How to Make a Tropical Flower Centerpiece


Tropical centerpieces are gaining popularity for weddings, parties and even everyday decorating. There are hundreds of tropical flowers to choose from, including plants like the pineapple. Tropical flowers can be expensive so some decorators start with potted plants and build the centerpiece around them. That way you can keep the tropical look all year long. Making a tropical centerpiece can take from a half hour to three hours depending on the size and intricacy of the piece. You may want to keep it simple or go all out.

Live Tropical Centerpiece

Step 1

Place gravel in the bottom of a large clear bowl that has a wide opening and is 6 to 12 inches deep. Fill the tall thin vase with sand one-quarter of the way.

Step 2

Plant the encyclia in the sand in the vase. Encyclia is a very fragrant orchid and will not only look beautiful but will fill your room with a heavenly scent.

Step 3

Place the tall thin vase in the center of the bowl and push it down into the gravel. The gravel will hold it in place if the table or centerpiece should get bumped.

Step 4

Fill the bowl with distilled water and allow it to come to room temperature. Then add the lotus flowers to the water. You can float cut lotus flowers or you can plant them in the gravel. If you plant them, you will need to change the water once a week to keep it fresh.

Tropical with Light

Step 1

Cut the floral foam to fit your container and soak it until it turns dark green with water. Place it on a rack or dish drainer until it stops dripping.

Step 2

Place the three taper candle holders in the center or you can place two toward one side and one toward the other. Put the candles in the holders so you can judge where to put the flowers. Tall flowers too close to the flame of the candles will catch fire. If you don't plan on lighting the candles, then the tall flowers work well next to the candles.

Step 3

Stick the ends of the anthuriums in the foam near the outer edges so the foliage spills over the edges and covers most of the foam.

Step 4

Arrange the rest of the flowers on the foam by placing the tallest in the center and working out so the low, overhanging flowers are on the edge of the foam. Stick the stems of the flowers right into the foam. If you have trouble keeping them in place, use a floral pin over the stem and into the foam.

Step 5

Cover the foam so none of it is left showing. Place the centerpiece on the table and keep the foam moist for longer lasting flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Wide mouthed clear glass bowl
  • Tall thin clear glass vase
  • Pink or orchid colored gravel
  • Clean sand
  • Encyclia plant
  • Lotus flowers
  • Distilled water
  • Tropical flower mix, such as bird of paradise, etlingera, flame of the forest and heliconia
  • Anthuriums with the foliage
  • Decorative container
  • Floral foam
  • Floral pins
  • 3 floral taper candle holders
  • 3 taper candles


  • University of Kentucky: Centerpieces and Table Decorations
  • University of Illinois Extension: Holiday Centerpiece Ideas
  • Tropical Plants, Flowers and Decor: Exotic Flowers

Who Can Help

  • Hawiian Weddings: Hawaiian Island Wedding Planners
Keywords: tropical centerpiece ideas, tropical floral decoration, making tropical centerpieces

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.