Hawaii is a paradise of flowering plants, many of which appear in tropical flower arrangements around the world. The varied colors and shapes of tropical flowers, along with the ability of many tropicals to remain fresh for a long time, make them ideal as cut flowers. In colder climates, Hawaiian tropical flowers do well as indoor plants.
Anthuriums prefer bright, indirect light and do well in pots filled with organic materials such as bark and rocks for the roots to cling to. The anthurium grows best in USDA hardiness zones 10b and up but can be successfully grown indoors with proper lighting and watering. Anthuriums prefer their roots to get a good soaking and then be allowed to dry out before watering again. They also need minimal fertilization, with a 1-2-1 ratio, every couple of months. The blooms of anthurium appear as a waxy, heart shaped petal surrounding a spadice, which will last for several weeks on the plant.
More than 25,000 identified varieties of orchid exist today. Orchids thrive in pots filled with rocks and bark for the roots to cling to. Orchids planted in bark need a higher nitrogen fertilizer such as 30-10-10 or 15-5-5. All orchids prefer partly shaded areas with filtered light. They like a good soaking but also like their roots to dry out before rewatering. Many orchids also have a fragrance, such as the Oncidium Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance', which exudes a vanilla and chocolate scent.
Heliconias are a recognized by their firm bracts in shades of red, orange and yellow. Heliconia flowers bloom off of long, sturdy stalks and can be upright or hanging in form. They thrive in the tropical Hawaiian climate and in USDA hardiness zones 10 and higher. Heliconia varieties can vary in heights from 24 inches to 10 feet tall and prefer mostly sunny areas. The leaves of heliconia need some wind protection, as they easily shred in windy locations.
Bird of Paradise
The bird of paradise has a large flower resembling a bird's head on a long stalk, which will last on the plant for several weeks. The bird of paradise plant grows to about 4 feet tall and spreads outward when growing, so placement in an area where it can expand in important. One way to control the plant from spreading is to place it in a large pot, which can then be moved around the garden. The bird of paradise grows best in USDA hardiness zones 10 and up and requires full sun for optimal blooming.