Tropical flowers often conjure up visions of bright, bold colors, exotic vacations and wild rainforests. Although they grow best in tropical climates, often reaching massive proportions when compared to typical houseplants, they can be successfully grown in many areas with the proper winter care. Some tropical flowers are easier to care for than others, but those that require constant care are often the most rewarding when it comes to breathtaking blooms.
Easy and rewarding to grow, with big bold flowers in colors ranging from white and yellow to brilliant red and orange, hibiscus have rightfully earned their place as a favorite tropical flower to grow. Although they require plenty of sunlight in order to bloom, they can thrive in containers in colder climates if they are placed outside during the summer and brought in for the winter. In warm climates, hibiscus will bloom year-round, and in other climates, they will bloom during the heat of summer.
Bird of Paradise
Even the name conjures up visions of the tropics, but the bird of paradise can be grown successfully in many areas when protected during the winter. Like other tropical plants, one of the easiest ways to do this is to plant it in a container and bring it inside when temperatures begin to drop. Bird of paradise will do well outside during summer months, but should not be placed in direct sun. Don't be discouraged if your new bird of paradise plant doesn't bloom right away; these slow-growers can take many years to start producing flowers.
One of the most popular but also most challenging tropical flowers to grow, orchids pay back the effort with stunning blooms. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, each with a different shape and color. Orchids are usually grown indoors in their own special rock-lined pots or planters, but if in the right climate, they can be grown outdoors.
Said to be the inspiration for Coco Chanel's No. 5 perfume, ylang-ylang flowers give off an enticing scent, especially at night. Although a standard size ylang-ylang tree can grow to 100 feet, gardeners can enjoy the same flowers with a dwarf ylang-ylang, which will only grow to about 6 feet. In moderate climates with plenty of humidity, it can survive outdoors, but outside of the tropics, it is mostly suited to container planting. Dwarf ylang-ylangs need consistent temperatures and plenty of humidity. As with many other tropical plants that require extra work to grow, the work pays off with stunning blooms.
Ginger is better known for the spice it produces, but many varieties of the ginger plant also produce brilliant spiky blooms. It also grows well in pots and requires little specialized care, making it an ideal tropical flower to grow in areas outside of the tropics. Ginger has a pleasant scent and comes in a variety of colors, with blazing red one of the most popular.