University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener –
Ten Beautiful (and Resilient) Plants for Hot Southern Gardens

With record heat so far this spring, gardeners are looking for plants that will still be showstoppers in their gardens. With these recommendations for flowering plants that can withstand the Florida heat, you can enjoy blooms from spring to fall.

  1. Crinum – One of the many bulbs that work in Florida, crinum lilies are a hallmark of Southern gardens and have been cherished and cultivated by gardeners for years. Plus, there are several species and dozens of varieties available. Learn more
  2. Canna – Cannas are tropical bulbs that can add lush color and texture to any Florida garden, thanks to their beautiful flowers and interesting leaves. Learn more
  3. Pentas – When other plants fade in Florida's hot and humid summers, perennials like Pentas lanceolata truly shine. These attractive plants produce red, pink, or white flowers throughout the summer and are a great source of food for hummingbirds and butterflies. Learn more
  4. Scarlet Salvia – Scarlet salvia is a native of the Southeast, including Florida. Its striking red flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This Florida-Friendly perennial looks especially attractive as a border or in mass plantings. Learn more
  5. Coleus – Coleus are heat-tolerant, durable annuals that are prized for their colorful foliage. They come in shades of green, yellow, pink, red, and maroon and work well in hanging baskets, containers, and landscape beds. Learn more
  6. Torenia – Torenia is a great choice for hot and humid locations. It blooms for months and looks great in summer beds. Make sure to choose one of the new varieties that can tolerate heat, heavy rains, and occasionally dry soils. Learn more
  7. Ornamental Sweet Potato – This hardy, drought-tolerant groundcover comes in a wide array of attractive foliage colors, from bright chartreuse green to a purple so dark it's almost black. They're well suited for containers, hanging baskets and the front of garden beds. Learn more
  8. Wax Begonia – Begonias can be used in mass plants, or mixed in with other annuals. Their pink, white, or red flowers have rich color even during the summer. Learn more
  9. Cleome – Cleome has been a longtime favorite in Southern cottage gardens because of its attractive foliage and flowers, and its ability to take the summer heat. And now gardeners have more options, thanks to new varieties like 'Senorita Rosalita'® that have come on the market. Learn more
  10. Gaillardia – Gaillardia blooms will appear all summer and make excellent cut flowers. They come in yellow, orange, red, and even bicolor. Learn more

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