Tropical flowers are a great addition to any home or garden, adding pops of color that can brighten the greyest of days. Don’t be fooled by the name, though - you don’t need tropical conditions to bring island vibes home with these plants. Tropical flowers can flourish in all climates given the right growing conditions.
Here are 30 of the prettiest tropical flowers to consider introducing into your home.
A Primer on Tropical Plants
If you’re looking to grow tropical flowers outdoors, they require 12 to 14 hours of bright, indirect sunlight, temperatures between 65-75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C), and 60 percent humidity or more to thrive. If you don’t live somewhere with those conditions, many tropical flowers make excellent houseplants.
These tropical flowers make ideal houseplants regardless of the climate outside. Some can thrive outdoors with the right conditions, but you can better control their environment indoors.
African violets look like traditional violet flowers with deep purple colors and dark green leaves. However, they’re entirely different, so don’t get the two confused. This east African-native plant is more vibrant, coming in many different varieties, including white, pink, and mixed colors. African violets flower all year long and make excellent houseplants.
They require moderate, indirect sunlight and slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. The easiest way to water an African violet is to place the plant in a container with about one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Let the soil dry slightly between watering, but it should never completely dry out.
While Anthurium plants can grow outdoors, they also make excellent houseplants. Their most distinctive feature is their shiny, heart-shaped flowers that can be red, burgundy, pink, or white – standing in stark contrast against their dark green leaves. Anthurium is native to Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, and the Caribbean, though it has made its way to Hawaii over time.
Anthurium requires moderate sunlight and slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. They also need very little to moderate water to thrive. For best results, water your plant until the excess starts to drain out the bottom. Remove any excess water and repeat once the top half of the soil is dry.
Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise plants have a beautiful, unique flower that looks like a crane. Its flowers feature a vivid blue and orange color pattern against a green, pink, and purple stem. Wherever you grow these plants, they need to be in a controlled climate. They will die if the temperature drops.
Birds of Paradise plants are native to South Africa. They require moderate to a lot of sun in slightly acidic to neutral soil. It’s easy to overwater these plants, so keep their soil moist but not soggy. The top layers can dry out between watering.
Bromeliad plants almost look fake with their shiny, waxy petals and leaves. The flowers feature a torch-like shape with a yellow-white middle. They come in pink, purple, and white and make a beautiful contrast against the dark green foliage. Bromeliad plants require moderate sunlight and neutral soil. They should be watered every other week for the best results and to prevent root rot.
The chenille plant is native to Hawaii and Oceana, but you’ll likely see it as a houseplant if you live in a cooler area. This plant is also called the red-hot cat’s tail because its red flowers look like a tail hanging over the green leaves. It needs a lot of sunlight but can survive in just about any soil. It should be kept moist at all times.
The clivia plant has beautiful, delicate orange, yellow, and deep red flowers with green waxy leaves. Also called natal lilies, the clivia plant is excellent for those newer to indoor gardening as they aren’t too high maintenance. They require minimal sunlight, need little water, and can grow in neutral to slightly acidic soil with ease.
Cyclamen plants feature green, heart-shaped leaves that contrast nicely with their pink, white, and red flowers. Unfortunately, they are toxic to animals, so you may want to skip cyclamen if you have pets. They are native to the Middle East and the Greek islands and can be grown indoors or outdoors. They require moderate to a lot of sun and slightly acidic soil to flourish. Once the soil feels dry, soak your cyclamen plant in water for about an hour to moisten the soil. This will prevent the leaves from mildewing.
Medinilla plants can be grown indoors or outdoors, but they dislike the cold, so they will often be found as houseplants. They require minimal sunlight to thrive, with beautiful pink flowers that bloom while dangling down. It has generous green leaves that provide a beautiful contrast to this tropical flower. Like succulents, Medinilla plants should be watered once a week and planted in slightly acidic soil.
Orchids can be grown indoors or outdoors, but they are highly susceptible to cold weather. They are primarily white and purple, though they can come in other colors. Orchids require a moderate amount of sunlight and slightly acidic soil to grow. They need a moderate amount of water. One of the best ways to ensure you don’t overwater an orchid is to place an ice cube in the soil rather than water it directly.
Morning glories are a beautiful plant that can help you bring a tropical feel indoors with proper care. While morning glories are most commonly blue, they can also be white, purple, yellow, and red. They feature climbing vines, require a lot of sunlight, and can grow in almost any soil type, though they prefer neutral soil. Morning glories require a moderate amount of water, up to one inch per work. Adding mulch will help it get the moisture and nutrients the plant needs to thrive.
Sampaguita have beautiful white fragrant flowers that grow on a vine. The flowers open at night and close in the morning, making for excellent night garden plants. Sampaguita is also called Arabian jasmine. It requires a lot of sunlight and slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. Water your Sampaguita flowers regularly, at least 1 inch (2.508 cm) per week.
Many tropical plants should only be grown outdoors, thriving in moderate to hot climates with high humidity. These plants are often too big to be grown indoors, though some can be cultivated to survive in smaller containers.
Amaryllis plants look like lilies, with vibrant flowers blooming between December and June. Each stalk can produce between two and 12 flowers in various colors, including salmon, orange, white, pink, and red. There are even striped varieties that provide a mix of colors. Amaryllis plants can grow up to 23 in (58.42 cm) tall, with flowers that spread up to 4 in (10.16 cm) in diameter.
While they can be houseplants, amaryllis plants are typically found outdoors. They require a lot of sunlight and slightly acidic soil. Water amaryllis plants sparingly until they start to sprout. Then, water occasionally once the soil is dry.
Angel’s trumpets are a beautiful, fragrant flower that makes a great addition to any garden. They have bell-shaped flowers in pink, white, orange, peach, and yellow. Angel’s trumpets are at their best in the late summer, blooming at night with a strong, sweet scent that’s very popular in perfumes.
They require moderate to high sunlight and acidic soil that’s fertile, well-drained, and light to grow. Unlike other tropical plants, they require a lot of water. In the height of summer, you’ll want to water your angel’s trumpets twice a day to prevent drying out.
The bat flower is dark and lovely, with a deep purple or maroon coloring that’s a stark contrast to the green stem. It’s also known as the devil’s flower and looks almost as if it has whiskers and multiple eyes in its unique frame. The bat flower is native to Southeast Asia, requires minimal to moderate sunlight, and thrives in neutral soil. It needs a lot of humidity to thrive, being watered moderately to keep it moist.
The blood lily looks almost like a dandelion, with a puff comprised of tiny pink and red flowers. They will thrive outdoors in moderate to hot climates, given their roots stem from Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. However, if it gets too cold, you’ll want to move it indoors. Blood lilies are toxic, so take care if you have animals that could potentially eat them. Blood lilies need moderate to a lot of sunlight with slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. It requires a moderate amount of water, so keep the soil moist.
Blue Passion Flower
The blue passion flower has elegant white and blue petals that almost look like a sundial in full bloom, which is a beautiful contrast to its green foliage. Their vines can grow up to 30 feet (9.144 meters), and the blue passion flower reaches its peak during summer. Thanks to its nectar, it’s a common home to butterflies, especially the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. The blue passion flower needs moderate to a lot of sun with slightly acidic to neutral soil. It also requires moderate to a lot of water, especially in hot weather and direct sunlight.
The bougainvillea is a flower that’s native to South America, though they’ve spread to the United States and the Mediterranean. They grow on vines and thrive in sunny, dry climates. You can find the bougainvillea in many colors, including pink, orange, purple, and yellow, with a white center. It requires a lot of sun to thrive with very acidic soil. Water your bougainvillea every three to four weeks deeply and avoid frequent, shallow watering.
Canna flowers are great outdoor tropical plants, quickly growing tall in the right environment. They come in red, gold, and orange colors, livening up any garden. Canna plants require a lot of sunlight and can grow in different soil types. They also need a lot of water, growing best in moist soil with compost and manure.
Cosmos flowers are outdoor plants that are native to Mexico. Since then, they’ve spread across the Americas. They need a lot of sunlight and neutral to slightly alkaline soil to grow. The flowers can be white, pink, or red. Cosmos require little water, so make sure you don’t overwater - you’ll reduce the number of blooms in your cosmos plants if you do!
Frangipani is a flowering tree with beautiful flowers in white, yellow, orange, pink, and red – or a combination of colors. They’re often used in Hawaiian leis, though this tropical plant is native to Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, and other parts of Central America. Frangipani trees need minimal to moderate sun with neutral soil to grow. Water your tree less frequently in the winter and frequently in the spring and summer, especially if it gets too hot and dry.
The kahili ginger plant can grow up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall, with dark green leaves and orange, yellow, pink, and red flowers that almost look like trumpets. It thrives in warm temperatures and can be found in many national parks in Hawaii. They are fragrant and beautiful plants that require minimal to moderate sunlight and neutral soil to grow. You can foster maximum growth with a moderate watering schedule.
Hanging Lobster Claw
Patience is the name of the game when you plant a hanging lobster claw. The flowers don’t bloom until the plant is more than two years old, but it’s worth the wait. The unique, hanging red, yellow, and green flowers look like lobster claws. However, they’ve also been called toucan peaks, wild plantains, parrot flowers, and false birds of paradise. Hanging lobster claws need moderate to a lot of sun and slightly acidic to neutral soil. The soil should be kept moist, and the plants should be kept in a humid climate for best results.
Hibiscus flowers love the sun, so they make great outdoor plants. If you live where there are varied seasons, you can always bring them indoors during the winter. These are among the most popular tropical flowers because of their vibrant blooms, which come in orange, pink, red, purple, yellow, white, and multicolor. The flowers can grow up to 8 in (20.32 cm) in width, adding a splash of color.
Hibiscus flowers need moderate to a lot of sunlight with slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. They require a lot of water during the summer months and moderate water during the winter.
Ilima flowers are native to the Pacific Islands and Hawaii – in fact, they’re the official flower of Oahu! These vibrant yellow flowers are most often used to create leis because they’re beautiful and easy to work with. They bloom one year after planting; however, the shrubs need to be replaced every five to 10 years. Ilima plants need moderate to a lot of sunlight and acidic to neutral soil to grow. It requires little water to bloom. If you overwater Ilima plants, you’ll find yourself with more foliage but fewer flowers.
Jasmine plants are typically grown outdoors, though some varieties make good houseplants. They feature delicate white flowers with a potent fragrance. Jasmine plants bloom in the spring through the fall. Native to China, India, the Caucuses, and the Middle East, jasmine plants need moderate to a lot of sunlight and slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. You should water your jasmine plants once a week or more if it’s hot and dry. Just make sure to let the soil dry out between watering.
‘Ohia Lehua plants play an important role in Hawaiian culture. Legend has it that the goddess Pele fell in love with Ohia and asked him to marry her, but he was already in love with Lehua. Enraged, Pele cursed him to be a twisted tree. Now, ‘Ohia Lehua flowers look like pom-poms and can be bright red, orange, yellow, and pink. They vary in size, growing to be tall trees or shrubs based on the moisture and elevation.
They need moderate to a lot of sun and acidic to neutral soil. They should be watered every day in dry climates. Areas with more moisture can be extended to two to three days between watering.
Also known as the pink damask rose, the Lokelani is a beautiful pink or red flower first brought to Hawaii in the 1800s. Lokelani is fragrant flowers, smelling like a delicate rose with hints of powder. It is Maui’s official flower, requires moderate to a lot of sun and slightly acidic to neutral soil to grow. Lokelani plants should be watered moderately if not exposed to natural water.
Penta plants are hearty tropical flowers that can withstand droughts and direct sunlight without sustaining damage. They have large green leaves that greatly contrast with the star-like cluster of flowers that bloom. They can be pink, red, or purple, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies alike. Penta plants can be indoor or outdoor plants, but they require a lot of sunlight and neutral soil. They need little to moderate water, up to 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm) of rainfall per week. Check the soil. If it’s dry 1 inch (2.54 cm) deep, it’s time to water.
Pink Flowering Banana
The pink flowering banana is a fascinating flower with green stems, oblong leaves, and a pink flower. It yields small bananas, but you don’t want to eat them as they don’t taste very good and have a lot of seeds. The pink flowering banana is native to Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India. However, it’s been introduced west to South America, Central America, and Hawaii. It needs a lot of sun to thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil. The pink flowering banana should be watered moderately to a lot, especially in the spring and summer.
Protea flowers are unique, appearing like a crossbreed of thistle and artichokes. These flowers have an interesting color pattern, with green leaves, pinkish petals, and a green and white center that almost looks like an onion. While it grows great outdoors, it’s also a fantastic flower in floral arrangements to add character. Protea flowers require moderate sunlight and slightly acidic soil to grow. They need little to moderate amounts of water to survive, and if the soil is too moist, they may not grow.
The Final Word on Tropical Flowers
Whether you’re a novice gardener or a seasoned green-thumb, there will be a tropical flower to meet your needs. Climate control and proper watering habits are essential to taking care of tropical flowers in your home, regardless of your location. Keep in mind that some are poisonous and should be kept away from animals and children. While many look good enough to eat, the results could be disastrous!