11 Best Flowers To Grow in Florida for a Gorgeous Garden

The best flowers to grow in Florida can withstand the rigors of Florida’s climate, require low maintenance, and enliven your garden with gorgeous blooms. We all know that many people have been moving out of Florida due to it’s unfriendly climate. While there are a zillion flower options to plant, we want to focus only on the most suitable ones to grow in Florida gardens.

The 11 best flowers to grow in Florida include:

  1. Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia
  2. Coreopsis
  3. Salvia
  4. Gerbera Daisies
  5. Canna
  6. Persian Shield
  7. Lantana
  8. Butterfly bush
  9. Geranium
  10. Impatiens
  11. Lobelia

These flowers are not only beautiful and vibrant like Bergamont, but they are also well-suited for the climate and conditions in Florida.

To be included, a flower had to meet three requirements. It must be:

  1. Widely embraced by gardeners and flower enthusiasts in Florida
  2. Ideal for Florida’s climatic condition
  3. Appealing

Falling under the USDA zones 8-10, Florida is home to tropical and subtropical plants.

Here are the 11 best flowers to grow in Florida.

1. Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia

Bolivian Sunset Gloxina — one of the best plants to grow in Florida
  • Scientific name: Gloxinia sylvatica
  • Plant size: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) height
  • Plant type: Perennial plant
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade or filtered sunlight
  • USDA Zone: 9-11

Take the inherent beauty of the Bolivian Sunset, and add fantastic speckling and sprays of bold, red-orange bloom to your garden. The blooms are in perfect contrast to its shiny, dark green foliage.

Besides the striking beauty, Bolivian Sunset is a herbaceous perennial, making it excellent for Florida snowbirds. Since the plant is a low grower, it’s ideal for foundation planting or along walkways in frost-free areas. Alternatively, you can use it to decorate rock gardens or alongside perennials in shaded or partly shaded-beds and borders. 

Expect it to flower from fall until spring. 

Quick Tips to Grow Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia

  • Plant the flower in a location that receives filtered sunlight or partial shade, as the plant loves bright indirect sunlight.
  • Maintain evenly wet soil but avoid sogginess to prevent root rot.
  • Prune the plant to encourage branching and bushier growth. 
  • Remove faded flowers and yellowing leaves to encourage blooming.

2. Coreopsis

Coreopsis is among the best flowers to grow in South Florida
  • Scientific Name:  Coreopsis spp
  • Plant size: 12-36 inches (30 – 90 cm) height 
  • Plant type: Herbaceous perennial plant
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • USDA Zones: 4-9

Coreopsis, also known as tickseed or pot of gold, is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, long-blooming flower. The plant produces pink, orange, red, or yellow flowers, making it excellent for filling a bed or lining a border.

With over 80 varieties, you’re sure to get the perfect fit for your Florida garden design. While the flowers have not much of a scent, the foliage has an anise-like smell and flowers throughout summer. 

The spp variety can grow well in well-draining, sandy soil, under full sun to partial shade.

Quick Tips to Grow Coreopsis in Florida

  • Provide at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day because coreopsis thrive well in full sun
  • The flower is drought resistant, so go slow on watering to prevent damaging the roots
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage prolonged blooming and prevent self-seeding

3. Salvia

Salvia is the best flower to grow in Florida
  • Scientific name: Salvia spp
  • Plant size: 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) height
  • Plant type: herbaceous perennials
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • USDA Zone: 8-10

Salvia is a tender perennial that florists rave for its rich blue, white, or red flowers. Its different shades provide a striking contrast when planted with ornamental grasses or flowering perennials. 

However, with a height of 12-24 inches, the plant can be a great addition to any landscape border, cottage garden, or patio planter.

Annual salvia requires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight in well-drained and rich soil.

Quick Tips for Growing Salvia in Florida

  • Salvia spp grows well in full sun to partial shade. Your planting location should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • The plant is drought resistant. Avoid over-watering as it will damage its roots
  • Prune the plant after each major blooming season to encourage subsequent blooming

4. Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisies are the best flowers to grow in Florida
  • Scientific name: Gerbera spp
  • Plant size: 8-24 inches (20-60 cm) height
  • Plant type: herbaceous perennials 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • USDA Zone: 8-11

Gerbera daisy is a vividly colored herbaceous perennial that comes back yearly and can grow up to 8 – 24 inches tall and 1-2 feet wide. The plant features ray-like petals of pale pastel yellow, pink, or bold orange color and red flower.

The large flower heads of Gerbera daisies have ray-like petals around a center disk of tiny green or black flowers. You’ll have to choose from four different classes of Gerbera daisies: 

  • Single flower
  • Semi-double flower
  • Double flower
  • Spider flower

Each class name defines the number, position, and type of petals.

Quick Tips for Growing Gerbera in Florida

  • Gerbera daisies love bright, indirect light or partial shade. Provide them at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Water the plant regularly to keep the soil evenly moist 
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and prevent seed formation.

5. Canna

Canna are the easiest flowers to grow in Florida 
  • Scientific Name: Canna hybrida
  • Plant size: 36 – 96 inches (90-240 cm)
  • Plant type: herbaceous perennials
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA Zone: 7-11

Canna is one of the best flowers to grow in South Florida because it thrives well in hot climates. Most people love it for its large leaves that open in ornamental stalks of red, yellow, orange, pink, salmon, or bi-colored flowers.

The plant can grow up to 96 inches tall, producing distinct, paddle-shaped leaves, which wrap in ruffles around stems that taper to refined buds that bloom into large, rainbow-hued flowers.

Quick Tips for Growing Canna in Florida

  • Canna thrive in full sun or partial shade. Provide the plant with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and blooming.
  • Water the plant to keep it consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  • Remove spent flowers and yellowing or damaged leaves to encourage continuous blooming.

6. Persian Shield

Persian shield flowers are the best flowers to grow in Jacksonville FL
  • Scientific Name: Strobilanthes dyerianus
  • Plant size: 24 -36 inches (60-90 cm) height
  • Plant type: Tropical perennial plant
  • Sun exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • USDA Zone: 8-11

The Persian shield is a tender perennial with striking purple leaves, making it an excellent addition to any garden. The distinct color makes it a unique specimen plant, excellent for garden beds, borders, or containers.

It is the best flower to grow in Florida because it grows quickly under hot and humid conditions to form a large, bushy, mounded plant. When the weather is cold, the Persian shield languishes.

Quick Tips for Growing Persian Shield in Florida

  • Provide partial shade as the plant thrives in bright indirect light or partial shade.
  • Protect the plant against cooler winter — you can bring it indoors when it’s frosty outside.
  • Avoid overwatering, as the Persian shield is sensitive to overly wet conditions.

7. Lantana

Lantana camara are flowers that do well in Florida

  • Scientific name: Lantana Camara
  • Plant size: 12 – 36 inches (30-90 cm) height
  • Plant type: Annual and perennial variety
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
  • USDA Zone: 9-11

Lantana offers a nonstop wave of nectar-rich sparkling yellow, red, white, pink, orange, lavender, and bi-color flowers. The plant is a perennial vining, flowering shrub in warm zones and an annual in places with frosty winters.

Lantana is ideal for garden beds, pots, and with other sun-loving blossoms. It’s among the best flowers in Florida because it thrives best in a warm, sunny climate.

Quick Tips For Growing Lantana in Florida

  • Provide 6-8 hours of full sun every day because Lantana loves sunlight for abundant blooming
  • Plant lantana in well-drained soil to prevent root rot
  • Prune regularly to encourage more blooms

8. Butterfly bush

Butterfly bushes are also among the best plant to grow in Tampa Florida

  • Scientific Name: Buddleia davidii
  • Plant size: 46-96 inches (120 -240 cm) height
  • Plant type: Deciduous plant
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA Zone: 5-10

Butterfly bush is a fragrant plant featuring long spikes of colorful, nectar-rich pink, blue, purple, and yellow flowers on 1-6 feet-tall stalks. The drought-tolerant plant grows well in a sunny spot with 4-5 hours of direct sunlight.

Quick Tips for Growing Butterfly Bush in Florida

  • Provide ample sunlight, as the plant requires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day
  • While the plant can tolerate drought conditions once established, water them during hot and dry seasons
  • Avoid water clogging, as it can result in root rot

9. Geranium

Geraniums are the best plants to grow in central Florida

  • Scientific Name: Geranium
  • Plant size: 12-24 inches (30 – 60 cm)
  • Plant type: Herbaceous perennial 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • USDA Zone: 3-8

Geraniums grow beautifully in Florida because they love warm weather and come in many colors, including pink, red, and white. However, its suitability may vary depending on your location within the state.

If you want to plant the flower in North Florida, plant Geranium in the springs for blooms in late spring and early summer. On the flip side, if you’re in Central and South Florida, plant Geranium in mid-fall for winter blooms.

Quick Tips for Growing Geraniums in Florida

  • Provide full sun for the plants to grow at their best
  • Water the plant when the soil is dry
  • Deadhead browning geranium blooms to encourage new growth

10. Impatiens

Purple Impatiens: They are the best flowers to grow in central Florida

  • Scientific Name: Impatiens
  • Plant size: 8-24 inches (20-60 cm) height
  • Plant type: Annual plant
  • Sun exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • USDA Zone: 10-11

Impatiens are an excellent flower choice for Florida gardens, summer bedding, or container plant because of their long-lasting blooms. The plant flowers continuously through summer and autumn, often up until the frost.

The best time to plant impatiens in Florida depends on your location in the state. If you’re in Tampa, Fl, impatiens will blossom better in the spring. If you’re in Central and South Florida, plant impatiens in mid-fall through early spring to get blooms most of the year.

Quick Tips to Grow Impatiens in Florida

  • Impatiens are shadow-loving annual flowers with long-blooming abilities. You can plant them in containers on a covered porch.
  • While you should water the plant during hot and dry periods, avoid making them soggy
  • Remove spent flowers to promote more blooming

11. Lobelia

Blue lobelia is the Best plant to grow in Florida summer

  • Scientific name: Lobelia inflata
  • Plant size: 6-12 inches (15 -30 cm) heigt
  • Plant type: Annual and Perennial varieties
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • USDA Zone: 3 –  9

Lobelia is a small traditional plant with bright blue blooms, excellent to plant in gardens and containers. The plant is ideal for Florida’s marshy area because it loves wet soil.

Since Lobelia loves cooler weather, expect most blooms in spring and fall or all year round in southern Florida. Many people characterize lobelia with blue flowers. However, it can come in pink, white, and purple colors.

Quick Tips for Growing Lobelia in Florida

  • The plant grows best if it gets 4-6 hours of sun daily
  • Lobelia self-seed. If you want more plants the following season, allow some blooms to go to seed
  • Remove spent flowers to keep lobelia plants full and blooming often

A Table Ranking The Best Flowers to Grow in Florida

Flower RankFlower Type
1.Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia
4.Gerbera Daisies
6.Persian Shield
8.Butterfly bush

FAQs About The Best Flowers to Grow in Florida

What is the best flower to plant in Florida?

The best flowers to grow in Florida in terms of climate suitability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance include Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia, Coreopsis, Salvia, Gerbera daisies, Canna,  and Persian Shield. While there are hundreds of others, many gardeners and flower enthusiasts in Florida have preferred the six above.

What kind of flowers boom year-round in Florida?

Gerbera daisies bloom year-round in Florida, especially in South and Central Florida. The large flowers that bloom in orange, purple, white, or red can appear throughout the year, lasting for several weeks.

When should I plant flowers in Florida?

Planting time in Florida can vary depending on the type of flower species you choose and your region in the state. However, since frosts and freezes are rare in Florida, you can plant your flowers in March in north Florida or February in central Florida.

Should I water plants every day in Florida?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all watering schedule for all plants. The irrigation frequency depends on the type of flower. Most plants in Florida don’t need to be watered every day. Instead, you should check the plant’s watering requirement and observe the soil moisture.


I love nature and fresh food from the garden. That's why I started this gardening journey and decided to share my experience with the world. So far it has been an amazing journey. I hope you will enjoy reading my gardening journal and never be the same again!

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