7 Shade Plants to Grow in Florida

Shade plants can fill the areas of your garden that don’t have full sun. Which plants should you consider growing in Florida?

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and lovely tropical flowers grow everywhere in the area’s hot and humid climate. Ask any Florida homeowner what plants to put in their backyard, and they’ll name a slew of plants that thrive in the sun but won’t grow or blossom in the shade. Plants that flourish in the shadow need no more than four hours of direct sunshine every day to thrive.

In Florida’s sunny and humid environment, what are the finest shade plants to grow? In this post, I’ve compiled a list of 7 plants that will liven up your shady garden! Continue reading to learn more.

1. Pinwheel Jasmine

Pinwheel jasmine is a shade-tolerant, cold-hardy blooming plant that can be found as far south as the Florida Keys. The lovely evergreen shrub has glossy green lance-shaped leaves and white-petaled blooms with a strong scent. The glossy shrub, sometimes known as pinwheel cape jasmine, grows up to 4 feet tall and wide.

The glossy shrub thrives in light shade and enjoys regular waterings, as long as the soil dries out in between.

Pinwheel jasmine is a versatile evergreen plant that may be used as a blooming hedgerow, container plant, or shrub at the rear of the bed.

little pinwheel jasmine flowers

2. Bolivian Sunset

Bolivian sunset is a shade-tolerant flowering shrub with orange-red tubular blossoms that are arranged in clusters. Shiny dark green lanceolate leaves grow on eye-catching red stems. This delicate beauty, native to Bolivia and Peru, is often cultivated as a houseplant, although it is hardy enough to thrive outside in Florida.

Grow Bolivian sunset in a somewhat shaded location with wet, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, like compost. During dry times, water to protect it from entirely drying up. 

The Bolivian sunset is a low-growing shrub with a wide range of landscaping applications. It looks great in rock gardens, shady borders, and mixed beds. 

red bolivian sunset flowers

3. Bromeliads

Bromeliads are shade-loving tropical plants that need little sunshine and flourish in Florida’s frost-free zones. The eye-catching multicolored plants feature thick leaves that grow in a characteristic rosette pattern and come in a variety of colors, including green, gold, deep red, and variegated. Bromeliads have spectacular blooms on a tall upright stem that emerges from the plant’s center, which is a unique trait. Typically, rosette flowers have spiked petals or bracts with arching points.

Bromeliad plant maintenance is simple and needs no special equipment or fertilizers; throughout the growth season, feed the plants with a half-strength fertilizer once a month. Watering is accomplished by moistening the soil or filling the depression “cup” made by the rosette of leaves in the center.

Bromeliad plants provide an exotic touch to the garden, transporting you to the tropics with its sun-drenched settings. Bromeliads are simple to grow as houseplants and provide unique texture and color to the inside landscape.

a plain bromeliad houseplant outdoors

4. Peace Lily

Peace lilies are evergreen, deep-shade floral plants native to Florida’s southern coast. When planted inside, these gorgeous plants not only light up a living area, but they also perform a wonderful job of purifying the air. Dark green leaves and white “flowers” are the most typical features of these plants. The flower is really a specialized leaf bract that develops hooded over the blossoms.

Peace lilies thrive on soil that is relatively wet and filtered, as well as steady temperatures. Most diseases and pests that typically affect indoor plants are absent from these plants, however, they are sensitive to scale and mealybugs.

When utilized in a mass display, a well-grown peace lily may bloom twice a year, providing blossoms for many months. Peace lilies are often planted in the spring when the weather is still chilly, and these hardy plants have no trouble withstanding these circumstances in tropical and subtropical locations.

peace lilies blooming in the garden

5. Areca Palm

You’ll notice these tall, beautiful, clumping palms that look a lot like bamboo if you drive down practically any street in warm areas of the United States. They’re known as areca palms. The trunks of these palms are smooth and occasionally golden, and the fronds are slender and full, resembling bamboo bunches.

When cultivated outdoors, it is important to choose a planting location with adequate drainage. Palm trees are prone to root rot if the soil is kept too wet. A well-draining container is required when cultivating this specimen as a houseplant inside. 

Areca palms are often utilized as a privacy screen when cultivated outside. They grow at a slow to moderate pace and are best planted in the spring.

6. Caladium

Caladiums have become one of the most popular foliage plants for gloomy or semi-shady gardens due to their lush colorful leaves, many of which are bigger than the palm of your hand. Each leaf seems to have been hand painted with vibrant shades of green, white, pink, and red.

These plants like soil that is wet, rich, and well-drained. Ensure that the soil is kept uniformly wet during the growing season. Allowing the soil to dry out will cause the leaves to yellow and drop. To assist your plant in retaining moisture, apply a layer of mulch around it.

This houseplant is ideal for warm, sauna-like environments, such as baths, sunrooms, and solariums. Avoid exposing it to drafts and temperature changes. You may transfer your pots outside to a shaded porch or patio once summer comes. Caladiums may be planted in pots or in large clumps in beds and borders.

abundant growth of caladium plant

7. Jacobinia Pink

Jacobinia pink blooms in summer, with vivid pink tubular flowers that burst at the mouth and curl outward from a pinecone-like inflorescence above big mid-green, slightly weeping tropical leaves. This shrub produces white and pink blooms and may grow to a height of 5 feet. 

It prefers tropical climates, which makes Florida, particularly southern Florida, perfect. Water jacobinia on a regular basis. It can withstand moderate drought once planted, but it does best when given regular water. Mulch applied to the soil in a 2- to 3-inch depth may help preserve moisture. If you want to grow jacobinia in your garden, you won’t need to fertilize it since it takes all of its nutrients from the earth.

Use jacobinia to create a magnificent floral hedge or use it as a foundation plant in shady areas. The flowers last throughout the summer and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This blooming shrub is an evergreen in frost-free environments.

beautiful jacobinia pink flowers
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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