Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. The bright, blazing sunshine can be downright punishing for plants and flowers not intended for this type of climate. However, an opposite problem can exit for avid gardeners – in an environment which is so often acclimated to direct sun, which flowers will grow best in the shade? Florida shade plants need to be able to withstand high temperatures, but don’t need direct rays.
It may seem confusing choosing the right shade plants for under trees, along your home, or on the lanai – but we have made it easy for you. Here are 8 of our favorite bright, beautiful plants which will infuse your landscape with color, even in the shade.
Our Favorite Shade Plants
Many of these plants grow well in shade but can tolerate a few hours of sun without too much distress. Therefore when positioning them in the yard. don’t worry if the sun is will be on them for a portion of the day.
- Bromeliads: These fiery plants are quintessentially tropical, which is why we love them. They grow best in humid, moist conditions – at least 60% humidity, in fact. As long as they are mostly kept out of direct sun and given proper drainage, they will thrive in Florida’s climate.
- Pinwheel Jasmine: These delicate flowers are a classic addition to any landscape. The dark green foliage and white blooms typically grow three to five feet tall, perfect for under trees and as partial privacy in front of windows. They prefer partial shade, so positioning them for a few hours of sunlight is fine.
- Tibouchina: Known more familiarly as the princess flower, this bright purple bloom is bound to be a beautiful addition to your yard. They prefer acidic soil, and require regular watering, and will grow well in partial shade. Another plant which loves high humidity, it is perfect for this region.
- Jacobinia Pink: This shrub grows to approximately 5 foot tall, and exhibits lovely white and pink flowers. Although it loves our Florida heat and humidity, it should absolutely be kept away from scorching rays.
- Peace Lily: This radiant white lily is as beautiful outdoors as it is in its potted version. However, they are a bit fickle – while it loves shade, it does require some sun on occasion for best results. Because a peace lily will die with too much water, they are likely to do well under large trees which can provide a canopy.
- Dwarf Azalea: This miniature shrub is known to bloom at different times throughout the year, and grows well in shade. More important than direct sunlight for this plant is the pH of your soil, which should be 5.5 or less.(Read more about soil pH here.)
- Heliconia: All Floridians love this flower (see above) even if they don’t know its name – they look amazing in landscaping designs. These sub-tropical blooms also flower three seasons a year, preferring our warm weather – but not requiring full sun.
- Oyster Plants: These shade plants are not flowering, but they do provide color and excellent ground cover. The plant showcases leaves which are green on one side and purple on back – a truly unique aesthetic look for all of those shady areas where grass may not grow as well.
These are only a few of the many Florida shade plants which will liven up your landscaping and make it beautiful year round. We recommend visiting local nurseries and botanical gardens to see exotic shade plants up close. And when it is time to plant them, come to Big Earth Landscape Supply for all the gardening tools, fertilizers, and mulch that you need to show them off properly.