Low-Maintenance Tropical Landscape Plants

Low-Maintenance Tropical Landscape Plants

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While we might associate tropical plants with exotic rainforests and warm, humid climates, there are many exotic shrubs and flowers that can bring all of the luscious drama of the tropics to your garden, without needing any of the climate requirements of their native tropical homelands.

In fact, many tropical shrubs are low-maintenance, being both easy to grow and look after. They even offer structure, texture, and shading to your garden making them ideal for landscaping and creating a private oasis outdoors. We’ve found some of the best low-maintenance tropical landscape plants to include in your next plot that will bloom quickly and easily and give your garden some low-maintenance drama, color, and texture.

Here’s five of the best low-maintenance tropical options for landscaping.


Requiring minimal care once it is kept out of frosty weather, ixora is one of the best low-maintenance tropical garden plants. It does everything we expect and need from a tropical shrub. It produces stunning flowers in tropical colors such as red, orange, yellow, and pink and can grow to tall heights so it’s perfect for low-maintenance, dramatic screening when landscaping.

Jungle flame (Ixora coccinea) is particularly useful when landscaping and is often used as a screening shrub. While typically growing up to 6 feet in height, it can sometimes stretch to double that in USDA zones 9 to 11! 

Grow this tropical delight as a shrub or in containers in full sun for a low-maintenance but vibrant burst of the tropics in your garden.

Barrel Cactus

A delight to look at with its unusual, cylindrical shape and colors, barrel cactus is a favorite amongst landscapers as it makes an interesting and low-maintenance addition to a tropical garden display. Commonly grown beside other succulents to create variety and dynamism in a plot, barrel cactus is another great example of how low-maintenance outdoor tropical plants can be.

Once you ensure this cactus is planted in an area of full sunlight with well-draining soil and minimal watering, this succulent is ready to thrive. It truly couldn’t be more low-maintenance, making it the perfect choice for a new gardener.

Coming in many shapes and sizes, with some options even reaching 10 feet in height, this is a wonderful option for a tropical garden looking for interesting textures and shapes. Get a potted barrel cactus to grow indoors here.

Philodendron xanadu

Tough and versatile, this philodendron variety is another fantastic tropical plant for a low-maintenance tropical front yard display. Due to the minimal care it requires and its beautifully frilly foliage, philodendron xanadu is widely used in many tropical gardens.

A low-maintenance evergreen with glossy green leaves, this shrub grows as a clump and is perfect for both mass or pot planting. Preferring lightly shaded areas over full sun exposure, it also makes an ideal, low-maintenance indoor addition.

Cordyline fruticosa 

Also known as Ti plant, Cordyline fruticosa is perhaps as low-maintenance as it gets! All this tropical wonder needs in terms of maintenance is removing the occasional dead leaf – that’s it!

Its vivid pink and red leaves make it a must-have tropical addition to any garden. Growing in all kinds of sun exposure, from full sun to deep shade, this shrub adds easy vibrancy and tropical drama to any garden.

Even if it gets too tall, chopping off the top will cause cordyline fruticosa to reshoot just under the cut – easy! To keep this low-maintenance lovely happy, just be sure its soil is moist but not soggy.

Giant Bromeliad

Finally, for a true tropical showstopper that couldn’t be more low-maintenance, consider giant bromeliads. A feature shrub like no other, giant bromeliads can stretch to over a meter in width, eventually producing flower spikes at least 2.5m high.

With wide succulent leaves fanning out like enormous tongues and flower bracts of dark pink and red stretching up towards the sky, this plant is a tropical landscaper’s dream centerpiece, taking a garden straight into the dreamy exoticism of a tropical rainforest.

Bromeliads can grow in both pots or in beds once you ensure there is enough space for them to span outward with their large and imposing foliage. Despite their size, these plants are very easy to care for and maintain once they are kept in full sun and not overwatered.

However, if your garden doesn’t have the space for this majestic creature, there are also smaller indoor varieties that still bring some tropical magic into your home. Check out Plants.com for a pink-flowered Antonio variety.

Tropical plants are a firm feature in many gardens and now you know why! Not only do they add intense colors and captivating texture and form, they are so easy to grow and maintain. If planning a new garden, consider incorporating these low-maintenance tropical plants into your plot.

Or, to find out more about outdoor tropical plants for every kind of garden or patio, read this article.

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