Florida has a variety of growing conditions that effect plants. Northern Florida suffers from freezing temperatures in the winter and excessive heat during the summers. Leaves change colors in the fall as the autumn frosts occur. Central Florida has mild temperatures in the winter with warm falls and springs. Subtropical and tropical conditions occur throughout the rest of Florida. Flowers grown in Florida must adapt to sandy soil, high heat, high humidity and occasional seasonal drought.
Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) reaches 1 to 2 feet in height. Dark green leaves with pale pink and yellow speckles appear in the spring. In late spring and early summer, goblet-shaped flowers show up on tall flower stalks. Calla lilies produce pink, red, purple, white and yellow color spots in gardens. These perennial bulbs suffer cold damage when temperatures fall below 25 degrees F. Calla lilies prefer moist, rich soil and grow well in containers.
Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) grows 8 inches tall with orange, rose, yellow and white ruffled petals surrounding a yellow center. The leaves are dark green, narrow, and needle-like. This summer annual flower lasts until early fall and prefers full sun exposure. Moss rose survives long arid conditions.
Red Spider Lily
Red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is also called the hurricane lily. During hurricane season in October, leafless flower stalks are topped with red lily blossom clusters. These stems reach 18 to 24 inches in height. Once the flowers die away, the bulb grows strap-like green leaves. These leaves last until the following summer, storing energy for the next flowering season. Divide the red spider lily bulbs while it is dormant in the summer every two to three years.
Scrambling Sky Flower
Scrambling sky flower (Thunbergia battiscombei) is a perennial vine with stems reaching 4 feet in length. Violet trumpet-shaped blossoms appear above the green, heart-shaped leaves. This African tropical native flower needs the support of other plants or a trellis to stay upright. When exposed freezing temperatures, this vine dies back to the ground growing quickly back in the spring.
Whorled coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata) is a bushy perennial that grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. The green leaves are very narrow and needle-like. The yellow blossoms have eight petals that spread out to reach 2 inches across. This Florida native flower appears in dry woodlands in full sunlight. Whorled coreopsis is drought and heat tolerant.