Though living in Florida offers the chance to do some distinctive things with your landscaping, you must also be sensitive to weather patterns and local conditions. Many people tend to paint Florida with a broad brush when it comes to climate, but there are several different USDA plant growing zones in the state. In addition to the plants chosen for landscaping in Florida, also consider rocks, sand and other ground covering that can help make a striking tropical setting.
One of the truly different things about Florida is you have the chance to choose plant species that will ensure your landscaping or garden always has blooming flowers. For example, the wishbone flower blooms in the spring, the goldenrod in the summer, the hurricane lily blooms in the fall, and the periwinkle blooms all year, even in the winter. These flowers all do well in many parts of the state and there are also many others to choose from, ensuring your landscaping always has a dash of color. Not all flowers will have the same level of salt tolerance, so that may be a concern if you live near the ocean.
Whether you are new to the state or are a lifelong Florida resident, one of the benefits of living in the Sunshine State is that you have a variety of palm species from which to choose. The date palm is a smaller species of palm that does well in partial shade to full sun and can even be grown in containers. Larger palms, such as royal palms and Washington palms, can tower above your landscaping to make a bold statement as they grow as high as 80 feet.
Though fruit trees are often overlooked in decorative landscaping because of their practical usefulness, they can be a part of a Florida landscape. For example, orange trees offer the color of the fruit in the winter, when harvest time is. The brilliant white orange blossoms, the state flower in Florida, can add fragrance and color to your landscaped area in the spring. Citrus trees do well in the Central and South Florida regions. Temperatures in the panhandle and North Florida often get too cold for the trees to survive many winters.
In addition to the flowers and trees, consider the ground covering's effect on the landscape you are trying to create. For example, light colored stones and sand in spots may help create a tropical beach setting, even if you live inland. Using stones, rocks and sand can also help you spot and control invasive weed species more easily, keeping your Florida garden looking neat. Flagstone and river rock are popular choices in Florida.