Tropical shade plants in Florida landscape.

Garden Ideas: Tropical Shade Plants for Your Florida Landscape

Florida may have the reputation of a tropical paradise, but there are only so many plants that can survive the sweltering heat and constant rain. Did you know there are plenty of plants that have found a way around these conditions?

These special tropical shade plants thrive in the shade and can survive through the heat and humidity in Florida! Our landscaping team can help you select the right shade plants for your tropical landscaping design.

The Best Tropical Shade Plants

While shade plants don’t require much sunlight, they can still do well in environments that receive indirect heat and plenty of moisture. These versatile plants are great for tropical climates, which is why they thrive in our Florida weather. Here are some of the best shade plants we recommend for your backyard or garden space.

The Princess Flower

If you need a little color in your garden, go for a flowering shade plant! The Tibouchina (urvilleana) is commonly known as “the princess flower,” a tropical plant that grows purple flowers. With full sun, acidic soil, and regular watering, this plant can grow to be a whopping 20 feet tall, so make sure you have plenty of space. It can also grow in partial shade and high humidity, making it a stellar candidate for your backyard or front lawn.

Pinwheel Jasmine

Just like in the name, the pinwheel jasmine is a lovely pinwheel shape that can give any garden a youthful feel. This plant has dark green foliage and white blooms that will look great in any space and will complement the colors of your other plants.

They can grow to be between three and five feet tall and three to five feet wide. This plant prefers partial shade, which is why it works well as a shade plant in Florida.

Close-up photo of pinwheel jasmine flower. Tropical shade plant.
The pinwheel jasmine plant produces gorgeous flowers, which thrive in partial shade. These plants are great options for your backyard or patio.

Foxtail Fern

Not big into flowers? There are a number of fully green shade plants to choose from for your patio. While the foxtail fern is not a native Florida plant, it is still a beautiful addition to your garden if you want some fresh greenery. This fern grows throughout Florida, and it can grow to be about two feet in height, optimal for smaller spaces.

Originating in South Africa, the foxtail fern is a drought-tolerant plant that will do well in high-heat areas. It’s very low-maintenance, but too much water could cause the plant to have rot and fungus issues, so keep an eye out during the rainier months. 

How to Design a Tropical Landscape

Whether it’s water, sunlight, or shade, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing for your plants. Strategically placing shade plants that can tolerate the conditions of your landscape will ensure the longevity of your plants, giving you a beautiful garden!

The best way to design a tropical landscape is to simply build it to last. Our landscaping team can help you decide which plants are right for your area, while making it look like a beautiful and lush paradise. Whether you’re looking for native Florida plants to put in your garden or nonnative plants that won’t threaten the health of your other ones, our landscaping experts can give you professional advice and take care of your garden for you.

Ready to build your dream landscape? Give us a call today and request a quote!