As you'll see in this pictures gallery, along with style of home, tropical landscaping gets much of its atmosphere from the plants used. It's the same with most design styles and themes. Add a few palm trees and it's the atmosphere of the tropics. Add a few cactus and it's desert southwest. Of course the style of home and other elements and plants will have an influence as well.
While a lot of effect can be added simply with plants, also pay attention to things like placement, grouping, height, and of course other elements such as decorative rocks, structures, ground covers, and even sand or soil color.
And of course, your climate and geographic planting zone will dictate how much you'll be able to emulate a tropical climate. So if your location allows, the pictures in this gallery will give you plenty of tropical landscaping ideas to use in designing your own yard.