Create Your Garden

30 Tropical Flowers for Your Garden or as House Plants

Brighten Your Living Spaces with Tropical Flowers Ideal as House Plants or Garden Additions

Torch Ginger, Tropical Flower, Etlingera elatior

Tropical flowers, with their vibrant colors and exotic appearances, captivate the imagination and transport us to paradisiacal landscapes. These botanical wonders thrive in the warm climates of the tropics, where the conditions of high humidity, ample rainfall, and year-round warmth foster their lush growth and spectacular blooms. From the dense rainforests of the Amazon to the sun-drenched islands of the Caribbean, tropical flowers represent the diversity and ecological richness of these regions.

Tropical flowers are not only admired for their beauty but also for their unique adaptations to their environments. Many have evolved intricate shapes and colors to attract specific pollinators, including birds, bats, and insects. Others have become symbols of cultural significance, representing love, hospitality, and friendship in various societies around the globe.

Popular Types of Tropical Flowers

Among the most popular tropical flowers are Hibiscus, known for its large, colorful blooms; Orchids, offering unparalleled elegance and diversity; Heliconia, with its striking, vibrant inflorescences; Plumeria, beloved for its fragrant and picturesque flowers; and Strelitzia, famous as the Bird of Paradise for its unique shape and vivid colors. These genera encapsulate the exotic beauty and variety of the tropics, each contributing unique shapes, colors, and textures to landscapes and indoor settings alike.

Benefits of Growing Tropical Flowers

Year-Round Blooms

In their native tropical environments, where seasons are less pronounced, many tropical flowers can bloom year-round. This continuous display of beauty is a stark contrast to temperate regions, where flowers have specific blooming seasons.

Exotic Fragrances

Many tropical flowers emit exotic and intoxicating fragrances that are not only pleasing to humans but also essential for attracting pollinators. Flowers like Plumeria and Gardenia are celebrated for their sweet and powerful scents, often used in perfumes and aromatherapy.

Wildlife Attraction

Tropical flowers are magnets for wildlife, especially butterflies and hummingbirds, drawn to their vivid colors and rich nectar. Butterflies frequent flowers like Pentas for their accessible nectar and vibrant hues. Hummingbirds, attracted to the colorful flowers of Heliconia, play a crucial role in pollination. The symbiotic relationship between these flowers and wildlife supports biodiversity and adds a dynamic layer of interaction and beauty to gardens.

In gardens and homes, tropical flowers bring a touch of the exotic and can be grown in greenhouses, conservatories, or as houseplants in less favorable climates. Their allure lies not just in their visual appeal but also in their ability to evoke a sense of wonder and a connection to distant, sun-soaked lands.

Whether used in landscaping, floral arrangements, or as standalone specimens, tropical flowers add a vibrant splash of color and an exotic flair. Their diversity in form, color, and scent is a testament to the incredible creativity of nature and the joy they bring to people worldwide.

Best Tropical Flowers for Your Garden or as House Plants

How to Grow and Care for Tropical Flowers

Growing and caring for tropical flowers involves creating an environment that mimics their natural, warm, and humid habitat. Here are key guidelines:

Light Requirements

Most tropical flowers require bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, while too little light may hinder bloom production. Position them near a window where they’ll receive ample light but be shielded from intense midday sun.


Tropical plants generally prefer temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C to 29°C). Avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) to prevent stress.


High humidity levels, typically between 50% and 70%, are crucial. Increase humidity with a humidifier, pebble trays filled with water, or regular misting.


Water tropical flowers when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. They like moisture but cannot tolerate waterlogged conditions. Ensure pots have drainage holes to prevent root rot.

Soil Type

Use a well-draining, rich potting mix. Many tropical flowers benefit from soil with good aeration and organic matter. Amend standard potting soil with perlite or vermiculite and compost to improve drainage and nutrient content.


Feed tropical flowers during their growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-4 weeks. Reduce feeding in the fall and winter when growth slows.

Pruning and Maintenance

Prune to remove dead or damaged foliage and to shape the plant. This encourages new growth and can help maintain a desirable size.

Pest and Disease Management

Inspect regularly for signs of pests like aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. Treat infestations early with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Prevent fungal diseases by avoiding overhead watering and allowing for good air circulation.


When bringing new plants home or moving them outdoors in summer, acclimate them gradually to prevent shock from sudden changes in light or temperature.


Explore a World of  Tropical Flowers with Our Plant Finder Tool!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular tropical flower?

The Hibiscus is often considered the most popular tropical flower due to its wide recognition, vibrant colors, and large, showy blooms. It symbolizes tropical beauty globally and is found in many tropical and subtropical regions.

What is a Hawaiian flower?

The Plumeria, with its sweet fragrance and beautiful blooms, is iconic to Hawaii. Another quintessentially Hawaiian flower is the Hibiscus, particularly the yellow Hibiscus, which is Hawaii’s state flower.

What is a Caribbean flower?

The Bougainvillea is a stunning flower often associated with the Caribbean. Its vibrant, paper-like blooms in shades of pink, red, orange, purple, and white adorn landscapes throughout the region, reflecting the area’s vibrant culture and environment.

What is the most popular flower in Hawaii?

The Yellow Hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei), designated as the state flower of Hawaii, holds this title. It’s celebrated for its large, sunny-yellow flowers and is a symbol of Hawaiian aloha and spirit.

What is the most beautiful tropical flower?

Beauty is subjective, but the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is often hailed as one of the most beautiful tropical flowers. Its striking appearance, resembling a bird in flight, along with vibrant colors, makes it a breathtaking sight.

What is the king of tropical flowers?

The Heliconia, also known as lobster claws, is sometimes referred to as the king of tropical flowers. Its bold, striking inflorescences and vibrant colors dominate the tropical landscape, making a commanding presence.

What is the queen of tropical flowers?

The Orchid is often considered the queen of tropical flowers, due to its unparalleled elegance, exotic beauty, and vast diversity. Orchids are highly revered and represent sophistication and luxury in the floral world.

Discover These Helpful Guides for Further Reading

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Related Items

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information


Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully


    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!


    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone