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So you’ve spent a fair amount of time setting up your open space, choosing the comfortable seating, perhaps DIY decorating, and now fall brings new colors to the world. Why not throw the best Luau in Oahu? 

Autumn for those of us living on the islands means days get shorter and plants slow their growth. Some islands experience rainy seasons, others however drier ones. Unfortunately, our trees don’t go through the colorful changes, but luckily we’re blessed with some magically beautiful flowers that have the finest fall colors. 

Integrating live plants into the garden requires some preparations in advance, however, tabletop decorations are a bit easier. Here are some tips on how to brighten your backyard for a fall Luau, either this year or any consequent year to come.

Croton leaves, royal poinciana trees

Prepare your backyard and always be set for the best Luau in Oahu

If you’re looking for a backyard garden to look heavenly in the autumn months in Hawaii and to throw the best Luau in Oahu and wider, we’ve got your back! 

Imagine sitting on your lanai with your friends and family in cozy rattan furniture, sipping a favorite beverage with an umbrella stuck to its side, admiring the garden lit by a tiki torch. Sounds cliché, doesn’t it?  Even though the mainland provides the natural colors that we consider October colors, we can create the Hawaiian style fall Luau, and thanks to the tropical weather it can last up to Thanksgiving, after which we switch the colors and decorations to match that of December.

Hawaii provides some amazing trees that bloom in fall with enchantingly vibrant colors. The Hawaiian wiliwili and the royal poinciana trees bloom in intense orange to red flowers that cover the whole tree. In case you don’t mind raking and cleaning the yard, consider the false Kamani and the ​​blue marble trees: both start losing their old, red leaves when growing new ones; the latter even has an incredibly blue fruit that could serve as decoration.

Potted croton flower, coleus plant, marigold

Potted plants

Trees take some time to grow and to give that “wow” effect. Luckily, there are some colorful annuals and perennials at everyone’s disposal, if nowhere else, then at the local nurseries. 

One of the most popular flowers throughout the world in October is the marigold with its generous variations of yellow, orange, and red. A second favorite is the coleus flower, in its versatile varieties that transform any space into a rainbow show. 

Crotons and coleuses have amazing October-colored leafy foliage that will leave everyone breathless. These plants will thrive in full sun and will gift us with every shade of autumn colors.  These annuals will usually have seeds and you can either let the plant throw them away or you could collect them and plant them in new containers yourself. Either way, you will continuously have new babies growing into adult plants that will leave you blown away. These plants are great for pots that you can move around or as floral borders along with your lanai.

Seasonal decoration – the final touch for a fall Luau

Autumn means Halloween and Thanksgiving. These two very different holidays are celebrated in the fall, yet both require those magical autumn colors. When you’re set with plants all you need is the ornaments that will make the main difference.


Why not throw a spooky tropical autumn Luau to celebrate Halloween? 

Use the spirit of the islands: tiki everything! For example, hang up tiki masks on an empty wall. This will create a mysterious setting and protect Luau from evil spirits. The cheaper version would be a cardboard cutout of the masks. 

Decorate the skeletons in Hawaiian style: add a Lei around its neck, dress it in a traditional ​​hula kahiko and give it a potion as a drink. 

Carve traditional food: being that coconuts are pretty hard to carve, why not carve a pineapple? Spray the leaves black, the skin of the pineapple orange, giving it a contrast when carved. 

Paint the pumpkins: paint tiki faces onto them, give them a grass skirt and some feathers as headwear.


Remove the spooky decorations and replace them with a turkey-themed one. Pineapples can be turned into cute little turkeys sitting on a nest of flowers. Collect the orange and red leaves that have fallen to the ground into a basket, top them off with pinecones that you could paint into different colors to match the color scheme of the thanksgiving Luau. 

Get creative with natural utensils: serve the food on banana leaves instead of real plates, use half coconuts as bowls for fruit salads, carve a pineapple out and use it as a vase. Decorate your tabletop and give it a contrast with huge monstera leaves and small pumpkins.

In the end, don’t forget to put up tiki torches around the lanai to set the mood. If the evenings get a bit colder than usual, provide snug blankets that go with your outdoor furniture.