For anyone who has ever been to Hawaii, you know how beautiful it is over there. The plants are lush and green with vibrant colors that are rarely seen stateside. These exotic plants just seem to grow naturally with no help at all. So why can’t we grow them here? Well, the good news is you can (under the right conditions, of course). Gardeners have been growing Hawaiian and other exotic flowers for years with excellent results. You don’t even have to live in a tropical climate in order to do it. So how do you grow Hawaiian flowers? Is there anything special that you need? What species of flowers do the best? If you want to turn your regular garden into a tropical garden full of beautiful and colorful flowers, check out some of the tips below.
Where Do You Live
The biggest factor in trying to grow Hawaiian flowers is going to be determined by where you live. Sure, Hawaii has the ideal climate conditions for growing these types of tropical plants and flowers; it is still possible to do it in a non-tropical environment. The best climate in the U.S. is going to be in the southern states where it is warmer. Florida, Texas, and anywhere along the coast are the best places. The weather is warm and living so close to the ocean usually brings in enough moisture for the plants to thrive. They will still need additional care from other plants since they are not native to the region but most nurseries and garden supply stores will carry what you need. If you don’t live near the coast and the summer months can get pretty dry, these tropicals will need more water than normal.
If you happen to live in a cooler climate such as the northern states, don’t despair. You can still grow Hawaiian flowers there, too. You just have to be more selective. Some Hawaiian plants are hardy enough to thrive outside but many of them you will need to bring indoors during the harsh winters. The key to getting these plants to thrive indoors is plenty of proper light, water, and supplements.
Growing Hawaiian Flowers
Growing Hawaiian flowers to their fullest requires some careful care, they need to be in the right place. Again, this will depend largely on the local climate. Outdoors is always best so that they get natural light and nutrients from the soil. But if you can’t leave them outside, you have some options.
A greenhouse can make the ideal environment for tropicals. They are warm and it is easier to keep the plants moist. You can even control the amount of light with the right screens or coverings. Pests are also easier to keep out and control. Greenhouses come with their own set of problems, of course. Plants can still be prone to disease which can rapidly spread and you have to make sure that the flowers get the proper nutrients.
If you can’t keep the flowers outdoors and you don’t have a greenhouse, then you can grow them indoors in pots and baskets. Growing them indoors can be tricky and many plants don’t do well. If you have a sunroom then that is the next best thing to a greenhouse. With all the windows, the plants will be sure to get plenty of light. If you don’t have a sunroom, put the plants close to a window. Hawaiian and other tropical flowers seem to do well under fluorescent lighting so you can even try setting up fluorescent lights. If tropical are indoors, you need to make sure they get plenty of fertilizers and nutrient supplements. And make sure they get watered daily because indoor air conditioning and heating tends to dry out the soil quicker.
Species of Hawaiian Flowers
There are many species of Hawaiian flowers and each one has its own requirements for care and maintenance. Here are some of the more popular plants and how to get them to grow.
- Bird of Paradise – A very colorful and popular flower, it has a bright blue and orange crest that resembles a bird. You want to plant this flower in sandy loam and make sure it gets plenty of water and general fertilizer. Monitor the temperature so that it never gets below 65 degrees F. If you are planting seeds, soak them for an hour and then plant them in cups where the soil can drain properly. It takes about a month for these seeds to germinate.
- Hibiscus – This is another popular flowering plant that comes in a variety of colors. They do best if you keep the soil moist and keep the plant out of direct sunlight. You want to use a heavy soil mixed with peat moss. Hibiscus does well indoors so you can keep them in a pot.
- Orchids – There are several varieties of orchids that come in different colors. Each one has a slightly altered care. But in general terms for most orchids, they need plenty of full sunlight and high humidity. Most orchids need to be planted in some type of tree bark, usually fir. They require fertilizing twice a month during warm weather.
- Plumeria – This is another flowering plant with white, red, or pink flowers. They need to be planted using a sandy, porous soil and require full sunlight. When watering, water the plants thoroughly then allow to dry out before watering again. If planting seeds, plant them about 2 to 3 inches deep. They grow pretty fast so it only takes about 2 weeks for them to sprout.