a bit of organic material adding in for better growth.


The Pleome is related to Draceanas but it is smaller, has a denser growth habit and has a slower growth habit. This particular variety is strong in it’s white variegation and is a really nice plant for full sun gardens.


Ficus Green Island, pictured above is very small compared to it’s kin like the Moreton Bay Fig. It is a shrub form of a fig, it has smaller glossy tropical leaves and grows fine beachside even with a bit of salty sea-breeze.


Hibiscus tiliaceus or Cottonwood, is a tree type hibiscus which can tolerate salty water, and has medium salt tolerance. It is not too fussy with it’s soil requirements, but usually grows in sandy soil. This variety is variegated and commonly they have yellow hibiscus flowers in warmer months.

Red Cordylines are a very showy tropical plant. Nowadays they have many varieties, varying in height leaf size and colour. The original with the large red leaves is definitely the standout because of it’s colour. They are not usually too fussy, like all but hard soils and not to allow the soil to dry out too much.


Crotons are really a classy tropical plant. There are a large variety of leaf shapes, colours and sizes. They like full sun, don’t mind sandy soil, but never let them to become too dry. They also have medium salt tolerance.

Hibiscus’ are another plant that give that tropical feel. There are so many different varieties, and grow well beachside. Just give them some added fertiliser and they will put on an amazing flower display. Many varieties can flower all year round on the Gold Coast. These are just a few suggestions of tropical foliage and colour and will update the blog as extra photos come into my hands. Feel free to leave your any comments below.

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