Fragrant flowers of Hawaii – scented, beautiful and exotic flowers (updated 2023)
The fragrant flowers of Hawaii and plants are abundant and relatively easy to grow and enjoy on the islands. There’s so many delicious smells coming out of the gardens around the Hawaii and easy to spot the lovely smells and beautiful flowers that come from these tropical plants
If you are visiting, look out for these heavenly scents or if you live here, why not add more scented Hawaiian flowers in your garden to enjoy.
Why have fragrant Hawaiian flower plants in your garden?
There’s nothing like strolling through a garden of Hawaiian plants and just happening upon some delicious tropical scents from the garden. These pleasing smells evoke such powerful signals and memories and always puts a pleasant thoughts to visiting a scented garden in Hawaii.
A scented garden surprises you
With so much diversity of plants and tropical flowers growing in Hawaii, why not add more scented Hawaiian flowers in your garden to enjoy? Look out for these amazing beautiful plants and scented Hawaii flowers that you can easily grow in you garden now.
These are the most Fragrant plants in Hawaii to enjoy
There are so many to choose from, but the most popular and well known flowers are used for leis primarily gardenias, plumerias, jasmine and puakenikeni flowers.
These popular flowers are used because they are abundant and used primarily in leis, displays, perfumes and all sorts of lotions, shampoos and other products. It’s easy to see that the fragrant and scented flowers of Hawaii always bring a pleasant memory of visiting the islands.
Pikake or Jasmine flower
With over 200 species of this scented Hawaiian flower that grows so well in tropical to sub tropical gardens and make the best smelling flowers. You have your pick of so many different varieties. Jasmines are grown for their unique and distinctive aroma. Very easy to grow and well-maintained Jasmines grow best in moist but well drained soils and thrive in full sun.
The flower is the symbol of forever love and is considered a holy flower in Buddhist belief and lifestyle. In Hawaii, pikake leis are treasured and given as a symbol of love and friendship.
Here’s some highlights to the jasmine sambac below
A short flowering tree Hawaiian scented plumeria called Pikake flower can also grow as a shrub. Plumerias are popular plants to have in your garden and in making the Hawaiian scented leis everyone treasures.
Coming originally from the dry arid areas of Mexico, they thrive in warm and dry environments, full sun and with well-drained soil with slightly acidic soil. Easy to grow and maintain, plumerias can be trimmed to a large shrub form for easy access to the flowers if you want to harvest them.
Here’s a fun visit to a plumeria farm below
There’s nothing like seeing a huge field of scented ginger flowers in Hawaii with all those heavenly scents. Although ginger plants can be invasive, it should be planted in pots or areas that can be kept in control.
The most popular of Hawaiian ginger plants are the red or awapuhi ‘ula ‘ula which has been used in many hair products and shampoos.
The white and yellow gingers grow wild in Hawaii and spread easily in invasive groupings but is one of the flowers in Hawaii that is so well loved for its scent and use.
With a variety of ginger flower colors, here’s the highlights
A favorite Hawaiian plant grown on the islands for it’s intoxicating smells and lovely white flowers in Hawaii, gardenias are easy to grow and so well maintained.
Gardenias are admired for their large blooms, long lasting scents and even use as leis for special occasions. Even though it blooms year-round, you get more flushes in springtime to late summer in Hawaii.
Here’s little about growing gardenia flowers
There are some scented orchids that are so sweetly flowered and treasured in Hawaii. If you are looking for something special to grow, you’ll find scented orchids in every orchid genera including Oncidium like Sherry Baby, Rasberry and Chocolate, Dendrobiums like Anosmum and Kingianum, lovely Zygopetalums, Brassavolas, Phalaenopsis and scented Cattleyas.
There are so many Hawaiian orchid plants in each family that you can grow depending on what you would like to have in your garden. You can check out this list of different orchids to look for when you want some lovely scents in your home or garden.
Scented orchids in Hawaii are an unexpected surprise
One of the most scented beauties to have in a Hawaiian plant garden, the puakenikeni or Fagraea berteroana. Puakenikeni were known as the ‘ten cent flower’ for the cheap leis that were made with these wonderful aromas from the flower. Puakenikeni are always treasured lei because of the wonderful fragrance they impart when draped around your neck.
A scented tropical tree or larger shrub, it grows well in a tropical environment with full sun, well drained soils and lots of water in dry environments. Creamy white Hawaiian flowers turn to shades of yellow to orange when they get older and fade.
The puakenikeni is a white Hawaiian flower that blooms year-round which is a wonderful beauty and scent you can always have in the garden.
Preparing pua Kenikeni flowers for lei
The tuberose in Hawaiian is called Kapalo and the scents from this lovely flower are sweet and long lasting. The delicate displays of the flowers are like the shape and form of roses unfolding, hence the name.
Tuberose is a popular flower to grow for floral displays and even in lei-making.
A gorgeous tuberose flower with amazing fragrance
A very hardy everygreen shrub with small star shape flowers with a sweet and mellow scent with vanilla and gardenia overtones. Easy to grow and maintain and does well in full sun with little care. Blooms constantly year-round making this a worthwhile plant to have in the garden with no fuss.
A popular and easy to grow shrub on the islands
The crinum lily which is from the amaryllis family is has a subtle with vanilla and citrus scent and quite sweet smelling.
Grown in Asia, sub tropical environments and in Hawaii, this popular and easy to grow plant thrives in full sun, moisture and well drained soils to produce showy scented white blooms on sturdy spikes that make a showy statement and has a wonderful but subdued tropical and sweet scent.
Scented tropical Rhododendrons or Vireya
Tropical rhododendrons or vireyas as so sweetly scented in the morning hours and so aromatic to have in the garden.
Not all 300 species of vireyas are scented, so you can check out these particular vireya for their floral scents including: Coral Flare, Great Scent Sation, Scented Sun, Halo and Pink Jazz for adding some colorful and scented blooms to your garden.
Here’s more about tropical vireyas in Hawaii
Check out these other posts on growing a Hawaiian garden
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Hawaiian flowers FAQ
What are the most popular flowers in Hawaii?
Typically they are the scented flowers that can be made into lei like pikaki, jasmine, gardenia, plumeria and puakenikeni to name a few of the most popular white Hawaiian flowers
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