7 Perennials to Plant in Florida

Perennials thrive from one year to the next. Which ones should you consider growing in Florida?

The stifling heat and high humidity levels in Florida can be challenging for your landscaping. However, some plants naturally do well, even in the Sunshine State’s notorious climate.

The perennial plants listed below are Florida-friendly and will thrive in your garden space.

Why Plant Perennials?

Perennial plants can live for three or more growing seasons if given the proper circumstances.

They don’t need to be replanted every year like annuals. They’re a great investment that will help you get the most money’s worth with your garden budget.

The stems die back throughout the winter, but the roots do not. This means that even though their foliage withers away, they are still forming a root structure that will allow them to grow bigger and sturdier each year.

People plant perennial flowers because they are low-maintenance, consistent performers with a wide range of color, texture, and appearance. In fact, you may plant them at any time of year as long as they are kept well hydrated as they grow.

purple pallida plant with pinkish flowers

7 Floridian Perennials

1. Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Black and blue salvia is undoubtedly one of the top selections for eye-catching Florida perennials. During the summer, the stems of this plant turn black, while the flowers are a vibrant blue.

In midsummer, the plant produces spectacular spikes of royal blue flowers with black calyces, and the scented leaves are dark green. It thrives in even the hottest regions, but it does require regular watering.

These herbaceous plants are easy to cultivate and grow quickly. It will flourish into a big cluster with a height of three to five feet and the same width.

They are pest-free and excellent plants for enticing butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

These eye-catching pollinator plants may add appeal to any border landscape, porch, container garden, botanical garden, or country backyard with its vivid blossoms throughout the summer and autumn.

full bloom sage hummingbird

2. Bulbine frutescensBulbine’

Bulbine frutescens, often known as orange bulbine, stalked bulbine, or simply bulbine, is a herbaceous, succulent perennial native to South Africa.

They’ve become a favorite plant in Florida due to their drought tolerance, ability to survive in dry, sandy soils, and the fact that their star-shaped flowers appear for much of the year.

These herbaceous plants produce racemes of petite, 6-petaled yellow or pale orange blooms with ruffled stamens on 2-foot-tall stalks. Butterflies are often drawn to cultivars with orange and yellow flowers.

Its fleshy leaves, like those of Aloe vera, have been used as herbal remedies. Furthermore, there are no severe pest or disease problems.

It’s suitable for xeriscaping and containers, but it’s best utilized as a ground cover because each plant will grow to form a clump up to four feet wide over time. Bulbine is an excellent passalong plant due to its clumping ability.

orange flower shrub with some that are yet to bloom

3. Catharantus roseusMadagascar Periwinkle’

Madagascar periwinkle, often known as periwinkle or vinca in the United States, has naturalized in Florida. It has escaped cultivation and spread near houses, in disturbed places, and in natural habitats throughout the world’s seasonal dry and humid zones.

Pink periwinkle plants are recognized for their starry petals and lustrous foliage. The flowers bloom all year and come in various colors, including white, pink, and rosy-purple. White flowering varieties are ideal for nightscapes.

Poor soil creates the largest and most abundant blossoms, whilst rich soil may restrict the amount of blooming. It can grow to a height of up to 2 feet in a short period of time.

Because of its many flower colors, it is commonly used in summer and autumn as garden border lines, entrances, terrace containers, and hanging baskets.

blooming little flower with misted leaves

4. Tradescantia pallida’ Purple Heart’

Tradescantia pallida is a delicate evergreen perennial indigenous to northeast Mexico. It is also known as purple secretia, purple queen, or purple heart wandering jew. Its deep purple foliage and long purple stalks make it a stunningly beautiful plant.

They can grow to be 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall and wide. Among the other purple components are the long and oval-shaped purple velvet-textured leaves and the little pale lavender blossoms. Their three-petaled blossoms are pink or pastel purple, with bright yellow stamens, as is customary for this species.

Purple hearts are not only beautiful to look at and have around, but they also help to enhance air quality by filtering pollutants and respiratory irritants.

Growing this perennial in full sun will bring out its rich purple tint. Growing it in the shade, on the other hand, will give it a more green than purple appearance.

These plants are drought tolerant and thrive in the lack of water, but they can also withstand large amounts of it. Pinch the plants to stimulate compact growth.

purple tradescantia plant with little pink flower

5. Blue Daze

Blue daze, also known as dwarf morning-glory or Hawaiian blue eyes, is a flat-growing evergreen perennial that grows well in humidity and heat, making it an excellent choice for Floridians. 

It does not tolerate cold weather, so grow it as an annual or in pots for winter protection if you live in northern Florida.

This flowering plant bears 1-inch blue funnel-shaped flowers and 1-inch  frizzy gray-green egg-shaped foliage. Their sky-blue flower is ruffled and has a little white eye in the center.

Their bright blue flowers bloom all day and close when it rains, gets cloudy, or the sun sets.

It grows best in full sunshine and produces fewer flowers in the shade. These evergreens can grow to be 9 to 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

This ground cover flower is especially lovely when creeping over stone or big rocks and spiraling down a wall. They are incredibly adaptable and can resist saltwater conditions, making them ideal for coastal gardening.

Blue dazes provide year-round beauty and charm wherever they are planted, whether in pots or in the landscape.

blooming blue flowers in the garden

6. Echinacea Purpurea ‘Purple Cornflower’

Purple Coneflower is a perennial plant in the Asteraceae (daisy) family that is endemic to the central and eastern United States. This plant is an extinct Florida native wildflower that can only be found in its natural habitat in Gadsden County.

They develop on tall stalks from a basal rosette of arrowhead-shaped to lance-like leaves. The foliage is rough on the surface and dark green with serrated edges.

This popular perennial has smooth, 2-5 foot stems with long-lasting lavender blooms. Purple coneflower nectar attracts a range of pollinators, including butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds, while the seeds are consumed by birds and other critters.

Echinacea species blooms are used to make a popular herbal tea that is supposed to help strengthen the immune system; an extract is also available in drugstores and health food stores in tablet or liquid form.

This is a gorgeous flower arrangement as well as a trendy and helpful addition to a prairie garden, native garden, grasslands, pollinator beds, and naturalized regions.

full bloom pink flowers of echinacea plant

7. Gaillardia pulchella’ Blanket Flower’

Blanketflower, also known as Indian blanket or Firewheel, can be found in dry savannahs, saltmarshes, and other dry, open regions across Florida. It has been grown along roadsides throughout most of the state since the 1700s.

It blooms throughout North Florida in the spring, summer, and into the autumn, although it blooms all year in Central and South Florida.

The plant develops in a slow-growing mound, and the common name may refer to how it can spread and “blanket” an area. The plants grow to be around 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide.

Single, semi-double, double, and even tubular flowers arise on tall stalks above long, delicate, velvety leaves. Natural hybridization causes color discrepancies and petal shape variations.

The flowers are often scarlet purple or orange-red with yellowish ends, but they can also be pure yellow, red, or orange and make excellent cut flowers that attract butterflies. It is a self-seeding perennial plant that grows year after year.

Whether grown in pots or in the garden, Blanket flowers provide a burst of stunning, eye-catching color.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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