Plant life in the tropics is anything but subdued. Flowers are huge, the colors are bold and the plants like to grow together in a beautiful tangled mass. Rather than resist their wild side, let the colors run wild and see what kind of jungle you can create in the six month season that most of us have to enjoy these heat-loving species. Be sure to supply plenty of water and fertilizer to help them reach their full potential in the confines of a pot.
Canna lilies are a good place to start. They grow 4 to 6 feet tall in a matter of a few months, erupting at the top in bubble gum-colored blossoms (among many other available colors).
|Canna 'Mrs. P.S. Dupont'||Canna 'Tropical Salmon'|
Interspersed with the canna tubers you could try a hibiscus or two, such as the morning blush pink 'Amour' or the yummy tangerine orange 'Pixie Delight'.
|Hibiscus 'Armour'||Hibiscus 'Pixie Delight'|
Around the base of the hibiscus and cannas, place a few ornamental hot peppers, like the flamboyant, multi-colored 'Medusa' or 'Sangria'.
|Ornamental Pepper 'Medusa'||Ornamental Pepper 'Sangria'|
Once the canna is growing skyward, you might stick a few seeds of Mina lobata in the pot, also known as the Exotic Love Vine. This fast-flowering annual will clamber up the canna lily stalks and put out wispy flower spikes that fade from red to orange to yellow to cream along the length of the stem.
|Mina lobata Exotic Love Vine|
These are just a few ideas for combining the hottest tropical colors and wildest foliage in a single pot, but it only scratches the surface of what you might find in your local nursery. Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.), begonias, caladium, coleus, passion flower and bird-of-paradise are a few of the other species you might come across that fill the bill for your little slice of jungle.