10 Best Paradise Palm Companion Plants And 3 Avoid: Expert Tips

Discover the top 10 paradise palm companion plants and learn which ones to avoid. Enhance your palm paradise with stunning flowers, exotic foliage, ornamental grasses, and fragrant herbs.

Choosing the Right Companion Plants for Paradise Palms

Choosing the right companion plants for paradise palms involves including plants with similar growing conditions, height, and color coordination. Paradise palm companion plants like heliconias, ginger lilies and bird of paradise offer stunning tropical flowers that complement the palm. Caladiums, bromeliads and ferns as exotic foliage plants thrive alongside paradise palms. Ornamental grasses like dwarf pampas grass create a breathtaking paradise garden. Fragrant herbs such as rosemary, thyme and lemon balm provide sensory delight. Avoid incompatible species for paradise palms like plants that require acidic soil, heavy feeders and those that block sunlight or compete for water.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

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1. Stunning Tropical Flowers to Complement Paradise Palms

Selecting tropical companion flowers that complement the lush foliage and architectural form of paradise palms is one of the joys of creating an exotic oasis garden. These complementary companion plants offer vibrant colors, exotic shapes and intoxicating scents.

Heliconias are one of the most stunning options for pairing with paradise palms. Their large bright flowers in red, orange and yellow resemble bird of paradise flowers. Listed below are some of the best tropical flowering plants:

Heliconias: Offer showy, colorful foliage and flowers in shades of orange, red and yellow all year.
Ginger Lilies: Bear fragrant flowers in white, pink or red colors throughout the summer and fall.
Bird of paradise flower: Produce tall spikes of vibrant orange, red and yellow flowers that contrast well against the dark green palm.
Canna lilies: Produce tall flower stalks with vivid red, yellow, orange or bronze blooms in summer and fall.
Ixoras: Small lush tropical shrubs with evergreen foliage and colorful flower clusters in shades of red, pink and white.

You can cluster these tropical flowers around the base of paradise palms to add brilliant colors, shapes and scents to your lush oasis garden.

paradise palm companion plants, flower, blooming pink flower
Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner / Unsplash

2. Exotic Foliage Plants that Thrive Alongside Paradise Palms

Several types of exotic foliage plants create lush contrasts in texture, shape and size while thriving in similar growing conditions as paradise palms. These companion plants can complement the architectural form and tropical vibe of the palms.

Caladiums are tropical perennials with colorful heart-shaped leaves in shades of red, pink, white and green. They thrive in bright, indirect light and moist, well-drained soil like paradise palms.

Bromeliads are epiphytic plants that attach themselves to trees in tropical forests. They feature colorful, rosette-shaped foliage and offset from the mother plant. When clustered around the base of palms, bromeliads add bright accents.

Elephant ears (Colocasia) have huge, tropical leaves up to 3 feet wide and come in various colors and patterns. They grow evenly with palms, producing lush foliage mass for a dramatic effect.

Other foliage plants that offer bold contrasts while thriving in similar conditions as paradise palms include:

  • Aglaonemas: Compact houseplants with dark green or variegated leaves and reddish leaf stems.
  • Crotons: Vivid foliage plants in shades of red, orange, yellow and cream with dark veining.
  • Ferns: Diverse group with lacy foliage in many sizes, shapes and textures. They thrive in moist, well-draining soil.

Grouping these bold exotic foliage plants around the base, between the trunk and fronds of paradise palms creates a lush, tropical oasis vibe in your garden.

paradise palm companion plants, flower, pink and white flower
Photo by Tanalee Youngblood / Unsplash

3. Ornamental Grasses to Create a Breathtaking Paradise Garden

Ornamental grasses paired with paradise palms offer texture, movement and sound that mimic a natural tropical environment. Their fine foliage complements the palm leaves while thriving in similar conditions of bright light and well-draining soil.

Dwarf pampas grass is an excellent companion plant for paradise palms. Its delicate foliage resembles feathers and it produces airy plumes of pale cream colored flowers that gracelessly dance in the wind.

Miniature lilyturf forms clumps of fine bluish-green foliage and arching leaves. In late summer it produces fluffy flower plumes that turn creamy white, contrasting beautifully with the dark green palms.

Pink muhly grass features swirling pink panicles up to 3 feet tall from late summer to fall. Its wispy leaves and bold pink flowers bring an artistic accent around palms.

For a subtler effect, consider pairing paradise palms with:

  • Blue fountain grass: Produces gray-green leaves and misty blue flower plumes from summer to fall.
  • Purple fountain grass: Features purple tinged leaves and showy purple flower plumes in late summer.

Ornamental grasses create layers of visual interest in your paradise palm garden with their textural foliage, fine lateral branches, and airy flower panicles. Their graceful, dancing movements in the wind adds a soothing auditory backdrop.

paradise palm companion plants, grass, brown shed surrounded with green grass under white clouds during daytime
Photo by Qang Jaka / Unsplash

4. Fragrant Herbs for a Sensory Delight in Your Palm Paradise

Pairing paradise palms with fragrant herbs is a wonderful way to engage all the senses in your tropical oasis garden. The aromas of herbs like rosemary, thyme, and lavender complement the visual appeal of palms, tropical flowers and exotic foliage.

Many aromatic herbs thrive in companion planting alongside paradise palms because they have similar requirements for well-draining soil and full sun. Their low growth habit also makes them ideal plants to cluster around the base of the palms.

Rosemary is an evergreen herb with needle-like leaves that produce a pungent, camphor-like aroma when crushed. It pairs beautifully with palms by providing a fresh, cleansing scent.

Thyme produces clusters of small pink, purple or white flowers and emits an earthy aroma with hints of citrus and mint when leaves are crushed. Thyme is ideal for filling gaps between palm trunks.

Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) features thin, lance-shaped leaves that release a powerful lemony scent when brushed against. Its aromatic oils make it an effective insect repellent companion for palms.

For a soothing garden retreat in your palm paradise, also try:

  • Lemon balm: Produces fragrant leaves that impart a lemony scent and delight the senses.
  • Lavender: Produces gray-green aromatic leaves and pale purple flowers that perfume the air.

The aromatic foliage and flowers of aromatic herbs planted around paradise palms create a sensory delight through fragrant visuals, melodic floral sounds and soothing scented breezes in your tropical oasis garden.

paradise palm companion plants, palm, cars parked on gray concrete near trees
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5. Avoid These Plants: Incompatible Species for Paradise Palms

While most plants thrive in similar conditions as paradise palms, some can become unwanted competition that inhibits the palm’s growth. Avoid pairing these incompatible species in your paradise palm garden:

Plants that require acidic soil: Paradise palms prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soil between pH 6.0 and 7.5. Plants like azaleas, rhododendrons and gardenias that demand acid soil below 6.0 should be kept separate.

Heavy feeders: Paradise palms have modest fertilizer needs. Avoid planting nitrogen-hungry plants that compete for the same nutrients. Examples are impatiens, begonias and coleus.

Plants that block sunlight: Since paradise palms require full sun, avoid pairing them with shade-loving plants that block vital sunlight. Shade-tolerant ferns, hostas and impatiens can cause problems.

Aggressive spreaders: Plants with invasive or running root systems should not be grown with paradise palms. Examples are English ivy, bishop’s weed and balloon vine. Their aggressive growth habits can overtake the palms.

Insect attractants: While companion planting can help repel some insect pests, avoid pairing palms with plants that attract damaging insects. Citrus trees, hibiscus and marigolds can lure aphids and mealybugs that also target palms.

In summary, to ensure healthy growth and maximum vitality avoid pairing paradise palms with plants that compete for nutrients, block sunlight, inhibit air circulation or attract the same insect pests and diseases. Grow them separately to minimize unwanted competition and maximize benefits of true companion planting.

paradise palm companion plants, flower, pink and white flower painting
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