Even shady spots in Florida have the added complications of heat and humidity. Finding good shade plants for USDA Hardiness Zones of 8 to 11, the Florida gardening zones, will ensure your garden is capable of living in those conditions. Shade gardening is a wonderful way to utilize the areas under trees, beside fences and tall buildings, and along foundations.
Ageratum houstonianum from the aster/daisy family, also known as ageratum or flossflower, is an annual. It usually grows to 6 to 12 inches tall, but it may grow up to 2 feet tall. Flowers grow in clusters of pink, lavender, blue, purple or white. Leaves are 4 inches long. Propagate via seed in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 10. This plant may have difficulty growing in the southernmost areas of Florida.
Impatiens wallerana from the jewelweed family, also known as impatiens or touch-me-not, is an easy to grow perennial grown as an annual that is attractive to hummingbirds. Typical plants are 8 to 24 inches tall and 8 to 24 inches wide. All colors are possible depending on cultivar. Grow in moist fertile soil in shade for Florida. Propagate via cuttings or seed in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10. Impatiens may be difficult to grow in the southernmost areas of Florida.
Viola x Wittrockiana from the violet family, also known as ladies-delight or pansy, is a perennial grown as an annual. These flowers grow 4 to 10 inches tall in mounds. Flowers are 1 to 4 inches wide with a very wide range of colors depending upon cultivar selected. Grow in any soil in partial shade or deep shade. Propagate via cuttings or seed in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10.
Oxalis latifolia from the wood-sorrel family, also known as Mexican oxalis or broadleaf woodsorrel, is a perennial. Leaves are clover-like and flowers close nightly. Funnel-like flowers in summer and fall are 2 inches wide. Bright green leaflets are 2 inches. Grow in partial shade in moisture retentive soil. Propagate via bulbils in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11.
Pentas lanceolata from the madder family, also known as pentas or star flower, is an easy to grow, fast-growing perennial that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Leaves are dark green with clusters of flowers in hues of pink, white, lavender, purple or red. They have a sprawling tendency of growth. Grow in fertile moisture retentive soil in shade. Propagate via cuttings in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11.
Bird Of Paradise
Strelitzia reginae of the bird-of-paradise family, also known as bird of paradise or crane flower, is an evergreen perennial. It is a clump forming plant that grows to 3 feet tall with leathery leaves 8 inches long. Flowers are orange and blue, looking much like the head of a bird. Grow in rich acidic soil with high shifting shade in Florida. Propagate via clump division in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. This plant may be difficult to grow in the northernmost areas of Florida.