Tropical flowers are native to tropical climates. These plants sometimes require extensive care than less exotic flower species, but their striking appearances and bright colors make them worthwhile. So if you’re searching for tropical plants and flowers, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you’ll find a list of fascinating and exotic tropical flowers. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Types of Tropical Flowers
- Showy Medinilla
- Chenille Plant
- Bird of Paradise
- Lobster Claw
- Brugmansia X Candida
- Cuphea’ David Verity’
- Ipomoea Batatas
- Musa Basjoo
- Salvia Splendens
- Blood Lily
- Lotus Flower
- African Violet
- Kahili Ginger
- Ohia Lehua
- Blanket Flowers
- Lipstick Plant
- Moth Orchid
- Beehive Ginger
- Fire Lily
- Pride of Barbados
- Sabal Minor
- Penta flowers
- How to Care For Tropical Flowers as House Plants
- How to Care For Outdoor Tropical Flowers
Types of Tropical Flowers
This tropical evergreen plant is native to the Philippines and is also known as the Philippine orchid. It is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other plants, trees, or rocks, and draws its moisture from the air around it. For this reason, it needs high humidity levels to thrive. Gardeners can grow it as a houseplant or in a humid greenhouse environment. The plant can grow as tall as eleven feet, though more typically does not exceed seven feet. It has green, leather-like leaves that measure up to one foot in length.
The flowers of this tropical plant are tiny, but they grow in clusters on long drooping stalks giving a showy effect. Flowers can be red or pink and give way to pea-shaped berries that are bright purple.
Showy Medinilla needs hot temperatures to thrive, though it doesn’t need too much sun. It can tolerate the early-morning sunshine, but shade during the afternoon is a necessity.
This tropical evergreen flowering plant is native to Malaysia and New Guinea. It produces soft, long, fuzzy flowers that resemble fluffy animal tails. For this reason, the plant also has the names’ monkey’s tail’ and ‘foxtail.’
Chenille plant is a prolific bloomer and will produce bright red or dark pink flowers sporadically throughout the year. These showy flowers have also made this a great indoor plant choice, and it is now grown worldwide as a houseplant.
It thrives in hot and humid environments such as tropical rainforests. It grows easily and prefers rich and fertile soil.
Bird of Paradise
This evergreen plant is native to South Africa. It has gray-green leaves that emerge on the end of long stalks. The plant has striking and unusual flowers that look so much like swooping birds of paradise, hence the plant’s popular name. Flowers are vibrant and multi-colored, with parts that are blue, orange, pink, and green. They emerge at the end of slender stalks that can reach up to five feet high.
This is an award-winning tropical flowering plant that has received the RHS Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. It thrives in rich and well-draining soil with moisture, though it can tolerate periods of drought once fully established. It enjoys partial shade or full sun and can be grown as a houseplant in cooler climates.
This large evergreen plant is native to South America. It is also the national flower of Bolivia. It has big, strap-like leaves resembling a banana plant, and they can grow up to three feet in length. In spring and summer, flowers appear on tall stems that can reach up to five feet in height. The vivid pink or red flowers have yellow and green tips and look like lobster claws, hence the plant’s popular name.
These tropical flowers are attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and other birds and are sometimes grown just to attract birds. Flowers last for many weeks and are also great as cut flowers. They give way to round, juicy fruits that are dark blue.
Lobster claw thrives in full sun or partial shade and neutral well-draining soils. It needs continuous moisture to perform well and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out.
Clivia miniata is also known as Natal lily. Many gardeners think Clivia is a great tropical flowering plant that thrives in low-light areas. It grows best with minimal fertilizer and is a perfect houseplant for those who aren’t gardening experts.
Brugmansia X Candida
The Brugmansia plant is also known as Angel’s trumpet. It is a wide-leafed evergreen plant native to Ecuador.
It is a part of the Solanaceae family and grows best in full sun, requiring fertilizer during peak blooming seasons. The Brugmansia plant reaches up to 6 feet in height and is considered a small tree or shrub. Its flowers are attractive and feature a pleasant fragrance. Also, these flowers are trumpet-shaped and come in shades of gold, peach, pink, white, or orange.
Cuphea’ David Verity’
Cuphea’ David Verity’ is an herbaceous evergreen plant and member of the Lythraceae family. Flowering is prolific, with dozens of reddish-orange, yellow-tipped tubular blossoms.
The plant requires minimal maintenance and is grown in hanging baskets, gardens, borders, and as a household plant. It blooms throughout the summer months, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
Ipomoea batatas plant is a member of the Convolvulaceae family and is also known as the sweet potato plant. The sweet potato plant is native to Mexico, and its commercial varieties produce light pink trumpet-shaped tropical flowers. Colorful ornamental varieties have heart-shaped leaves with tones of red, green, and purple.
This tropical flowering plant is low maintenance plant that thrives in full sun. It is a wall-climbing vine that grows up to 12 inches.
The Musa basjoo is an herbaceous plant that belongs to the Musaceae family. It is a fast-growing plant and thrives in full sun with periods of partial shade. In the fall, yellow cream flowers appear near the base of the plant. Also, the leaves are very large and come in different colors.
Salvia Splendens is a low-maintenance herbaceous plant originally from Brazil. It is commonly grown as an annual due to its prolific and vibrant flowering period from June until the first frost. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Salvia Splendens grows well in gardens or containers. Also known as scarlet sage, it produces bright red long-tubed flowers on straight stems with dark green leaves.
This tropical flower is native to sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a brilliantly colored plant and a showstopper. The large puff of tiny pink flowers is sure to catch attention. It’s a popular variety in southern California and Florida and can be planted outdoors in colder climates. Plus, this tropical flower plant is also ideal for container gardening. Note that this plant is toxic, and its poison can be used in arrows and fishing poisons. It goes by many names, such as pincushion flower, capt tulip, blood flower, and Katherine-wheel.
Lotus has a special place among all tropical flowers. It has colorful flowers and beautiful, waxy leaves. It grows in water and is a spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism.
This flower is a perfect addition to gardens with ponds. You can turn your home garden into an exotic paradise by letting lotus bloom on the surface of the water.
Not all lotus varieties are suitable for temperate climates, and most need hardiness zones 8-10 and up to 12.
A classic favorite among gardeners, African violet produces a single rosette of velvety leaves on short leafstalks. It has clusters of single or double flowers in white, red, pink, violet, blue, purple, and lime green. Petals of this tropical flowering plant are ruffled, rounded, or fringed.
African violets thrive in bright, indirect light. Plus, this plant needs water at least once a week. Avoid getting water droplets on velvety leaves to keep them safe.
Begonia makes a pretty houseplant and has many varieties. It produces foliage that’s just as attractive as the clusters of small, colorful flowers. Most begonias are easy to grow and maintain, especially if they receive plenty of bright sunlight during the day.
These tropical flowering plants are vulnerable to overwatering. Wait until the soil is dry before watering Begonias. Avoid spraying water on the leaves, which can make your plants more susceptible to diseases.
The bromeliad is one of the most popular houseplants out there. It is a tropical plant featuring torch-like flowers with vibrant colors, including pink, mauve, purple, and white. It is a beautiful addition to any garden and native to the Southern United States.
The canna is a great choice for gardens because they are readily available and grow rapidly. These tropical flowering plants will grow tall and prefer moist environments. Sunshine, combined with compost, will make them thrive. Beautiful pops of red, orange, and gold flowers are a lovely addition to any garden.
The cyclamen is native to the Greek islands and the Middle East. The leaves are many shades of green and heart-shaped, making them attractive even without flowers. As an indoor plant, be aware that this plant is toxic to cats and dogs.
This plant has tropical flowers that look like trumpets and give off amazing fragrances. The deep green leaves and colorful flowers require minimal light but warm temperatures to thrive.
Those who have visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or Volcano Village Park have probably seen this plant. That’s because it can grow up to two meters tall.
This one is the official flower of the island of Oahu. It has yellow flowers and is native to Hawaii as well as other Pacific Islands. The lovely flowers will appear within a year of planting, but be aware that these plants can’t survive very long and need to be replaced every five to ten years.
Ohia lehua is one of the most common native trees on the Hawaiian Islands and is a focal point of Hawaiian mythology. Its flowers are bright red and look like pom-poms. They can also be pink, orange, orange-red, salmon, or yellow.
The Lokelani is also known as pink Damask rose. It is the official island flower of Maui, but it is not a native Hawaiian plant and was brought to the island in the late 1800s. It gives an amazing smell and produces large, pink, or light red flowers.
Anthuriums are some of the most common tropical flowers. You may also hear people call them flamingo flowers, tail flowers, or laceleaf. They’re more colorful in the warmer months. But, these long-lasting tropical flowers bloom almost all year long. They are glossy pink, red, or white heart-shaped flowers with glossy, dark green leaves.
Anthuriums thrive in bright light but should stay out of direct sunlight. These tropical flowers need moist air and grow better outdoors. They’ll grow best in areas with moderate humidity.
The Blanket Flower is native to North and South America. It’s a part of the sunflower family, Asteraceae. The blanket flower looks like brightly colored blankets made by Native Americans. It grows best in full sun and requires well-draining soil. Once fully established, the blanket flower can easily tolerate extreme drought conditions.
Lipstick plant is a constantly flowering tropical houseplant. It gets its name from bright red tubular flowers. These flowers grow in clusters and have a cascading, vine-like habit. This makes them a perfect choice for use in hanging baskets or tall containers.
The moth orchid is better known for its beautiful flowers than for its leathery leaves. It’s one of the easier types of tropical flower plants to grow indoors and comes in a variety of flower colors. Moth orchid usually blooms once or twice a year.
Beehive ginger is a real signature flowering plant. It flowers continuously for six months and thrives in a warmer climate. The leaves resemble a banana tree’s leaves, and the unusual flowers come in yellow, caramel, and gold tones. The flowers emerge from ground level, looking like beehives.
This is another tropical flowering plant that forms a beehive-like cone shape, but it flowers much higher up the plant than beehive ginger. Costus features small yellow or pink flowers that emerge from the petals of the red cone. These flowers are edible and have a sweet taste. They are perfect for decorating a summer salad.
These flowers are widely grown in America’s cosmopolitan areas. They thrive with minimal maintenance and look stunning in float bowls all summer long. Frangipanis suit any type of garden and will add a tropical touch to it.
This lightweight plant has bright, waxy, swept-back petals. It is a tough and resilient flowering variety. Fire Lily can grow up to 60 cm long and offers spectacular flowers and handsome foliage. It’s ideal for growing up a trellis along a fence. Established Fire lilies need little or no watering, even during prolonged drought.
Plumbago is a flowering shrub hailing from South Africa. It has blue and white flowers that grow on vine-like branches. Also, this tropical plant is widely grown in Texas and Florida. In the right climate, plumbago can quickly grow up to 12 feet. And it is easy to care for and is drought tolerant. Lastly, it isn’t prone to disease and pests.
Ferns are extremely versatile flowers. There are many varieties to choose from, and they grow well in zones four to eight.
This means that ferns can easily withstand varying degrees of temperature. Some fern types include the lady fern, hayscented fern, Southern maidenhair fern, and South Carolina-native ebony spleenwort.
Pride of Barbados
If you love bold and fun colors, you’ll want the pride of Barbados. It has brilliant red, yellow, and orange flowers. It thrives in the hot sun and the heat. If you’re in a truly tropical climate, the plant can grow up to 22- feet tall and looks absolutely dazzling.
Esperanza is also known as yellow alder and yellow bells. It has golden, trumpet-shaped petals and can thrive in a tropical climate. It produces happy yellow flower clusters that resemble bells. They’re sure to add buoyancy to your home garden and leave all your guests walking away cheerfully.
Sabal Minor has a tropical appearance and is virtually indestructible. It’s low-growing and thrives in a full-sun to a partial-shade position. It’s is a great flowering variety that people should plant. Plus, it’s tough and can handle the tropical climate. It’s drought-tolerant but grows well if you water it.
You’ll often find Crotons in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Because this flowering plant originated in a tropical environment, it favors a hot and humid environment. It prefers moderate soil moisture during spring and summer when the plant is growing.
Mandevilla vines have delicate flowers in a variety of colors. They’re hard to resist with names like pink parfait, Chilean jasmine, and sun parasol crimson. But, they have a low cold tolerance and are best suited for tropical climates. If you live in Florida, this one is the flower for you.
Ixora shrub has clusters of flowers in bright colors with velvety petals and glossy leaves. It comes in intense, tropical shades of pink, red, and orange. It is also known as “flame of the woods” or “jungle flames. Growing Ixora requires minimal maintenance and full-sun.
The Sampaguita is also known as Sambac jasmine or Arabian Jasmine. It’s a small shrub with attractive and fragrant flowers. Because of their scent, they are a popular ingredient for perfumes and jasmine tea.
Also, it is the national flower of the Philippines.
Consider growing protea flowers in your garden if you’re looking for a cross between an artichoke and a thistle. They are a staple in tropical flower arrangements due to their long-lasting cut blooms. This African native has flowers that are fuzzy, leathery, and very drought-tolerant. Plus, protea plants are more frost tolerant than other tropical flowers and can stay outdoors throughout the year. A half-day of full sun is suitable to coax blooming in early spring.
Medinilla magnifica is also known as pink maiden, and prefers a shady spot in the garden. If you have successfully cared for a tropical orchid, treat your Medinilla the same way. It has fleshy leaves and large white or pink flowers.
There is nothing like a few pots of pink and purple Penta flowers to bring the butterflies and hummingbirds flocking to your patio. Clusters of striking flowers appear throughout the summer on 12-inch tall plants that want nothing more than well-drained soil, full sun, and average watering.
The Cyclamen Persicum is a species of tropical flowering plants. It is native to rocky hillsides, woodland, and shrubland up to 4000 feet above sea level. They grow from southern Turkey to Lebanon-Syria and the Palestine region. They also grow in Tunisia, Algeria, and on the Greek Islands of Karpathos, Rhodes, and Crete.
This plant needs a decent amount of sunlight and thrives in temperatures from 45-65 degrees. It needs minimal moisture, so water when the soil becomes dry to the touch.
How to Care For Tropical Flowers as House Plants
Research the care instructions for your specific tropical flower type. You can also join an online or in-person gardening group. Many tropical flowers need specific temperatures, food, and care instructions to stay healthy. Here are some of the steps you can take to encourage plant growth:
Regulate your home temperature.
Tropical flowers are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations, making them easier to grow indoors than outdoors. Most tropical flowers do better with warmer temperatures during the day and cooler ones at night. This means that you’ll need to move your house plants between different locations for day/night.
For instance, you may want to keep your house plants in the garage at night and put them near a window during the day.
Keep your tropical flowers out of harsh, direct sunlight.
Tropical flowers prefer a bright environment that is away from direct sunlight. The sun can burn a flower’s leaves if left unprotected over an extended period. Look for a window ledge where your house plants will receive indirect light.
Check the soil’s moisture every day.
Press your finger into the soil near the flower’s stem and at the edge of the planter. See if your finger comes up wet or not. If your finger stays dry, then your tropical flowers need watering.
This is a great way to test for moistness in water-sensitive plants, such as orchids.
Get a watering pot and hold it directly over the plant.
Angle the watering pot downwards and move it in circles, allowing water to trickle down over the tropical plant and into the soil. Stop before the water begins to gather on the soil.
Keep a bowl underneath the flower pot so that the excess water can easily drain away. When you are finished watering your plant, remove the bottom bowl and rinse out the extra water. This will minimize mold growth.
Keep the pot moving to avoid pouring too much water on any one of the tropical flower’s blooms.
Increase your home’s humidity levels.
There are many ways to improve humidity in your home. These include buying a humidifier or putting the tropical plants in a terranium.
You can also help your plant by misting its leaves every other day with water.
Don’t overcrowd your plants.
The tropical flowers need air circulating them to prevent decay and mold. Try to only put one flower plant per pot. Avoid bunching numerous plants into a room’s corner. Placing your plants near a fan for some time can also help improve air circulation.
How to Care For Outdoor Tropical Flowers
Provide at least 4 hours of sunlight.
Tropical flowers love sunlight and require it to stay healthy. Move your planters around to find a spot where the sun hits them. Only plant tropical flowers in places that get direct or indirect sunlight.
Some plants, such as flowering maples, do best with direct light. And other tropical flowers, such as begonias, prefer indirect sunlight.
Provide a trellis for climbing plants.
Some tropical flowers have vines that grow upwards and wrap around things. Research your plant type to see if it would benefit from having a trellis nearby to climb up to. Simply stick the trellis into the ground next to the plant and secure it with stakes.
For example, a healthy flowering vine will attach itself to a nearby trellis and cover it with beautiful foliage.
You can purchase a metal or wooden trellis at your local gardening store.
Bring your plants indoors for winter or cover them up.
If your plants are potted, bring them into your garage to ride out the colder months. Some tropical flowers, such as hibiscus, can survive outdoors unless temperatures drop below freezing. If it might freeze, place a bucket or blanket over your plants to minimize any damage from frost.
Prune back shoots in the fall or spring.
Use a pair of shears to clip back dead flowers or new growth during the more mild months of the year. Limit yourself to making a few trims each time to not overly weaken your tropical plant. This is an important step for potted plants, as it keeps them from outgrowing the containers.