You’ve been tasked with planning an outdoor event in Los Angeles (LA). Of course, plants are a must-have for the event to be a success. What type of tropical plants are best to choose for the most impact?
Whenever you’re discussing the best types of plants for a specific outdoor location, the first thing you need to identify is the climate.
According to Wikipedia, the climate of Los Angeles is year-round mild-to-hot and mostly dry. This is classified as Mediterranean, a type of dry subtropical climate. It’s characterized by seasonal changes in rainfall—with a dry summer and a winter rainy season.
Now that we know what type of weather we’re dealing with, we can get to the fun part! What plants will work best?
For events in southern cities like Los Angeles, you need to keep in mind that some plants may not withstand the heat and dry atmosphere. Check out the seven types of tropical plants below. Plus we provide some tips for caring for these plants throughout the rental.
Note that all these plants can be used in an outdoor venue. The first five are your best choice if it will be hot and sunny for the duration of the event as they can take the heat! The last 2 plants can be used outdoors, but are more sensitive and should be placed in areas where there is some shade.
Found in many of the most impressive landscapes in Southern California, the archontophoenix alexandrae or King Alex Palm, bring that majestic look and tropical vibe to your event area. King Palms are prevalent in Southern California and therefore, can handle the local climate without issue.
Care tip: These tropical plants are low maintenance but be careful when moving them. These plants can’t heal themselves so any scars or damage may be permanent.
Bird of Paradise
The Bird of Paradise, also known as Strelitzia, or more commonly the Crane Flower, are another tropical plant that can withstand the potentially high temperatures of Southern California. The Bird of Paradise if best known for its banana shaped leaves and bird shaped tropical flowers.
Care tip: Keep the soil on the moist side, but not so moist that the plant sits in water. Too much water could create a situation that promotes root rot.
Also known as the pygmy date palm, miniature date palm or just robellini, the Pheonix Robilini is a dwarf evergreen palm tree with a slender trunk topped with a dense crown of fine-textured green fronds. The hardy and durable palms make excellent accent plants, creating an classy look for your event.
Care tip: Date palms like the brightest light that can be provided, including full sun. And they do best when the soil is kept dry.
Anyone with a green thumb knows that the snake plant (Sansevieria) is one of the most tolerant plants. These plants can be neglected for weeks at a time and can handle your event with ease. Whether they are in full sun or complete shade, these plants will enhance the look of your exhibit area.
Care tip: The snake plant is slow growing so no pruning required. Water the snake plant when the soil is dry. Take care not to over-water it or it can rot.
Dracaena marginata plants are especially impressive as tall trees with multiple canes and hundreds of long, thin, green leaves trimmed in dark red. These plants can add color and texture to your outdoor event setting. Although some varieties look very similar to them, Dracaena marginata is not a palm tree.
Care tip: If your event is only for a few days, this plant will do fine outdoors in the hot sun. However, they prefer nice bright light but no direct sun. Try to place it in partial shade if possible.
Bromeliad plants are spiky, colorful, and exotic. They also come in a variety of sizes, making them a great event plant. Their flowers bloom in pink, red, orange, and yellow.
A fun fact about this plant is that it can grow on other plants without harming them! This makes it low-maintenance but should be kept out of the direct sun.
Care tip: Some bromeliads enjoy the sun, but most thrive in shady areas.
Elephant Ear Plant
The elephant ear plant is a bold, tropical plant. It has large foliage that look like elephant ears (hence, the name). This plant isn’t colorful, but compliments and adds dimension to other flowers and plants.
Care tip: Growing and maintaining elephant ear plants is easy. For best results at an outdoor event, try to keep them in partial shade.
Given the hot conditions in Southern California, choosing the right tropical plants for events in LA takes experience. Don’t stress over plants for your event. Work with a creative plant rental partner that can ensure your event is a huge success.