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Partner Post: 3 Thrilling Tropicals for Your Summer Patio, Porch, or Deck

Ever look at your porch, patio, deck, or balcony and think it could be better? If so, plants may be the answer. Picking the right plants can instantly add fresh style—and comfort—to your outdoor space. Now's the perfect time to make it a spot you’ll love to relax, enjoy a meal, or host friends in. Here are three tropical plants you can count on.


Flashy and flamboyant, tropical hibiscus bloom in just about every color. It’s also available in a wide variety of forms, from dwarf types that decorate a tabletop to small trees that provide privacy. Most hibiscus varieties do best in all-day or half-day sun and like to be watered regularly. (During the hottest part of the season, that may mean daily watering, especially if they’re in small pots.)

Top Pick: If you want a top-of-the-line hibiscus, look for HibisQs varieties. They produce more flowers than other varieties, and the flowers last longer.


Mandevilla is one of the most versatile tropical plants around. It sports trumpet-shaped blooms in rich red, pretty pink, and crisp white. Once mandevilla starts blooming it continues nonstop until cold weather arrives in fall. The blooms attract hummingbirds. It's drought-tolerant, too, so it’ll forgive you if you miss a watering or two.

Top Pick: Traditional mandevilla are vines that can climb to 10 feet or more in a season, depending on where you live. But if you don’t have something on which they can climb, look for mound-shape varieties. They don’t need a support and only grow about 15 to 18 inches tall and wide over the course of the season.

Kimberly Queen Fern

If vibrant color isn’t your thing, create a calm, peaceful look with the lush texture of ferns. Kimberly Queen fern is a standout because it can grow well in the sun, as well as shade. Enjoy its classic look hanging in baskets along your patio. Or grow it in pots on the ground where you can take in its soft, fluffy texture without having to look up.


About the Author

Justin Hancock is a horticulturist and Costa Farms GARDEN GURU™. He’s passionate about plants and has indoor plants in every room of his home. He’s been writing about plants and plant care for more than 20 years. Before coming to Costa Farms, Justin served as gardening editor at Better Homes and Gardens magazine.