Creating Stunning Full Sun Planters With Tropical Plants: Unleashing The Vibrancy Of The Tropics

Embracing the beauty of tropical plants doesn’t have to be limited to shady spots. With the right selection of plants and strategic planning, you can create eye-catching and lush full-sun planters that transport you to a tropical paradise. In this blog, we will explore the art of using tropical plants to create stunning full-sun planters, allowing you to infuse your outdoor spaces with the vibrant colors and exotic foliage of the tropics.


Choosing Sun-Loving Tropical Plants:


When selecting tropical plants for your full-sun planters, choosing varieties that can withstand the intensity of direct sunlight is important. Look for plants known for their sun tolerance and thrive in hot and bright conditions. Some excellent choices for full sun planters include:

a) Bird of Paradise: Known for their large, tropical-looking foliage and vibrant blooms, birds of paradise thrive in full sun and add a bold statement to your planters.

b) Hibiscus: These colorful flowers are iconic in tropical landscapes, and love basking in the sun. Their beautiful blooms and compact size make them ideal for full sun planters.

c) Crotons: With their stunning multicolored foliage, crotons thrive in bright light and bring a touch of tropical elegance to your planters.

d) Mandevillas: These climbing vines produce showy, trumpet-shaped flowers in vibrant colors. They are sun-loving plants that add vertical interest to your planters.

e) Palms: A classic option for large planters is, of course, palm trees. Their striking fronds add a beautiful canopy above plants below it, creating interesting light patterns in your planter.


Fill your container with bright colors that add to the interest of your planters. Choosing “fillers” that bring out the colors in your “thriller” is a recipe for creating a tropical masterpiece! A few of our top “fillers” include:

a) Crotons: While they make great “thrillers”, Crotons can also make wonderful “fillers” as well. Their colors will complement almost any “thriller” that you could choose, making them the universal choice!

b) Foxtail Ferns: Select ferns, such as the Foxtail Fern, can handle a great deal of sunlight and are excellent for filling space. They offer a timeless look to any planter.

c) Mexican Petunia (Ruellia): The perfect “chiller” for your tropical planter is bright purple Mexican Petunias. They add a cool element that provides a fantastic contrast to warmer-colored tropicals.

d) Annuals: Although not technically considered “tropicals,” many annuals, such as Marigolds, are great for adding pops of tropical color and filling your planter.


The last, and most fun part, of a planter is, of course, the “spiller”! These trailing stunners are planted at the edge of the container and trail over the edge creating a spilling effect. The best “spillers” include:

a) Bougainvillea: As both a climbing and trailing plant, Bougainvillea can be used in multiple ways in a planter. Its bright flowers pop out against all else making it an excellent choice for a tropical planter.

b) Dipladenia: Another plant that can climb or trail is Dipladenia. With bright flower choices ranging from yellow to red, you cannot go wrong with this “spiller”.

Croton Petra
Croton Petra

Creating A Balanced Composition:

To create visually appealing full sun planters, consider the height, texture, and color balance. Choose plants with varying heights to create depth and interest. Place taller plants in the center or towards the back of the planter and surround them with medium-sized and trailing plants. This layered effect adds dimension and creates a lush, tropical aesthetic.

In terms of texture, mix plants with different leaf shapes and sizes. Combine plants with large, broad leaves with plants that have delicate, feathery foliage. This contrast adds visual interest and creates a dynamic display.

When it comes to color, tropical plants offer a rich palette of vibrant hues. Combine plants with bold and contrasting colors to create an eye-catching composition. For example, pair the fiery red blooms of a Mandevilla with the deep green foliage of a Croton. Intersperse pops of yellow or orange from cannas or marigolds for added vibrancy.


Proper Care And Maintenance Of Tropical Planters:

Proper care and maintenance are crucial to ensure the success of your full-sun tropical planters. Here are some essential tips to consider:

a) Watering: Full sun planters tend to dry out more quickly, so regular watering is essential. Check the soil’s moisture level regularly and water deeply when it feels dry. Be mindful not to overwater, as it can lead to root rot.

b) Soil and Fertilization: Use a well-draining potting mix that retains moisture while allowing excess water to drain. Tropical plants often benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. Choose a balanced fertilizer designed for flowering plants and follow the instructions on the packaging.

c) Pruning and Deadheading: Regularly remove any spent flowers or yellowing leaves to promote continuous blooming and maintain the overall appearance of your planters.

d) Protection from Extreme Conditions: Tropical plants generally tolerate heat and sun, but extreme temperatures can stress them. Provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day if necessary, especially during scorching summer afternoons.

Creating stunning full-sun planters with tropical plants allows you to bring the vibrant colors and lush foliage of the tropics into your outdoor spaces. You can transform your planters into a captivating tropical paradise by carefully selecting sun-loving tropical plants, creating a balanced composition, and providing proper care and maintenance. So, unleash your creativity, embrace the sun-loving tropical plants, and let them transport you to a world of vibrant beauty and exotic charm right in your backyard.

Check out our YouTube video on how you can build one:

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