Heat Tolerant Tropical Plants

It's easy to assume that tropical plants automatically tolerate high amounts of heat and sunlight, but that's not always the case. Some tropical plants prefer partial shade and will wither in overly exposed gardens. Luckily there are plenty of exotic tropical plants and flowers that not only tolerate heat, but flourish in it.


Papaya (Carica papaya) is a flowering plant native to the tropics of South America. Papaya plants are grown primarily for their fruits, which are widely consumed throughout the world. The plant has a bright green, branchless tree with fronds similar to palm trees and delicate, waxy white blooms. Papaya plants love full sunlight and heat. The amount of heat a Papaya plant receives has a direct correlation on the sweetness of the fruit. The ideal soil for a Papaya plant is well drained and fertile.

Coconut Palm

The Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is a large palm tree that is a icon of the tropics, conjuring up pictures of rest and rejuvenation on the coast. The plant is found in many different tropical and warm temperate climates, from Sri Lanka to New Zealand, India and Hawaii. Coconut palms love heat and will grow well in areas of high humidity. The plant requires bright full sun, as well as well-drained, sandy soils. The tree has a high saline tolerance, part of the reason the tree is so frequently seen near beaches. Though the Coconut Palm is sun loving, it is not drought tolerant, and regular rainfall or watering is crucial to its well being.

Blue Passionflower

The national flower of Paraguay, the Blue Passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) is an icon of the South American tropics, growing throughout the countryside in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Brazil. The Blue Passionflower is a sprawling vine that produces distinct blue and white flowers. The egg-shaped orange fruit of the plant is sometimes used commercially in beverages and deserts. The plant is cultivated in warm climates throughout the world for its blooms, in well-drained soils, preferably loose and sandy. Blue Passionflower thrives in hot environments and will grow over other plants and objects to get sunlight. The Blue Passionflower attracts butterflies such as the Julia Butterfly in droves.

Keywords: heat tolerant plants, tropical plants, tropical flowers

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.