These blooming beauties will add a touch of the tropics to your home.

By BH&G Garden Editors
Updated January 14, 2020
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Plants that come from tropical regions of the world often grow well in our warm homes. In addition to their lush leaves, many of these tropical species will produce gorgeous blooms indoors. Some are even fragrant! A few of these plants can be little more finicky than others to grow when it comes to water and light, but most are fairly easy-care and make great options when you're just beginning your houseplant collection. We rounded up 11 of our favorite flowering tropical plants, along with our best tips for keeping them healthy so you can enjoy their blooms for as long as possible.

African Violets
Credit: Marty Baldwin

1
African Violet

A classic favorite among plant parents, African violet (Saintpaulia) produces a single rosette of velvety green leaves on short leafstalks. It has clusters of single, semidouble, or double flowers in white, pink, red, violet, purple, blue, lime green, pale yellow, or bicolor. Petals of this tropical flowering houseplant are ruffled, rounded, or fringed.

Size: Up to 12 inches tall.

Light: African violets will still bloom in low light, but tend to flower more in brighter, indirect light.

Watering: Water at least once a week in the summer and more frequently in the winter when the soil dries out more quickly. Avoid getting water droplets on the leaves (which will damage them), place the pot in a shallow dish filled with about an inch of water for 30 minutes so the roots can soak up water from the bottom.

Buy It: Two Mini African Violet Plants, $16.95, Etsy

anthurium
Credit: Marty Baldwin

2
Anthurium

Popular as a tropical flower for the home, Anthurium is available in hundreds of varieties that produce stately, brightly colored blooms. These plants adapt to the low light and erratic humidity of most homes and can bloom almost constantly.

Size: Up to 20 inches tall.

Light: Bright, indirect light—direct light is too much for Anthurium, and while it'll still grow in low light, it'll produce fewer flowers.

Watering: Water when the soil is dry to the touch (Anthurium doesn't like consistently moist soil).

Buy It: Easy Care Red Anthurium, $28.57, Walmart

Begonia
Credit: Marty Baldwin

3
Begonia

Often used as an annual outside, Begonia makes a pretty indoor plant, too, particularly fibrous and rhizomatous varieties. Many produce foliage that's just as attractive as the clusters of small, colorful blooms. Most begonias are easy to grow, especially if they receive plenty of bright light during the day.

Size: Up to 18 inches as houseplants.

Light: Place in bright, indirect light.

Watering: Indoors, begonias are particularly vulnerable to overwatering. Wait until the soil is dry before giving them a drink—you can even wait until you see the plant start to droop a little before watering again. Avoid splashing water on the leaves, which can make your begonias more susceptible to diseases.

Buy It: Pink Angel Wing Begonia, $4.99, Walmart

Bromeliad
Credit: Denny Schrock

4
Bromeliad

Striking and unusual, a bromeliad blooms only once, then slowly—sometimes over several years—reproduces by forming offshoots before the main plant dies. The offshoots can be repotted as their own plants. Bromeliads have tricky care requirements depending on their root systems, so be sure to investigate the type you are buying and know its needs if you try growing it as a houseplant.

Size: Some tropical species can grow up to 8 feet tall, but most bromeliads grown as houseplants will only grow up to 3 feet.

Light: Medium to bright light.

Watering: Pour a small amount of water into the cup-shape leaves in the center of the plant to keep it consistently moist. Empty out the water weekly and refill to prevent it from becoming stagnant.

Buy It: Guzmania Bromeliad 'Orange,' $29.99, Etsy

deep red calla lilly
Credit: Marty Baldwin

5
Calla

The elegant flower of the calla (Zantedeschia) is actually a spathe (a petal-like leaf) that curls around a column of fragrant yellow true flowers. A popular choice for bouquets and flower arrangements, you can find calla in white, pink, yellow, orange, or red.

Size: Up to 3 feet tall.

Light: Bright, indirect light.

Watering: Keep consistently moist while the plant is in bloom, then let it dry out as the plant dies to encourage new growth.

Buy It: 5 Mixed Calla Lily Bulbs, $15.87, Walmart

Clivia
Credit: Robert Cardillo

6
Clivia

Large clusters of trumpet-shape orange blooms top leathery, dark green leaves on this tropical houseplant. The flowers fade in late spring and are followed by ornamental red berries. Clivia should be repotted infrequently as it takes years to bloom afterwards.

Size: Up to 3 feet tall.

Light: Bright, indirect light.

Watering: Water deeply to keep the soil a little moist between waterings, but let your plant dry slightly before giving it another drink.

Buy It: Mature Orange Clivia Plant, $29.99, Walmart

Columnea plant close up with orange flower buds
Credit: Dean Schoeppner

7
Columnea

More than 150 species of Columnea exist. They can be smooth or hairy; thin or thick and waxy; and dark or light green, bronze, or variegated with small orange, red, or yellow tubular flowers. It's commonly called goldfish plant because varieties with orange flowers look just like swimming fish.

Size: 18 to 24 inches.

Light: Bright, indirect light.

Watering: Keep the soil slightly moist during the summer, then let it dry out slightly between waterings in the winter.

Buy It: Goldfish Plant 2 Pack, $4.99, Walmart

Gardenia augusta potted plant
Credit: Marty Baldwin

8
Gardenia

With large glossy, dark green leaves and fragrant creamy white flowers, Gardenia blooms from spring through fall. It's tricky when used as a tropical flower for the home—it won't set flowers when warmer than 65°F at night; it also needs high humidity and lots of sunlight, so it works best in a cool greenhouse.

Size: Can grow up to 8 feet outdoors, but are commonly up to 3 feet indoors.

Light: Place in a spot that gets at least half a day of direct sunlight.

Watering: Water when the soil is dry to the touch.

Buy It: Dwarf Gardenia Plant, $41.11, Lowe's

lipstick plant
Credit: Dean Schoeppner

9
Lipstick Plant

Dark purple tubular cups with a scarlet flower bud appear at the ends of lipstick plant's (Aeschynanthus) branches. It blooms sporadically when used as a tropical flower for the home and is accented by dark green leaves. When it gets warm out, you can also take your lipstick plant outside and grow it on a porch or patio where it'll get some extra sun.

Size: Up to 20 inches tall.

Light: Medium light.

Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist.

Buy It: Mona Lisa Lipstick Plant Hanging Pot, $11.99, Walmart

Morchid hanger
Credit: Adam Albright

10
Moth Orchid

The moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) is better known for its striking flowers than for its leathery leaves. It's one of the easier types of orchids to grow indoors, and comes in an array of flower colors. It usually blooms once or twice a year, usually in the cooler winter months.

Size: Up to 1 foot indoors.

Light: Low to bright light.

Watering: Water once a week or so, just before it feels completely dry to the touch.

Buy It: Phalenopsis Orchid in Grower Pot, $20.23, The Home Depot

Peace Lily Spathiphyllum wallisii 'Domino'
Credit: Blaine Moats

11
Peace Lily

The distinctive flower of peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is a pure white bract that forms a softly curved backdrop for the central column of tiny, closely set flowers, known as a spadix. It's a favorite indoor tropical plant for its attractive deep green foliage and long-lasting blooms.

Size: Up to 3 feet.

Light: Bright, indirect light, but it can also tolerate low light (though you'll get fewer blooms in low light).

Watering: Peace lilies don't like soggy soil, so let the plant dry out between waterings.

Buy It: Spathiphyllum 'Sweet Pablo,' $28.23, The Home Depot

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