Five Great Plants for an Exotic Garden

5th April 2017

It is possible to create an exotic or jungle garden, in a temperate climate, like Britain's, by using plants that are bright and colourful, or have large leaves and are native to hotter countries, but have a certain level of cold tolerance. The best place for an exotic garden is the coast, or large cities, like London, with a micro climate. Cornwall in particular, with its milder winters, is a great place for growing exotic looking plants, and even the west coast of Scotland, that is much milder than it should be thanks to the Gulf Stream, of warm air that blows in from across the Atlantic. Here is five great plants for your Exotic Garden.

dicksonia antarctica

Australian Tree Fern

Native to Australia, the Dicksonia Antarctica tree fern grows in the shady undercanopy of forests, so they able to grow fine in places like Britain, with less sun. The tree fern has large, striking fronds, that unfurl from the top of the trunk. They can grow up to 4 metres in height, but this can take decades as they only grow 3cm per year. They look great in borders, or as a focal point in the centre of a lawn or courtyard. Tree Ferns are available from Thompson & Morgan, in a range of sizes £39.99 (15cm trunk) £59.99 (30cm trunk) £99.99 (90cm trunk) HERE

red canna lilly

Canna x generalis (Cannova Bronze)

Canna Lillys are one of the most tropical looking plants that can grow in British gardens. They are summer bulbs and look fantastic planted in patio and decking containers in a full sun position. Native to tropical and sub tropical regions of the world, they have attractive foliage and bold flowerheads. Cannova Bronze has deep bronze red petals, and large, dark green leaves. Height 75cm. 1 Canna plant £9.99 from Thompson & Morgan HERE

passion flower

Passion Flower

This gorgeous climbing plant has flowers you might expect to see in the Amazon rainforest. This exotic looking climber can transform a dull fence, or wall, or grown in an obelisk planter, to make a feature on a patio or decking area. Passiflora caerulea has highly ornate flowers, with white petals and lilac filaments. It can grow up to 10 metres tall! Plant in a 2 litre pot £14.99 from Thompson & Morgan HERE

canary island date palm

Phoenix Palm

Palms are a great addition to an exotic garden. They are so different to native trees from Britain, and can help a garden achieve a tropical feel. A few palms are able to withstand our colder climate, and the Phoenix Palm is one of them. Also known as Canary Island Date Palm, it grows well in large containers in sunny parts of the garden. In containers they can grow to about 182cm (6ft), and if planted in the ground in milder areas of Britain, it can grow to about 5 metres (16ft).

2 plants in 3 litre pots £39.99 from Thompson & Morgan HERE


Strelitzia 'Bird of Paradise'

A truly tropical looking plant, that has the most amazing flowers, and banana leaves. Native to South Africa, Strelitzia are frost tender, so require somewhere warm in winter. During summer they can be placed on the patio or decking, and they do well in greenhouses, as they like humidity. 1 plant in a 13cm plant pot £14.99 from Thompson & Morgan HERE