Tropical Florida Plants (Flowers, Shrubs, Trees) – Pictures and Identification

The perfect touch of tropical flora to a Florida yard is a wonderful thing. Plants, on the other hand, must tolerate the scorching, humid, and coastal air of the southeastern United States in order to thrive in Florida’s tropical environment. Moreover, finding plants that grow throughout the whole Sunshine State may be difficult due to the variance of temperature between North and South Florida.

The Best Florida Tropical Plants — Overview

USDA zones 9 to 11 are ideal for growing tropical plants in Florida. Cape honeysuckle, cape jasmine, bougainvillea, and Bolivian sunset are just a few of the outstanding tropical Florida plants. These tropical Florida blooming bushes have gorgeous flowers, can tolerate drought, and thrive in the panhandle to the Florida Keys.

Tropical Flowering Shrubs for Landscaping Florida Gardens

Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Ixora, Cape Jasmine, and Bird of Paradise are the top flowering tropical bushes for Florida. These blooming bushes, which flourish in constant sunlight and high humidity, are heat-loving, drought-tolerant plants that need little care. They’re also capable to withstand the salty air in Florida’s coastal areas.

Tropical Foliage Plants for Landscaping Florida Gardens

Begonias, caladiums, red aglaonema, and crotons are the hottest tropical Florida foliage plants for hot, humid climates. The vibrant leaves and colorful foliage of these tropical plants have made them popular. Additionally, in the hottest parts of South Florida, several of these plants do well in the shade.

Low Maintenance Tropical Landscape Plants

Even in hot, bright conditions, the best low-maintenance plants for a tropical environment should need little watering and pruning. Caladium, a popular low-maintenance tropical landscaping plant with colorful leaves, is one of the most attractive.

Croton plants, begonias, and ornamental grasses are other low-maintenance tropical plants for Florida gardens. For a Florida garden, what are the greatest tropical plants? The best blooming and foliage plants, shrubs, and bushes that flourish in moist, sunny environments are listed in this article.

Growing Zones in Florida

To ensure your Florida garden can support the shrubs, ornamental bushes, and plants you want to grow, it’s vital to consider the plants’ growing zones. In the colder winters of northern Florida, certain plants, for example, may struggle in zones 10 and 11. In southern Florida, however, cold-hardy bushes will struggle. According to USDA statistics, here are descriptions of Florida’s growing zones:

Florida USDA Zone 8—Florida’s northern reaches, which border Alabama and Georgia. It gets as cold as 20°F (-6.6°C) in the winter. Panama City, Tallahassee, Pensacola, and the Panhandle are all in zone 8.

Florida USDA Zone 9—From west to east, Central Florida stretches. The coldest winter temperature is 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.8 degrees Celsius). Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando are among the cities in Florida’s zone 9.

Florida USDA Zone 10—South of Lake Okeechobee, the majority of southern Florida. Winter temperatures should be between 30 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.1 to 1.7 degrees Celsius). Cape Coral, Naples, and Fort Lauderdale are among the cities in zone 10.

Florida USDA Zone 11—At its southernmost point, Florida’s hottest area is found. The Florida Keys are included in this. The minimum winter temperatures are 40°F to 45°F (4.4°C to 7.2°C).

Tropical Florida Plants (With Pictures and Names) – Identification Guide

Sun-loving, heat-tolerant shrubs, decorative flowers, and evergreen plants are all examples of tropical plants that brighten up a southern environment. What plants in the tropics would you add to your garden? Read on to learn more about it.

Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis

In Florida gardens, cape honeysuckle is a lovely living fence that blooms all year. Orange or reddish-orange tube-shaped blooms 3″ (7.5 cm) long grow in small clusters on this tropical bushy plant’s flowers. Any tropical landscape needs the attractive shrub, which grows 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) tall and broad.

Cape honeysuckle is a excellent hedge, ground cover, or espalier plant (training branches to grow horizontally) for tropical and subtropical yards. All Florida growing zones are appropriate for cape honeysuckle.

Marsh Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) — Tropical Plant With Large, Showy Flowers

In the Southeastern United States, Hibiscus coccineus blooms in marshes and bogs. Marsh hibiscus is a showy tropical flower that blooms virtually continuously in southern Florida. It is an evergreen perennial shrub. Florida is the home of this hibiscus variety.

Its magnificent crimson, deep pink, or brilliant white blooms are 6″ (15 cm) wide and occur in clusters of five. Marsh hibiscus grows to be 3 to 6 feet (1 to 1.8 meters) tall and 3 feet (1 meter) broad in USDA zones 6 through 11. The tropical perennial hibiscus in northern Florida may fall dormant during the winter and return in the spring.

Tropical Florida Flowering Plants (With Pictures)

For adding a burst of color to a garden, flowering plants for tropical landscapes are ideal. Mixed beds, driveway edges, and borders also benefit from lush, glossy green leaves. To embellish trellises, conceal garden eyesores, or low-growing plants for foundation plantings, you may grow climbing flowering plants.

Bougainvillea — Tropical Flowering Plant

Bougainvillea is a tropical flowering shrub with stunning red, orange, pink or purple flowers that thrives in garden landscapes throughout south Florida. It’s a 3 to 40-foot-tall (1 to 12 m) wide upright evergreen shrub with creeping, woody vines.

Bougainvillea thrives in high humidity and is a sun- loving plant. In Florida’s growing zones 10 and 11, bougainvillea thrives. Use it as a creeping vine or plant the ornamental tropical shrub to cover walls and decorate trellises.

Egyptian Star Flower (Pentas lanceolata) – Low Maintenance Tropical Landscape Plant

In south Florida gardens, the Egyptian starflower is a low-maintenance tropical perennial plant. The sun-loving tropical bushy plant has clusters of pink, red, or white star-shaped flowers that are also known as Egyptian starclusters. In tropical gardens, the bright blooms of this evergreen plant add a touch of variety all year.

USDA Zones 10 and 11 are appropriate for Egyptian starcluster. The flowering tropical plant is ideal for ground cover, foundation plantings, or a mixed bed because it only grows to be 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) tall.

Canna Lily (Canna indica)

Canna lily plants thrive in full sun, but may tolerate partial shade and are suitable for all zones in Florida. In Florida, all zones are home to cannas. The showy flowers of the foliage plants, which bloom throughout the summer and autumn, are well-known for their crimson, orange, or golden yellow. 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 1 m) is the height of the towering tropical flora.

Canna lilies are excellent full sun Florida plants that may tolerate some partial shade and may be grown in USDA zones 8 through 11. The long and broad leaves are up to 24 inches (60 cm) long and 8 inches (20 cm) broad.

Bolivian Sunset (Gloxinia sylvatica)

Bolivian sunset is a low-growing flowering shrub with tubular red-orange flowers that thrives in filtered light or dappled shade. Dark green lance-shaped leaves and clusters of lovely blooms on crimson stems characterize this shade-tolerant leafy plant.

For shade or foundation planting on a north side of a building, the Bolivian sunset is an effective ground cover plant. The winter-flowering tropical plant grows 24 inches (60 cm) tall and wide in all sections of Florida, where Bolivian sunsets thrive.

Pinwheel Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides ‘Pinwheel’)

Pinwheel jasmine is a lovely Florida blooming plant that thrives in partial shade. In Florida’s cooler winters in the north and the hot, humid environment of the Keys, the shrub is tolerant of shade and thrives. The pure white pinwheel aromatic blooms, glossy green lanceolate leaves, and bushy growth distinguish pinwheel jasmine.

As a flowering hedge, back-of-the-bed shrub, foundation planting, or container plant, grow tropical pinwheel jasmine plants. Plants grow to be 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall and broad in zones 6 through 11.

Flame of the Woods (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora is a tiny blooming plant with lance-shaped, glossy green leaves that may be trimmed as a hedge in south Florida. It has rounded clusters of 4-petaled, star-shaped red, pink, yellow or orange flowers. In southern Florida, tropical Ixora plants bloom all year.

As an evergreen hedge, privacy screen, or border plant, the shrubby plant is ideal. The 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) tall evergreen shrub The bushy tropical plant grows in USDA zones 10 and 11 and is also known as jungle geranium, jungle flame, or iron tree. For a tropical touch to a garden landscape in northern Florida, you can grow the plant in a container.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Mountain laurel is a low-maintenance blooming plant that may tolerate some shade in northern Florida gardens. The urn-shaped flowers of this shade-loving multi-stemmed deciduous shrub bloom with stunning pale pink clusters. The leathery green leaves of this plant contrast with these brilliant blossoms.

In a cottage garden, shrub border, or as a specimen plant, mountain laurel is appropriate. In USDA zones 4 through 9, mountain laurel performs best in partial sun. The shrubby plant may grow to be 5–15 feet (1.5–4.5 meters) tall.

Viburnum — Flowering Tropical Shrub with Huge Flowers

Viburnum shrubs are low-maintenance tropical plants that grow to be about 12 feet (3.6 meters) tall. Large globose, conical, or domed clusters of white flowers bloom on the rounded leafy shrub. In most parts of Florida’s tropical landscapes, dwarf viburnum bushes, which grow no higher than 5 ft. (1.5 m), are ideal.

Central and northern Florida are home to Viburnum. Yet, in zone 10, you may locate heat-loving cultivars that perform well in full sun.

Allamanda Bush (Allamanda schottii)

The allamanda bush is a flowering evergreen shrub that brightens up landscapes throughout central and southern Florida. The brilliant trumpet-shaped tropical yellow blossoms of the sun-loving bushy tropics plants bloom with panache. The leathery leaves in whorls of three to five leaves make up the shrub’s broadleaf evergreen foliage.

The height and spread of allamanda bushy plants are 3 to 4 feet (1.2 to 1.2 m). In Florida’s hot environment, the allamanda bush thrives despite its inability to tolerate cold. As an evergreen flowering hedge, specimen plant, foundation plant, or corner accent, grow the shrub as an evergreen flowering hedge.

Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)

cape jasmine is a natural Florida shrub with lovely brilliant white fragrant blooms and thick leathery leaves. It adds beauty and fragrance to the landscape. All of Florida’s growing zones are suitable for the bushy evergreen shrub. The thickly growing, mounding plant requires a lot of summer watering and has moderate growth.

Cape jasmine grows 4 to 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 meters) high and broad in the tropical environment, adding brilliant color. USDA zones 8 through 11 are suitable for this attractive shrub.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) with Spectacular Flowers

Because of its huge leaves, the bird of paradise is often mistaken with the banana tree. This perennial evergreen plant has huge leaves that resemble those of a banana plant and produce unusual blooms at the extremities of long stalks. Bird of paradise blooms reach a height of 6.5 to 11 feet (2 to 3.5 meters).

Their huge leaves, which may grow to be up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) long and 2.6 feet (0.8 meters) broad, are also impressive. The bird of paradise thrives in USDA zones 10 through 12 in an outdoor tropical garden.

Tropical Florida Foliage Plants (With Pictures)

In Florida landscapes, plants with vivid leaves are ideal. Tropical and subtropical gardens look more interesting than ferns and oriental grasses when they are combined with the best tropical foliage plants.

Croton Plants With Colorful Foliage

Croton plants are among the most vivid foliage outdoor tropical plants that may be found in Central and South Florida gardens. The leathery multicolored leaves of tropical leafy plants are green, orange, yellow, and red in hues. Croton plants have delicate, violin-shaped oval, oblong, egg-shaped, or lanceolate leaves in addition to slender leaves.

Croton plants are suited for growing in Central and South Florida since they perform best in freeze-free conditions. Croton plants may be planted in a mixed bed, as an accent plant in an evergreen hedge, or along a property’s foundation line to brighten up a tropical landscape.

Red Aglaonema

The cultivars of red aglaonema ‘Siam Aurora,’ ‘Lady Valentine,’ ‘Red Anjamani,’ and ‘Super Red Star’ are all aglaonema plants that brighten up southern Florida gardens. Lanceolate or heart-shaped leaves in red with green accents characterize the exotic plants. Some aglaonema cultivars feature greenish leaves with crimson dots and pinkish markings, while others feature crimson leaves with red dots and pink borders.


Heliconia is a group of tropical flowering plants with reddish flowers and wide leaves similar to those seen on banana trees. They are ideal for South Florida gardens. In Florida gardens, the huge leaves of tropical plants provide a burst of vibrant oranges and reds.

Hemiconia plants’ unusual blooms resemble a bird’s beak. Tropical heliconia plants range in height from 1.5 to 15 feet (0.5 to 4.5 meters) depending on the species. Helixonia plants grow in Florida’s zones 10 and 11 and are related to canna lilies, banana plants, and the bird of paradise.

Calathea — Tropical Plants with Decorative Leaves

Calathea tropical plants come in a variety of leaf patterns, and they may be grown in the outdoors of South Florida. Calathea leaves have unusual intricate patterns that attract people’s attention. Pinstripe, zebra-like, or peacock-tail patterns are all possible.

Calathea plants also feature green and white variegated leaves. Calathea only thrives in tropical climates and is related to prayer plants. It’s difficult to say the shape, size, or patterns of calathea leaves because there are roughly 60 species. Calathea is still considered an attractive tropical houseplant by most people.


Begonias are popular shade plants for a tropical Florida environment with lovely leaf color designs. Leaves on low-growing foliage plants are fascinating in form and color combinations. Begonias, on the other hand, are fragrant tropical flowers that produce clusters of pink, red, orange, or white blossoms.

Begonias rarely grow taller than 24 inches (60 cm) broad. In Florida gardens, several begonia species may be grown. Rhizomatous begonias, cane begonias, and wax begonias are examples of these plants. In Florida, begonia plants may be grown in any area.


Caladiums are low-light, colorful foliage plants that grow in shaded areas of central and southern Florida. They are suitable for low-light tropical gardens. Caladium plants, sometimes known as angel wings, are stunning plants with heart-shaped pink, white, red, and green leaves.

Caladium plants grow best in dappled sunlight or partial shade, so it’s a good idea to put them there. The Caladium genus of tropical foliage plants grows to be between 0.5 and 2 feet (15 and 60 cm) tall. Heart-shaped or lance-shaped leaves are found on colorful cultivars. Caladiums, on the other hand, have spectacular foreign foliage in all cultivars.

Variegated Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’)

Variegated ginger is a tropical foliage plant with attractive green lanceolate leaves and yellow streaks that can be grown outdoors in South Florida. In southern Florida environments, the low-growing shade plant performs well. Variegated ginger produces clusters of funnel-shaped white blooms in short spikes, in addition to stunning leaves.

The upright clumping tropical decorative plant grows 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters) tall and is also known as shell ginger. As a bright backdrop to accent other blooming plants, you can grow variegated ginger as a specimen plant, foundation planting, or in masses. In most parts of Florida, you can grow variegated ginger in full sun or partial shade.

Arikury Palm (Syagrus schizophylla)

In Central and South Florida, zones 9b – 11, the arikury palm is a tropical dwarf tree that is appropriate for tiny gardens. The arching and drooping habit of the long fronds, which are 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) long, is distinctive. The arikury palm, which stands up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) high and spreads 10 feet (3 meters), is a popular attraction.

The unique serrated petioles of this Florida’s palm are a distinguishing characteristic. The arikury palm, unlike other ornamental palms in Florida, has no smooth crown shaft. The arikury palm has 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 1 m) flowering stalks with golden yellow blooms, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long yellow or orange fruit, and a shaggy appearance.

Tropical Flowering Trees For Florida (With Pictures)

Geiger Tree (Cordia sebestena)

The Geiger tree is a tropical flowering small shrub that originated in Florida and prospers in the Florida Keys. The gorgeous blooms of the tropical tree are orange clusters of six glued papery petals, which are quite lovely. The tubular blooms, which bloom all year long especially during the summer, are 2″ (5 cm) wide.

The Florida Keys are home to the Geiger tree, which flourishes there. John Geiger, a Key West wrecker, inspired the tropical tree’s name. Gieger trees have a vase-shaped crown and drooping branches that grow between 25 and 30 feet (8–9 meters) tall.

Plumeria Tree (Frangipani)

Plumeria is a genus of tiny trees or shrubs that are noted for their fragrant, exotic, and dazzling blooms. White, yellow, pink, red, and multi-colored star shaped plumeria blooms are available. From spring until fall, plumeria trees are also known for their huge, leathery leaves, which adorn the lovely decorative tree.

Deciduous or semi-evergreen trees and shrubs are the type of tropical trees. USDA zones 9 through 12 are ideal for the brilliant flowering trees. Florida, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, Mexico, and Central America are all home to plumeria trees. Frangipani trees, which may reach a height of 20 feet (6 meters), are moderate to rapid-growing plants.

The exotic trees, on the other hand, grow to between 6 and 8 feet (1.8 and 2.4 meters) tall in most tropical and subtropical garden landscapes.

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