We all are aware of Florida being called the “Sunshine” state and it’s definitely for a good reason. With it’s subtropical/tropical climate and an annual average of 230 days of sunshine, growing plants can sometimes be tricky. However, you can have a beautiful garden with the right plants that fit the climate with many of the options being native to the region.
In the Orlando area, you will typically find better soil than the coastal cities as it will have less sand which gives it an advantage for planting. Also, Orlando gets plenty of rain with its daily quick pop-up storms that give this region another perk for planting gardens. However, there can be periods of little to no rain, so finding plants that can withstand drought is an important factor to consider as well.
If you are ready to start your garden, here are plants you want in your Orlando backyard.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
The plant is native to Florida and is salt and drought tolerant. It has bright red and gold flowers and its nectar is known to attract butterflies. This annual is easy to grow and is great for high sun areas.
A low-maintenance flower, Pentas are extremely easy to grow and can make your backyard pop. They have a cluster of flowers that come in a variety of colors like, pink, white, lavender, and red. Pentas are also known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and are moderately drought-tolerant. They can be planted in full sun or part shade which makes them a great option for your garden.
Firebush (Hamelia patens)
An easy to grow shrub, the Firebush is great when paired with other native flowers. The shrub produces tube-shaped orange and yellow flowers and is drought tolerant. Firebush plants can be placed in flower beds, containers, and also look great if used as borders.
Blue Daze (Evolvulus)
A rare true blue flower, the Blue Daze is a lovely groundcover plant that can be placed in full or partial sun. It has a non-stop bloom which makes it great for flowerbed edges or containers where it can spill over giving off a beautiful look. This plant is also drought tolerant and once established can survive on natural rainfall.
Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus)
This is a larger plant that can be used as a hedge or small tree with stunning silver foliage. The beautiful color of the Buttonwood’s leaves makes for a nice contrast when combined with other flowers. Native to Florida, this plant does well in full sun and is drought tolerant.
You can’t have a true Florida garden without the state’s official flower. This cheery plant has beautiful red and yellow daisy-shaped flowers that will make any flowerbed pop. They can be planted in full or partial sun and are moderately drought tolerant.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Another staple for Florida yards is the saw palmetto. This extremely hardy plant can withstand very dry and salty conditions. A larger plant, its leaves are fan-shaped that come in a silver or blue color that goes nicely with colorful plants. Saw palmetto’s look great as anchors to flower beds or for a general natural look in your garden.