When choosing the best plants for your central Florida garden, you need to keep a few important factors in mind. While your garden should be as tropical and lush as possible, there are many plants that don’t do as well in our climate. Consider these recommendations for hardier plants that will still flourish in our region. Listed below are some of our favorites:
Walter’s viburnum is a beautiful plant with masses of creamy white flowers in spring and fall. Its dense foliage and flowers attract songbirds, and it provides a habitat for butterfly larvae. It is native to the coastal plains of southeastern America and is also found in swamps and acidic woods. Its compact and dwarf varieties are popular in gardens and landscapes.
A variety of green leaves, Walter’s Viburnum is a beautiful shrub that provides privacy in a landscape. It grows to between two and six feet tall. Its glossy leathery leaves are fragrant when crushed. The plants bloom in small, convex cymes on their branch tips and last for two or three weeks. The flowers are followed by fruits, which are small drupes that turn red to black during the winter.
A native of Florida, Walter’s viburnum can be grown as a small tree or shrub. In mild climates, it is evergreen. Its height ranges from six to 15 feet, but it is more commonly found at lower heights. Its dwarf varieties are especially popular. It has multiple trunks and sends out suckers. The leaves are small but colorful and will attract pollinating insects.
When choosing a Viburnum for central Florida, make sure it is suited to your climate. Boxwood, which is a classic Florida low-maintenance shrub, is a beautiful plant that can be used as a privacy hedge or a specimen shrub. If you prefer a tree, you can also try Walter’s Viburnum, which grows to about 10 feet by 25 feet.
Turk’s Cap is easily propagated from seed. The seeds are usually harvested in the fall. To ensure germination, you should gently shake the seeds from the bulb. Once you have separated the bulbs, place them in a plastic bag with peat moss. Keep them in a warm place for three months. After six months, you can transplant the bulblets to the garden.
Another reason to plant Turk’s Cap is because it is beneficial to pollinators. It blooms from May to November and serves as a host plant for the Turk’s Cap White Skipper butterfly. It also tolerates hot, humid, and dry conditions. This plant can be propagated by root separation or soft wood cuttings. The plant is adaptable to many conditions, and it can tolerate full sun to partial shade.
The Turk’s Cap shrub grows in Florida. It is easy to grow and produces flower buds in spring and early summer. The flowers are a bright red and are reminiscent of a Turkish hat. The plant is a low-maintenance shrub that doesn’t require much care. Once established, it is drought tolerant and pest-resistant. This shrub also looks great in rock gardens and whiskey barrels. Its small, marble-sized red fruit is edible and birds love it. You can also use the flowers as a garnish in salads or on cakes.
Another beautiful plant for central Florida is the Turk’s Cap. It is a member of the Liliaceae family. It is a tall flowering plant native to North America. Its elliptical, spiral-shaped leaves increase to six inches in length. The Turk’s Cap resembles a traditional Turkish hat. This plant produces many flowers and is the perfect flower for a central Florida garden.
It is a native species of Opuntia, growing from north to south in Florida. It grows naturally along the coast, on hammocks, dunes, and shell mounds. Its low, shrubby growth makes it an interesting plant for hot, dry locations. It also makes an excellent low hedge, keeping intruders away. For these reasons, Turkish moss is an excellent plant for central Florida.
This evergreen shrub is slow-growing, growing up to ten feet tall and wide. It has stiff gray-green branched stems and fan-shaped green leaves. Sometimes it has a silver appearance. The flower of this tree is white, with a sweet-sour flesh inside. The tree is a symbol of Florida. Its leaves are also edible. It has a reputation as a windbreak.
It is a native plant of Florida. The foliage is dark green with glossy leaves, and it gives off an intriguing fragrance when bruised. The plant grows into a small tree or shrub, depending on the variety. The leaves are edible, and the plant produces new ones every two months. The plant is low maintenance, but it will produce tree suckers. Make sure to prune it regularly to keep it at its desired size.
The tree is an epiphyte, meaning it feeds off air and rainwater. The native plant is a valuable part of the Florida ecosystem, with many animals and insects relying on it for shelter. It also forms an integral part of the nest of the Baltimore Oriole. The tree will grow in almost any moist or dry condition and thrive for many years. And once established, Turkish moss tolerates drought well.
Yellow star anise
Probably the most aromatic of all plants, Yellow Anise is a native of Florida and grows to be fifteen to twenty feet tall. The foliage is dark green, and the plants are very low maintenance, and they can tolerate full sun and some shade. Their growth habit is pyramidal or upright. They often form suckers and spread in the shade by covering the ground. They are native to the Florida panhandle, where they are a nuisance.
The yellow star anise tree is native to a narrow section of Central Florida and is one of the most fragrant plants in the region. This shrub produces flowers that have three petals and last only a day. The plant produces new flowers every two months, and the blooming time is late winter through early spring. The yellow star anise is a useful plant for your garden, and the fragrant blossoms can be a wonderful addition to your yard.
This small shrub grows best in partial shade and is an excellent choice for naturalistic landscapes. It requires well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Plant it on a 10-foot center for compactness. In a shady area, place it 15 feet apart from other shrubs. This plant also fits well in woodland settings, and can grow to six or eight feet in height.
The plant can also be used for screening. The foliage has a licorice-like smell, and the fruit itself is edible. Yellow star anise shrubs look nice alone or in groups. If you like the scent of anise, try adding some to your garden to create privacy. The tiny yellow flowers look great in pots or containers. You can also plant them in flowerbeds for a fragrant hedge.
Although firebush is usually pest-free, it can be susceptible to certain diseases and insects. In spring, caterpillars and lubber grasshoppers can wreak havoc on your plants. If you see any of these pests, you can treat them with neem oil. During summer and fall, however, you can keep firebush plants in containers indoors. In winter, it will grow in a cooler environment.
There are two main species of Firebush, H. patens var. glabra and H. patens. The native variety is larger and more cold-tolerant than the non-native variety. The latter is commonly sold as dwarf or compacta, and has a narrower, less-tubular flower. Unlike the native, non-native firebush, the cultivated variety is smaller than the native one and has a less-hairy leaf.
The non-native dwarf firebush is another choice to plant in your garden. This one grows to three to four feet tall, but has smoother leaves and yellow-orange flowers. Dwarf firebush has a similar growing habit, but can be kept smaller. The taller dwarf firebush grows from four to five feet and can reach up to six feet in height. The plant is low-maintenance and requires little maintenance.
Whether you choose to grow Firebush as a garden plant or a container plant, the perennial shrub can be an eye-catching addition to your landscape. Its flower clusters attract butterflies and birds to your garden. In hot climates, Firebush flowers bloom almost year-round. The flowers are followed by tiny, dark berries. The flowers often appear simultaneously with the fruits. But they aren’t the only attraction this plant offers.