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Designing with Tropical Flowers

Hot summer? Time to get tropical!

Tropical flowers find their true purpose in the summer months, happy in the warmth and the perfect floral addition to go along with sunshine, relaxed outdoor living or even a carnival vibe!

Although they can be quite pricey per stem, the good news about tropical flowers is that you don’t need many to make an impression. Combined with bold foliage and textured or patterned containers they are guaranteed to create a statement piece every time.

At this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, florist Stephen McDonnell’s tablescape, ‘Think Before We Eat,’ inspired by a holiday to Costa Rica, featured a dining table laden with tropical flowers set in the middle of a rain forest. Designed to draw attention to the threat posed to the tropical world it was full of the most glorious flowers, reminding us all of how precious they, and the world in which they inhabit, is.

Tropical Flower Care

  • If delivered ‘dry’ unpack immediately on arrival and recut stems at an angle preferably using a sharp knife.

  • Immerse flowers fully in water at room temperature for about 10 minutes to assist rehydration.

  • Do not refrigerate.

  • Keep vases and containers topped up and change water every 3-4 days.

  • Mist daily.

Our Top Five Tropicals


Common Name: Dwarf pineapple.

Ideal temperature range: 12-15°C.

Store away from direct heat and draughts which can turn foliage edges brown.

Handle with care as leaves have sharp spines.


Common Name: Painter’s palette, Flamingo flower.

Minimum temperature for display: 15°C.

Lower temperatures will cause flowers to soften and blacken.

Long-lasting, 14-28 days, although this is reduced when arranged in floral foam.


Common Name: Siam or Summer tulip.

Ideal temperature: 12-20°C.

Avoid storing in the dark as this will cause the colour to fade.

Very sensitive to ethylene gas.

Needs good air circulation, don’t overcrowd containers.


Common Name: Lobster claw.

Minimum temperature for display: 15°C.

Flowers will blacken in low temperatures.

The bracts can be cleaned by washing them in a small amount of detergent, rinse well with water.


Common Name: Bird of Paradise.

Ideal temperature range: 10-15°C.

Change water and recut stems every other day to allow a constant flow of water to the flower.

Can be cleaned carefully with a damp cloth.

Within the green spathe is a second flower which can be teased out gently when the first has faded.




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