The Best Shrubs For Your Central Florida Yard

The best shrubs to plant in your Central Florida yard are those that grow well in a Florida landscape. As our blog post – “The Best Trees to Consider for Your Landscaping” – covers, Central Florida’s subtropical climate is favorable to a wide variety of vibrant, year-round trees and plants. When planning your landscape, select shrubs that will ensure your yard is beautiful as well as eco-friendly. Those that are Florida native plants are especially eco-friendly, helping to conserve water and protect the environment. There are many shrubs that are low-maintenance and will save you time, effort, and money. This blog post is here to help you through the weeds! We will share some of our favorites, along with helpful planting information. 

Defining and Accenting Your Yard with Shrubs

In order to properly define and accent your yard with shrubs, you’ll want to plan out the shrubs most suitable — based on their requirements for sunlight, water, and soil type. Most Florida shrubs do well in partial to full sunlight and well-drained soil that’s slightly acidic. Also, plan for how much space each shrub will need.

Before placing any shrub in the landscape, consider the shrub’s overall height and width once it reaches maturity. There should be adequate space available for growth. For example, if a shrub is being used as a foundation planting, ensure that its mature growth will not block windows or obstruct walkways. It’s also recommended to plant tall foundation shrubs at least 5 feet away from the house to leave enough room to easily repaint the exterior. You can use tall shrubs for privacy screens, dwarf shrubs (also known as subshrubs) for hedges or colorful species as backdrops to make your yard pop!

Beautiful Florida-Friendly Shrubs

There are two categories of shrubs: evergreen and deciduous. Evergreen shrubs tend to keep their foliage throughout the year while deciduous shrubs lose their foliage in the winter. A few of our favorite Florida shrubs are listed below. 

Pineapple guava is low-maintenance and can grow in the toughest conditions, such as during a drought. It has pink or white fleshy petals and bears edible fruit that ripens in the late summer to the early fall. It grows best in full sun to partial shade and needs well-drained acidic soil. 

Simpson’s stopper also grows well during drought conditions. It is a Florida native that provides your landscape with springtime flowering, colorful berries, and evergreen leaves. It can function as a shrub or a small tree, depending on the cultivar and how you prune it. This low-maintenance shrub attracts birds and butterflies, making it the perfect addition to your garden! The exfoliating bark of Simpson’s stopper also provides some visual interest year-round, as its outer bark flakes off to reveal bark in reddish-brown shades.

For the garden enthusiasts who like to shape their hedges, Japanese boxwood is the perfect shrub for unleashing your creative side, since it grows slowly so as to not ruin your design. It can grow well in most soil and light combinations. Just add fertilizer a few times a year, and you’ll be good to go! 

If you’re looking to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, consider planting firebush. This durable perennial blooms red and orange tubular flowers followed by small, black, edible berries. The shrub grows up to 12 feet tall and half as wide, preferring a variety of well-drained soils and planted in full sun to shade.

Starburst clerodendrum is sure to attract attention as it grows its clusters of pink flowers topped white during the mid-winter all the way to spring! It needs to be watered well and grows best in full to partial sun in well-drained soil. Reaching a height of 15 feet at maturity makes it the perfect shrub to have as a backdrop. 

DIY or Call a Pro?

Whether you decide to take on a shrub-planting project yourself or hire a lawn and garden service depends upon several factors – including your level of gardening expertise, physical stamina, and the amount of time you have to spend on yard work. Another deciding factor is the ambition involved. Planting a hedge along a fence (or to act as a fence) is, of course, much more labor-intensive than a single ornamental shrub.

Also, consider your goal. If you just want to fill in a couple of bare spots, you can do a little quick research to learn which type of shrub will thrive in the intended location, based upon light direction/exposure and soil conditions. If, however, you want to create a design incorporating a variety of height levels, textures, and colors, a professional landscape designer can help you plan an aesthetically pleasing slice of Florida paradise! 

Our experienced team at Daniel’s Lawn Service and Pressure Washing provides beautiful designs that bring out the best in your property – and install the plants, as well! We eliminate the guesswork and trial-and-error plantings to give you an outdoor environment that allows you to enjoy your yard to the fullest while making you the envy of your neighbors! Call us today to learn how we can give you the lawn and garden of your dreams!