Some flowers don’t just survive, they thrive, in Florida’s warm springs and absolutely hot and humid summers. If you’re looking for some beautiful flowers to plant in your garden, or for gorgeous conversation-starters to showcase out on your patio or in your window box, look no further than these eight Sunshine State favorites.
Crossandra “Orange Marmalade”
The variety of crossandra I prefer is “orange marmalade,” and it’s easy to see why I picked it to profile first. What Floridian doesn’t love the color orange and who wouldn’t want to see this in their garden? These flowers are native to the Indian Subcontinent and cannot stand the cold, making them great perennials for Central and South Florida. Purchase this flower at any garden center and make sure to plant it in a partially shady area. Crossandras can take up to four hours of direct sun a day.
Egyptian star flowers
This flower, also called “Egyptian star cluster” and “pentas,” blooms year-round and thrives in areas that frost rarely, which means it’s a perfect choice for South Florida gardening. These flowers bloom in different colors, varying from red and pink to blue and lavender. People rave about how easy they are to grow in Florida; if you want, you can plant them in the ground and cultivate beautiful shrubs. They are friends to bees and butterflies in the springtime.
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The bloom of pink and white begonias is a traditional sign that spring has arrived in other parts of the country. Here in Florida, beautiful begonias are a gardener’s friend year-round. Low maintenance, these flowers are easy to enjoy; you plant them and they will bloom! Begonias love water and fertilizer so be sure to give it acceptable amounts of both. Want to feature begonias in your window box? They will bloom almost anywhere you put them. Put them in a lightly shaded area if possible.
Florida Sweethearts are also called “angel wings” and “elephant ears.” The interiors of the large leaves bloom a colorful pink. These are a summer favorite in Central and South Florida because they only thrive when the ground is warmer than 70 degrees, meaning it isn’t even winter-friendly for people in Tampa and Orlando! Plant on their own or in combination with other perennials. The luscious leaves can get large, make sure this plant takes up one square foot by itself when you plant it.
The wishbone flower, or the “clown flower,” is most beautiful, in my opinion, when the petals are a shade of violet-blue. These flowers will be perfect for your garden until the first frost, meaning they won’t retreat until December or January in Central Florida, and may very well be a year-round favorite for South Florida gardens. These plants are compact and grow to the height of one foot. Better Homes and Gardens recommends that you should plant these beautiful flowers with the aforementioned begonias.
April is the right time for periwinkles to bloom. Now these flowers are so common that people may not appreciate them the way they should, and others may even consider them a nuisance because in Florida they are considered “invasive.” These flowers may be best to plant on their own in pots and window boxes just for that reason. One drawback to caring for this plant is that it will require lots of water in a hot and humid climate such as Florida. But if you combine 1/4 sand with 3/4 potting soil, the mix will drain easier.
Golden shrimp plants
This is a perfect plant for landscaping. This shrub grows to a height of three to four feet, and it features white flowers that bloom on top of yellow bracts. A tropical plant, this plant is ideal for Florida’s summer rainy season. With the summer showers arriving soon, this shrub’s flowerings will be in bloom all the way through September. Want to grow it in the house? That’s also possible, although it isn’t necessary considering Florida weather gives the plant all the sunlight it needs. The plant needs the most water during the summer months.
Rain lilies in the pink variety are native to Cuba and to Central America, making it ideal for gardens in a humid subtropical zone such as Central and South Florida. They are so named because they are known to bloom just after the rain. In gardens, plant bulbs nine inches apart and make sure to feed with fertilizer every couple of weeks. Summertime is the perfect time to see rain lilies in abundance. They grow to an average height of nine to ten inches. Great for landscaping and border areas.