The Sensuous Garden: Using Fragrant Tropical Plants

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Imagine stepping into a landscape full of lush greenery, where the air is filled with intoxicating scents that transport you to a tropical paradise. The good news is that this can be your very own backyard! Fort Lauderdale’s warm climate and abundant sunshine provide the perfect canvas for creating a sensuous garden that delights and inspires. In this blog, we’ll explore the art of crafting a captivating escape by incorporating fragrant tropical plants into your South Florida garden. 

The Magic of Using Fragrance in Your Florida Garden

The way certain scents can summon memories and emotions seemingly out of thin air makes them a powerful ally, especially when it comes to garden design. The right blend of soothing floral fragrances wafting through your outdoor space can instantly transform it into a sensuous paradise that promotes peace, relaxation, and good vibes, all the more reason to incorporate a few fragrant tropical plants into your garden this year.  

Choosing the Right Plants

Creating a sensuous garden escape begins with selecting the right assortment of fragrant trees and tropical flowers that thrive in Fort Lauderdale’s unique climate. Here are a few of our favorite options that are sure to transform your garden into a fragrant haven:

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Jasmine (Jasminum spp.)

Renowned for its intoxicating fragrance, jasmine is a must-have tropical plant for any sensuous garden design. Varieties like Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) and Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) bloom prolifically, releasing their captivating scent into the evening air.

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Plumeria (Plumeria spp.)

If seductive is what you’re after, plumeria is an absolute must-have! Its distinctively sweet fragrance adds an exotic touch to any garden, and its fragrant flowers come in a range of colors, making them a striking focal point.

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Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

Gardenias are instantly recognizable thanks to their memorable aroma and velvety, creamy-white blooms. They thrive in Fort Lauderdale’s warm tropical climate and make a stunning addition to any garden.

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Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata)

Ylang-ylang’s exquisite fragrance makes it a common ingredient in perfumery. The heady, exotic scent of its blossoms will instantly transform your garden into a tropical paradise!

Designing Your Sensuous Garden

Careful garden design is key to creating a truly enchanting tropical escape. Consider these design elements to elevate your sensuous garden:

Pathways and Seating Areas

Create inviting pathways that lead to secluded seating areas where you can relax and immerse yourself in fragrance. Use fragrant plants to frame these spaces and enhance the overall sensory experience.


Many tropical plants release their fragrances during the evening, attracting nighttime pollinators like moths. Incorporate lighting elements that highlight these plants, allowing you to enjoy their scents long after the sun sets.

Water Features

The soothing sound of trickling water enhances the sensory experience of your garden, so incorporate a small fountain or pond into your landscape to add another dimension to its serene atmosphere.

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Layering Textures

Incorporate plants of varying heights and textures to add depth and visual interest to your garden. Combining tall palms with lush shrubs will create a multi-dimensional landscape that is pleasing to the eye and the touch.

Color Palette

Choose a color palette that complements the vibrant hues of your fragrant tropical plants to create a harmonious and visually appealing garden. 

By thoughtfully curating your color palette, you transform your garden into a living canvas that not only reflects Florida’s vibrant spirit, but also creates an oasis of tranquility and beauty right in your own backyard!

Caring for Your Fragrant Tropical Garden

Maintaining a sensuous garden requires thoughtful care and attention. Here are some essential tips to ensure your fragrant oasis keeps thriving:

Soil Preparation

Ensure you have proper soil drainage and composition for your chosen plants, and remember to amend the soil with organic matter to promote healthy growth.

Pest & Disease Management

Monitor your garden for pests and diseases. Early intervention can prevent issues from spreading and damaging your fragrant tropical plants.

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Pruning & Deadheading

We recommend pruning your plants regularly to maintain their shape and encourage new growth. Deadheading spent blooms will also prolong the flowering period and promote a tidy appearance.


Tropical plants often have specific watering requirements, so be mindful of each plant’s needs and establish a consistent watering routine.


Regularly feed your plants with high-quality fertilizer to encourage lush foliage and abundant blooms.

To take your landscape to the next level and create a garden that stimulates all five of your senses, stop by Living Color Garden Center and shop our world-class selection of fragrant tropical plants today!

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