Tropical Hawaiian Flowers To Plant In Your Garden

When it comes to planting flowers, many people stick to plants that are native to their area, whether it’s because they’re easier to obtain or because they worry they may not be able to care for tropical flowers properly. 

Tropical Hawaiian Flowers To Plant In Your Garden

However, adding some tropical flowers to your garden is the perfect way to add some visual diversity and extra color. 

If you’re looking for some stunning, aromatic flowers to plant in your garden, you should start by looking at the flowers that grow in Hawaii.

Hawaiian flowers are known for their colorful, picturesque landscapes, and that’s partly down to the incredible fauna that grows all around Aloha State. 

If you want to know which Hawaiian flowers you should plant in your garden and how to plant each one for the best results, keep reading this guide!

We’re going to cover the best Hawaiian blooms to plant in your garden and how you should introduce each one.

Top 12 Hawaiian Flowers To Grow At Home 


Hibiscus flowers are one example of how Hawaiian flowers have become popularized all over the world. You’ll see these flowers in a variety of colors in many people’s gardens both inside and outside of Hawaii. 

Hibiscus is actually the state flower of Hawaii. Its vivid colors and delicate petals make it pleasing to the eye, but it also has some important symbolism behind it. Hibiscus flowers represent peace and unity as well as beauty. 

The interesting thing about Hibiscus is that the flowers bloom and close on a daily basis, which makes it even more special to witness the flower in all its glory during the daytime.

Growing Instructions 

If you would like to grow Hibiscus in your own garden, the good news is that you can do so with relative ease. That’s because Hibiscus flowers are really easy to care for due to how hardy they are.

This is why Hibiscus is a good choice for those who want to introduce Hawaiian flowers to their gardens but are worried about not being able to care for tropical plants. 

You should ideally plant Hibiscus in an area where the flower will get a lot of sun, but apart from that, you don’t need to worry too much about the plant’s environment. It tolerates various soil conditions. 


Bougainvillea doesn’t just produce beautiful flowers. It also serves a practical purpose, which is a major reason we recommend introducing it into your garden, especially if you want to keep out animals that might feed on your plants. 

Bougainvillea is a vine plant that can also be derived as a shrub. It produces flowering bracts that vary in color from light and delicate pastels to vivid, showy colors. 

The reason we say that Bougainvillea serves a purpose is that it also has thorns which can act as a deterrent to unwanted intruders. Therefore, it makes an excellent natural barrier depending on where you plant it in your garden. 

Growing Instructions 

Bougainvillea is easy to plant and grow in your garden as long as it gets full sun and you can provide well-draining soil. 

You don’t need to water it very much after the initial growing stages. It’s just a matter of taking care of the plant as the roots establish themselves so that the plant can develop a structure, but after that, this plant can pretty much be left to its own devices.

Ginger Plants 

You might associate ginger with cooking more than gardening, but of course, ginger comes from a plant, and Hawaiian ginger plants produce some of the most beautiful tropical flowers. 

There are several different varieties of Hawaiian ginger, but you can grow any of them in the right conditions.

Not only are the flowers absolutely stunning, but as you might expect, they’re also aromatic, so if you’re looking for a plant to make your garden smell amazing, this is it. 

Growing Instructions 

Before you start growing Hawaiian ginger in your garden, you will first need to decide which variety will suit your garden best.

You won’t need to adjust the growing conditions too much for different varieties, but the variety you choose will dictate the color of the flowers and, to an extent, the aggressiveness of the plant. 

Because ginger plants can grow quite aggressively, it’s not a good idea to plant them in open space around other plants that could be damaged.

For this reason, we recommend either planting ginger plants in a part of your garden that doesn’t have much wildlife or in a pot in a contained area.


If you want to add an impressive-looking tropical flower to your garden, Heliconia is an excellent choice. With its bright variety of colors and enormous leaves, this flower is sure to draw the eye of anyone who visits your garden. 

Heliconia flowers are very tropical-looking and are perfect for creating elaborate floral displays between the spring and summer months.

Even when the plant isn’t in bloom, the size of its leaves means that it can still make for an impressive garden addition. 

Growing Instructions 

If you’re going to grow Heliconia plants in your garden, the first step is to make sure you plant it in a space that gets a lot of natural sunlight.

Since these plants grow to quite a large size, you’ll also need to give it a lot of its own space. 

You should also make sure that you are using well-draining soil so that you can give your Heliconia plenty of water without risking drowning the plant.

Like ginger plants, Heliconias are quite aggressive, so you should take care not to plant them near other plants. 


You might find it difficult to find Hawaiian gardenia (Na’u) to plant in your own garden because they are now mostly found in the wild.

However, there are several varieties of gardenia, and many of them are still readily available for garden planting. 

The reason gardenias are popular Hawaiian plants with keen gardeners is because of their showy blooms, complemented by a sweet but mild aroma. 

Growing Instructions 

Gardenias shouldn’t give you too much trouble in terms of care and maintenance because while they do love full sun and soil that drains effectively, they don’t require any kind of specialist care and they’re resistant to most pests. 

Just make sure to water and fertilize your gardenias regularly so that they can grow healthy flowers. 


Anthuriums are brightly-colored flowers that stand out not just because of their vividness but also because of the stamens that protrude from the center of the flower.

Their bright and showy appearance has led to anthuriums being called ‘flamingo flowers’. 

The petals make a heart shape, so these flowers will lend a romantic feel to your garden as well as a touch of tropical color. 

If you really want to make an impression with your gardening, you should consider introducing Obake anthurium, which are larger than other varieties and just as bold in color. 

Growing Instructions 

Anthuriums might seem like high-maintenance flowers because of their elaborate appearance, but these plants are actually quite easy to care for. 

Unlike many Hawaiian flowers, these plants don’t need full sun to thrive, so if you don’t have a garden with a lot of sun exposure, this is one Hawaiian flower you can grow without problems.

Just make sure the anthurium can get some light filtered through something such as a canopy of leaves or a built structure. 

You can also grow anthuriums indoors in a plant pot if you don’t have the right conditions to grow these flowers outdoors. 


Orchid flowers are some of the most popular and well-known worldwide because of their delicate petals and beautiful color varieties.

They are especially popular in Hawaii and other tropical environments because they need very little care in tropical climates. 

Growing Instructions 

If you live somewhere warm where you can provide orchid flowers with filtered light and soil that drains effectively, you should have no problems planting and growing your own orchids at home. 

However, if you do decide to grow orchids, you will need to stay consistent with your feeding and watering schedule.

Because orchids like to feed off nutrients in the air as well as natural rainfall in Hawaii, you’ll need to replicate these conditions as best you can wherever you choose to grow orchids. 

Tropical Hawaiian Flowers To Plant In Your Garden


The passionflower, also known as the lilikoi, is known for its delicious fruits, which can be incorporated into many tasty desserts.

However, these flowers aren’t just popular because of their fruit. They’re also beautiful flowers that make any garden look more exciting and tropical. 

The flowers are very striking because of their unusual shape and bold colors, white the foliage helps to add a burst of greenery.

This plant likes to cling to fences or other structures and grows quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long after you plant it before you see some incredible blooms. 

Growing Instructions 

With passionflowers, it’s not so much the growing conditions you need to focus on, but the support that the plant will need in order to thrive. 

As we mentioned earlier, growing passionflowers or lilikoi means you’ll need some kind of structure such as a fence because this is a clinging, climbing plant.

Only once support is established will this plant start to bloom and produce fruit. 

Once the flowers come through, you’ll need to keep tending to your passionflower plant so that the fruits can develop.

You can then either cook the fruit and incorporate them into desserts of your choice (we recommend researching Hawaiian lilikoi recipes) or simply eat them raw. 


In some respects, bromeliads are some of the easiest Hawaiian flowers to care for, and they’re also some of the most beautiful. 

You can choose from several different cultivars, and depending on which you select, you may need to adjust the care instructions slightly.

However, there isn’t too much difference in how to care for different varieties, so it’s best to choose based on what color you prefer as well as the patterns and the differences in foliage. 

These are relatively small plants so they’re not the best centerpieces or statement pieces for your garden layout, but they work very well as accent plants.

Growing Instructions 

Bromeliads don’t need a lot of care, so you don’t need to be a hugely dedicated gardener to keep these plants healthy and happy.

You do, however, need to make sure you provide a partially-shaded space for growth and that your soil is well-draining. 

You must also take care when watering the plant because water can actually get trapped and build up in the throat of the flower which can cause a mosquito infestation depending on where you live.


You may also know frangipani flowers by the name plumeria. Regardless of what you call them, these are popular Hawaiian flowers given as lei for special occasions. 

One reason why we recommend planting frangipani in your garden, other than the fact that these flowers are pretty and colorful, is that they smell amazing. 

Whether you’re planning to plant plumeria on Hawaiian soil or elsewhere, it’s important to be aware of the cultural traditions behind this flower in Hawaii.

Plumeria first started being given as lei in World War II, during which soldiers would throw their lei into the water and see if they drifted ashore. 

If the lei went back to the shore, the soldiers took this as a sign that they, too, would return.

Once used in this way, tradition dictates that the lei should either be buried or suspended from a tree as a way of returning the flower to the earth.

Growing Instructions 

Frangipani/plumeria need plenty of sun and not very much water to thrive. Because these flowers can easily be damaged by too much water, it’s important to grow them in soil that drains well. 

As long as you don’t overwater the plants and provide them with plenty of direct sunlight, you should soon see the shrub blooming with flowers. 

Bird Of Paradise 

Bird of Paradise is yet another Hawaiian flower that is deceptively easy to care for despite its bright and showy appearance. Mostly, these plants produce orange and blue flowers, although you can find plenty of other colors, too. 

Bird of Paradise plants are unique because of their striking spikes, and this is why you’ll see these flowers not just in Hawaiian gardens but in gorgeous floral arrangements in indoor environments as well. 

Growing Instructions 

Despite looking so elaborate and high-maintenance, it’s actually easy to look after a Bird of Paradise plant because it doesn’t need much care.

All you need to do is trim it occasionally so that dying leaves or flowers can be removed, making way for new ones. 

As long as your garden gets a good amount of sun and you have well-draining soil, you simply need to make time for trimming and the occasional plentiful watering.

You don’t even need to live somewhere tropical since sub-tropical environments can be just as beneficial for these plants.


The final Hawaiian tropical flower we suggest planting in your garden is Jasmine. Jasmine is a stunning flower that is easy to look after and smells amazing, so it’s basically everything you could want from a flower in your garden. 

We especially recommend the Hawaiian pikake jasmine, which is also known as the Indian jasmine or the Arabian jasmine. The reason we favor this jasmine variety is because its aroma is especially strong and fragrant. 

Growing Instructions 

Most jasmine varieties are easy to grow, although if you don’t want to have to do a lot of maintenance, we recommend avoiding the double Arabian jasmine because it’s a bit more high-maintenance (although it may be worth it for you if you want a really striking statement flower for your garden). 

Jasmine can grow in direct sunlight but it can also thrive in partial shade. Depending on your climate, it may be best to grow this flower indoors to keep it from getting damaged.

Otherwise, all you need to do is make sure you have fertile soil that drains well so that you don’t run the risk of overwatering the plant. 

Why You Should Grow Hawaiian Flowers? 

Hawaiian flowers make the perfect garden flowers because they are so bright and interesting to look at, but they usually don’t require very much maintenance.

This makes them the perfect choice for the gardener who wants a beautiful garden but doesn’t have time for a lot of fussy gardening work. 

With that being said, some Hawaiian blooms are definitely more high-maintenance than others, so you should do lots of research into any flower you’re considering planting to make sure you can care for it properly. 

Another reason to plant and grow Hawaiian flowers is that most of them are very aromatic. A visually pleasing garden is one thing, but a medley of delicious scents will take it to the next level. 

It’s also worth noting that contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to live in a tropical climate to grow most of these Hawaiian flowers.

Of course, many of them do need a good amount of sunlight, but plenty of the flowers we’ve recommended today can tolerate subtropical climates or can even be grown in pots indoors if you have enough sunlight and ventilation.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is The Traditional Hawaiian Flower?

The most traditional flower in Hawaii is the hibiscus because it’s the official flower of the state. If you go to Hawaii, you’ll see it growing all over the islands.

What Is Lei In Hawaii?

In Hawaii, lei are garlands of flowers given to welcome someone to the islands or to bid someone farewell. Many of the flowers mentioned in this article can be incorporated into the lei tradition.

What Is A Rare Flower From Hawaii?

One of Hawaii’s rarest flowers is the Silversword, which only grows in Maui, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. It’s an endangered plant.

Final Thoughts 

We hope you now have some inspiration for beautiful Hawaiian plants and flowers you can grow in your garden. 

The Hawaiian flowers in this article will make your garden more fragrant, colorful, and unique from the moment they start to bloom.

Richard Ennis

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