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20 Best Plants for Florida — Top Picks [2022]

20 Best Plants for Florida — Top Picks [2022]

Florida is that particular state in the USA that’s known for its unique climate. It is home to many tropical and subtropical plants, as it falls under the USDA zone of 8 to 10.

Because it receives plenty of sunlight throughout the year, it is also called “The Sunshine State” of the USA.

When it comes to the flora of Florida, it has a distinct variety of plants and numerous blooming flowers.

Even in the intense heat that overtakes the entire landscape of this state, plants here have adapted well to these weather conditions.

These plants have the excellent potential required to thrive in these conditions, even with no additional nourishment from fertilizers or insecticides.

Here are the top twenty plants that you can grow in Florida with minimal effort if you are a resident of Florida.

 

20 Best Plants for Florida

  1. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
  2. Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
  3. Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  4. Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata)
  5. Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)
  6. Firebush (Hamelia Patens)
  7. Elliot’s Aster (Symphiotrichum elliottii)
  8. Powderpuff Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa)
  9. Common Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii)
  10. Swamp Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus)
  11. Bahama Cassia (Cassia bahamensis)
  12. Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea)
  13. Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera semperviren)
  14. White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
  15. Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum)
  16. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  17. Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
  18. Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
  19. Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus)
  20. Gumbo-limbo tree (Bursera simaruba)
20 Best Plants for Florida
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20 Best Plants for Florida

 

 

Plants for Florida – Top 20

 

1. Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana)

If you love to see purple berries in your Florida home, then the Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) can fulfill the promise on this
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If you love to see purple berries in your Florida home, then the Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) can fulfill the promise on this

This magnificent plant is mainly known for its bright purple berries. These berries either grow in clusters or in branched form.

In the weather of Florida, this plant can grow up to a height of 9 feet.

Clemson University recommends allowing the American Mullberry 3-6 feet of space for planting.

  • Scientific name: Callicarpa americana
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 7 to 11
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer once in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Soil should be well-drained
  • Lighting: thrives in full and partial sunlight.

 

2. Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is home to the southern part of Florida
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Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is home to the southern part of Florida

This plant is home to the southern part of the state. Its yellow trumpet-shaped flowers grow mainly in the month of February to May.

Its optimal height is 20 feet.

  • Scientific name: Gelsemium sempervirens
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 7 to 9.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained soil.
  • Lighting: this plant is well adapted to the harsh environment of Florida

 

3. Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

If you want to grow a plant that can reach its maximum height in a few months, plant the Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) if your Florida home
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If you want to grow a plant that can reach its maximum height in a few months, plant the Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) if your Florida home

This plant is a perennial that reaches its maximum height in only a few months after being planted.

It bears small shiny flowers in a number of colors, including red, orange, purple, green, and yellow.

  • Scientific name: Aquilegia canadensis
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: Adaptable to intense heat; USDA growing zones are 3 to 9
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required.
  • pH: Acidic to neutral soil
  • Soil: Soil should not be very dry that it causes the root to rot.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

4. Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata)

IF you want to attract pollinators to your Florida home, plant Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata) in your garden
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IF you want to attract pollinators to your Florida home, plant Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata) in your garden

Buttonsage is known for its fragrance that is so rich that it reaches the houses of the people living nearby, creating a pleasing ambiance.

Its nectar also adds to the pollination process as many species of butterflies are attracted to this plant.

  • Scientific name: Lantana involucrata
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 8 to 11, beyond which the plant will start to burn.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a medium-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Neutral or alkaline.
  • Soil: Soil should be not too moist and not too dry. Also, it should be sandy.
  • Lighting: Has the potential to thrive in the intense heat of Florida.

 

5. Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) is a native wildflower plant in Florida
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Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) is a native wildflower plant in Florida

Black-eyed Susans, named for the black spot in the middle of its flower, is a biennial wildflower native to Florida.

It is so much adapted to this state’s dry and hot climate that it does not require any more attention than simply watering every once in a while.

  • Scientific name: Rudbeckia hirta
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: This plant can grow in a wide range of USDA zone, which ranges from 3 to 9.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer every 2 months (once only).
  • pH: The pH of the soil used for planting this plant is neutral.
  • Soil: Well-drained soil
  • Lighting: thrives in partial to full sunlight.

 

6. Firebush (Hamelia Patens)

The Firebush (Hamelia Patens), another plant you can grow in Florida, goes by the other name of Scarlet Bush
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The Firebush (Hamelia Patens), another plant you can grow in Florida, goes by the other name of Scarlet Bush

This plant is also known as scarlet bush, owing to its scarlet-colored tubular flowers.

It is native to the southern regions of Florida and mainly attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

  • Scientific name: Hamelia Patens
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 8 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required.
  • pH: Neutral
  • Soil: Moist and well-drained
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

7. Elliot’s Aster (Symphiotrichum elliottii)

It is a perennial herbaceous plant that bears light purple flowers with yellowish centers.

The flowers of this plant rise and spread very quickly and fill the entire surface of the garden.

  • Scientific name: Symphiotrichum elliottii
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 8 to 11 for this plant
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer every 2 months (once only).
  • pH: Alkaline soil.
  • Soil: Moist, and sandy soil is ideal for this plant.
  • Lighting: thrives in full to partial sunlight.

 

8. Powderpuff Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa)

If you want some ground cover for your garden in Florida, then the Powderpuff Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa) is the best plant to grow
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If you want some ground cover for your garden in Florida, then the Powderpuff Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa) is the best plant to grow

Powderpuff mimosa is very often planted with the primary purpose of controlling soil erosion. As this plant spreads quickly, it acts as a solid cover for the ground and gives it a beautiful look.

It bears the light, soft, and puffy flowers that bloom from the season of spring till fall.

  • Scientific name: Mimosa strigillosa
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: Can survive outdoors at all times. The USDA growing zones are 8 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. Do check for pests on the smaller leaves.
  • pH: Can be acidic or neutral.
  • Soil: Loamy sand
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight.

 

9. Common Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii)

Common Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) blooms all year round and can grow well in Florida
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Common Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) blooms all year round and can grow well in Florida

Commonly known as the wildflower of the state, the most extraordinary thing about this plant is that it blooms all year round.

It has small leaves that are mostly yellow or orange in color.

  • Scientific name: Coreopsis leavenworthii
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 8 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy sand
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

10. Swamp Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus)

The Swamp Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus) is another gorgeous plant you can grow in your garden in Florida
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The Swamp Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus) is another gorgeous plant you can grow in your garden in Florida

Swamp mallow is also called scarlet rosemallow or wild red mallows in some regions of Florida.

Scarlet or wild red undoubtedly refers to its bright red color, while the mallow relates to the wide distinct flowers with shiny petals.

  • Scientific name: Hibiscus coccineus
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 6 to 9.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a medium-release fertilizer every 2 months (once).
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy sand, rich in organic matter.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

11. Bahama Cassia (Cassia bahamensis)

Cassia grows in the form of shrubs or trees in the state of Florida. It blooms in late summer or in the start of fall.

It bears tiny yellow flowers that are shiny, which grabs the attention of passersby.

  • Scientific name: Cassia bahamensis
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 9 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy, rich soil, mixed with peat moss.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight.

 

12. Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea)

The Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) is known for its red tubular flowers and can easily thrive in Florida
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The Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) is known for its red tubular flowers and can easily thrive in Florida

This plant is a significant member of the pea family and owes its importance to its lush red flowers that are tubular in shape.

This plant mainly blooms in the spring season and reaches a great height of about 6 feet.

Please beware of the leaves in the bottom section of the stem because they are often prickly and may be dangerous.

  • Scientific name: Erythrina herbacea
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 8 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy, moist sand
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

13. Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera semperviren)

Another plant that you can grow in your Florida garden to attract pollinators is the Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera semperviren)
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Another plant that you can grow in your Florida garden to attract pollinators is the Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera semperviren)

Owing to the long tubular stamens of this plant, it attracts a lot of pollinators throughout the year.

When the blooming season has passed, these long stamens take the shape of small rounded berries.

  • Scientific name: Lonicera semperviren
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 4 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Sand soil, drained of excess water.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight.

 

14. White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)

The White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) grows glossy white flowers and can thrive in your garden in Florida
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The White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) grows glossy white flowers and can thrive in your garden in Florida

Grown in shrubs or trees, this plant reaches a magnificent height of about 15 to 30 feet.

It has a beautiful contrast of dark green leaves coupled with vast clusters of glossy white flowers.

  • Scientific name: Chionanthus virginicus
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 4 to 9
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy, moist soil is ideal.
  • Lighting: Partial sunlight is best for the plant thrive.

 

15. Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum)

Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum) is a low-maintenance plant you can grow in your garden in Florida
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Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum) is a low-maintenance plant you can grow in your garden in Florida

Florida Anise is a great plant to grow in Florida due to its low-maintenance properties.

It grows about 15 feet at max and can tolerate intense heat.

  • Scientific name: Illicium floridanum
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: Can survive in scorching temperatures. USDA growing zones are 7 to 10.
  • Fertilizer: No fertilization is required.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy sand
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

16. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)is a stunning perennial plant you can grow in your garden in Florida
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Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)is a stunning perennial plant you can grow in your garden in Florida

This is a perennial plant that does not have a long life like many of the other plants in Florida.

These plants bear an incredible amount of tubular flowers that are orange in color, having an irresistible fragrance.

  • Scientific name: Asclepias tuberosa
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: Move indoors when the temperature drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Frost intolerant plant
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy sand
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

17. Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae)

Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) is a known plant in Florida as it blooms in the morning
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Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) is a known plant in Florida as it blooms in the morning

Also known as beach morning glory, this plant is famous for the fact that it opens its petals gloriously in the morning.

  • Scientific name: Ipomoea pes-caprae
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 9 to 12.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required.
  • pH: Slightly acidic to neutral soil is ideal for the plant.
  • Soil: Loamy. Well-drained soil.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight.

 

18. Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is another stunning plant you can grow in Florida for its pyramid-shaped flowers
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Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is another stunning plant you can grow in Florida for its pyramid-shaped flowers

Oakleaf plant bears flowers that take the shape of a pyramid in the blooming season.

It grows up to 6 to 8 feet tall and bears large white leaves arranged in clusters.

  • Scientific name: Hydrangea quercifolia
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: Can be planted outdoors as well as indoors. USDA growing zones are 5 to 9.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Loamy, moist sand.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight.

 

19. Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus)

Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) is best to grow in Florida as it is heat-tolerant
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Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) is best to grow in Florida as it is heat-tolerant

Ideal for the southern region of Florida, this plant is heat as well as drought tolerant.

  • Scientific name: Conocarpus erectus
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 10 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, do look out for insects on the leaves, which may need to be removed every once in a while.
  • pH: Can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
  • Soil: Gravel sand should be drained of excess water.
  • Lighting: thrives in full, partial sunlight or even shady environment.

 

20. Gumbo-limbo tree (Bursera simaruba)

Gumbo-limbo tree (Bursera simaruba) is one tree that you can grow in Florida as it is wind- and heat-tolerant
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Gumbo-limbo tree (Bursera simaruba) is one tree that you can grow in Florida as it is wind- and heat-tolerant

Reaching an enormous height of 60 feet or above, the Gumbo Limbo tree is not only wind-tolerant but also heat-resistant.

  • Scientific name: Bursera simaruba
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Temperature: USDA growing zones are 9 to 11.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization required. However, you can fertilize your plant with a slow-release fertilizer one time in 2 months.
  • pH: Can be acidic or neutral.
  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained soil.
  • Lighting: Can survive in intense heat

 

Conclusion About The Best Plants For Florida

Despite having a harsh climate, Florida has a significant number of plants and trees that thrive in the weather that it provides them.

These plants are ideal for planting on your balcony or garden if you live in Florida.

20 Best Plants for Florida
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