Tropical flowers are notorious for being large and flashy, often producing brightly colored blooms that can outshine all the other flowers in the garden. Though many species of tropical plants are best left to their own devices in the wild, there are many kinds of tropical flowers that can be cultivated at home to brighten up a garden.
A member of the verbena family, lantana (Lantana camara) is a flowering evergreen shrub that hails from the tropics. The plant boasts bright green, bushy foliage accented by small clusters of colorful flowers, which range in color from yellow and orange to red, pink and white. The shrub is often grown as a border of specimen plant in butterfly gardens, thanks to the shrub's butterfly attracting prowess. Lantana does best in USDA zones 8 to 11, in full sunlight or partial shade. The plant is tolerant of a range of different soil types, so long as the soil is well draining. Once established, lantana is quite drought tolerant and requires no supplemental watering. Too much water or fertilizer may even harm the plant, preventing it from producing lots of flowers.
The urn plant (Aechmea chantinii 'Samuri'), often just called a bromeliad, is a flowering plant native to the tropics of South America. The plant is commonly grown as a house plant, though it can also be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10A to 11A. Urn plant is notable for its variegated green and yellow leaves, which are coarse and stiff, and for its stalk of brightly colored flowers, which appear in the summer. Urn plant does best in partial shade, in a neutral, well draining loam. The plant should be watered frequently, enough to keep the soil slightly damp. If grown indoors, misting the plant with lime free, warm water during the summer will help keep the plant looking fresh.
Ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium), sometimes called white butterfly ginger lily or garland flower, is a flowering perennial native to tropical India. The plant has much to offer the gardener, from tall fleshy leaves to silky, gardenia scented blooms in colors ranging from pale pink to lilac tinged white. The fast growing plant makes an excellent border or container plant in USDA zones 7B to 11. Ginger lily will tolerate full sun or partial sun, so long as it has a rich soil that's watered frequently. The plant will even tolerate brief floodings, making it a good choice for water logged areas.