Tough Plants

Gardeners at all levels of experience can appreciate a tough-as-nails plant. Maybe you are looking for a plant that you can finally keep alive. Maybe you want something easy to add to your landscape so you can devote more energy to your fussy plants. Or maybe you’re a busy person just looking to spruce up the garden with very little effort. The following plants are easy to care for and hard-to-kill choices for any Florida landscape.

Warm Season Color

green leafy groundcover with a few yellow flowersPerennial peanut is a low-maintenance groundcover or lawn alternative that offers cheerful golden flowers all summer long. Keep this plant contained though, or the hard-to-remove rhizomes can invade your flower beds.

Pink-orange flower spike of soap aloeSoap aloe is a Florida-Friendly plant that adds bold color and texture to any garden. Hummingbirds love the spike of flowers that blooms during the warmer parts of the year.

Pinkish white flowerOleander is a fast growing shrub or small tree with stunning flowers. It’s true that this plant has a bad reputation for its toxic qualities, but if planted in an area away from where children or pets play it can still be appreciated.

Year-round Green

leafy green landscape plants in front of a wooden privacy fenceCast iron plant is a drought tolerant perennial that thrives in deep shade. Glossy dark green leaves grow to 20 inches tall and gives your shade garden a tropical feel.

Yucca plant in a terracotta potYucca brings coarse texture and strong form to the landscape. Yucca species come in a variety of sizes and can be found with totally green or variegated leaves.

Lemongrass is a grassy looking plant in a terrcotta planterLemongrass is an edible ornamental that holds up well in the landscape and as a bonus, can add lemony flavor and aromas to dishes and beverages. Lemongrass is green most of the year with russet fall and winter color.

Long spiky leaves of Agave lophantaAgaves are succulents that, depending on species, can get quite large. They require very little care and keep their blueish-green to green color all year; you can also find variegates and blue-grey forms.

rosemary plantsRosemary is a fragrant herb and fabulously textural shrub that can thrive in your Florida landscape with minimal water and care.

silvery green palm frondSaw palmetto is a slow-growing, clumping palm form that grows wild in Florida’s natural areas. It can add textural interest and the feel of "natural Florida" to your yard and comes in green and silver leaf-colored forms.

Pink crapemyrtle flowersCrapemyrtle is a popular tree that produces dazzling blooms and can take a lot of abuse. They come in a range of sizes and colors, so you’re sure to find something to fit your style.

Coonties are green prehistoric plantsCoontie is the only cycad native to North America and has ancient origins, as all cycads do. These plants have fern-like leaves and coontie is the preferred food source for the larvae of the rare Atala butterfly.

Medium-sized, well-shaped treeWax myrtle is a native shrub that is salt and drought tolerant, making it great for many areas, including coastal landscapes.

Large turft of tall green ornamental grassFakahatchee grass has tall, grass-like foliage that can reach up to 6 feet tall and wide. There is a dwarf cultivar available as well; either will bring texture and a touch of native Florida to your landscape.

The maroon strappy leaves of a red star dracaenaRed star dracaena adds drama and color to your landscape with its burgundy foliage and architectural form.