Florida Shade Loving Plants

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.

Broadleaf Woodsorrel

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.

Keywords: Florida shade plants, shade plants, shade gardening, Florida gardening

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.