Southern states--including Georgia, Florida and Alabama--are in the USDA hardiness zones of 7 and higher. These warmer climates need plants that can thrive in heat, humidity, and longer warm growing seasons. Flowering plants for southern states should be at least hardy to USDA hardiness zone of 7.
The crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is an easy to grow and fast growing shrub. It has great fall foliage colors and its fine for container gardening. It can get between 18 inches tall and 40 feet tall. Leaves are smooth and size varies by variety. Flowers are in summer and are white, purple, pink, red, and lavender. Grow a crape myrtle in moist well drained soil and in good sun. Propagate via seed, hardwood cuttings in winter, or medium wood cuttings in the fall.
Florida Flame Azalea
The Florida flame azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) is a fragrant shrub that is good in shade and as a butterfly and hummingbird attractor. It gets 6 to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Leaves are medium green and fuzzy, 2 to 5 inches long. It has yellow flowers with bits of red and peach at the base of the trumpet shaped bloom. Bloom size is 1.5 inches wide with up to 2 inches in length. The flowers come in spring. Grow a Florida flame azalea in acidic soil in partial sun to shade. Propagate via seed and by clump division.
The hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is a butterfly attracting perennial. Leaves are 1 to 2 inches long. Stems are 5 to 6 feet tall. Funnel shaped flowers are 2 to 4 inches wide. The flowers are in the red, white, purple, and pink colors. Grow a hollyhock in full sun and in well drained soils. Propagate via seed.
The globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) is a drought tolerant annual that is good as a butterfly attractor. This plant has a 1 foot spread and a 1 to 2 foot height growth. Leaves are 4 to 6 inches. Flowerheads are 1.5 inches long and on spikes. Flower colors are white, purple, or pink. Grow a globe amaranth in the full sun areas with regular watering. Propagate via seed.
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