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Planting A Garden With Pink Tropical Flowers

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The author lives in a quiet rural community in lower Puna on the Big Island. He's an avid gardener, traveler, and photographer.

Clockwise from top: Hibiscus, Medinilla  (Chandelier Tree), Heliconia.

Clockwise from top: Hibiscus, Medinilla (Chandelier Tree), Heliconia.

Pretty in pink

Pink is one of the most attractive and conspicuous colors. When the word “pink” is mentioned, many images come to mind: cherry blossoms, sunset, flamingos, cotton candy, strawberry ice cream, Pepto-Bismol, The Pink Panther, etc. There’s even a ‘pink moon’ which is named after the wildflower that blooms on the prairies of North America – during the first full moon of the spring season.

Artistically, pink is the result of mixing red (a primary color) with white (a neutral color). There are countless hues and shades of pink, depends on the amount of red or white in the mix.

In the botanical world, flowers also come in a dizzying array of pink varieties! From pastel pink to deep pink, from berry pink to coral pink, etc. Magenta and fuchsia are two of the most dazzling pink variations that can be found in many flowers, particularly tropical flowers.

The photos in this article were taken at various private gardens located in the lower Puna district on the Big Island of Hawaii (USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 12b).

planting-a-garden-with-pink-tropical-flowers
Plumeria in sunset pink (top) and blush pink (bottom).

Plumeria in sunset pink (top) and blush pink (bottom).

Anthurium is widely cultivated in Hawaii.

Anthurium is widely cultivated in Hawaii.

Pink tropical flower gardening tips

  • Heliconia, hibiscus, plumeria, and bougainvillea are some of the tropical flowers that have numerous pink varieties.
  • These beautiful tropical flowers can be planted directly in the garden or in pots/containers on the patio or in a greenhouse (for protection during cold winter months).
  • Tropical flowers prefer well-drained, humus-rich soil, and plenty of moisture. Regular watering is the key to keep them blooming again and again.
  • Most tropical flowers prefer full sun but some like impatiens and anthuriums require shady areas to thrive.
Starburst Clerodendrum blooms abundantly each season.

Starburst Clerodendrum blooms abundantly each season.

Allamanda is a prolific climber, this variety has deep rose color flowers.

Allamanda is a prolific climber, this variety has deep rose color flowers.

Pink hibiscus shrub makes an attractive hedge.

Pink hibiscus shrub makes an attractive hedge.

Bougainvillea prefers full sun and is drought tolerant.

Bougainvillea prefers full sun and is drought tolerant.

  • Pink tropical flowers provide an intimate, romantic effect for the garden.
  • Because pink is a mix of red and white, pink tropical flowers look best when planting near other flowers in either red or white color. For example, magenta and white bougainvillea look striking next to each other!
  • Pink tropical flowers add an exotic touch to any garden, especially when planting en masse (e.g. a hedge of pink hibiscus), creating an instant “tropical island getaway” look.
  • Planting a flower bed or border exclusively with pink tropical flowers (like Madagascar periwinkle) can be quite dramatic, especially when mixing with other tropical foliage plants like bromeliads or caladiums.
Vinca or Madagascar periwinkle has numerous pink varieties.

Vinca or Madagascar periwinkle has numerous pink varieties.

Oleander flowers smell heavenly and look like roses.

Oleander flowers smell heavenly and look like roses.

Tropical Rhododendron loves acidic soil and blooms year round in Hawaii.

Tropical Rhododendron loves acidic soil and blooms year round in Hawaii.

Spicy Jatropha flowers in deep fuchsia.

Spicy Jatropha flowers in deep fuchsia.

Heliconia psittacorum 'Bella Donna'.

Heliconia psittacorum 'Bella Donna'.

Different pink varieties of Anthurium, they also make great cut flowers.

Different pink varieties of Anthurium, they also make great cut flowers.

  • Pink is a “warm” color therefore planting pink tropical flowers near other flowers with “cool” colors like blue or purple will give the garden a calming, soothing effect.
  • In contrast, mixing pink tropical flowers with other flowers in “warm” colors like yellow or orange will make the garden “pop”, i.e. looks more vibrant and eye-catching.
Plumeria with vivid magenta flowers.

Plumeria with vivid magenta flowers.

Mountain Apple is a popular fruit tree in Hawaii, also known for its pretty flowers.

Mountain Apple is a popular fruit tree in Hawaii, also known for its pretty flowers.

Begonia with dangling ultra pink flowers.

Begonia with dangling ultra pink flowers.

Light pink Impatiens makes a lovely flower bed, especially for shaded areas in the garden.

Light pink Impatiens makes a lovely flower bed, especially for shaded areas in the garden.

Hawaiian Pink Ginger (left) and Pink Torch Ginger (right).

Hawaiian Pink Ginger (left) and Pink Torch Ginger (right).

Lavender pink flowers of a Vanda Orchid.

Lavender pink flowers of a Vanda Orchid.

Did you know

  • For centuries, male infants and young men in the European courts were dressed in pink. Kings and older noblemen traditionally wore red (a color represents power and virility), therefore boys and younger men wore pink (lighter shade of red) to indicate their “coming of age” to manhood as well as royal lineage.
  • During the Victorian era, pink dresses and accessories suddenly became a hot fashion among the queens and court ladies! This forever changed the perception of the pink color – and created a stereotype belief that pink is a feminine color.
  • Written by French singer Édith Piaf in 1945, the song “La Vie En Rose” (literally translated “Life in Pink”) paints a portrait of a lovely world seen through rose-tinted glasses by lovers.
  • Hydrangea can be grown in tropical climate. In Hawaii, they thrive in high elevation areas where there is plenty of rain and cooler temperatures. Hawaiian hydrangea often have blue flowers because it grows in the acidic volcanic soil (pH below 7). By adding high-alkaline fertilizer (pH above 7), blue hydrangea will quickly change to pink!
Hydrangea with its showy pink flowerhead.

Hydrangea with its showy pink flowerhead.

Hongkong Orchid Tree (not really an orchid)  with its delicate pastel pink blooms.

Hongkong Orchid Tree (not really an orchid) with its delicate pastel pink blooms.

Pink Coral Vine is another prolific climber with strings of dainty, small flowers.

Pink Coral Vine is another prolific climber with strings of dainty, small flowers.

Tubular-shaped flowers of the Pink Trumpet Tree.

Tubular-shaped flowers of the Pink Trumpet Tree.

Bougainvillea comes in many different shades of pink.

Bougainvillea comes in many different shades of pink.

About this hub

The author’s favorite pink tropical flower is the pink Rainbow Shower Tree (Cassia javanica). Their petals fall in the wind like pink snowflakes and cover the ground under the tree in a stunning pink floral carpet!

All photos were taken by the author with an Olympus Stylus TG-630 iHS digital camera and iPhone 6.

Pink Rainbow Shower Tree in full bloom.

Pink Rainbow Shower Tree in full bloom.

© 2017 Viet Doan