Blooming plants add color and vibrancy to gardens. It’s even better when they do so year-round. Here are six flowers to include in your garden or landscape that will add just as much color and brightness during Florida winter months as they do in the spring.
Bougainvillea is a shrub that produces an abundance of vivid pink, red, purple, magenta, or orange flowers along long vines that can cling and grow along fence lines, trellises, and walls. This plant can grow to be 1.5 – 2 feet tall and 8 – 10 feet wide if planted in a garden.
Bougainvillea bloom on and off throughout the year. This plant requires at least 6 hours of direct sunshine each day and loves acidic, well-drained soil. Water it well, but wait until the soil is completely dry before watering it again.
2. Gerbera Daisies
Gerbera jamesonii daisies also bloom year-round in Florida. While most of the nation can only grow this type of daisy as an annual, these show-stoppers grow as perennials in Florida gardens. Gerbera daisies, which are related to sunflowers, produce red, pink, white, purple, yellow, or orange blooms that grow as large as 4 inches in diameter.
They thrive in rich, well-drained soil in partial sun. Gerbera daisies add vibrancy to landscape borders, mixed flowerbeds, along pathways, and planters.
3. Knock-Out Roses
Knock-out roses are a low-maintenance rosebush option. Knock-out roses come in a variety of hues, ranging from brilliant red to soft pink or yellow. This plant is drought-tolerant and self-cleaning, meaning you won’t have to cut older flowers to encourage new blooms to grow. They’re also resistant to black spot and powdery mildew, which usually kill rose plants.
When mature, knock-out roses can grow up to 3 – 4 feet tall; if left unpruned, they can grow up to 7 feet tall. These plants require at least 6 hours of full sun and grow best in well-drained and slightly acidic soil. For best results, thoroughly water once a week but don’t allow the soil to completely dry between waterings.
4. Ixora (Ixora spp.)
The climate in South and Central Florida is ideal for ixora, a brightly-colored shrub with bulbous clusters of vivid red, pink, orange, yellow, or white flowers. This plant is low-maintenance and actively blooms for 6 – 8 weeks. For continuous blooming, plant ixora in full or partial sunlight. It’s also vital to plant it in well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.
Water it deeply once a week when temperatures are warmer and less often in cooler winter temperatures. This will help to keep the soil wet but not waterlogged. Depending on the species, this plant may grow to 4 – 5 feet tall and 4 – 10 feet wide when mature.
Lantana grows as a shrub or ground cover in Florida’s climate and actively blooms from spring until the first freeze. It produces circular clusters of orange, pink, red, yellow, lavender, or blue flowers. Many species have multi-colored flowers.
This plant requires at least 6 hours of full sun daily and thrives in slightly acidic and well-drained moist soil. Lantana is drought-tolerant and requires little water once well-established. Lantana blooms attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other animals and insects that help with pollination.
Firespike plants produce tall, spiky blooms that range from burgundy to various shades of red. Gardeners typically plant multiple firespike plants together as a background for other plants because they can grow 4 – 6 feet tall and produce attractive leaves even when they mature. For optimal results, plant it so that it receives 3 – 6 hours of full sun each day.
Firespike plants love slightly acidic to slightly alkaline sandy or loamy soils, and they need daily watering during drought periods. This plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, making it ideal for pollination. One thing to keep in mind: firespike plants can grow quickly and become invasive if not properly managed.