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Low-Maintenance Landscape Plants for Central Florida

Monarch butterfly. image by sabrihayes from

Low-maintenance landscaping in central Florida centers around the use of native shrubs, trees and flowering plants. When using native plants, there is the added benefit of attracting wildlife and beneficial insects. Landscaping using this method not only makes things easier on the home gardener, but on the environment as well.

Marlberry Tree

Feature the marlberry as either a specimen or mass several together in a group for effect. Classified as a shrub, this Florida native can be trained into a small tree, as it reaches heights of at least 15 feet tall at maturity. Covered by fragrant white flowers throughout the year, the marlberry tree bears purplish ovate fruits that are attractive to wildlife in the fall. Native to central Florida, the marlberry tree has a high salt tolerance, and grows well in partial sun and shade.

Buttterfly Milkweed

Plant butterfly milkweed in full sun for best results, although it can tolerate partial shade as well. Covered in yellow-centered orange flowers, butterfly milkweed is an excellent attractant for butterflies. In fact, it is a necessary component for reproduction of the monarch butterfly. The female monarch butterfly will only lay eggs on the butterfly milkweed. Drought tolerant and native to Florida, the butterfly milkweed needs little water once established and reseeds itself, providing color all year around.

Purple Lovegrass

Plant groups of this Florida native purplish-colored grass together for an attractive effect. At 1 foot tall and wide at maturity, the purple and red flowers are consistent all year around, making this ornamental grass excellent as a ground cover or as a border for a perennial flower bed. Drought tolerant, it is a low-maintenance attractive choice that fits in with many landscaping needs.

Florida Privet

Plant this Florida native shrub in a spot where it has room to grow as it can reach upwards of 10 feet tall in height and the same in width. Grow this evergreen shrub in the sun or shade. Prune well to promote flowering. Feature Florida privet as a specimen or group several shrubs together to form a hedge. Florida privet is drought tolerant and low maintenance.

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