Finding Drought-Tolerant Native Plants in Central Florida

Discover which native plants are drought-tolerant in Central Florida. Learn about groundcovers such as coastal juniper and lily grass as well as trees like live oak and pine.

Finding Drought-Tolerant Native Plants in Central Florida

Are you looking for native plants that can withstand the dry conditions of Central Florida? If so, you're in luck! There are a variety of drought-tolerant native plants that can thrive in this region. Groundcovers such as coastal juniper, creeping juniper, and lily grass are all excellent choices. Junipers can spread up to 10 feet, so it's important to plan ahead for their location to avoid them taking over your garden. Trim only inside green growing areas and never cut into dead wood. The green lily is another great option for groundcover.

It comes in two varieties: Liriope spicata and Liriope muscari. If you choose a variegated white lily, it will need to be planted in the shade. Trees such as live oak, pine, cypress, cedar, elm, Japanese blueberry, loquat, hollies, sea grapes, and bottle brush are all drought-tolerant and can provide habitat for birds of prey, birds, and nesting squirrels. The FloridaFriendly LandscapingTM Guide to plant selection and garden design is an excellent resource for detailed information about native plants. One of the most popular native plants is blue sage (Salvia farinacea), which produces clusters of royal blue and white flowers from July to October.

Another native tree that grows in Central Florida is viburnum. It can be grown as a 20-foot tree or as a shrub if you choose a dwarf variety. However, it has the potential to become invasive if not properly maintained. Unfortunately, nearly 25 percent of North America's 20,000 native plant species are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss. To help protect these species, it's important to choose native or non-native plants that are drought-tolerant and can be trimmed to their natural shape or molded into a manicured appearance.

When selecting plants for your garden, keep in mind that height, flowering time, and color may vary depending on the climate. If you're looking for a reliable native tree for Central Florida, consider the Florida privet (also known as swamp privet). This plant from the olive family has separate male and female individuals and is perfect for decorating a fence, trellis, or gazebo in a sunny spot. Physiologically, plants subject to drought have adaptation techniques such as the closure of the stomata or the change in the orientation of the leaves.

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Lynda Flowers
Lynda Flowers

Infuriatingly humble bacon maven. Extreme beer fanatic. Professional web ninja. Certified social media guru. Professional tv evangelist. Lifelong food advocate.

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