What Flowers Grow Well in Hawaii? (7 Amazing Options)

Hawaii is among the most beautiful places on earth, with fabulous sandy beaches, great weather, and beautiful plant life. Among its flora are incredible flowers that make visiting the state memorable.

So what flowers grow well in Hawaii? There’s a surprising range of different flowers that bloom in Hawaii, thanks to its tropical weather. These include the Yellow Hibiscus, Bird of Paradise, Pikake, Naupaka, Anthurium, and Blue Ginger.

There’s significant biodiversity when it comes to the plants in the Aloha State. However, this article will mainly focus on the flowers that make the archipelago unique, so read on to learn more about them and find your new favorite!

7 Amazing Flowers That Grow Well in Hawaii

Thanks to their dire need for care and attention, growing flowers isn’t an easy task.

That being said, they do lighten up the place and offer a positive mood, be it inside your home or in the backyard.

In Hawaii, there are a bunch of flowers to choose from! This article has some of those that will instantly make you fall in love with them because of their good looks and unique scents.

Hawaiian/Yellow Hibiscus

As Hawaii’s state flower, it had to be on the list!

There are so many different hibiscuses on the archipelago, but the yellow one is the most well-known, and most people picture it when thinking of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian hibiscus has lovely large petals that make it stand out, and it can only be found in Hawaii, too, making it unique.

Thanks to the state’s tropical weather and rich soil, these rare and endangered flowers can be seen blooming almost all year round.

Several new variants of the species were bred, making the hibiscus flower not as rare as a whole, just the yellow ones.

They will definitely make any garden look unique, as the plants live up to five years. However, don’t expect to get a scent from these flowers as they’re mostly odorless.

Bird of Paradise

One of Hawaii’s nicknames is “Paradise,” so it’s fitting to see the beautiful bird of paradise plants all over the islands.

Looking like an exotic bird with vibrant colors taking flight, the bird of paradise is definitely a sight to behold.

If you intend to have several flowers in your garden, these will make a great addition to accent it with their different colors and unique look.

Unfortunately, they take a while to bloom, but it is worth the wait, so be patient when growing your own.

In the meantime, you can enjoy them on the islands on hiking trails and near waterfalls, among other places.


Translating to the word “Peacock” in English, the pikake is essentially the jasmine flower.

It’s considered to be the late Princess Kaʻiulani’s favorite flower and was named after her favorite bird.

Like Arabian and Indian jasmine, these flowers have beautiful white petals and a distinct smell that has, over time, become the state’s signature scent.

The buds are usually woven together in several strands to make a rope lei and are usually offered to honored guests.

These flowers are a great addition to any garden, and a great trick is to plant them near windows so that their scent can seep through with any breeze coming through.

Scaevola taccada, also known as beach cabbage, sea lettuce, beach naupaka, a tropical flowering plant


Another white petaled flower with a great scent, the Naupaka flowers, are endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago and have an interesting look to them.

When you look at the naupaka flowers, you’ll find that they look like flowers that had half of their petals removed.

A Hawaiian legend tells the story of why the flower looks that way and why you can only find it either in the mountains or near the beaches.

It speaks of a princess named Naupaka, who fell in love with a peasant whom she wasn’t allowed to marry.

Desperate for a solution, she traveled with her love to a priest in a faraway temple, who, unfortunately, couldn’t help them.

Heartbroken, she removed the flower from her hair and cut it in half!

She gave one half to her love and asked him to return to the beach; meanwhile, she traveled to the mountains and stayed there.

Even though the story is a myth, it’s still a nice one that gives the flower an interesting background and shows how connected the culture is to the land.


One of the most recognizable flowers in Hawaii and most associated with the islands, its peachy-pink large petals are unmistakable.

Interestingly, the plumeria isn’t native to the archipelago but was rather introduced to it in 1860.

Woven into leis and put on guests, these are the flowers that people mostly see in Hawaiian airports and hotels.

If you have one of these flowers and intend to wear it behind your ear, be careful which ear you wear it on!

In Hawaiian culture, if a woman puts a flower behind her left ear, it means that she’s married and/or unavailable.

However, if she puts it behind her right, it means that she’s single and/or looking for love. This isn’t just for plumerias, though, but any flower.

Picture of a red Ginger or Ostrich Plume (Alpinia purpurata) isolated on a white background. Used in article titled What Flowers Grow Well in Hawaii


There are so many different kinds of ginger on the islands, but first, you need to know what you’re looking at.

People tend to mistake the colorful bracts on the ginger plant for the flowers. The flowers tend to be white in color, small in size, and are at the top of these bracts.

Red gingers have red bracts and are considered to be one of the most common species of ginger found on the islands.

There are also different variants, including white, pink, and yellow ones.

The blue ginger, on the other hand, is by far the most stunning, thanks to its purplish-blue-hued bracts that spike out of the plant itself.

Unfortunately, the blue ginger plants are also rarer to find, with most of them being on Maui.

Not only is ginger planted for its beauty, but for its roots, too, which have health benefits.

The ginger roots are used in drinks to soothe stomachs and in shampoos to stimulate hair growth.

They’re a great addition to any garden, as they give a pop of color to the overall landscape, but be careful because they’re tough to clean.


Anthurium is the most cultivated decorative flower in Hawaii, thanks to its varying sizes and colors.

Coming in all kinds of shapes and sizes, it’s no surprise to find people adding anthuriums to their gardens.

Like the previously mentioned gingers, anthuriums’ beauty comes from its bracts, not its flowers. Its bracts resemble flat, heart-shaped leaves that look lovely among other plants and from which extrudes a spadix.

The spadix is a tube-shaped extension from the plant that’s covered with small flowers completing the gorgeous look.

Something that you need to be wary of is that the plant is poisonous to both humans and animals alike. So keep it out of reach of pets and children if you intend to plant it.

Final Words: What Flowers Grow Well in Hawaii

There’s a wide selection of plants to choose from when deciding on what you want to plant in your Hawaiian garden, but each has its look and scent.

Choosing what’s going to work with the rest of the plants you already have is going to rely on your personal preference.

That being said, you can’t deny that Hawaii has a unique variety in its flora. It’s recommended that you go see some in-person to figure out which works best for you.

Finally, whichever flower or blossoms you end up choosing, remember that it’ll need care and attention on your part. This is to ensure that they stay beautiful and bloom beautifully in your garden.

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