15 Perfect Plants To Grow If You Live In A Tropical Environment

Growing warm-weather plants in your garden can immensely benefit homeowners. For those in tropical or subtropical climates, adding these plants can bring a pop of color to the yard or add significant vegetable and fruit growing prowess to your home.

Becoming a little more self-sufficient is a great approach for any homeowner, and the enjoyment of working in the garden and creating something with your hands can benefit you in multiple ways (via Healthline). From fruits and vegetables to flowering plants and other stunning tropical varieties, there are many options for rounding out the planting areas of your lawn. However, this isn't the only way to use tropical plants. Anyone can grow something spectacular inside their home, even in colder climates.

Adding a few flowers to the kitchen or living room can change your home's energy. For a grand entry into the world of tropical gardening, these 15 plants are sure to make a big splash.

1. Blood flower

The blood flower (Asclepias curassavica) is a stunning red and yellow flowering plant originally found in the American tropics (via Plants For A Future). The cluster of flowers on each plant makes for a spectacular addition to any tropical garden. They are known to attract pollinators and, as a result, can be environmentally beneficial in your yard alongside the wonderful pop of color.

Bloom Season: June to October

USDA Growing Zone: 10 to 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Well-drained, sandy/loamy

Size: 2 to 3 feet

2. Hawaiian Hibiscus

The Hawaiian or Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is another excellent addition to any tropical garden environment. These flowers originate on the island of Vanuatu, farther west into the Pacific Ocean, according to Petal Republic. They thrive in the volcanic soils of Pacific islands and coastal regions.The Hawaiian hibiscus frequently is an evergreen, with flowering occurring in the later summer months and into fall in cooler areas. 

Bloom Season: Summer

USDA Growing Zone: 9 to 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun, partial shade

Soil Type: Well-drained

Size: 4 to 10 feet 

3. Trumpet vine

Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a climbing flower that explodes in late summer into red or orange blossoms (via The Royal Horticultural Society). The flowers are striking in both their color and density. These are great in a sunny spot in the garden and can make for a fantastic statement in your landscaping. However, carefully pruning the vines is a must because they grow quickly and can take over segments of your lawn without proper care.

Bloom Season: Summer

USDA Growing Zone: 4 through 10

Growing Conditions: Full sun, partial shade

Soil Type: Moist, clay, sand

Size: 30 to 40 feet

4. Tiger flower

The tiger flower (Tigridia) is a flowering plant that is part of the Iris family, according to NC State Extension. These plants are native to Mexico and South America and produce beautiful, brightly-colored flowers that will be a perfect addition to your tropical garden.

Bloom Season: Summer

USDA Growing Zone: 8 to 10

Growing Conditions: Full sun, partial shade

Soil Type: Well-drained, sandy, loamy, high organic matter

Size: 1 to 2 feet

5. Limes

Fruits are a great addition to tropical gardens, and limes are no exception. Limes were originally brought to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese explorers, according to the University of Florida Extension. Today, Key Lime trees (Citrus aurantiifolia) are a staple in Florida. The fruits are great for complimenting drinks and dishes, so growing these fruits can add a new dimension to your kitchen. 

USDA Growing Zone: 9 to 11

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Sandy loam, well-drained

Size: 15 to 20 feet

6. Cucumbers

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus,) are a great addition to a vegetable garden because they grow quickly and can be used in several practical applications (via Texas A&M University Extension). Whether you are looking to jar and pickle your cucumbers or use them fresh as a garnish in tzatziki and other similar sauces and other recipes, cucumbers are a great staple crop to include in your home garden.

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Sandy, loamy, well-drained

Size: Vines can reach 6 to 8 feet

7. Cardinal climber

Cardinal climbers or cypress vines (Ipomoea quamoclit) are flowering vine species native to the tropics. These beautiful scarlet flowers will be a great addition to a tropical garden and are known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, per NC State Extension. Plant them in any area with upright support and watch them thrive.

Bloom Season: Summer and fall

USDA Growing Zone: 11 and 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Well-drained

Size: 6 to 15 feet

8. Orange trees

Oranges (Citrus sinensis) are a staple crop in areas like California and Florida. These are wonderfully juicy citrus fruits that like well-draining, moist soil (via Love the Garden) and a general heat that can be found in abundance throughout the tropical zones. Once you've established a few trees, they will continue to produce fruit for many years.

USDA Growing Zone: 9 to 11

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Well-drained, moist

Size: 18 to 22 feet

9. Coconuts

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) trees are pretty simple to grow and, once established, will thrive in a tropical yard. Coconuts palms are great if you want fresh coconut water, milk, or fruit (although the Library of Congress notes that coconuts are actually one-seeded drupes, making them a fruit, nut, and seed all at once). 

Bloom Season: Spring

USDA Growing Zone: 10 to 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Loamy, sandy, well-drained

Size: Up to 100 feet, dwarf varieties 15 to 30 feet

10. Pineapple

Pineapples (Ananas comosus) are easy to cultivate in tropical climates. Cutting the top section off a pineapple and planting it in the soil is all it takes to start a new pineapple plant (via Masterclass). After about six months of growth, a planted pineapple begins to form a new fruit that grows out of a stem from the top of the old leafy growth. In addition to smelling great, fresh pineapple compliments nearly any fruity dish or drink.

Bloom Season: Varies

USDA Growing Zone: 10 to 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Well-drained

Size: 3 to 5 feet

11. Strawberries

Strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa) grow in abundance in parts of the southern United States, and many farms produce so many that they offer steep discounts to individuals who want to try their hands at becoming a picker for the day or afternoon. Strawberries are refreshing and surprisingly easy to grow. Often, they are planted from runners or bare-root plants, according to StrawberryPlants.org, but you can grow a new strawberry plant from seed if you're diligent with watering and maintenance.

Bloom Season: Late spring to early summer

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Soil Type: Loamy, well-drained

Size: 4 to 12 inches

12. Chusan palm

The Chusan palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is a tropical palm tree that's hardy in much colder temperatures than many other varieties. Chusan palms grow a thick central stalk that fans out across the upper portion with typical palm fronds, yet the plant can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (via Gardening Etc.) This makes the palm a versatile option in gardens that experience both tropical climates and cold snaps alike.

Bloom Season: June and July

USDA Growing Zone: 8 to 10

Growing Conditions: Partial shade, 

Soil Type: Loamy, sandy, well-drained

Size: 8 to 10 feet

13. Bird of Paradise

The Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a unique flowering plant native to South Africa (via Gardeners World). This flower grows a sturdy stem that can support the weight of birds — helping to pollenate the flowers in the process. The Bird of Paradise looks like a small blue and orange bird spreading its wings. It makes an electric addition to any tropical garden. However, it's important to note that it is toxic to house pets.

Bloom Season: Late winter, early spring

USDA Growing Zone: 9 to 12

Growing Conditions: Full sun, partial shade

Soil Type: Loamy, well-drained

Size: 3 to 4 feet

14. Ginger lily

The ginger lily (Hedychium) is a perennial flower that blossoms vertically along the upper portion of the plant's stem. Ginger lilies bloom with densely packed orange flowers.  According to Gardenia, the ginger lily is a great garden asset, even when the flowers aren't blooming. The foliage goes a long way to creating a tropical ambiance with its broad, deep green leaves that follow in the same vein as banana or palm leaves.

Bloom Season: Late summer

USDA Growing Zone: 8 to 11

Growing Conditions: Light shade 

Soil Type: Moist, well-drained

Size: 3 to 6 feet

15. Arrow bamboo

Arrow bamboo plants (Pseudosasa japonica) are a great way to create a natural barrier between your yard and the neighbors' space, and they perform well in warmer climates. This particular variety is one of the most widespread in America (via Bamboo Garden). Routine watering is all that's needed to cultivate virtually any bamboo species, and the results speak for themselves.

Bloom Season: N/A, rarely flowers

USDA Growing Zone: 5 through 9

Growing Conditions: Full sun or shade

Soil Type: Loamy

Size: Up to 14 feet