Plants for Shady Areas in Florida Gardens

Florida has the USDA hardiness zones of 8b to 10b, ranging from 8b in the northern parts to 10b in the southernmost parts. Plants that are tropical- and heat-resistant are a good choice in these areas, even if planting in the shady sections of the yard. Plants for shady areas in Florida gardens must be more heat-resistant than shade-tolerant plants in more Northern states.

Ball Moss

Ball moss, or Tillandsia recurvata, is from the pineapple family. It is an evergreen perennial. Ball Moss looks like Spanish moss, growing on trees. It is grayish green with 2- to 6-inch-long leaves. Spikes 6 inches tall have ½-inch-long flowers; funnel shaped, and blue or violet colors. Grow ball moss in partial shade, though they can be full sun tolerant. Propagate via seed or clump division.

Holly Fern

Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), is from the polypody fern family. It is an evergreen perennial that is easy to grow. Mounds get up to 2 feet tall with dark green fronds. Spores are on back of fronds, starting light green and getting dark green when mature. Grow holly fern in rich acidic soil with moisture and partial to full shade. Propagate via clump division.

Peacock Ginger

Peacock ginger, or Kaempferia laotica, is from the ginger family. It is a perennial. Leaves are 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. Flowers are inconspicuous but violet. Leaf color is light to a medium green. Grow peacock ginger in moist well drained soil. Propagate via rhizome cutting or division.


Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana), is from the jewelweed (balsam) family. It is an easy to grow perennial grown as an annual. Hummingbirds are attracted to it. It will get 8 to 24 inches tall in a variety of colors. Leaves have white margins. Grow impatiens in moist fertile soil with partial shade to partial sun. Propagate via cuttings or by seed.


Pansy (Viola x Wittrockiana), is from the violet family. It is a perennial that is usually grown like an annual. It will get 4 to 10 inches long with deep green leaves. Flowers are 1 to 4 inches wide. There is a vast array of flower choices, depending on the selected cultivar. Grow pansy in any soil in bright sun to partial shade, shade especially in hot climates. Propagate via cuttings and by seed.

Keywords: planting in shady sections, plants for shady areas in Florida, shade tolerant, heat resistant

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.