Big Leaf Plants for a Stunning Garden

If you want to make a bold statement in your garden, look no further than big leaf plants. These plants with their large, striking foliage add a touch of tropical elegance to any outdoor space. Here, we present a curated list of the best big leaf outdoor plants that will transform your yard into a lush paradise.

Giant Rhubarb

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Gunnera manicata
USDA Zones: 6-10

With its giant, veined leaves that can span up to 4-5 feet across, the Giant Rhubarb is sure to make a statement in your garden. This perennial thrives best in full sun to partial shade and prefers rich, moist soil near ponds, streams, or bog gardens.

Giant Silver Mullein

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Verbascum bombyciferum
USDA Zones: 5-9

The Giant Silver Mullein boasts elegant gray-green leaves that can reach up to 12-16 inches in length. This drought-tolerant perennial, particularly the ‘Arctic Summer’ variety, can grow up to an impressive height of 7-8 feet and thrives in dry or gravelly soil.

Umbrella Plant

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Botanical Name: Darmera peltata
USDA Zones: 5-9

Also known as Indian rhubarb, the Umbrella Plant features large, lily-pad-like foliage that spans 18-24 inches wide. During the fall season, the leaves transform into a vibrant red color, making it a stunning choice for sunny areas. This variety is ideal for bog gardens.


Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Rodgersia spp
USDA Zones: 3-8

Rodgersias come in various varieties, each with its own distinct leaf characteristics. From the 10-12 inch long leaflets of Rodgersia aesculifolia to the toothed leaves of Rodgersia podophylla and the wide foliage of Rodgersia tabularis, these plants offer an array of big leaf options for your garden.

Flowering Sea Kale

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Botanical Name: Crambe cordifolia
USDA Zone: 6-9

With its cabbage-like leaves that span 12-16 inches wide, the Flowering Sea Kale adds a touch of elegance to any garden border. This plant thrives in fertile soil and full sun, creating a stunning focal point in your outdoor space.

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Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Ligularia
USDA Zone: 4-8

Ligularias are known for their impressive height, reaching 3-6 feet tall and wide. These plants feature 12-14 inch long foliage and daisy-like golden yellow blooms. They thrive in damp soil and partial shade, making them an excellent choice for adding drama to your garden.


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Botanical Name: Hosta
USDA Zones: 2-10

Hostas are beloved for their large, variegated leaves in shades of silver, white, or cream. With leaves that can reach up to 12-15 inches long, these plants add a touch of elegance to any garden. Discover the best hosta varieties and create a stunning display of foliage in your outdoor space.


Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Musa
USDA Zone: 6-11

The Banana plant is renowned for its paddle-like giant leaves and thick trunk, which bring a tropical vibe to your garden. The hardiest variety, Musa basjoo, and the red and green-leaved Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ are excellent choices for adding a bold statement to your outdoor space.


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Botanical Name: Podophyllum spp
USDA Zone: 3-9

Mayapples feature palm-like lobed leaves with black patterns that add a touch of drama to your garden. With species like Podophyllum peltatum and its cup-shaped, waxy leaves spanning 18-24 inches wide, these plants create an exotic atmosphere in your outdoor space.


Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Canna Indica
USDA Zone: 7-11

Cannas boast large, banana-like leaves that create a lush and tropical ambiance. Varieties like Canna ‘Phasion’ offer striking leaves with purple, green, pink, and orange streaks. Whether you live in a cold or warm climate, there are cannas available that will thrive in your garden.

Siberian Bugloss

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Botanical Name: Brunnera macrophylla
USDA Zone: 3-8

Also known as Siberian bugloss, this shade-tolerant perennial features medium to dark green leaves. Variegated varieties like ‘Jack Frost’ have ovate leaves with green veins intricately patterned on a white surface, adding a touch of elegance to shady areas of your garden.


Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Petasites japonicus
USDA Zone: 5-9

Butterbur, also known as coltsfoot, features gigantic kidney-shaped leaves that span 25-30 inches wide. With its mounding growth form, this perennial brings a bold and striking element to your garden.


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Botanical Name: Caladium
USDA Zone: 9-11

Also known as ‘Angel Wings,’ Caladiums showcase large heart or arrowhead-shaped foliage in beautiful combinations of pink, red, green, and white. These plants add a touch of whimsy and charm to any garden.

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Elephant Ears

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Botanical Name: Colocasia esculenta
USDA Zone: 8-11

With their impressive size, Elephant Ears bring elegance and bold texture to your garden. These tropical plants thrive best in bright light and create a stunning focal point in any outdoor space.

Grecian Pattern Plant

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Botanical Name: Acanthus mollis
USDA Zone: 7-10

The Grecian Pattern Plant is a shade-tolerant perennial that features large oak-shaped leaves. With its impressive height of 3-4 feet, this plant adds a touch of grandeur to borders or the background of your garden.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Ficus Lyrata
USDA Zone: 9-11

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is an evergreen tree with large, fiddle-shaped green foliage that can grow up to 15 inches long and 10 inches wide. This majestic tree adds a stunning focal point to your garden, thriving in sunny locations sheltered from the wind.

Windmill Palm

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Botanical Name: Trachycarpus fortunei
USDA Zone: 7-11

The Windmill Palm features large, round-edged fronds that can measure up to 55 to 75 inches long. This palm tree can grow up to 30-40 feet tall, adding a touch of tropical paradise to your garden.

Rice Paper Tree

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Tetrapanax papyrifer
USDA Zone: 8-11

The Rice Paper Tree boasts large palmate foliage that can span 2-3 feet across. With an impressive height of 10-15 feet, this tree adds a striking presence to small gardens.

Swiss Cheese Plant

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Botanical Name: Monstera deliciosa
USDA Zone: 9-11

The Swiss Cheese Plant is an evergreen tropical vine with large, perforated heart-shaped leaves. This plant thrives best in filtered, indirect light and adds a touch of exotic beauty to any garden.

Spade-Leaf Philodendron

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Botanical Name: Philodendron domesticum
USDA Zone: 9-11

The Spade-Leaf Philodendron showcases triangular leaves that span 18-24 inches in length, resembling the shape of a spade. This plant thrives in partial or full shade, adding a touch of elegance to shaded areas of your garden.

Papaya Tree

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Carica papaya
USDA Zone: 8-12

The Papaya Tree not only produces delicious fruits, but its large, serrated foliage also adds a lush green appeal to your landscape. The leaves can grow up to an impressive length of 2-3 feet, creating a striking visual display.

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Big Leaf Paper Plant

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Botanical Name: Fatsia japonica
USDA Zone: 8-10

The Big Leaf Paper Plant is a little shrub or small tree that features glossy and large foliage, creating a bold tropical impression. This plant thrives best in bright but indirect light and adds a touch of exotic beauty to your garden.

Velvety Anthurium

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Botanical Name: Anthurium magnificum
USDA Zone: 9-11

The Velvety Anthurium showcases large, striking foliage that can measure up to 10-14 inches in length. With its velvety texture and deep veins, these leaves create a visual spectacle in any garden. Explore more anthurium varieties to find the perfect addition to your outdoor space.

Sacred Lotus

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Botanical Name: Nelumbo nucifera
USDA Zone: 5-11

The Sacred Lotus is an aquatic plant that commands attention with its large, impressive leaves. If you have a pond in your garden or want to add an aquatic touch, this plant is an excellent choice. The beautiful flowers are an added bonus.

Giant Pothos

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum
USDA Zone: 9-12

The Giant Pothos showcases extremely large leaves that can grow up to 2 feet in length. With the added yellow variegation on the foliage, this plant adds a touch of vibrancy and color to any garden.

Bird of Paradise

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Botanical Name: Strelitzia
USDA Zone: 9-12

Do not mistake the Bird of Paradise plant for a banana, as its leaves bear a resemblance to the popular fruit. With foliage that can measure up to 3-4 feet long, this plant is a stunning addition to any garden, adding a touch of tropical flair.

Lobster Claws

Big Leaf Outdoor Plants
Botanical Name: Heliconia
USDA Zone: 10-12

The Lobster Claws plant captures attention with its large, banana-like leaves. However, it’s the plant’s colorful and unusual lobster claw-like flowers that truly steal the show. Add a splash of tropical color to your garden with this unique plant.

Now that you have discovered these incredible big leaf outdoor plants, it’s time to choose the ones that resonate with your style and create a stunning garden. Transform your outdoor space into a tropical oasis with these bold and beautiful foliage options.

For more gardening inspiration, visit Ames Farm Center.