What Plants Should I Have in My North Central Florida Home?

Kate Mitchell

July 27, 2023

North Central Florida Plants

If you want the plants in your yard to truly thrive, it's a great idea to choose ones that are native to the region where you live. That's because native plants are adapted to the climate and soil type of a particular area.

Likewise, plants from other regions that have a similar climate can also thrive in this area. Here are some suggestions for plants that will love the climate in your North Central Florida yard.


Bulbs are plants that store nutrients underground in a fleshy storage structure. They tend to be perennial flowering plants. The University of Illinois has more information on the types of bulb.

A spherical cluster of delicate purple flowers atop a green stem

Agapanthus, also known as African Lily, is a bulb whose beautiful flowers will enhance your yard during the summer months with their blue, white or purple shades. Although not native to Florida, they thrive in the warm climate and in the sandy loam soil typical of Florida. Agapanthus does well in direct sunlight or part shade.

Caladiums are another great bulb choice for Florida gardens. Technically tubers rather than bulbs, it's the striking foliage of this plant that will add a pop of color to your outdoor space. Caladiums are a great choice for a shady spot in your yard as the leaf colors are more vibrant when grown in shade. They will grow 1-2.5 feet tall and you can enjoy their attractive leaves through spring, summer and fall.

Cannas are heat-loving, tropical perennials. They produce large, colorful blooms during the summer months and, depending on the variety, can reach up to fifteen feet tall! The purple or green leaves add interest even when the plant is not in bloom.


Trees with twisty branches and green leaves viewed from below

Trees are a wonderful part of your Florida yard. Well-established trees provide shade and give your landscape a focal point. Some take years to grow; others can bear fruit or provide shade after just a few growing seasons.

Live oak is a tree you'll see all over Florida. It grows tall and wide, spreading its shade over a wide area. Unlike most varieties of oak, live oak trees do not lose their leaves in winter; instead they constantly drop and replace them. However, you'll need patience if you're starting with a sapling, as live oak takes 10-12 years to reach maturity.

Palmetto, or Sabal Palm, is the state tree of Florida. It's another slow grower that thrives in our warm climate. Similarly, if you're creating a landscape for the future, you could consider bald cypress, another native Floridian tree that grows slowly.

If you're interested in planting trees for edible fruit, we have some suggestions here for North Central Florida yards. Although most of these trees will not reach the great heights of live oak, palmetto or bald cypress, they may offer a quicker return. Depending on the variety, these trees can start bearing fruit within one to six years.


Native wildflowers can be an excellent addition to your yard. They are already adapted to the climate and soil type. As well as brightening your outdoor space with their colorful blooms, wildflowers can attract pollinators and help your yard stay healthy.

Our article on Florida wildflowers has some suggestions; you may also want to consider swamp milkweed, cardinalflower, narrowleaf silkgrass or blue sage. The Florida Wildflower Foundation has more information on these and a wide range of other gorgeous flowers for an attractive, thriving display.

Clusters of bright pink flowers against a vibrant, green, leafy backgroundk

Flowering shrubs that will be happy in your North Central Florida yard include bougainvillea, camellia, crape myrtle and lantana. Check out our article for more details on these and other durable and low-maintenance shrubs to make your garden a colorful delight.

Landscape Design with LawnMore

We've just scratched the service on what plants are perfectly suited for your North Central Florida yard. If you don't feel like spending hours researching the best plants and how to maintain them, trust the experts at LawnMore with your next landscaping project. Our team of landscaping professionals has been serving the Gainesville area for 20 years. We will make sure your yard is beautiful and serves the ecosystem well.

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