Garden Ideas: Plants That Say “Florida”

Not everyone who buys or builds a new custom Florida home gets into gardening or landscape beautification. But, those of you who do will appreciate living in the Sunshine State.

Garden Ideas: Plants That Say “Florida”Gardening can be a never-ending pastime in Florida’s balmy climates. That means ICI Homes customers with green thumbs — or wannabes — can play in the dirt year-round. Whether you groom every part of your property, or prefer container gardening on a patio, your time, imagination and budget are your only limits.

If you move to an ICI Homes community from another area of the state, you’re probably already familiar with the decorative shrubbery, ornamental trees and flowering plants that are common to many residential and commercial landscapes.

But, if you move from another part of America, or from another country, you might be asking yourself, “what’s that?” And, even if you’re already a Florida resident, you might welcome a botanical cheat-sheet.

We’re here to help with that. Read on for more about plants that say “Florida.”


Palms are iconic in Florida and warmer coastal regions. The official state tree is a sabal palm, and there are as many varieties of palms as there are oaks, pines, maples and other types of trees.

A sago palm — a lower-growing palm with deep, glossy green fronds — is a favorite landscape choice in flower beds.

Another Florida staple is the crape myrtle, a smaller ornamental tree with graceful, arching branches that bloom in cascades of red, pink, purple or white flowers. Its smooth, papery bark is attractive during cooler months.

Flowering shrubs

Hibiscus shrubs burst with big, colorful blooms year-round. They’re as iconic as palms in Florida, and — like palms — show up as interior design motifs in art, fabrics and clothing.

Fragrant gardenias and mock orange shrubs are warm-weather evergreen plants used in hedges and as standalone plantings. They both sport white blossoms — although different in appearance — and their fragrances will perfume the area where they bloom, especially with a breeze.

Blooming plants

The tropical bougainvillea vine features brilliant jewel-tone blooms at certain times of the year and its falling petals carpet the ground underneath. These are strong plants that need room to grow, so make sure they have structural support. They’re splendid on a pergola.

Plumbago plants sport unique sprays of periwinkle-blue blooms. The blue variety is most common, but white-blooming plumbagos are available. Plumbagos can function as a low-growing hedge, as an accent plant because of those blue flowers, or as a ground cover in a mulched flower bed.

Bird of paradise plants are showstoppers. They’re succulent-like in appearance, but their tough, smooth leaves are dramatic alone as a landscape accent, and their vivid blue and orange blooms resemble an actual bird of paradise — thus the name. These plants are stunning en masse.

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