Top 10 Plants and Trees for Florida Home Exteriors

Wednesday January 5, 2022 comments

Plants and trees are more than just lush decorations to complete your home. They are, as you already know (if you paid attention in school, that is), oxygen producers and are a huge help in cleaning the air around your home. Homes surrounded by well-cared for plants usually enjoy a refreshing breeze, especially on those warm afternoons.

 

But as with any living thing, plants thrive in their respective specific climates, locations, and type of soil. For Floridian home or business owners who are just starting to be interested in plants, whether for the purpose of filling the front yard or investing in a healthier and greener future, we want to help in our own way here at Beacon. 

 

We have gathered information on the best plants and trees to nurture in this state, based on scientific information available and our own experience of plant-gazing at the beautiful homes we have had the privilege of cleaning.

 

Shrubs

Cycads

Cycads are a group of plants that have existed since the age of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they are now endangered, making the importance of planting and cultivating them even more compelling. They are commonly mistaken for small palm trees but they are actually distantly related; Cycads are distinct plants.

The Cycads can survive in different environments, making them a popular choice for homeowners. Some cycad species have a palm tree-like appearance, while the rest look more like shrubs. 

 

Beautyberry

If you’re searching for a plant for your garden that will attract birds, then Beautyberry is the plant for you! This is among the many plants native to Florida, and it bears bright purple fruits. The leaves are coarse, fuzzy, and light green.

This small and sprawling shrub can grow between 3-8 feet tall and 4-8 feet wide. This size is ideal as a focal specimen in your garden. With its branches that create long arches bending to the ground, this plant needs pruning to keep it more compact, but make sure to prune it before it blooms.

 

Gopher Apple

Many home gardeners use the Gopher Apple because it only grows up to 12 inches. When it matures, it forms a dense groundcover and spreads over a few square yards.

This plant has glossy green leaves with white blooms that will appear during the summer months. It also bears fruits that are up to an inch long. The fruit (a favorite of gopher tortoises and other mammals) usually sprouts white and then matures to a purplish, reddish, or pink color, and contains a single seed. 

 

Coontie

The name may make some of us giggle (we did), but this plant actually looks elegant. It looks similar to a small fern and grows up to three feet tall. The leaves are glossy and featherlike and connect to a short yet thick underground stem. This is not edible (it can be toxic), although it has been used by natives before to make starch.

 

Flowers

Scarlet Salvia

The Scarlet Salvia attracts butterflies and hummingbirds because of its bright tubular flowers that can bloom in a variety of pretty colors, such as red, white, or pink during spring and fall.

This plant can grow up to 4-feet high and grows well in any FL landscape. Its best feature? The Scarlet Salvia can thrive in the state’s different trying conditions and is drought-resilient. You can also cultivate this with other plants or plant a bunch of these in a container or a bordered plot.

 

Beach Sunflower

Our personal favorite is the Beach Sunflower. Many plant lovers prefer to use the Beach Sunflower as ground cover because they are bright, colorful, and resistant to dry climate. This gorgeous butterfly-attracting flower is perfect for warm, dry sites, including coastal areas. They are also very pretty, making a great addition to any home garden.

 

Florida Violets

These are perennial wildflowers native to FL. They bloom beautiful yellow, white or purple flowers close to the ground. These plants grow throughout the Eastern U.S.

 

Trees

Redbud

The Eastern Redbud is a magnificent, medium-sized native tree that can reach up to 30 feet with a spread of up to 25 feet. It grows in almost every part of the eastern U.S. It also has a fantastic floral display (comparable to the Japanese sakura) indicating that spring has arrived. Its decent size and rapid growth make it a great choice option for many who want to add liven up their gardens.

 

Sand Pine

This Florida pine tree is small, usually less than 25 feet tall. Take note though that this usually grows in sandy coastal areas of the peninsula. And guess what? This is actually a perfect exterior tree for Christmas time; all it needs is a set or two of fairy lights!

 

Chickasaw Plum

This tree grows into a mass of thin and thorny branches twirling around a trunk, so it is not a good idea to climb it. It grows up to 25 feet tall, but you can easily find ones in the 6-12 feet range.

The Chickasaw Plum tree is covered with small and white fragrant flowers during spring. Small fruits that turn from red to yellow as it ripens can also sprout. You can actually eat the tart juicy plums or harvest them and turn them into jelly. Other animal species enjoy it as a snack as well; isn’t that cute?

We hope you enjoyed our short but sweet take on plants you may want to consider planting in front of your home or shop. We are sure you are going to meet the right plant friends. And don’t forget to nurture and prune them once you have them!