Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (2022)

What are some of the best flowers to grow in Florida? Here are some of my top picks. By Justin Hancock

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (1)

Pentas

You can’t go wrong planting low-maintenance pentas in your yard. One of the easiest flowers to grow in Florida, pentas blooms nonstop, producing showy clusters of red, pink, lavender, or white flowers. The blooms are beautiful and also irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds. I frequently see zebra longwing butterflies (Florida’s official state butterfly) visiting the pentas in my yard. There is a host of varieties available that grow different sizes, from dwarf (that reach 12 to 14 inches tall) to full size (that can top out at 36 to 48 inches tall). A new collection, called Falling Star, stay low and are useful in

groundcovers

and hanging baskets.

Grow pentas in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Once established, it’s moderately drought tolerant. Regularly fertilizing in spring and summer will help encourage best blooms in sandy soils. Or you can use a slow-release fertilizer a couple of times per year. It thrives in both container gardens and landscapes. Pentas is a perennial that grows well in North, Central, and South Florida.

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (2)

Evolvulus

Also called Blue Daze, evolvulus is a charming groundcover that offers true-blue flowers, a rarity in the gardening world. Those sky-blue flowers look great against its silvery-green foliage. It blooms nonstop, making it valuable for edging garden beds and borders or spilling over the side of a container garden. One quality that makes evolvulus such a good choice for Florida gardens is that it’s delightfully drought tolerant. Once established it rarely needs watering outside of natural rainfall. If evolvulus has a downside, it’s that its blooms are glorious in the morning, but usually close up by noon -- so be sure to plant it where you’ll enjoy it during the morning hours. Evolvulus typically grows about 6 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide.

Grow evolvulus in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Fertilizing it helps encourage best bloom display. It’s reliably perennial in Central and South Florida; in North Florida, it behaves more like an annual, especially in colder-than-average winters.

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Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (3)

Coreopsis

Coreopsis, Florida’s official state flower, is one of the cheeriest plants you can grow in your garden. Most varieties show off daisy-shaped golden-yellow flowers, but plant breeders have been busy and you can find selections with single or double flowers, and blooms in shades of yellow, gold, orange, red, and pink. No matter what variety of coreopsis you grow, it’s likely to be a butterfly magnet and drought-tolerant, as well. The different types of coreopsis have different bloom times, too. Some pack in their flowers throughout spring; others go from spring to fall, so you can enjoy coreopsis much of the year.

Grow coreopsis in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Most types are reasonably drought tolerant once established and do a good job taking care of themselves. They thrive in both garden beds and borders as well as containers. Most coreopsis varieties are short-lived perennials in North Florida and annuals in Central and South Florida.

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (4)

Gerbera

I wouldn’t have expected gerbera to be a great performer, given my experiences with many varieties in the Midwest. But I’d never tried the Garvinea collection. Top performers in our Miami, Florida, Trial Garden, Garvinea gerberas offer daisy-shaped flowers in a wide range of colors. And they are loved by pollinators. They’re fabulous in the landscape or container gardens, and the flowers hold up well indoors for bouquets, too. Most Garvinea gerberas grow about knee high and flower from spring to fall (all year long in South Florida). The foliage appears in dense, textured mounds and reminds me of leaf lettuce.

Grow Garvinea gerberas in full sun or part shade and moist, but well-drained soil. Water during times of drought to keep them happy and fertilize regularly in spring or summer to keep them blooming profusely. They are perennials in North, Central, and South Florida.

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (5)

Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia

A showstopper in Central and South Florida gardens,

Bolivian Sunset gloxinia (Gloxinia sylvatica)

bears glossy, dark green leaves and outrageously orange flowers in late autumn and winter. It’s a must-have for winter color. Happily, in

colder-weather

areas outside of Florida, it also makes a good houseplant. It’s a bit of a spreader, but it’s not aggressive or invasive in any way. Over time, Bolivian Sunset gloxinia makes an impressive clump that you can see across the yard when it’s in full bloom. It typically grows up to 24 inches tall.

Grow Bolivian Sunset gloxinia in part shade and moist, well-drained soil. It can handle full sun, but you have to keep the soil evenly moist in a sunny spot. A good layer of mulch over the soil helps retain moisture during hot, dry summer weather. It is best suited to Central and South Florida; it can be unreliably hardy in North Florida. But, it does grow well indoors.

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Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (6)

Blue Salvia

Blue salvia (Salvia farinacea) is native to the Southwest United

States,

but also does well for us here in Florida. It features

spires

of violet-purple or white flowers throughout spring, summer, and fall throughout much of Florida, with some blooms in winter in the Southern part of the state. It’s a favorite of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making blue salvia is a must-have for pollinator gardens. It’s also a top choice for low-maintenance landscapes and container gardens and planters. Different varieties can grow 18 to 36 inches tall and about 12 to 18 inches wide. The blooms hold up fairly well as cut flowers and the scented foliage makes it somewhat deer and rabbit resistant.

Grow blue salvia in full sun and well-drained soil. It thrives in hot, dry places where many other plants struggle. Once established, it’s reliably drought tolerant. In Northern Florida, it’s often treated as an annual, but it’s more reliably perennial in Central and South Florida.

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Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (7)

Heuchera

One of my favorite perennials when I lived in the Midwest, I was delighted to discover heuchera does well here in Florida, as well. It shows off fantastic mounds of colorful foliage that are perfect for adding texture and interest to deeply shaded spots. It’s deer and rabbit resistant, too. There are a wealth of varieties available; Florida gardeners should look for selections that hold up well to heat and humidity, such as ‘Bressingham Hybrids’ or ‘Melting Fire’. You can find heuchera with bold purple, bronze, orange, chartreuse, or green leaves. Most are appreciated best for their foliage, rather than their flowers. Most grow about 12 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide.

Grow heuchera in shade in moist, well-drained soil. Once established, it’s somewhat drought

tolerant,

but does -- and looks -- best with consistent soil moisture. Spreading a layer of mulch over the soil helps keep it happy during times of drought. It thrives in both garden beds and borders, as well as containers. Heuchera thrives in North, Central, and South Florida.

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (8)

Purslane

Purslane, also called portulaca, is an easy-care, heat-loving annual that holds up well to hot, dry spots -- making it an ideal pick for Florida gardens. A low, mounding plant, it’s often used as an annual groundcover or in pots and planters, as well as hanging baskets. Traditional colors include pink, orange, yellow, and white, but plant breeders have introduced interesting

bicolors

, as well. It’s a great choice if you want a plant that offers a lot of

color

but doesn’t need much care to stay looking good. Most purslane varieties grow about 12 inches across and 6 inches tall.

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Grow purslane in full sun and well-drained soil. Don’t water it too much; if it stays constantly moist, it can rot. It’s treated as an annual in most of Florida, but some varieties can self-seed, with seedlings popping up as the mother plants fade.

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (9)

Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula) offers beauty and fragrance! This drought-tolerant garden plant charms gardeners as well as bees and butterflies with its lovely spikes of violet-purple, pink, or white flowers and silvery-green foliage. The oils that give the leaves and flowers their scent make lavender an excellent choice for potpourris and sachets, and because the flowers dry well, it is also fun for dried-floral crafts. Be sure to plant lavender along walkways where you can easily brush up against the plant to release the fragrance.

Grow lavender in full sun and well-drained soil. It thrives in sandy soil and actually resents ground that stays wet for extended periods. If you have an irrigation system, it’s helpful to keep lavender away from sprinklers that will regularly wet its foliage. The plant thrives in garden beds and borders, as well as container gardens. It’s a perennial in North, Central, and South Florida, through it usually blooms better in northern parts of the state.

Best Flowers for Florida Gardens (10)

Mexican Heather

Mexican heather (Cuphea) is a Florida garden staple that offers shiny, dark green foliage accented with charming lavender-pink or white flowers almost all year long. Though the plants look small, they form a dense and easy-care groundcover once they get established. And while you’ll love that they’re beautiful and low maintenance, bees and butterflies will love visiting the dainty flowers for their sweet nectar. Mexican heather is useful as a groundcover, in mass plantings, or as an edging plant in garden beds and borders where it thrives in the heat with practically no care at all. It grows 12 to 18 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches wide in time.

Grow Mexican heather in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Once established, it’s

quite

drought tolerant so you can just about plant it and forget it. In addition to thriving in landscapes, it’s also good for container gardens. It’s a perennial in North, Central, and South Florida.

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FAQs

What flowers do well in Florida summer? ›

Coneflower. Coneflower is one of the best flowering perennials, offering a nonstop wave of flowers all summer long! This drought and heat resistant plant feature nectar-rich, pink, red, white, yellow, and orange flowers on 18-36 inches tall stalks.

What plants thrive in Florida heat? ›

Heat Resistant and Beautiful | 6 Native Florida Plants for Gardens and Landscaping
  • Firebush. As its name suggests, Firebush is a garden shrub with clusters of flashy, bright orange flowers. ...
  • Beautyberry. ...
  • Muhly Grass. ...
  • Coral Honeysuckle. ...
  • Yucca. ...
  • Passion Flower.
15 Jul 2019

When should I plant flowers in Florida? ›

In Florida, you can plant all year round due to the warmer climate. You will see more and faster growth in the spring and summer and slower growth if planted in late fall and winter. plants (see list here), wait until last cold spell has passed (mid March-beginning of April).

Do hydrangeas grow well in Florida? ›

Attempting to grow hydrangea in full sun in Florida leads to less than spectacular results. All species of hydrangeas are most happy when sited to receive at least some afternoon shade, if not filtered shade throughout the entire day.

Which plant gives flowers all year-round? ›

Verbena is one of the best flowers that bloom year-round. It blossoms in the shades of rose, purple, lavender, pink, blue, and white. This flowering plant can grow up to 4-6 feet.

What are the purple flowers in Florida called? ›

Jacaranda is one of the botanical treasures of Central and South Florida. It grows as a delicate, deciduous, spreading tree. Its fern-like foliage provides light, dappled shade, perfect for patios. The trumpet-shaped flowers emerge in clusters of lavender, violet, purple, or white.

Are zinnias perennial in Florida? ›

Zinnias are annuals with beautiful flowers that come in vivid colors like red, pink, yellow, and purple. The flowers are characterized by multiple layers of petals, and are old favorites for the cutting garden. Zinnias can be as short as six inches or as tall as three feet.

What growing zones are in Florida? ›

The Department of Agriculture has designated four zones in Florida--8, 9, 10, and 11. The USDA hardiness zones are based on the average lowest temperatures, helping you choose plants that can survive the winter. Use the zones as a guide for selecting the plants best suited for your area.

Do marigolds grow well in Florida? ›

Nonetheless, the marigold is a reliable Florida annual. Available in mainly a range of yellows and oranges, these hardy annuals are often used for color massing, edging, borders, cut flowers and container plantings. French marigolds excel year-round while the large-flowered African types are best for spring.

Do geraniums grow well in Florida? ›

The geranium is a popular and attractive flower. Their bright red, white, or pink flowers can be used to fill a bed or combined with other plants for colorful accents. But in Florida, geraniums pose some problems. They cannot tolerate a freeze, but they also do poorly in our summer heat and humidity.

Do roses do well in Florida? ›

Here in Florida, roses grow and bloom year-round in the majority of the state. Successfully growing roses in Florida depends on selecting varieties that perform well in our state and conform to your lifestyle.

Can lavender grow in Florida? ›

Lavender grows best in full sun and dry, sandy soil. However, not all varieties tolerate Florida's heat or humidity. The best lavender for Florida includes Phenomenal Lavender, exotic-looking Lavandula canariensis, and others. To maximize soil drainage, plant lavender in containers or raised beds.

Do peonies grow in Florida? ›

Unfortunately, you cannot grow peonies successfully in Florida, southern California and most of the deep south. Zone 8 is the warmest zone for peonies. And if you're growing them in zone 8, it's wise to check locally to see which varieties are known to thrive.

How long do perennials last in Florida? ›

Annuals live only a year (so you need to plant them annually). Perennials live for more than one year. I learned when I moved to South Florida from the Midwest that the concept wasn't quite as simple as it seemed. Plants I grew up with as annuals (coleus, pentas, etc.)

When should I start my garden in Florida? ›

Gardens may be planted year round in Florida, but fall is the preferred season in South Florida. Garden placement is very important.

Will vinegar turn hydrangeas blue? ›

There is one more trick up the apple cider vinegar sleeve: You can actually change the color of hydrangea flowers from pink to blue. Hydrangea flowers will be pink in alkaline soil, but change to blue in acidic soil. So, mix up some apple cider vinegar and water, and give all the acid-loving plants a treat.

Where is the best place to plant a hydrangea in Florida? ›

It's best to choose a location with morning sun and afternoon shade or filtered sun for the entire day. If possible, look for a location that is also naturally moist. Improve sandy soils with lots of organic matter to help them remain moist. Hydrangeas like to be consistently moist but not wet.

Do azaleas grow in Florida? ›

Florida azaleas bloom from late February to early April, depending on cultivar and seasonal variation. Many azalea cultivars grow well in north and central Florida, but fewer are recommended for south Florida. Azaleas can enhance the home landscape in many ways.

What flower stays in bloom the longest? ›

Its name is Anthurium and is often called the world's longest blooming plant. Each heart-shaped flower spike can last up to eight weeks. The largest genus of the Arum family, Anthurium andraeanum is commonly known as Tail Flower (the Greek word for tail flower), Flamingo Flower, Painter's Palette or Laceleaf.

What flower survives all seasons? ›

Asters last throughout the year. Chrysanthemums are one of the most common year-round flowers.

What flower is native to Florida? ›

Tickseed is the quintessential Florida flower. It's actually the official Florida state wildflower! Most people tend to think yellow when they think of wildflowers, but the colors of the bloom and the petals can be pink, orange or even red.

What are the pink wildflowers in Florida? ›

Also known as largeflower rosegentian, marsh-pink is a beautiful herbaceous wildflower found in moist, open areas throughout Florida. Its showy blooms are comprised of five bright pink petals.

What is the flower of Florida? ›

Millions of these white flowers perfume the atmosphere throughout central and south Florida during orange blossom time. The orange blossom was selected as the state flower by the 1909 legislature.

Should you deadhead zinnias? ›

Zinnias should be deadheaded. Either cut mature stems to use in fresh bouquets for the home or remove the old blooms after they have faded. Deadheading and regular harvesting are essential to prolong blooming and promote branching.

When should you plant zinnias in Florida? ›

They can be planted in the spring throughout Florida and also in the fall in South Florida. Plant after the last frost date and be sure to give them space; crowding encourages disease. Zinnias need full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, they're drought-tolerant, but will thrive with regular watering.

How long do zinnias bloom Florida? ›

Zinnias are annual plants, which means they will only last for one season. Planting Zinnias is not much of a challenge. They require minimum care and maintenance. They are adaptable plants and thrive in warm, dry temperatures.

Where is zone 10a in Florida? ›

Related Florida Maps:
Florida LocationUSDA Hardiness Zone(s)
Anna MariaZone 10a
ApalachicolaZone 9a
Apollo BeachZone 9b, 10a
ApopkaZone 9b
244 more rows

Can hydrangeas grow in South Florida? ›

It also proved that hydrangeas could, with lots of care, grow and bloom in South Florida — and I now have the pictures to prove it.

Where do the tropics start in Florida? ›

The tropical zone lies generally south of a west-east line drawn from Bradenton along the south shore of Lake Okeechobee to Vero Beach, while north of this line the state is subtropical.

Is there a flower that blooms all year-round? ›

Asters last throughout the year. Chrysanthemums are one of the most common year-round flowers.

Which plant gives flowers all year-round? ›

Verbena is one of the best flowers that bloom year-round. It blossoms in the shades of rose, purple, lavender, pink, blue, and white. This flowering plant can grow up to 4-6 feet.

Which bloom all the year-round? ›

The top on the list of top 10 flowers that bloom all year is the Rose, the flower considered best for love and is also used as an offering to almighty. The plant of rose has over 300 species and is found in many different colours such as pink and white.

Do daylilies bloom all year in Florida? ›

Flowering starts in March for early-season bloomers while late-season daylilies will not bloom until mid-May. Select early- and late-season bloomers to extend the flowering season. The typical bloom period is about four to seven weeks, although some varieties bloom even longer.

What flower stays in bloom the longest? ›

Its name is Anthurium and is often called the world's longest blooming plant. Each heart-shaped flower spike can last up to eight weeks. The largest genus of the Arum family, Anthurium andraeanum is commonly known as Tail Flower (the Greek word for tail flower), Flamingo Flower, Painter's Palette or Laceleaf.

Which plant gives 12 months flowers? ›

Crossandra. When we talk about 12 months blooming flowers in India, one can not leave the South Indian beauty known as Crossandra. These fierce-looking flowers also go by the name of firecracker flowers as they grow in bright colors such as red and yellow.

What perennial flower blooms all summer? ›

20 Perennial Flowers that Bloom all Summer
  • Agastache (Hyssop)
  • Bellflower.
  • Bleeding Heart.
  • Clematis.
  • Coneflower.
  • Coreopsis (Tickseed)
  • Corydalis.
  • Daylily.
12 Jun 2020

Do marigolds bloom all year? ›

Do marigolds bloom year-round? Marigolds do not bloom year-round, but with proper care, some varieties can bloom for several months. They will put on the best show all summer and into fall. Marigolds are a hardy, bright, easy-to-grow plant.

What kind of plants should I put in my front yard? ›

Inexpensive annuals are easy to establish and they make good fillers when your bulbs, perennials or flowering shrubs stop blooming. For fast curb appeal, pop them into containers, hanging baskets or window boxes for splashes of color. Marigolds, petunias and geraniums are popular and easy to grow.

Does Lavender bloom all year? ›

While Lavender is usually regarded as a summer-blooming flower, some Lavender plants are early bloomers with their magnificent blooms appearing early in spring. Others are late bloomers with blooms opening up in midsummer and lasting until late summer. Some bloom almost continuously from spring to summer's end.

Do petunias bloom all year in Florida? ›

Typically, Petunias will only bloom once in the spring and then fade away. But in Florida's weather, they can last all year.

Are daylilies invasive in Florida? ›

Daylilies are among the most popular perennials grown in Florida. These hardy plants are relatively pest-free and have a long blooming period.

Where should I plant daylilies in my garden? ›

Daylilies should be planted in full sun or partial shade that receives 4-6 hours of sun per day. Despite the preference of full sun, occasionally colorful daylily blooms can be found under the shade of tall trees. Wherever some shade is present, the daylily flowers will face away from it toward open sky.

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