Tropical Landscape: Want It, Need It, Love It!

Tropical landscaping is so popular in Southern California in part because our climate allows for it and it gives one’s home the feeling of a lush Shangri-La. Our current pandemic-induced home isolation and lack of travel is even more reason why your yard can be your personal paradise.


Tropical landscapes are lush and have layers of different plants, colors and most plants have large leaves that provide shade. Your plants and trees should have height at the back of the garden to create a dense appearance and then smaller plants in front. Here at Instant Jungle International we like to use plenty of palm trees, bamboo and cycads plus companion plants.

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Palm Trees:

Palm trees are not native to Southern California but they have become a symbol of Southern California. An explosion of palm tree planting happened in the 1930’s as Americans associated Southern California with a leisure-like, Mediterranean environment. As part of the Los Angeles beautification program prior to the 1932 Olympics, 25,000 palm trees were planted all over the city. We have over 20 different species of palms here at our Santa Ana nursery. Sizes range from 15 gallon to specimen palms in 72” boxes. Take into consideration the space in your yard and remember to allow for future growth. Palm trees can be the centerpiece of your design so have fun choosing one or more varieties in varying sizes.

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We are the bamboo experts! With over 15 species of bamboo, we have something for everyone. Read the link to our blog to read more about choosing bamboo. Bamboo is a great way to create a dense planting area for privacy or for shade. You will be surprised at the different colors of canes, leaf sizes and other characteristics that make picking bamboo so interesting!


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Cycads were the dominant form of plant life during the dinosaur era. They are palm-like in appearance, but are unrelated to palms. There are so many interesting species to choose from but some of our favorites are: Cycas revoluta otherwise known as sago palms, Cycas thouarsii, Dioon spinulosum, Dioon edule and Macrozamias.



Companion Plants:

These plants are the icing on the cake! They are smaller plants that provide diversity, color and interest to your yard. Depending on your budget, size of your yard, your exposure and your taste you have a lot to choose from! You might consider ferns, bromeliads, bush birds of paradise, philodendron, ginger, song of India, zamias or many others.



With over 40 years of experience creating tropical landscapes all over

Southern California there is nothing we cannot help you with. Call us today to create your paradise!

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