Gardening in Florida requires a basic understanding of what plants are able to tolerate the hot summers and drought conditions. Flowering plants add color to your landscape and are a popular choice for many gardeners. It is possible to include flowering shrubs in your Florida garden if you choose those recommended for the zone.
U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9 in Florida includes most of the north and central regions, including areas to the south of Orlando. This part of central Florida has mild winters and a long growing season. Temperatures in zone 9 are generally temperate, but frosts are possible in the winter months, making it unwise to try to grow tropical plants, unless you are able to cover them or move them indoors when temperatures dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plant fragrant shrubs near your front door to lend a special scent to your entryway. Fragrant tea olive is an evergreen shrub that will grow to 10 feet in height, yielding small white blooms in late winter. The blooms are sporadic into the summer and begin again in fall. These shrubs adapt to any soil and thrive on neglect. Plant this fragrant shrub in full to partial sun.
Gardenias produce shiny leaves and large, white fragrant blooms. The plants have good drought tolerance, are cold hardy and survive in full to partial shade. The shrub grows to 4 feet in height, and can be grown into a hedge or can be kept as an accent plant.
Azaleas are drought-tolerant plants that require little care. They can grow up to 5 feet in height depending on the variety. Blooms are produced primarily in the spring, although there are varieties that produce blooms throughout the year. Azalea shrubs produce a variety of colors as well, including white, lavender, pink, coral and red. These drought tolerant plants can tolerate sun but do well in shade also.
Camellias are used as a hedge, a foundation plant or as accent plants. These carefree shrubs are drought tolerant. They can grow to 10 feet in height if they are not pruned. Camellias produce large, showy blooms in white, pink or red November through March.
Firebush, sometimes called firecracker shrub or hummingbird bush, is an evergreen shrub that produces bright red-orange blooms throughout the year. The plants tolerate partial shade but bloom best in full sun. The bright flowers of this shrub attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Cape honeysuckle is a year-round evergreen that is native to South Africa. These sun-loving plants produce bright orange blooms that attract hummingbirds. Cape honeysuckle has medium salt and drought tolerance.
White pompom is an evergreen shrub from South America. It produces large showy white pompom flowers in the fall and winter. The plants require regular watering and prefer full sun. White pompom plants grow to 12 feet in height.
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Fast-Growing Shrubs for Zone 9
Shrubs benefit the landscape by adding height and texture along with blooms or fruit at various times throughout the year. They provide...