These 6 tropical landscaping ideas will give your space a resort feel

From vibrant plants to bright colors, our tropical landscaping ideas will uplift your backyard

Tropical plants on patio
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Channel those vacay vibes into your home with some tropical landscaping ideas. If your backyard needs a little love, transform it into a lush oasis with our design inspiration.

By just incorporating a few key elements like vibrant lush and leafy plants, bright colors, and natural materials like wood, rattan, and bamboo, you'll create your own jungle in no time.

Discover the best landscaping ideas for a tropical space in our expert-led guide.

Tropical landscaping ideas for your private oasis

If you've been dreaming of a tropical-style garden but have no idea where to start then you've come to the right place. Our design tips, including landscaping privacy ideas, will help you to create a similar feel in your space without breaking the bank, or from using too much of your time. 

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Choose your color palette

Orange and blue flowered bird of paradise plant in plant pot

(Image credit: Sigena Semmling/Getty Images)

When it comes to adding tropical flowers to your yard, think about the colors you'd like to incorporate. The bird of paradise (also known as strelitzia) is a beautiful tropical plant with eye-popping flowers in electric blue and flame orange. These tropical plants usually max out around six feet tall, whilst their large leaves add real jungle vibes. You can pick up bird of paradise plants from Walmart to add pops of color.

Traditionally, a tropical garden is full of a wide range of greens – from bright green to dark and dramatic, and then there are the colors. Think bright, almost neon pinks, vibrant yellow, shades of red, and hints of lime. 

If you would love to add pink and green to your tropical plant collection, snap up an elegant Stromanthe Triostar plant from The Sill. It has striking leaves that are dark magenta on the underside.

If bright colors aren't your bag but you still fancy the tropical look then embrace earthy tones of ochre, stone, and coral. 

2. Add tropical greenery

Backyard with tropical style plants, paving, decking with lounge

(Image credit: Divine Savages)

The part that will give your backyard the most tropical look is what you choose to plant. These can be trees or plants depending on your space. 

"Tropical landscaping transforms a backyard into a lush, exotic paradise," says Samual Davis, CEO, of London Gardeners. "To achieve this, focus on bold, large-leafed plants such as banana trees, birds of paradise, and elephant ears. Incorporating palm trees and cycads can add height and a classic tropical vibe. Use vibrant flowers like hibiscus, bougainvillea, and bromeliads to add pops of color."

We've sourced the top three tropical plants to start your tropical landscaping ideas, use various heights and textures for that lush feel. 

headshot of Samual Davis
Samual Davis

Samuel Davis, CEO of London Gardeners, brings a green thumb and strategic vision to the helm. Under his leadership, London Gardeners has blossomed into the go-to destination for premier gardening services in the city, fostering beautiful landscapes while nurturing a commitment to environmental stewardship

3. Consider resort style

Tropical style backyard, stone colored walls, tropical plants, outdoor tub, neutral patterned tiles

(Image credit: Otto Tiles / Belle & Sky / @aycorn Garden Design / Nick Smith)

One of our favorite tropical landscaping ideas is to create the feel you want with more than just accessories and furniture, it's about pulling together an all-encompassing look and a resort-like feel is easily achievable if you have either an in-ground or above-ground pool. 

"There’s nothing better than feeling like you’re on holiday in your own garden, and there are a few things that you can add to your outdoor space to really create the 'resort look'. A parasol above a dining table or sun lounger is not only practical but also helps to bring a coastal aesthetic – I’d suggest choosing one in an oatmeal color which will help to keep a space feeling open and bright, or give the illusion of a brighter space if you’re working with a smaller, darker area," suggests Sue Jones, co-founder and creative director at OKA.

Make sure your planter beds are full of lush greenery and consider using shiplap on your exterior walls for an authentic feel with a couple of lantern wall lights (Terrain's Copper Lantern Hanger is ideal for creating ambiance) so you can sit out in the evening. 

expert headshot of Sue Jones OKA
Sue Jones

Sue Jones began her design career at Colefax and Fowler before going on to work for Jasper Conran for 10 years. She founded OKA in early 1999 with friends Annabel Astor and Lucinda Waterhouse. Since then, OKA has operated 13 stores across the UK and three in the US.

4. Create a water feature

Backyard with curved furniture, water feature, view of interior, awning, tropical trees,

(Image credit: House of One / Become Legendary)

Aside from the planting aspect, the next big landscaping element is to create a water feature. 

"I love that the garden water feature gives this amazing transportive experience before entering the home. It is an anchor to the whole home and reinforces the importance of biophilic living," says Brittany Farinas, CEO and creative director of House of One

If you don't have room for a pond, then consider a water feature in a couple of corners of your backyard. We like Wayfair's Lewellyn Weather Resistant Pool Fountain – it does what is says and creates the gentle noise of water that will relax you in no time. 

"Water features, such as small ponds or fountains, enhance the tropical atmosphere. Incorporate natural materials like bamboo or teak for furniture and decorative elements to complement the lush greenery," says Samual Davis.

These can work beautifully when considering landscaping ideas for small backyards.

5. Use accent colors outside

A tropical garden with firepit and wooden logs

(Image credit: Future)

If you love gardening and want to incorporate some of the key colors for a tropical look then consider pink and yellow flowers, this Bromeliad Antonio from can be kept in a pot or planted in bed, it definitely has rainforest vibes! 

Keep your furniture neutral, that way it will work with the zingy colored accessories you might pick – we love this Floral Colorful Design Outdoor Rug by Wayfair. Its bright colors will lift a backyard instantly. And Anthropologie's Priyanka Cushion will certainly add a tropical element with its fabulous illustrative design. 

6. Opt for natural materials

Outdoor living with pool, rattan furniture, lounger

(Image credit: Nest)

While you may love the look of tropical colors, you may be nervous about going over the top. Adding some neutral colors will help balance the overall look.

It's all about the textures you pick – and the plants as we've mentioned. But also think about the tropical climate and its surroundings. 

A muted palette of dusty shades like taupe, sand, and beige will work well, add in textures like rough-cut stone, concrete, and earthenware and your look will start to take shape.

Our tropical landscaping ideas will certainly add a vibrant and fun element to your backyard space. It can be as sophisticated as you like if you want to really embrace all the wonderful textures and varieties of plants. Or it can be joyful with bold prints and bright colors, like with Morrocan-inspired garden ideas.

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.