9 Best Flowers to Grow in South Florida Gardens

Welcome to the vibrant world of South Florida’s flower gardens, where the sun always shines and the blooms never cease!

If you’re dreaming of a summer garden that’s both a feast for the eyes and a carnival of colors, you’ve come to the right place. Here, showy flowers are the real stars, with hibiscus flowers taking center stage, flaunting their exotic beauty.

We’ll dive into the best flowering plants that not only thrive in well-draining soil but also promise to keep your Florida garden dazzling with summer flowers that bloom year-round.

So, grab your gardening gloves, because we’re about to explore the most spectacular Florida flower gardens that make every day feel like a sunny summer escapade!

Best Flowers to Grow in South Florida

Here are some really amazing flowers you MUST grow in South Florida:

1. Coral Bells (Heuchera)

full sun plants florida

Coral bells are fond of the South Florida landscape. They are the divas of the shade garden but don’t mind a sunbath in cooler climates! These flowering perennials are superstars, offering long-lasting, colorful blooms that make them one of the best flowers to jazz up your garden.

They thrive in moist, rich soil that’s just the right amount of neutral to slightly acidic (pH between 6.0 and 7.0) – think of it as their preferred cocktail. While they’re pretty low maintenance, watch out for the H. sanguinea variety, which isn’t a fan of clay or too much acid. Just like gerbera daisies, coral bells bring that burst of color with their vibrant and colorful flowers, making every garden scene a showstopper!

2. Pentas (Pentas Lanceolata)

plants for south florida

Pentas, also known as Egyptian star clusters, are the rock stars of Florida gardens, lighting up the scene with their clusters of tiny, star-shaped flowers. Whether you’re into the boldness of red, the sweetness of pink, or the tranquility of lavender, there’s a pentas cultivar just waiting to spice up your garden palette. And guess what? These beauties keep the show going deep into fall and even into South Florida’s mild winters.

Characteristics of Florida-Friendly Flowers

They’re a perfect pick for anyone with a green thumb looking to add a splash of color with a container plant. Plus, they sit pretty alongside hibiscus plants and blanket flowers, creating a spectacle of attractive flowers. So, choose your favorite shade and let your pentas light up your garden with their starry blooms!

3. Calliopsis or Tickseed (Coreopsis)

best plants to grow in south florida

Tickseed, also cheekily nicknamed after those tiny critters due to its seed’s resemblance, is a superstar in Florida’s sunny gardens. This tough cookie thrives in nearly any soil, adores the full sun, and has a knack for surviving the dry spells that sometimes hit Florida’s climate.

No wonder Coreopsis was crowned Florida’s official state wildflower back in 1991! Whether it’s sprucing up hanging baskets, adding zest to your container gardening, or dotting the landscape with perennial flowers that bloom and bloom, this plant is a champ. Its vibrant presence not only jazzes up the place alongside blanket flowers and blue daze but also works like a charm to attract butterflies. So, if you’re looking to bring some lively color and fluttering friends to your garden, tickseed is your go-to!

4. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)

full sun florida plants

Gerbera daisies are the all-stars of the Sunshine State, rocking out in containers and lighting up beds as perennial favorites in Central and South Florida. If you’re dealing with cooler zones where frost likes to crash the party, treat these beauties as annuals or give them a warm winter retreat indoors.

Known for their large flowers and beautiful blooms, Gerbera daisies are relatively low maintenance, which means more beauty with less fuss. They play well with other plants like Mexican heather, attracting butterflies and other pollinators to create a lively garden party. So, if you’re looking for some of the favorite flowers to brighten your landscape, Gerbera daisies are sure to bring the dazzle to your garden!

5. Sage (Salvia)

best plants to grow in south florida

Meet sage, the rugged charmer of the South Florida landscape scene! This stellar plant flaunts its silvery foliage and gorgeous purple flowers, thriving in the heat and humidity without a sweat. Sage’s drought-tolerant nature makes it a dream for gardeners looking for low-fuss beauties.

With the right plant care, you’ll see its lavender to purple blossoms popping up year-round, set against a backdrop of soft, silver, or gray-green leaves. Even in colder climates, sage stands strong against cold snaps, and it’s happy in partial sun and diverse soil conditions. If you’re scouting for plants that keep the beauty coming all year long, sage is your surefire pick!

6. Petunias

low maintenance full sun plants

Hey Florida garden enthusiasts! Did you know October and November are the prime months to get those petunias in the ground? These sun-loving beauties thrive in full sun and are well suited to the state’s radiant rays.

With their tubular appearance and a palette of various colors, petunias are a fantastic choice to add beauty and vibrant blooms to your garden. Just plant them in well-drained soil, keep it moist, and space them about 12 to 18 inches apart if you’re using them as a groundcover. Get ready for a spectacular show of flowers that’ll brighten your garden and keep the floral fireworks going!

7. Hibiscus

plants that grow well in florida

Hibiscus flowers, those sun-kissed beauties of Southern Florida, are a breeze to grow and thrive gloriously under the generous sun. Planted in well-drained soil, these vibrant perennials light up the landscape with their dazzling blooms. From the bold orange to the delicate purple and sunny yellow, the hibiscus has many different varieties that flourish throughout the summer.

Favorites like the roselle hibiscus (scientifically snazzy as Hibiscus sabdariffa) and cranberry hibiscus stand out for their easy-care nature. So, if you’re looking to add a splash of color to your Florida garden, the hibiscus is a fabulous choice, guaranteed to thrive and bloom profusely under the summer sun!

8. Blanket Flower (Gaillardia Aristata)

drought resistant plants florida

Gaillardia, a real trooper in the floral world, is as versatile as it is vibrant! Use this beauty as a cheerful groundcover, pop it into containers, or let it shine as a stunning accent in mass plantings. Perfect for any spot in the state,gaillardia thrives under the harshest conditions—extreme heat, relentless sun, sandy soils, and even salty sea breezes.

This makes it an ideal selection for your coastal landscape or any garden seeking a burst of color. With its resilience and dazzling appearance, gaillardia tops the list of must-have flowers, standing out beautifully alongside favorites like pentas. Ready to bring some hardy beauty to your garden? Gaillardia is your go-to!

9. Firespike (Odontonema Cuspidatum)

best plants for south florida

Ready for a year-round garden superstar in Florida? Meet Firespike! You can plant this versatile beauty anytime, and it will adapt to a broad range of soil conditions, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, whether sandy or loamy.

Space your plants about 24 to 36 inches apart to give them room to strut their stuff. For the most spectacular blooms, position Firespike in full sun, although it’ll still perform nicely in part sun. Celebrated for its stunning purple flowers that bloom throughout the summer, Firespike adds a splash of color to any Florida garden, fitting in perfectly with various colors and many annuals. Get ready to watch it thrive and brighten up your green space!


And there you have it, folks! From the sun-soaked soils of Florida to your own backyard paradise, these resilient and radiant flowers are ready to put on a show. With blooms that last all summer long and come in every shade of purple you can imagine, these plants are more than just a pretty face. They’re the low maintenance champions of the garden, thriving through Florida’s sunny days with ease.

Remember, whether it’s the scientific name or the splash of color they bring, each plant has its unique flair to make your garden a blooming success. So plant them, love them, and watch as your Florida garden becomes a vibrant festival of long-lasting blooms throughout the seasons!

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up For Newsletter!