9 Tropical Plants With White Flowers

Neutral white flowers create a refined and elegant statement on their own or can serve as a complementary canvas for colorful flowers and interesting foliage. Here, garden expert Christina Conner shares her 9 favorite white-flowered tropical plants for indoor jungles or outdoor gardens.

Close-up of a Plumeria alba plant with tropical white flowers. The plant produces clusters of waxy, white flowers with yellow centers. The flowers are adorned with five delicate, overlapping petals, contrast beautifully against the glossy, dark green foliage.


Tropical white flowers can complement other blooms in tropical gardens filled with bold foliage and vivid flowers of every imaginable hue. White flowers can also make an elegant statement on their own. While white is sometimes underestimated, boring is far from an accurate descriptor for these plants.

Just as the white walls of a gallery allow their hung artwork to pop, white flowers can have a similar effect in the garden. When planted alone, these flowers contrast with shades of green foliage and create a classic garden look.

Whether towering above other plants, creeping along trellises and fences, or filling in empty spaces, there’s something for every tropical garden or indoor jungle. In this list, we’ve hand-picked our favorite tropical plants with white flowers and how to care for them.

White Bird of Paradise 

Close-up of a blooming Strelitzia alba, commonly known as White Bird of Paradise, in a sunny garden. White Bird of Paradise presents a striking appearance with its large, banana-like leaves and majestic inflorescence. The plant features are sturdy, upright stems crowned by fan-shaped clusters of glossy, dark green leaves that form a lush canopy. Rising from the foliage are tall stalks bearing unique white flowers with blue accents, resembling the plumage of a tropical bird in flight.
Grace your space with the majestic White Bird of Paradise.
botanical-name botanical name Strelitzia alba
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 18 feet tall x 5-6 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11
soil-needs soil needs Moist, well-draining, and nutrient-rich

Strelitzia alba, a striking tropical plant with white flowers, resembles a dove with white petals emerging from dark purple spathes. Appearing in a mass of big banana-leaf-like foliage, it’s hard not to see an army of birds! 

Compared to the common orange variety, S. reginae, S. alba grows much larger, with a potential height of 18 feet. Its leaves can reach four feet long, and flowers grow up to a foot long. Going even bigger, the giant variety Strelitzia nicolai can grow up to 30 feet tall.   

While full sun will provide the most blooms, Strelitzia can tolerate a bit of shade, making it a great houseplant option in non-tropical climates. 

White Frangipani

Close-up of a flowering Plumeria alba plant, also known as White Frangipani, in a tropical garden. White Frangipani boasts a stunning appearance with its glossy, leathery leaves and fragrant, waxy flowers. The plant features thick, succulent stems adorned with clusters of lance-shaped leaves arranged in spiral patterns. The branches bear clusters of white, five-petaled flowers with yellow centers.
Enjoy the beauty and fragrance of iconic frangipani flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Plumeria alba 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 20-25 feet tall x 15-25 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12 
soil-needs soil needs Well-draining and rich, prefers moderately moist to dry soil 

Perfect for full-sun spots, the iconic frangipani is perhaps the most well-known tropical flower. Though native to the Caribbean, they’re used as leis in Hawai’i and have deep cultural significance in Hindu and Buddhist religions. P. alba flowers have five thick white petals with a yellow center clumped together on the ends of branches, emitting a decadent, tropical fragrance.

You can overwinter Frangipani, but it needs full sun. Alternatively, you can induce dormancy by placing it near a window and ceasing watering during the winter months.

White Bougainvillea

Close-up of Bougainvillea 'Singapore White' in bloom. The plant enchants with its stunning appearance, featuring cascades of delicate, papery bracts in pure white. These bracts surround small, inconspicuous flowers, creating a mesmerizing contrast against the plant's bright green foliage.
Adorn your trellises and walls with the exquisite beauty of Bougainvillea.
botanical-name botanical name Bougainvillea ‘Singapore White’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4 feet tall x 4 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-12
soil-needs soil needs Sandy or loamy soils with good drainage and dry 

Seen crawling walls and trellises in Mediterranean and tropical climates, Bougainvillea is another iconic tropical flower. While common in bright colors, the papery flowers of the white bougainvillea stun when contrasted with a dark trellis or wall. Often sold under the trade name ‘Miss Alice,’ ‘Singapore White’ is a dwarf variety with a reduced thorn count. This variety looks great in hanging baskets or placed on top of an outdoor wall and allowed to trail.

Bougainvilleas do best in the same environments as the Frangipani – full sun and dry soil promote prolific blooming year-round. However, they can be coaxed into dormancy if overwintering indoors is needed. 


Close-up of a flowering plant, Ipomoea alba, commonly known as Moonflower, which captivates with its ethereal beauty, featuring large, pure white blossoms. The flower, resembling an oversized trumpet, stands out against the plant's heart-shaped leaves and twining vines. The flower has luminous white petals.
Elevate your evenings with the enchanting fragrance of moonflowers.
botanical-name botanical name Ipomoea alba
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 10-30 feet tall x 3-6 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12 
soil-needs soil needs Well-draining clay, silt, or sand

Named the moonflower for its unique nighttime blooming, this vine’s large white flowers open in the late afternoon, attracting nighttime pollinators like moths. A prolific climber with a sweet fragrance, the moonflower is beautifully showcased on trellises, fences, or other surfaces with full sun. With its sweet fragrance, it’s perfect near a patio where the nighttime blooms can be appreciated. 

Perennial in tropical areas, the moonflower is a fast-growing annual in cooler climates. Start I. alba from seed 6-8 weeks before transplanting when temperatures are safely above 60°F (16°C).

Peace Lily 

Close-up of flowering Spathiphyllum wallisii plants in a sunny garden. Spathiphyllum wallisii, commonly known as Peace Lily, presents a serene and elegant appearance with its glossy, dark green leaves and pristine white flowers. The plant forms a compact clump of lush foliage, with long, lance-shaped emerging leaves from the soil in an attractive rosette. Rising above the foliage on slender stems, the flowers consist of a white spathe enclosing a central spadix, creating a classic and refined silhouette.
Brighten your space with the timeless beauty of peace lilies.
botanical-name botanical name Spathiphyllum wallisii
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 1-6 feet tall x 1-5 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 11-12
soil-needs soil needs Moist (but never wet) with high organic matter content 

The peace lily is a showy focal point with creamy white spathes that contrast with broad, deep green leaves. Their tropical leaves pair well with the delicate fronds of a maidenhair fern or the variegated foliage of a prayer plant or pothos. 

Unlike most flowering plants, Spathiphyllum blooms in full shade with nutrient-rich soil, making them an excellent houseplant species. With over 40 species of Spathiphyllum to choose from, S. wallisii is a great houseplant for smaller spaces with its manageable size.

Note: Peace lilies are toxic to dogs and cats, so this plant needs to be kept out of reach or in a pet-free home.

Mangrove Spiderlily

Close-up of a flowering Hymenocallis latifolia plant against a blurred background of green foliage. Hymenocallis latifolia, commonly known as the Spider Lily, boasts a striking appearance with its tall, slender stems adorned with clusters of showy, white, spider-like flowers. Each flower features long, narrow petals that extend gracefully outward, resembling delicate spider legs. The flowers bloom atop sturdy stalks, rising above the plant's strap-shaped, glossy green leaves.
Transform boggy areas with the Mangrove Spiderlily’s elegance.
botanical-name botanical name Hymenocallis latifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3 feet tall x 2-4 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11
soil-needs soil needs Moist to wet soil rich with organic matter

The unique Mangrove spider lily is a funky option for boggy areas and water gardens with full sun exposure. The spider lily’s stamens protrude upward, and its slender petals curve downward to mimic—you guessed it—a spider.

The delicate white flowers add a stark contrast to the long, sturdy leaves. Evergreen and native to the mangroves of south Florida, the best way to overwinter this plant is to dig up their rhizomes in fall to store for spring. 

Butterfly Ginger

Close-up of a flowering Hedychium coronarium plant covered with raindrops in a sunny garden. Hedychium coronarium, commonly known as Ginger Lily, boasts a captivating appearance with its tall, erect stems crowned by clusters of white flowers. Each flower features intricate, petal-like structures that form a delicate, rounded bloom, reminiscent of a tropical orchid. The flowers are held aloft on sturdy stalks above the plant's lush, lance-shaped foliage.
Embrace the fragrance of Butterfly Ginger’s creamy white blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Hedychium coronarium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4-6 feet tall x 2-3 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10
soil-needs soil needs Well-draining, moist, and tolerant of occasional wet soil 

Named for its large butterfly-shaped creamy white flowers, this ornamental ginger is great outdoors in dappled sunlight or mildly shaded areas and typically blooms in late summer. It’s a great cut flower with a slightly spicy fragrance reminiscent of gardenia, jasmine, and coconut. These flowers are also a favorite pollinator for ants, so make sure to shake them well before bringing them indoors. 

Butterfly Ginger is slightly hardier than other tropicals and can survive a zone 7 winter if rhizomes are protected from freezing temperatures. If your winters get colder than this, overwinter them by removing the rhizomes from the soil in fall and storing until spring. They’re also known as a “pass along” plant because their rhizomes can be divided and given to friends (or anyone else who loves their delightful fragrance).   

Angel’s Trumpet

Close-up of a flowering Brugmansia 'Cypress Gardens' plant in a sunny garden. Brugmansia 'Cypress Gardens' captivates with its enchanting appearance, boasting pendulous, trumpet-shaped flowers that dangle gracefully from its branches. Each flower showcases a stunning blend of creamy white and soft green hues. The leaves are large, lush, and glossy green, with a smooth texture and an elongated oval shape.
Enjoy the divine fragrance of Angel’s Trumpet in your garden.
botanical-name botanical name Brugmansia ‘Cypress Gardens,’ Brugmansia x candida ‘Shredded White’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-8 feet tall x 2-4 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10
soil-needs soil needs Moist, well-drained, and well-fertilized

Named Angel’s Trumpet for its large, fragrant hanging flowers that resemble upside-down trumpets, B. arborea is a showoff tree for the tropical garden. Other species of white Brugmansia include Brugmansia x candida ‘Shredded White,’ a hybrid Angel’s Trumpet with twisty tendrils and divided petals, giving it a unique shredded look.

The more traditional Brugmansia ‘Cypress Gardens’ is a great option for containers. It blooms younger than other Brugmansias (most require 3-5 feet of growth to bloom) with prolific white blooms fading to a pale salmon color with age.

During their blooming season, they’re heavy feeders and need fertilization at least twice a month. In winter, leave them outside in tropical areas or bring them in to overwinter in cooler climates. The best way to overwinter Brugmansia is to place it in a sunny spot or allow it to go dormant in a cool, low-light area and reduce watering.  

Note: Angel’s Trumpet is very poisonous so wear protective clothing and wash your tools and hands after working with this plant. Keep away from pets and children.

Hardy Hibiscus ‘Luna White’

Close-up of Hardy Hibiscus 'Luna White' in bloom against a blurred background. The Hardy Hibiscus 'Luna White' (Hibiscus moscheutos) is a captivating sight with its large, saucer-shaped blooms that boast pure white petals and a prominent central stigma. Each flower features overlapping, rounded petals in white with bright pink contrasting strokes at the base, surrounding the prominent stigma.
Invite hummingbirds and butterflies with stunning hibiscus blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus moscheutos
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-6 feet tall x 2-5 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9
soil-needs soil needs Moist and occasionally wet and rich in organic matter

No tropical plant list could be complete without a mention of hibiscus. With hundreds of species worldwide, the hardy hibiscus (also known as rose mallow) grows in climates from Florida to Canada. While not technically tropical, it’s great for gardeners who want a tropical look but don’t want to overwinter indoors.

Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees are attracted to the red center of the saucer-shaped flowers of ‘Luna White.’

Final Thoughts

No matter your climate, soil, or sunlight, there’s always a way to pack a punch with these white-flowered tropical plants. Cold-climate gardeners can overwinter them indoors, and tropical-climate green thumbs can grow them outside year-round!

Whether you’re going for a uniform or multicolor look, white flowers pair well with colorful flowers or foliage.

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