Tropical Style

Easy Decorating: Turn Over a New, Tropical Leaf

A vase of tropical leaves might be the perfect answer if you crave some easy-care green. These leaves may last for weeks and come in many different shapes and fashions.

Palm fronds are breezy and beachy, and they grow in a range of sizes, from small enough for an average-size vase into large and quite heavy — in which case you are going to need a huge floor urn. Large tropical leaves like strelitzia, elephant’s ear and split-leaf philodendron are reminiscent of a tropical rain forest and are able to appear exotic and spectacular. Just imagine your perfect tropical getaway and select your leaves so.

More ways to develop tropical fashion

Rachel Reider Interiors

Vases filled with strelitzia and philodendron leaves are the ideal accessory to this tropical-style porch in Boston. The colorful throw pillows and green leaves attract the room to life.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Isn’t it really amazing what a difference one huge leaf can make? The single giant strelitzia foliage in this Los Angeles house adds a fairy tale touch into a soothing green space.

The Lettered Cottage

The neutral palette within this Granville, Ohio, residence is perfectly appropriate to the tongue-in-cheek fashion of decorating together with giant leaves. The vignette created by placing an elephant’s ear foliage atop a classic hospital cart reminds me of a botany lab of sorts, a fantastic reference for a house with lush green views outside.

Phil Kean Design Group

A Zen-like bedroom within this contemporary Orlando house becomes a vacation retreat with just a few leaves of strelitzia, which, while not tree size, do conjure the idea of sleeping underneath the palms.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Tropical leaves, such as these very simple palms fronds, look great everywhere, and within this Minneapolis kitchen their casual tropical touch works wonderfully with the clean, beachy style.

Margaret Donaldson Interiors

A beautifully distressed trestle table within this island vacation home near Charleston, South Carolina, looks inviting with just the simple placement of some fan palm leaves, freshly cut from the garden outside.

Jennifer Bradford Davis Interior Design

A single fan palm foliage, which mimics a real palm tree, looks right at home in an elegant Caribbean villa’s bathroom niche.

This one is quite likely dried or preserved, a fantastic alternative for busy people whose time at home is limited.


A philodendron foliage adds some life to the vignette within an artful Los Angeles house, giving context to the character theme of this painting and breaking out of this visual box.


The understated elegance of the New York attic is greatly enhanced by the couple philodendron leaves beside the classic chaise.

How to get the most out of your tropical foliage:Tropical foliage will, if properly cared for, last considerably longer than most floral bouquets.If you are harvesting from your garden (lucky you!) , cut in the morning before the heat of the day dries out the leaves. Additionally, it is advised that you buy your leaves in the morning to protect them from warmth on the way home. And as with flowers, if you’re going to be traveling any distance, set them in a plastic bag filled with enough water to cover the bottom of the stems.When picking tropical leaves from a florist, be sure they are 100 percent intact and that no brown areas are removed; removed areas a sign of sterile foliage which can quickly deteriorate. For a durable bouquet:
Wash the leaves nicely to be certain that they are insect free.Sanitize the vase together with hot bleach and water to reduce germs growth.Add a package of flower food into the water.Cut the stalks in a 45-degree angle and trim them every few days.Change the water every two or three days.Keep the arrangement away from direct sun, drafts and small kids, who might grab a leaf and pull the whole thing over. More: How to increase banana plants

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