Tropical Plants Perfect for Your Florida Landscape
What is your first thought at the mention of our great state of Florida? For many, it is the acclaimed weather ‒ following Walt Disney World, that is. Known for abundant sunshine, and the less admired humidity, Central Florida is classified as a humid subtropical climate. South Florida is considered a true tropical climate, with vegetation that includes tropical rainforests, tropical monsoons and tropical savannas. The consistent weather pattern of wet and dry seasons is the reason our landscape consists of towering palm trees, and a variety of other tropical plants. Keep reading to learn which plants are suitable for a tropical climate, and how they can fit into your Florida landscape design.
What is a Tropical Plant?
To understand what plants will thrive in your Florida yard, you need to know what a tropical plant is. A tropical climate is typically hot and humid, with temperatures constantly exceeding 18 degrees Celsius, with zero frost days. A tropical plant is one that grows and thrives naturally in this climate, which resembles the environment of a region known as the tropics ‒ the region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. Contrary to what many people expect, these plants do not do well in direct sunlight. Whether blooming or foliage plants, they tend to fare better in shade.
Choosing Weather-Tolerant Plants
While susceptible to direct sunlight, tropical plants are surprisingly resilient against other extreme weather conditions. This is important for Florida homeowners during periods of extended drought, or the annual hurricane season. In rare scenarios, there may also be water-use restrictions in place. If you do not select weather-tolerant plants, you may find yourself investing in new landscaping on a yearly basis.
Consider the following plants for your Florida yard:
Firebush - This easy-to-grow shrub is extremely colorful and produces yellow and orange flowers. Popular among butterflies and hummingbirds, these plants thrive in garden beds or containers.
Beautyberry - Growing from 5- to 9-feet tall, beautyberry produces delicate lavender flowers and clusters of highly decorative purple berries in late summer and fall. This shrub prefers well-drained soil and full sun, or light shade.
Blanket Flower - A Florida native plant, blanket flowers are drought-resistant and salt-tolerant. These bright red and gold flowers bloom in the summer, and produce a nectar that attracts butterflies.
Buttonwood - A simple, leafy plant, buttonwood is often used as a hedge, an accent or a small tree.
Saw Palmetto - Especially great for areas that are exposed to high levels of salt, this palm grows 4- to 12-feet tall, with fan-shaped leaves that may be 1½ - to 2-feet across. It can thrive in both sun or shade.
Tropical Landscape Design
While the most obvious perk of featuring tropical plants in your landscape design is the casual atmosphere, there are numerous advantages ‒ one being the reduction in lawn size and grass. Less grass means less space to maintain, and a cutback on water usage. It will also produce less waste, and reduces air and noise pollution. Unsure of where to start? Check out the Florida-friendly Plant Database for landscape plant ideas. It will assist you in narrowing down specific types of plants suited to your region, while taking your personal preferences into account.
Prefer an experienced landscaper who knows the lay of the land? Call Daniels Lawn Service and Pressure Washing. We can design the optimal space for entertaining your friends and family, customized to your lifestyle and interests ‒ such as a lush garden that attracts birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects ‒ and allows you to relax and reflect.
Utilizing native plants is a fantastic way to enhance the natural beauty of your Florida lawn, as well as increase its property value. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule an appointment.