Tropical flowers bring beauty and ornamental form to the garden. The flowers are known for their combination of brilliant color, fragrance and structure. Most tropicals make wonderful cut flowers. If you’re thinking about planting tropical flowers, consider the sun, soil and moisture requirements as well as your U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone.
The tropical amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrid) blooms in brilliant red and is often thought of as a holiday flower because it blooms from late December through June. The bulb is easy to bring to bloom in direct light, at an ideal temperature between 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with moderate water. There are more than 150 different amaryllis cultivars; most of the bulbs will produce four flowers and grow up to 2 feet tall.
Bird of Paradise
The brilliant colors of bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) make it a good choice for an addition to the tropical flower garden. The blossoms resemble the head of a crested tropical bird and combine orange, violet and white colors. This vigorous tropical will bloom year-round and grow up to 6 feet tall and as wide. Bird of paradise grows well in containers in partial to full sun with moderate water. This beautiful perennial will thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11.
The spiky, orange flowers of the kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos Flavidus Redoute) bring beauty to the tropical garden. The flowering stems reach heights of up to 5 feet. The plant grows well in very well-drained soil, in full sun with regular water. It is cold-hardy in zones 10 through 11.
The purple-tinged petals of the green Pineapple flower (Eucomis bicolor) make it a favorite summer-blooming tropical. This South African native resembles the pineapple plant which brings an interesting form to the garden. Plant it as a bulb in fall or from seed in the spring; the pineapple flower needs partial to full sun with moderate water. It is cold-hardy to USDA hardiness zone 10.
The striking form of the protea makes it a beautiful tropical flower. This South Africa native looks like a brilliantly colored thistle with pink to deep-red flower heads. The tropical thrives in full sun with moderate water, but it can be difficult to grow. The plant demands well-drained soil, regular water and acidic soil. Protea grows up to 5 feet tall and is prized for its cut flower. It will grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9a to 10b.