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Florida Native Plant Landscaping

By Edited May 26, 2015 2 2

Keep it Native

Use a Florida native plant landscaping approach to get the best performance out of your landscape year-round and to make sure you have the plants best suited for Florida's unique climate. By selecting native plants to Florida for use in your yard you will have plants that live longer, look better, and fit naturally into the landscape. These natives are not only ready for the climate, they are ready for the moisture, the soil, and even th wildlife that call Florida home.

Here are some of the best ways to add native Florida plants for home landscapes into your garden.

Native Florida Trees

Let's start with some height in the landscape. For a stately tree that is nearly evergreen but has fantastic fall color, the Bald cypress is a great choice. It will grow up to 70 feet tall and 25 feet wide and does very well in the city.

If you want an amazing tree to make a statement on your property, the Live Oak is hard to beat. It is a fast grower early in life and it showcases twisted and impressive branches that look great even when the leaves fall. Give it room as it will grow up to 80 feet tall and wide.

For a decorative touch go with a Southern Azalea tree. With an abundance of white flowers covering the branches in spring you will look forward to the season every year. The Azalea tree will get big, up to 80 feet over time, but grows a bit narrower at 40 feet.

Of course, Florida palm trees are always a fun idea in the home landscape, and the Pygmy Date Palm is a great way to add a palm without the height and cost of a taller variety. These little palms will grow to 10 feet or so in a single trunk or as a multi-stem clump. Outstanding.

Native Florida Shrubs

Now that we have some height in a tree it's time to consider a few great native Florida shrub choices. False Rosemary is a great choice if you want color all year and serious drought tolerance. This shrub blooms with blue flowers and will grow in sandy conditions, but it is only suited for the southern third of the state.

For residents who live further north in Florida, a good drought tolerant shrub is the Hawthorn. Very drought tolerant, loved by wildlife, and flowers to boot. A well placed Hawthorn will add to any home landscape.

Somewhere between a shrub and a small tree, the Floridan Privet is a great choice. It will grow as short as 5 feet but up to 15 feet with a narrower spread. The tree offers yellow flowers and fruit and is extremely drought tolerant.

Azaleas are great plants to include in the landscape for a bright spot of color just when you need it. Pick a plant that is suited for your hardiness zone as they can vary plant by plant. Azaleas can be found in nearly any size from quite small to very large and in a variety of color.

For another extremely drought tolerant native Floridan plant that will fit nicely with your palms, the Yucca is a fine choice. Growing just over 10 feet at its peak and 5 feet wide it will fit in many spots, and the abundance of white flowers in summer will be a delight.

Native Florida Perennials

Perennials are a great choice because you will not have to replant the every year, and by choosing Florida native flowers you know they will do find in the climate, making them great plants for low maintenance.

Ferns are great for a shady spot, and the Southern Maidenhair Fern is a stellar choice to add interest to the low-light area in your landscape. Better suited for the southern half of the state, this fern will stay neat and compact at around 2 feet wide and tall, so you can plant it without worrying about a fern takeover.

For a variety of flower colors, try the Canna Lily. You will find all sorts of choices not only in flower color but height with the biggest at around 6 feet high. The foliage of these perennials looks great even when they are not in bloom.

For eye-popping color when you want it, the Gaillardia is hard to beat. With a serious bloom of red, orange, and yellow literally covering this perennial, you can afford to put some tamer plants nearby. Gaillardia is very drought tolerant and will sit neatly in the front of your garden with its low height.

Best for the norther half of the state, Rudbeckia is an awesome addition to the landscape for bright happy yellow blooms over an extended period. Rudbeckia looks stunning grown in mass or with contrasting dark colors nearby like burgundy or purple. It is another drought tolerant Florida native plant that will not need any care once established.

Go Native

Now that you have some great options for Florida plants that are native and will tolerate the climate where you live, it's time to get planting. Select some native plants of Florida, make the purchase, and get them in your yard today. With so many beautiful choices available, Florida native plant landscaping is as easy as can be.



Feb 10, 2012 11:22pm
Very interesting article on "Florida Native Plant Landscaping." I had no idea that a Yucca could grow so large.
Mar 31, 2012 7:11am
Yucca is a really neat native plant to Florida with blooms. The plant's overall height includes the blooms, which account for a good portion of the total size. Before the flower stems come out the plant is much smaller, so this native plant may fit in spots you might not normally add something that grows this tall. There are many varieties, so look around to see what you can find.
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