Even though the state of Florida averages over 50 inches of rain annually, there are times during the year when drought is an issue. Moreover, with limited and overstressed water resources, much of Florida has water restrictions in place to reduce water usage. This means that to be Florida-friendly year-round, drought tolerance should be a consideration when choosing plants and landscaping. In addition, the heat and humidity of Central and South Florida make low maintenance a priority for many. Here are a few plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs that are year-round Florida-friendly.
Blanket Flower — This Florida native is both drought and salt tolerant, making it a good candidate for Central Florida coastal areas. It’s easy to grow, and its bright flowers attract butterflies.
Firebush — This easy to grow shrub is another favorite for butterflies — and hummingbirds as well.
Saw Palmetto — A native palm that grows between 4 and 12 feet and thrives in sun or shade, the Saw Palmetto is a popular choice due to its silver-blue fronds.
Autumn Fern — With foliage that changes from bronze in spring to dark green when mature, this perennial fern does very well in Florida and grows best in shade.
Egyptian Star Flower — These nectar-rich flowers are a butterfly and bee haven and come in a variety of colors. They do well in containers, or plant them in the ground to grow shrubs up to 4 feet high.
Begonias — Begonias are a gardener favorite all over for their color and low maintenance. They do well in Florida, though they are more water hungry than some plants.
Crossandra — Though native to India, this heat-tolerant perennial has two new varieties that are Florida-friendly right down to their orange blossoms — the Florida Sunset and the Orange Marmalade. The colorful flowers attract butterflies and dragonflies.
Keep in mind that no matter what plant and landscaping plans you have, efficient watering will be a necessity. The best place to start your landscaping project is with the irrigation specialists at Challenger Irrigation. We service Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Citrus counties, and can install a new irrigation system, or repair your old system, to ensure your landscape stays healthy and beautiful year-round. Call us to set up an appointment today!