Heliconia are from the same plant family as bananas and ginger. They are also a tropical/Balinese themed plant as well as bird and butterfly attracting.

Tropical Garden

Heliconia – Tropica

There are so many varieties of Heliconia that vary in size and flower colour. Plants such as  “Tropica” along with “Bucky” grow to around the 1M to 2M mark, whereas most range from 3M to 4M and some even taller, such as “Barbados Flat” reaching 4M to 5M.


Heliconia – Kawauchi

Kawauchi and Richmond Red, just to name a couple, grow to the 3M to 4M mark and do very well in full sun to part shade with low maintenance. They make great privacy screening with their clumpy, upright foliage and rapid fast growing.  Red Christmas on the other hand grow around the 1M to 2M mark and does well in the shade to part sun, which explains the name as it is a winter flowering Heliconia.

As most flower Summer through to Autumn, Hot Rio Nights flower several times a year, sometimes even in winter making it a true favourite for your Tropical garden design. Similar looking as the Bird of Paradise, Heliconia flowers can also be upright spikes but also have long arching flowers often referred to large bird beaks. Most Heliconia have a bright red flower with a tinge of another colour, unlike “Chocolate Dancer”, with deep maroon and yellow/orange edges or Jacquinii with yellow edges on the bracts.

Whilst most are clumping in their habit others do tend to “run”, so it is important to ensure that garden edging is laid deep into the soil to ensure the plant doesn’t escape into the neighbouring property.  If you have existing garden beds then consider planting the plant into the garden in a large pot.  Good drainage should be ensured to safeguard the plant against rot.

Without a doubt, if you are designing a Tropical or Balinese garden then Heliconia is a must inclusion within what should be a very diverse plant selection.


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