In the two years I’ve worked at Hotspots, I’ve received many letters from readers complimenting me on various subjects that I’ve covered. The very first time that I received a lot of e-mails on one subject, however, was last year’s home and garden issue, when I featured flowers you can grow in your own home at any time of the year in Florida. Many people loved the primer and they wanted to know what other kinds of flowers there are out there.
This year I picked seven flowers that aren’t just suitable for Florida’s warm climate, they are actually native Florida flora. So go ahead and get out your planters because I’ve returned with new flowers you should include in your home or garden.
Not only are twenty-four different kinds of milkweed native to Florida, two of them only grow in Florida, making it an easy way to brighten up your home with something straight from the Sunshine State. The flowers bloom small and close together so make sure you keep this in mind when planting to ensure you get the number of blooms you want. This plant flowers in springtime and in the summer. Some kinds of milkweed grow in wet climates and others in dry ones, so depending on the milkweed you choose, it can thrive outside or inside.
Even though the purple coneflower is native to Florida, you may have trouble finding the plant or the seeds so be sure to keep an eye out and buy them when you can. If you like your planters or garden to have a vibrant touch of color, this is the flower you should pick over all others. Not only is it beautiful with a purple center, and petals ranging from pink to purple, the flower grows as high as four feet tall, so it’s going to stand out. Is there a flower more beautiful than this one that you’d want to stand out in your garden? I’d wager not.
Last year I featured the light pink rain lilies, and this year I wanted to profile something more daring, with more pop. Canna lilies provide that in a pinch, with blossoms ranging in color from red to yellow and even to white. A popular variety in South Florida is deep red with orange tones, not unlike a hibiscus. Keep in mind that this flower, while beautiful, can be time-intensive to grow and maintain. Regular watering, fertilization and pruning of dying and dead leaves are essential, but what a bounty you’ll receive for your work!
Tickseed is the quintessential Florida flower. It’s actually the official Florida state wildflower! Most people tend to think yellow when they think of wildflowers, but the colors of the bloom and the petals can be pink, orange or even red. Beautiful wildflowers have been grown on the sides of Florida highways since the 1960s, and it’s easy to see why they’ve planted them there: they are warm and people can’t help but smile when they see them. You can plant them at home too. Twelve different varieties are native to Florida.
If you weren’t aware that this flower was native to Florida, you will be after I tell you that this flower thrives not just in heat and humidity but also in salt air, which we get a lot of near the beaches here. I would recommend that you plant these flowers outside. Not only can they handle it, they are very enticing to butterflies, and butterflies are friends to anyone who has an outdoor garden. These flowers come in color varieties such as yellow, orange, red, and even a mix of any of these three.
If you’re doing landscaping, I recommend that you plant this flower right along the edge of your landscaping job, so it’s the first thing people see when they come to your house. These flowers bloom and look like cheerful daisies, and they bloom multiple times throughout the year. Like with the last flower, it is resilient in the face of humidity, salt and even drought conditions (not that we have to worry about those in Florida), so they can flourish everywhere from the beach to your home.
I’m cheating a little bit with this last one, because powderpuff flowers grow from trees, but planting this tree in a container or planter is perfect for a place like a pool deck or a patio. They can grow up to fifteen feet tall, but you can maintain it at half that height. Powderpuffs are at their optimal bloom during the warmest weather, meaning you’ll see these flowers for many months. The flowers on the tree bloom and are usually colored red or pink. They are very alluring to bees, so be careful when maintaining this tree.
See which flowers Hotspots profiled in 2014,