Plant Selection Guide for North Florida Landscapes: 10 Great Plants for Sunny Landscapes

Do you find it  difficult to grow plants in full sunlight? The key to growing plants in sunny landscapes is choosing species that can withstand these circumstances. Many plants that thrive in full sun are also resistant to drought which makes them perfect low maintenance landscaping! We know the struggle is real and we want to help! Below you will find 10 sun-loving perennials and shrubs plants that do great in full sun Ponta Vedra landscapes.

1. Blue Daze Blue Daze is a perennial flowering plant that blooms sporadically all year long.
These plants add vivid pops of color to domestic landscapes.
Evolvulus, commonly referred to as Blue Daze, is a gorgeous groundcover with true-blue flowers that are hard to come across in gardening.

    • Blue Daze Florida Growth and Care Guide
    • Beautiful Evolvulus Blue Daze

2. Sunshine Ligustrum

Sunshine Ligustrum provides golden foliage that thrives in full light and is perfect as a landscape hedge. This non-invasive, sterile cultivar won't reseed itself in the environment.
For those who suffer from allergies, this is wonderful news because it doesn't flower at all.

    • Guide to Growing Sunshine Ligustrum

3. 'Yangtze' DayLily

The brilliant lemon yellow color of the 'Yangtze' daylily blossoms will perk up any garden setting. Late April is when this repeat bloomer starts to bloom, and it does so all summer long.
The lovely foliage is evergreen in warmer climates.
These daylilies look lovely mass-planted, tucked into perennial borders, and in butterfly gardens. Plant daylilies in broad sun to get the most flowers.
However, they will put up with a little afternoon shade.

    • Daylily 'Yangtze' Yellow
    • Daylily: Yangtze

4. 'Indigo Girl' Salvia

Deep Purple Salvia is an easy care, drought tolerant, deer resistant annual that the pollinators just adore. Prized for attracting hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, this tall, upright annual is an excellent thriller for mixed container plantings in addition to its use in the landscape.

   • Plant of the Month: Deep Purple Salvia
   • UF IFAS Gardening Solutions:Salvia


5. Coral Drift Rose

Drift Roses are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniature roses. They were bred to provide all of the resilience, disease resistance and frequent flowering of larger landscape roses on much lower-growing bushes, filling a special niche in the landscape rose market. They will fit beautifully into smaller spaces, provide the perfect size shrub for foundation plantings and look great in containers.

    • Landscape Plant of the month: Drift Roses
    • UF IFAS Gardening Solutions:Drift Roses


6. Bulbine

This perennial blooms repeatedly with cheerful flowers that are yellow or orange, depending on the variety. It makes a great ground cover since each plant will grow over time to form a clump that can reach up to four feet wide. This clumping habit also makes bulbine a great passalong plant for other North Florida  gardeners, as well.

    • Landscape Plant of the Month: Bulbine
    • UF IFAS Gardening Solutions:Bulbine

7. Loropetalum

The textured purple foliage and attractively tiered branching pattern make this a great choice for shrub borders, and privacy hedges.These low maintenance shrubs generally require no pruning except to maintain the desired size. You can even prune your shrub into a loropetalum tree form if you wish.It is a great shrub for tiers and layering against greenery or variegated plants in Gainesville and Noctee lawns.

    • UF IFAS Gardening Solutions:Loropetalum
    • Loropetalum: An awesome shrub for Central Florida

8. Regina Iris AKA Walking Iris

Walking iris plants, which feature eye-catching inner blossoms and characteristics of both an iris and an orchid, are an exotic addition to any garden or hanging basket. This herbaceous blooming plant is commonly referred to as the poor man's orchid, is indigenous to Brazil.
The plant has three upward-growing inner petals and three outward-blooming horizontal petals, all set against sword-shaped, dark green leaves.
Walking iris comes in a variety of forms, and they all produce yellow, blue, or white flowers.

    • UF IFAS Gardening Solutions:Walking Iris
    • Walking Iris Care Guide: How to Grow Walking Iris Flowers

9. Red-Leaf Hibiscus 'acetosella'

Most people grow hibiscus plants for their colorful, beautiful flowers, which are similar to those you may find on exotic islands. One species is distinguished more for its intriguing leaves than its blooms, though. With its striking deep red-purple foliage that stands out well against plants with green and silvery leaves, Hibiscus acetosella is a dramatic addition to the yard.

    • Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension: Hibiscus acetosella
    • How to Grow Hibiscus Acetosella


10. Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bushes are grown for their long panicles of colorful flowers and their ability to attract butterflies and other pollinators. They bloom in spring and summer, but the naturally attractive shape of the shrub and evergreen foliage keep the bush interesting, even when it is not in bloom.

    • How to Grow and Care for Butterfly Bush
    • UF IFAS Gardening Solutions:Butterfly Bush


Consider growing some of these if you have a spot in your yard that gets full sunshine for the majority of the day. They'll not only grow in the sun, but they'll also provide your yard some color and beauty. The most crucial factor in ensuring that each plant thrives is understanding its needs. Plants that thrive in direct sunlight are less likely to tolerate shadow, and the opposite is true for plants that thrive in deep shade.


If you’re looking to add one of these North Florida Landscape plants into your yard, please fill out the form above or contact us at (352) 378-5296.

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