Shrubs are a beautiful part of any garden, and when I first moved to Florida, I had to do a bit of research to find shrubs that will grow in the heat and humidity that you find in Florida.
There are a lot of shrubs that will grow in this area of the country, and in this guide, I will list 35 different options to help you find the perfect shrubs for your garden in Florida.
This is a shrub that will do well in full sun and well-drained soil. Some viburnum varieties can also grow in cooler temperatures, but nothing cooler than zone 4. The blooms have a delightful smell, and they can be pink, cream, or white in color.
2. Allamanda Bush
Allamanda Bush is a bright bush that has trumpet-shaped yellow blossoms. When they are fully mature, the plant can easily grow to be four or five feet tall. They do well in full to partial sun, and they are salt-tolerant as well.
3. Angel’s Trumpet
If you like a fragrant bush, then the angel’s trumpet, which has trumpet-shaped blooms that dangle from the bush, is ideal. It can quickly grow to be more than 20 feet tall, but it is a toxic bush that may not be safe to have around children or pets.
4. Schefflera Arboricola
Also known as a dwarf umbrella tree, this is a shrub that can grow to be 15 feet. The plant produces small red flowers. This plant prefers bright light to grow, but indirect light is best, especially during the afternoon when the sun is the hottest.
Azaleas are a beautiful bush that has a lot of blooms during the summer season. It prefers to grow in partial sun; it will need afternoon shade so that it does not get damaged from the heat. It also needs moist, acidic soil to grow.
6. American Beautyberry
This is a shrub that has beautiful purple berries. It does well in rich, organic soil that has a lot of nutrients. It also needs to be well-draining because this plant will need a lot of water in Florida. It prefers to grow in full-sun conditions.
This plant can easily grow to be up to 30 feet. It is fast-growing, and during the summer months, it will produce quite a few pink blooms. It should have at least six hours of sunlight a day, and with too little sun, the blooms will lose color.
To attract butterflies and birds to your garden, this is a great bush to select. It has purple, pink, red, yellow, or white blooms that will appear during the summer months. It prefers full sun, but it will grow in any type of soil.
9. Cape Honeysuckle
Cape Honeysuckle has bright orange blooms that will make any garden pop. The bright color of the plant and the sweet nectar is ideal for attracting hummingbirds. It can grow to be 10 feet, and it prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun.
10. Cape Jasmine
Cape Jasmine has a bright white flower that can be seen throughout the summer. It will grow best with well-drained soil, average water, and partial to full sun. Slightly acid soil is excellent for growth as well. For more growing information, see our cape jasmine growing guide here.
11. Chenille Plant
The chenille plant is a unique type of shrub that has crimson flowers that resemble a caterpillar. When mature, the plant can grow to be 15 feet tall, and it does well in full sun and sandy soil that is slightly acidic.
12. Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
The cocoplum is a plant that is native to Florida, and it has a very distinct look that reminds me of the beach. The leaves are green with red tips, and the flowers are white. It can grow to be 15 feet tall with full sun.
13. Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana)
This is a plant that has leaves that vary in color, which can include a coppery red, a mottled pink, and a creamy white. Full sun will give the leaves a brighter color, but it can grow in partial shade as well. This plant is salt-tolerant as well. For more information on growing copperleaf plants, see our growing guide here.
The bright orange firebush is ideal for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. It will thrive in full sun. In fact, it can grow to be over 10 feet tall with the right conditions. It can tolerate dry soil as well.
15. Firespike (Odontonema strictum)
If you are looking to add red to your garden décor, the firespike is an excellent option. It is six feet tall when mature, and it gets red tubular flowers that grow in clusters during the summer months. They prefer full sun and well-drained, sandy soil.
16. Gardenia Bush
One of the most noticeable things about a gardenia bush is their fragrant, large white blooms. They like humid air and warm temperatures. It also will grow best in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. When the soil is too wet, the buds will not open properly.
Hibiscus is a plant with dark leafy foliage and small round blooms that range from pink, red, and purple to yellow, orange, and white. They do best in full sun; in fact, they cannot handle temperatures that are too low. For more information on growing Hibiscus, see our growing guide here.
This is a shrub that can only grow in hardiness zones nine and above, which makes it ideal for Florida. Blooms are bright pink in color, and they grow in clusters. It prefers to grow in full sun and well-drained, slightly acidic soil.
19. Knock Out Rose
This is a plant that can easily grow to be three to four feet tall. It has blooms that are shades of red and yellow that you can see from the spring until the fall of the year. It does best in full-sun conditions, but it will also grow in partial shade.
Ligustrum is a plant that is great for any garden because it is versatile, tolerant, and easy to care for. It can grow in any soil, full sun or partial shade, and it is salt-resistant, which means that planting it near the beach is possible.
This is a plant that blooms from February to April, so it will give your garden some color in the winter. It can grow to be six feet tall. It likes full sun, but the afternoon shade is ideal in the summer.
The leaves of Nandina are green, but during the winter, they get a red tint that makes them stand out. It will bloom small, white flowers in May and June. Typically, this plant can grow two feet a year until it is seven feet tall.
23. Cestrum nocturnum (Jasmine)
Jasmine is a bush that produces small white blooms that smells amazing. It needs well-draining soil that is somewhat fertile to grow. It also requires full sun to thrive, but it can manage some shade for part of the day.
24. Hope Philodendron
Hope Philodendron is great because it does not require a lot of care. It can grow to be four feet tall in full sun or full shade. It can grow in any soil, and it doesn’t require much water. They are toxic, so they can irritate your skin.
25. Variegated Pittisporum
The leaves of this plant are oval and look like rubber. The plant creates flowers during the spring of the year that are red, yellow, white, and brown. The flowers have a citrus scent. They need to be watered an average amount, but they need well-drained soil to help prevent overwatering.
26. Star Jasmine
This is a beautiful plant that can be grown as a vine or a shrub. It is known for its small, white flowers, and it can be seen growing in zones eight to 11. It will grow in partial to full sun, and it typically needs to be watered weekly, especially in extreme heat.
27. Texas Sage
The silverfish leaves and the lavender flowers on this plant are a sight to see. The shrub blooms when the temperature rises, which makes it ideal for this area. It can grow to be five feet tall, and it only needs full sun and good drainage to flourish.
28. Thunbergia (Thunbergia erecta ‘King’s Mantle’)
This is a plant that is simple to care for. It can mature to a height of about eight feet. It can grow in full to partial sun, and it likes soil that is slightly acidic. Blooms can be red, orange, yellow, and white from summer to fall.
Crotons are shrubs that can grow up to six feet. They require a temperature that is higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and they also like a bit of humidity. They do best in well-draining soil and at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day. For more information on growing Crotons, see our growing guide here.
30. Crown of Thorns
This is a succulent shrub that can bloom for the majority of the year. Blooms can be red, pink, orange, white, or yellow. Full sun will help the plant thrive, but it needs to have at least four hours of sunlight each day.
31. Japanese Boxwood
If you like to shape your shrubs, then this is an option that has a slow rate of growth that will not ruin your design. It can grow in most light and soil combinations, but it will need to receive some fertilizer a few times a year.
32. Blue Porterweed
This shrub is excellent for attracting butterflies to your garden. It can easily grow to be about three feet tall, and it seems to grow best when it gets full sun. They need well-drained soil and water occasionally when the ground is dry.
33. Coontie (Zamia pumila)
This plant is a slow-growing shrub that resembles a small palm tree. It is a very durable plant that is not picky about its growing conditions. It can grow in full sun, partial sun, or full shade. It can tolerate any soil as well.
34. Drift Rose
This is a shrub that can grow to be two feet tall. It is easy to care for, and it ranges in color from blooms that are hot pink to a much softer pale peach. It will grow best in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
The snowbush is a plant that is colorful with maroon stems and pink foliage. The color can vary a bit from plant to plant, but it can grow to be three feet tall. It grows best in partial shade, and it will need to be watered once a week.