Table of Contents
- Where to Start – How to Prepare Your Outdoor Space
- Time to Plant – The Easiest Plants for Your Florida Landscaping
- Ways to Experiment – Some Fun and Creative Ideas for a Unique Florida Landscaping
If you’re a new resident of Florida, or if you’re just a new property owner, you know that your landscape is one of the most important features of your home. An ideal landscape will utilize native plants and minimize the use of water and fertilizers, creating a low-maintenance and beautiful space. Use these suggestions to create an ideal Florida landscaping.
Where to Start – How to Prepare Your Outdoor Space
If you’re setting up a Florida landscaping, odds are something will already be growing there. Start by deciding which plants you want to keep, and removing those that are not wanted. Next, evaluate the water on the property.
Specifically, you need to determine the amount of water that your area receives, and if possible, what elevation the water table is at. This information will be needed later to determine the right plants for your space.
Finally, consider the plants that will remain and map out which areas will be in partial sun, full sun, and full shade.
While additional plants can add more shade areas to your yard, it is very difficult to create areas in full sun without removing plants. Use this information to determine where the plants you select should be placed.
Time to Plant – The Easiest Plants for Your Florida Landscaping
Once you have a good idea of the environmental conditions of your yard, it’s time to select plants. These suggestions are good choices, because they tend to do well in Florida throughout the year with relatively little maintenance. So in our opinion, based on the reasons for easy planting and to take care, these plant selection are the best plants for Florida landscaping.
1. Groundcover and Grasses
BERMUDA GRASS – One of the most popular grasses in Florida, this plant has a very deep root system that makes it very resistant to drought.
Bermuda grass is a great choice if you need a low maintenance grass, but be aware that many people complain about the tough or hard feel of the blades when walking on it barefoot. So, you can’t deny the fact that this plant is one of the best plants for Florida landscaping.
ST. AUGUSTINE GRASS – This Florida native grass is very tolerant to heat and salt, making it an ideal choice for anyone living near the beach.
The grass also grows very quickly, which can be great when you’re trying to cover a large area, but a pain when it comes time to mow.
GOLDEN POTHOS – This ground cover is resistant to heat, requires little water, and does well in full shade, partial shade, and full sun.Plant it in well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Best of all, this plant tends to attract very few pests.
CENTIPEDE GRASS – This is one of the easiest to grow grasses in Florida because it thrives almost anywhere.
It does well in both full sun and partial shade, and adapts easily to different amounts of moisture, making it simultaneously drought-resistant and hard to over-water. It’s only drawback is that it isn’t particularly resistant to traffic or salt.
BEACH SUNFLOWER – This ground cover appears to be a smaller version of the Midwest sunflowers that most people are familiar with.
The flowers are bright yellow and orange, with dark brown centers. Beach sunflowers will spread very quickly in coastal areas; it thrives in sandy soil and can tolerate a high amount of salt.
2. Shrubs and Trees
ALAMANDA BUSH – This flowering bush can grow to be nearly five feet tall. It has large yellow flowers with a light scent.
Because this plant is heat and salt resistant, it’s a good choice for homeowners who are looking to plant something on their beachside property.
AZALEA – This tree produces hundreds of small to medium pink or white blossoms.
It needs partial shade, but it is very hard to over-water. Don’t worry about trimming it back too far; this hardy tree is also very hard to prune.
BLACK-EYED SUSANS – These are a wildflower that grows along the coastal areas of Florida and Georgia.
They feature red, orange and yellow petals, and the plant stays in bloom throughout the heat of the summer.
BLAZING STAR – There are at least thirteen different varieties of this flower that are native to Florida. This is one of the best plants for Florida landscaping. It features bottlebrush shaped flowers that come in a wide variety of colors.
Blazing star has a reputation for being next to impossible to kill accidentally, making it the perfect choice for people who are new to gardening. The blooms also attract bees and butterflies, making this an ideal addition to any garden.
BLANKET FLOWER – Plant these flowers at the top of a small mound of dirt. They will grow to cover the mound and spread out. They do well in high heat, sandy soil, and thrive in spite of high salt levels.
That makes them next to impossible to kill just about anywhere in Florida. You can find versions of the flower with orange, yellow, red, and purple hews.
LAVENDER – This plant is one of the easiest flowering shrubs to grow because it is native to Florida. You’ll often find lavender growing naturally along roadways and nature trails.
The plant releases a light, pleasant scent that gets stronger when the blooms and leaves are plucked and dried. In fact, many people use the dried version of this plant in potpourri. Others use it in a warm poultice to help relieve headache pain or induce a feeling of calm and restfulness.
Ways to Experiment – Some Fun and Creative Ideas for a Unique Florida Landscaping
These plants might be a little harder to grow and maintain for Florida landscaping, but they are really fun and unique plants to add to an outdoor space or container garden.
1. Groundcover and Grasses
PENSACOLA BAHIAGRASS – This type of grass is resistant to colder temperatures, making it ideal for northern Florida lawns where it might freeze occasionally.
It tends to need virtually no fertilizer and very little water. It can be susceptible to overwatering, however, and some homeowners who have used this grass complain that in mid-summer it needs to be mowed almost weekly.
BUFFALO GRASS – This isn’t a native Florida grass, which can make it a challenge to grow in some parts of Florida.
It has a beautiful blue-green color, however, which can really make your yard stand out. It does very well in full sun areas and high temperatures, but it will wither and die in the shade or if it is over-watered.
ZOYSIA – This grass is an excellent low-maintenance choice for yards in both full sun and partial shade areas. It has a high drought and disease tolerance.
It’s short, thick blades make it a very good choice for areas that get a lot of foot-traffic; it’s often used on golf courses. Consider using it for areas around the pool or patio.
2. Shrubs and Trees
ANGEL’S TRUMPET – This tree can reach nearly 20 feet in height, and features white trumpet-shaped blossoms that can be nearly eight inches long.
It’s a very fragrant tree with a unique look, but be aware that this plant can be toxic if it is ingested by pets or children.
AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY – This tree produces beautiful bright purple and pink-purple clusters of berries, and is a very distant cousin of blueberry. It does best in well drained, fertile soil and will bloom when planted in full sun.
While you can eat the berries, they do not taste very good. If you really want to try it, most people recommend making them into a jam or jelly. Generally, most people use this plant because of the unique appearance of the berries.
BOUGAINVILLEAS – This fast growing plant can quickly reach heights of thirty feet. Its purple and pink blooms will show up in the summer.
For best results, make sure it gets at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
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CAROLINA JESSAMINE – Also known as Yellow Jessamine, this flower grows as a vine that is perfect for climbing a trellis, fence, or wall.
It has large, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers and a strong fragrance, making this a good addition to any garden.
CORAL BEAN – This plant is native all over Florida, but different versions grow in different areas. North and Central Florida tend to get a version that features a very large flower, but South Florida coral beans grow into a shrub or sometimes a small tree.
The flower usually blooms in the spring, forming bright red tubular flowers. In the fall, it’s seed pods open to reveal very shiny red seeds.
SALVIA – This plant has large clusters of blue, white, and purple blooms. It’s not native to Florida, but it has adapted here pretty well. Some people choose it for their Florida landscaping concept. It can grow to be about eighteen inches to three feet tall.
Blue Salvia, in particular, is favored by bees, butterflies and other pollinators, making it a great addition to any garden. Blue Salvia can also be a good flower to add to container gardens. It tends to be fairly drought tolerant, and heat resistant.
As an added bonus, Salvia is known to be a natural repellent for rabbits and deer, making it a good addition to outdoor gardens.