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We’re going to go out on a limb and say if you’re part of the Love Island fan base, you’re probably not watching for the flowers. But, guess what? We are. (Well, sort of.)

Forget about the relationship drama and, the next time you’re watching, check out the beautiful flowers in the background. Stunning! And while we don’t have any clue what they are, gardening expert Antonio Valente sure does. He dropped by our patio to show us how to bring bright and tropical blooms into our own Canadian gardens.

So, why might a gardener introduce tropical plants into a Canadian garden in the first place? Antonio says they’re an expected surprise and since these plants are built for the hot, humid weather most of Canada has been experiencing this summer, they’ll look great all season long. Bonus: Most of these plants will make great houseplants, so bring them indoors before we get our first frost.

Bougainvillea

This is the quintessential tropical flower if you’ve ever vacationed in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. It’s everywhere! It’s drought tolerant, loves the sun and will bloom most of the summer—just give it a good trim each spring.

Bromeliads

This is a huge family of plants, so there’s a lot of variety. These plants are prized for their colourful flower stalks (rather than the flowers themselves), and look great over a long period of time.

Colocasia


Also known as the elephant’s ear, this plant’s leaves get huge and look very tropical. It likes to stay moist. Be sure to store the root indoors over the winter and plant it again the following spring.

Alocasia

This is an easy-to-care-for plant. Score!

Anthurium


Available in various shades of red and pink, this plant will go dormant in the winter but will bounce right back the following spring.

Calathea

These are a large group of plants with the most interesting leaf patterns. They’re easy to care for and make an excellent houseplant.

Stromanthe ‘Triostar’


The leaves on this plant feature a mix of pink, white and green. They can be finicky to grow and love to be outdoors.

Banana Palm

Hello, tropics! This plant is also available in a red-leafed variety and will grow into small trees if overwintered year after year.

Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’

Another easy plant to care for that also makes an excellent houseplant. The new foliage is a very beautiful orange colour.

Aglaonema (aka Chinese Evergreen)


Gone are the days when these were just common, supermarket plants. New varieties have renewed interest in this plant, and some varieties feature a pink veining in the leaf. They are very easy to care for.