Due to Florida’s year-round warm climate, many plants grow well within the confines of the state. Whether you are looking to create a colorful butterfly garden, or desire a lush, tropical look, Florida has the plant to suit your landscaping requirements. The state is broken into USDA planting zones 8, 9 and 10, so be sure to select a species that will do well in your particular area.
Whether you live in the north, central or southern regions of the state, there are a variety of groundcovers that will do well in your area. Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), also known as star jasmine, is a fast-growing, perennial groundcover found statewide. It produces white, star-like flowers that are fragrant. Plants grow approximately 3 feet high, with a width of 5 feet. Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) thrives in Central and South Florida. It grows quickly, reaching heights of 1 to 3 feet, with widths of 4 to 8 feet. It produces white, pink and lavender flowers summertime through fall and has a high salt tolerance. Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), also known as vinca or Madagascar periwinkle, grows well in the central and southern regions, blooming year-round in white, pink or purple flowers. It can reach a height of 3 feet, with a similar width.
Florida gardeners have many species of flowering plants for sprucing up their flowerbeds. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus), also known as African lily, is a fast-growing perennial that is deciduous in the northern regions of the state. It produces purple or white flowers, borne on long spikes during summer. It grows to a height of 2 feet, with the same width. Canna lily (Canna) grows quickly and thrives statewide. Due to the many cultivars, heights can range from 2 to 6 feet, with widths ranging from 1 to 3 feet. Flowers come in a vast array of mixed and solid colors. African iris (Dietes iridioides), also known as Butterfly iris, is a slower grower found statewide. It grows to a height of 2 to 6 feet, with a spread of 1 to 2 feet. It produces white, yellow and blue flowers springtime through summer.
There are many species of trees that grow well year-round in Florida. Bottlebrush (Callistemon) grows well throughout the state. It attracts beneficial insects and produces red brush-like flowers springtime through summer. It can grow 6 to 30 feet tall, with a spread of 6 to 15 feet. Camellia (Camellia japonica) does well in the north and central regions of Florida, growing slowly. Due to the many cultivars, flowers range in a variety of colors and can reach 6 inches in size. Citrus (Citrus) is found statewide and the region where you live will determine which species are hardy. Depending on the cultivar, trees can reach heights of 12 to 30 feet, with spreads of 15 to 30 feet. Butterflies are attracted to the fragrant, white flowers. The various citrus species are tangerine, orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, kumquat and tangelo.