Nothing quite compares to tropical flowers. They are exotic, they are brightly colored and they give you so many customization options when you are trying to decorate your garden.
Tropical plants all originate from Africa, Asia, or Central America and they are incredibly vibrant or unique. You won’t find any natural flowering plants like these stateside!
If you really want your garden to have a unique flare to it and a bit of a personal touch, then decorating it with tropical flowering plants is definitely the way to go.
But if you don’t know where to start when it comes to tropical flowering plants, then don’t worry! We are here to help. Below, you will find a list of 25 different kinds of tropical flowering plants that you can learn a bit more about.
Each of these plants will look amazing in your garden and it will give it the unique flare that you are looking for!
Whether you are looking for something colorful and exotic, or you want something large and vibrant, there are plenty of tropical flowering plants for you to choose from.
You won’t find any of these flowering plants growing naturally in the US, so if you can incorporate these plants into your garden, you will definitely give it a gorgeous and unique look.
These tropical flowering plants can grow practically anywhere, and they will make a beautiful addition to your garden. Read on to find out more about each of these plants and see which one you are attracted to the most!
1. Barberton Daisy
Barberton Daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) is a type of flowering plant that is native to South Africa. A part of the daisy family, the Barberton Daisy varies in color and can turn beautiful shades of yellow and white all the way to vibrant pinks and purples.
They typically bloom during the summer and fall months, so your garden will have a fantastic burst of color during this time. They do need sunlight to survive, but they also thrive quite well in partially shaded areas.
This is quite a low-maintenance tropical plant that will really tie your garden together.
Barberton Daises are also known to come in hybrid forms, and it is the hybrid forms that bloom in beautiful shades of pinks, purples, and yellows. Typically, the natural version blooms in shades of orange and red.
2. Blanket Flowers
Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia) are a type of flower that is native to South America but you can also find them in North America too.
They typically bloom in the summer all the way to the fall and they are a vibrant shade of red with orangey-yellow tips.
This type of tropical flowering plant needs plenty of sunlight in order to thrive and grow, so if you do decide to keep this flower for yourself, make sure that you keep it out of the shade.
Like the Barberton Daisy, Blanket Flowers are a part of the daisy family (for more flowers that look like daisies, read here).
Along with the original varieties, Blanket Flowers have been cultivated into many different hybrids and other species, all of which are even more magnificent than the original… if that is even possible!
3. Tropical Milkweed
The Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is a type of flowering plant that is native to the American tropics. This small plant has cute little flowers that range in color from red to orange to yellow.
The Tropical Milkweed typically flowers from late spring to the early fall, so if you are looking for a colorful tropical plant that will last most of the year, this is a fantastic plant for you to try.
This flowering plant needs full sun in order to thrive and grow, so make sure that you keep it out of shaded areas.
These small flowers only reach about 3 feet high when they are fully grown, so they are perfect if you don’t want something too big in your garden.
The flowers on the Tropical Milkweed are also great for attracting butterflies, especially Monarch butterflies, so if you want to see lots of butterflies in your garden, this is the perfect plant to incorporate into your design!
Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) are another type of tropical flowering plant that is native to the American tropics. The bromeliad plant family actually contains over 3,600 species of flowering plants, one of which includes the pineapple plant!
The flowering season for Bromeliads is a special occasion because they only actually bloom once throughout their entire lifetime, and the time at which they bloom varies.
You can never be sure when they are going to bloom, but when they do, it is absolutely beautiful. Typically, Bromeliads are extremely colorful, and their colors range from red, orange, yellow, pink, or blue.
Bromeliads needs a bright environment in order to thrive and grow and they also need indirect sunlight. You can keep them near shaded areas, but it’s in your best interest to make sure that they are kept in a bright area.
Once the flower has bloomed, you can cut offshoots from the original plant and then you can re-pot them and grow them and repeat the process of waiting for their bloom.
Growing and keeping Bromeliads is an incredibly rewarding experience that requires a lot of patience, and when they do eventually grow, you will feel like you have gone on a journey with them!
5. Wild Lantana
The Wild Lantana (Lantana camara) is a type of tropical flowering plant that is native to both Central and South America. It usually produces incredibly beautiful flowers that can range in color from red, yellow, pink, and white.
This tropical flower is perfect for adding to your garden if you want wildlife to appear.
Some of the wildlife the Wild Lantana attracts includes hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees and you will see plenty of them if you add them to your garden!
Typically, the Wild Lantana blooms all year round in tropical regions, but in cooler climates, they only grow during the spring and summer months. They need full sun in order to thrive or grow, so make sure you keep them out of shaded areas.
Unfortunately, the Wild Lantana is considered to be an invasive species, especially in tropical regions, but if you want to keep it in your garden, you can keep it in a pot and you won’t have to worry about it being invasive, or dying off in the winter.
6. Damask Rose
The Damask Rose (Rosa x damascena) as the name would suggest is a part of the rose family.
It is a kind of cultivated plant that actually can’t grow naturally and it is believed to be a hybrid of three different types of plants from the Rosa genus.
Its parent plant originates from Asia, so technically, the Damask Rose is considered to be a tropical plant.
This tropical plant typically blooms in the summer and will add a gorgeous pop of color to your garden during these months. The Damask Rose ranges in color from deep pink to white.
These flowers are perfect if you want some soft color in your garden rather than something intense and vibrant, and they will complement the other foliage in your garden perfectly.
The Damask Rose needs full sun in order to grow and thrive, so if you are considering keeping it in your garden, make sure you position it in a spot that has access to plenty of sun and little to no shade.
This flower typically grows as a shrub and is known by many other names, some of which include the Turkish rose, Bulgarian rose, Taif rose, Arab Rose, and lokelani rose.
The Damask Rose also smells incredibly beautiful and its scent is used in many different perfumes from all over the world!
7. Persian Cyclamen
The Persian Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is native to a few different countries, some of which include Turkey, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon.
It is a part of the primrose family and it flowers in many beautiful colors, some of which include red, magenta, lavender, pink, and white.
The flowers have a unique shape and appearance and look a bit like hearts. The Persian Cyclamen is a wonderful tropical flowering plant to incorporate into your garden if you want to add a personal and special touch to the whole design.
They typically flower from the late winter to the early spring, so they are perfect for the months when your other flowers aren’t blooming, but you still want your garden to have a pop of color.
The Persian Cyclamen needs a bright environment in order to thrive and grow, so make sure you keep them somewhere that fits this description.
Indirect sunlight works really well too, so as long as the area that you keep them in is bright, you will have no issues.
When the plant isn’t in bloom, the Persian Cyclamen will appear dead, but don’t worry, they will return to a beautiful bloom at the end of the fall.
This is a wonderful tropical plant to keep in your garden, and you won’t regret your decision to keep them!
8. Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is a tropical flowering plant that is native to the humid coastal mountains of Brazil. This flowering plant gets it’s name because it typically blooms around Christmastime in the Northern Hemisphere.
This plant most commonly blooms in a beautiful red color, but there are some variations that bloom in other colors too, some of which include pink, purple, lavender, orange, apricot, yellow, cream, and white.
It also belongs to the Cactaceae family, so if you want some form of cactus in your garden, this is the perfect one for you to try!
The Christmas Cactus typically blooms from late fall to mid-winter, but in tropical climates, it can bloom all the way into the mid-spring.
They can live for quite a long time as well, so if you want a flowering plant in your garden that is quite low-maintenance with decent longevity, this is a great plant for you to have.
For the best results, make sure to keep your Christmas Cactus in a bright area with indirect sunlight.
Because it is a type of cactus, you won’t have to water it as often as some other plants, and it’s perfect for beginner gardeners who want a beautiful plant in their space.
9. Chenille Plant
The Chenille Plant (Acalypha hispida) is a type of tropical hanging plant that is native to Malesia. This is a great plant to incorporate into your garden if you want something vibrant and beautiful.
The flowers typically range in color from bright red to purple and they pop against the green fantastically.
This type of tropical plant is actually quite popular as an indoor hanging plant, so you can really experiment with where you want to keep it if you do get one. When you leave it outside, it can grow quite big and it’s perfect for larger gardens.
The flowers that grow on the Chenille Plant are extremely fuzzy and unique, and you won’t find another plant like this anywhere else! The plant also features smaller blossoms that are similar in shape to a chili pepper.
The Chenille Plant requires full sun or partial shade in order to thrive or grow, so you can keep it in any areas that fit these criteria. Other names that the Chenille Plant is known by are the Phillippine Medusa and the red hot cattail.
This plant gets its other names from the fuzziness of the flowers.
10. King Protea
The King Protea (Protea cynaroides) is an incredibly unique-looking flowering plant that is native to South Africa.
It’s actually the national flower of South Africa too! They come in many different colors, some of which include pink, red, purple, green, white, orange, and yellow.
This tropical flowering plant is beloved for its otherworldly blossoms. The blossoms can grow to be about 6 to 12 inches across, so the flowers are quite big!
King Protea flowers are quite commonly used in floral arrangements and bouquets too, usually, because they are so beautiful.
The King Protea typically blooms all year round, but you will see it bloom more vibrantly in the warmer, summer months. It is an incredible addition to any garden, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants a tropical flowering plant that is incredibly unique.
If you want your King Protea to grow properly and vibrantly, it’s in your best interest to keep it in an area that will get constant full sun in the daytime. Shaded areas will not help its growth and bloom cycle, so try and keep it out of the shade!
11. Egyptian Star Cluster
The Egyptian Star Cluster (Pentas lanceolata), also commonly known as the Star Flower is a type of tropical flowering plant that is native to many different places within the range of Yemen and East Africa.
It is a part of the Rubiaceae family and it varies in color, some notable shades include Lilac, magenta, pink, and white.
The Egyptian Star Cluster is also known as the Star Flower because the flowers look just like stars, which makes them incredibly beautiful and otherworldly.
If you want to attract butterflies into your garden, then the Egyptian Star Cluster is the perfect tropical flowering plant to bring into your garden.
You will find lots of different kinds of butterflies are drawn to this particular flower and they will really bring your whole garden to life!
The Egyptian Star Cluster typically blooms and flowers in the summer months, but the green shrub it grows from still looks beautiful at other times during the year.
If you want your Egyptian Star Cluster to bloom properly, make sure to keep it in an area that has full sun coverage, as it doesn’t particularly like shaded areas.
12. Scarlet Sage
Scarlet Sage (Salvia spendens) is a type of tropical flowering plant that is native to Brazil. It is a part of the sage or Lamiaceae family, hence its name.
More often than not, this tropical flowering plant will be a vibrant scarlet red in color, but in some cases, you will find it in other colors, some of which include pink, salmon, lavender, purple, blue, white, and other color combinations.
When found in the wild, Scarlet Sage can grow to be up to 4 feet tall, but when they are grown in gardens, they are typically grown a bit smaller than that. If you want to attract wildlife into your garden, the Scarlet Sage is a perfect addition.
They are known for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, so you will have no issues in making your garden a bit more lively when you include these flowers in your design!
Scarlet Sage typically blooms and flowers in the late spring, all the way to the early fall, so you will have vibrant color from these flowers for most of the year.
They also need full sun in order to thrive and bloom properly, so make sure that you don’t put them in a shaded area when you are deciding where to keep them.
Orchids (Orchidaceae) are a well-known kind of tropical flowering plant that is native to many different regions around the world.
This tropical flowering plant is incredibly diverse and the Orchidaceae family actually contains over 28,000 officially accepted species!
Because there are so many different variations, you will be spoiled for choice when you incorporate them into your garden design.
Most Orchids come from tropical regions, but there are some varieties that thrive really well in cool or temperate climates.
The color and appearance of Orchids will depend on which kind of subspecies you have, so the colors can range from pink, red, blue, purple, green, yellow, orange, and white, and almost any shade and combination of each.
This is an incredibly diverse species of tropical plant to keep in your garden. They can bloom during any season of the year, it purely depends on which subspecies you have.
Regardless of which kind of Orchid you have though, they all need bright areas to thrive in and indirect sunlight, so try to keep them out of the shade as much as you can!
14. False Bird Of Paradise
The False Bird of Paradise (Heliconia rostrata) which is also known as the Hanging Lobster Claw is a tropical flowering plant that is native to Central and South America.
If you are planning on making your garden a full-on tropical garden, then this is a perfect flowering plant for you to include.
This tropical flowering plant is known for its impressive size- it can grow up to about 6 feet tall! The False Bird of Paradise is mainly red in color, but as it goes out to the tips, it also includes hints of yellow and green.
The red flowers hold a lot of nectar inside and they tend to attract lots of hummingbirds to them, so they will bring your garden to life.
Typically, the False Bird of Paradise blooms in the spring and summer, so for those months, they will really add a lively bit of color to your garden. They need full sun to bloom properly, but they also thrive well in partial shade too.
The False Bird of Paradise is a member of the Heliconaceae family, and there are over 200 species and variations for you to find in this plant family.
This tropical flowering plant is incredibly unique and striking in its appearance and it will make for the perfect tropical addition to your garden.
15. Sacred Lotus
Otherworldly and incredibly beautiful, the Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is one of two kinds of aquatic plants that make up the Nelumbonaceae family.
You won’t find another tropical plant like this one, and it is native to a few different areas, some of which include India, Indochina, East Asia, Russia, and various locations surrounding the Caspian Sea.
If you want beauty above everything else, then you really can’t go wrong with the Sacred Lotus.
Along with their beauty, they are also known for their impressive longevity, with the oldest known Sacred Lotus seeds being germinated and grown into plants after 1,300 years!
Typically, the Sacred Lotus is going to be light white to pink in color, but there are a few different color varieties you can find, some of which include red, yellow, blue, and purple.
They flower and bloom from June to August, so they are summer plants by design.
In order to let your Sacred Lotus thrive and bloom properly, you need to make sure they are kept in an area with full sun. They need at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day.
They may not be very low maintenance, but the extra care and consideration you put into looking after these beauties are incredibly worth it!
16. Bird Of Paradise
The Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a kind of tropical flowering plant that is native to South Africa. It is an easily recognizable plant, and it gets its name from its bird-like shape and appearance.
The Bird of Paradise plant is typically kept indoors when they are kept in areas that are outside of its native habitat. The only caveat that comes with owning Birds of Paradise is that they are known for being quite hard to care for.
They do not bloom until they are at least 3 to 4 years old and if they don’t get enough sunlight and the correct nutrients, they won’t bloom at all. If you can preserve though, when they do bloom, it is incredibly worth it.
All Birds of Paradise plants are bright orange in their main color, with beautiful blue petals and red accents. They are an incredibly stunning plant to keep and they are incredibly eye-catching.
If you do decide to keep one for yourself, make sure that you are keeping it in an area where it can get at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day.
When they do eventually bloom, they will typically bloom in the late winter until the early spring, especially when they are in their natural habitat.
The upkeep and maintenance might be a challenge for newer gardeners, but if you are willing to commit to the Bird of Paradise, then the results are definitely worth it!
17. Hawaiian Hibiscus
The Hawaiian Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a part of the Malvaceae plant family, and it is known by many other names, some of which include Chinese Hibiscus, Hawaiian hibiscus, China rose, rose mallow, and the shoeblack plant.
This type of tropical plant is cultivated quite widely in the tropics, but it is native to quite a small region. You will only find it growing naturally on the small volcanic islands of the Vanuatu nation.
It is quite papery and frilly in its appearance and it is usually red and yellow in color, but it can be found in other colors too, some of which include apricot, orange, white, and several shades of pink.
It will bloom year-round in its native climate and other tropical/warm climates, whereas in cooler climates it will bloom in the late spring to the early fall.
If you do decide to keep the Hawaiian Hibiscus for yourself, you will need to keep it in an area where it is going to get indirect sunlight and the area needs to be quite bright. If you keep it in a shaded area, it is less likely to thrive and grow.
This rare, tropical flowering plant is incredibly beautiful, and it’s definitely worth keeping in your garden if you want it to have more of a tropical feel.
18. Blood Lily
The Blood Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus) is a member of the Amaryllidaceae plant family and it can be found in quite a few places. Some of the places it is native to include the Arabian Peninsula, a vast amount of Sub-Saharan Africa, and Seychelles.
Blood Lilies are incredibly striking in appearance and they will easily stand out amongst other foliage you keep in your garden.
They are most commonly found in their orange color variety, but you can also find them in colors such as scarlet and pink-red. They grow from rhizomatic bulbs and then they produce false stems that are actually made out of leaves.
Some variations of Blood Lilies are actually highly toxic and those variations have been used to make poisons for fishing hooks.
They typically bloom and flower from the late spring up until the fall, and when they do, they will be incredibly hard to miss!
In order for them to bloom and flower properly, you need to make sure that they are kept in an area that has full sun.
They can also thrive in partially shaded areas, but if you do decide to keep them in those areas, make sure they still have some access to the sun.
Blood Lilies are an incredible tropical flowering plant to keep in your garden, and they will really add some depth and individuality to your garden!
19. Bush Lily
The Bush Lily (Clivia miniata) is a type of rhizomatic flowering plant that is native to South Africa.
In modern times, it has also been naturalized in Mexico and it is also quite common to find it growing in gardens in New Zealand and Australia. It is a member of the Amaryllidaceae plant family.
Typically, the Bush Lily has vibrant orange flowers, but in very rare cases, the flowers will actually be yellow instead. These tropical flowering plants are absolutely beautiful and will look good in any garden of any design.
In order for the Bush Lily to properly flower and bloom, it needs to be kept in an area that is bright and needs indirect sunlight. If you choose to keep this flower for yourself, try to keep it out of shaded areas if you want it to grow properly.
As for the time of year it blooms, you will usually see the flowers between the months of March and April. If the plant is more mature, it may bloom a little later.
20. Flamingo Flower
The Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum) is also known as Anthurium, and it is native to the rainforests of Columbia and Ecuador. It is a part of the Araceae plant family.
This is another unique kind of tropical flowering plant, with leaves that are shaped like a heart and they have a very distinct texture.
In their native areas, they typically grow on rocky outcroppings and on the side of trees, but if you want to incorporate them into your garden, they will have no problem thriving there.
The Flamingo Flower is usually red or pinkish-red in color with a central yellow-white spadix. They can bloom all year round, but only in three-month intervals.
If you decide to bring Flamingo Flowers into your garden, make sure that you keep them in an area that is bright in indirect sunlight. Try to keep them out of shaded areas as much as you can in order for them to bloom properly.
21. Garden Cosmos
Also known by the name of Mexican Aster, the Garden Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) is a type of tropical flowering plant that is native to Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.
They belong to the daisy plant family Asteraceae. Garden Cosmos are widely considered to be the most popular kind of cosmos to grow in gardens.
You can get Garden Cosmos in many different colors, some of which include red, pink, purple, white, and yellow. They range from being quite soft in color all the way to being incredibly vibrant.
All varieties of Garden Cosmos have golden-yellow pom-poms in the center of the petals.
Typically, Garden Cosmos bloom and flower from the summer all the way to the fall and they need full sun in order to grow and thrive properly. Do not keep these flowers in shaded areas if you want them to live for longer!
22. Lesser Bougainvillea
Also known as the Paperflower, the Lesser Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea glabra) is a type of climbing shrub that is a part of the Nyctaginaceae plant family.
This particular variation is the most common type of bougainvillea that is grown in gardens.
In terms of color, the Lesser Bougainvillea is usually purple or pink as its dominant color, with really small white flower blossoms in the center. They usually grow in large clusters and they pop against the dark green from the leaves of the plant.
In its native climate, the Lesser Bougainvillea can bloom and flower all year round, but in cooler climates, then tends to only bloom in the summer.
If you choose to keep the Lesser Bougainvillea in your own garden, make sure that you keep them out of the shade and in an area where there is full sun.
The Lesser Bougainvillea is a beautiful tropical flowering plant to keep in your garden, especially if you want a pop of vibrant color against any dark green foliage that surrounds it.
The Amaryllis flower (Hippeastrum) is a variety of flowering plant that is from the Hippeastrum genus of the Amaryllidaceae plant family and it should not be confused with a similar genus known as the Amaryllis.
This family contains over 90 species of plants and flowers and there are also over 600 hybrid versions too!
This tropical flowering plant species are native to areas such as Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil and the red variety is the most popular color. Other color varieties of this plant genus include burgundy, pink, orange, salmon, yellow-green, and white.
The Amaryllis flower typically blooms in the spring or summer, but there are ways to force-grow it in the winter too.
When keeping the Amaryllis flower in your own garden, make sure to keep them in an area with partial sun. They can thrive in some shade, but make sure they have access to the sunlight too!
24. Crown Imperial
The Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) is a type of bulbaceous, flowering plant that is a part of the Liliaceae (lily) plant family.
They are native to many different areas, some of which include Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, northern India, and even the foothills of the Himalayas!
They usually grow to about 3 feet tall and they are known for their flame-shaped orange leaves. While they are usually vibrant orange in color, there are some varieties that come in colors such as red, yellow, and reddish-orange.
Typically, the Crown Imperial flower will bloom in the late spring and they need full sun in order to bloom properly, so make sure you keep them out of areas that have lots of shade (a similar flower to this is the King’s Crown flower – read about it here).
The Crown Imperial is a fantastic flower to introduce into your garden and it is incredibly unique in its shape and structure.
The Begonias flower (Begonia) is a member of the Begoniaceae plant family and is one of 2,000 species that belong to it.
This kind of tropical flowering plant is native to a few different areas, some of which include South America, Central America, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
They come in many different colors, some of which include red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. Begonias usually bloom and flower during the summer and they need to be kept in bright areas with indirect sunlight.
If you keep them in shaded areas they will not bloom properly.
Begonias are another kind of tropical flowering plant that is incredibly beautiful, and definitely worth using to decorate your garden!
So there you have it! 25 different kinds of tropical flowering plants that can grow almost anywhere! Each of these tropical flowers will be a fantastic addition to your garden and you won’t be disappointed in your choice when they do bloom!
Have a closer look into some of these tropical flowering plants and see which ones will work best for your garden!