July 22, 2015

Central Florida Shade Plants

Shade, in Florida, is a beautiful thing this time of year.  I've enjoyed our back deck, under the live oaks, so much this summer.  Honestly, without the shade we have, I wouldn't be spending much time outdoors, which would make for a miserable me.  The sunny gardens, out front, are only visited after a cooling rain, or early in the morning.  By nine o'clock, I flee the sun drenched front, and retreat to our shady haven around back.  This morning , while checking out front for new blooms, I came upon these two visitors...

Tiger swallowtail.


Butterflies seemed to be everywhere this morning, 'tis the season.  I followed several around, but they were 'nervous nellies' and wouldn't land, so I left them in peace and headed around back.  While I may not have many blooms under the leafy, oak canopy, I am not without color.  Caladiums and coleus do a wonderful job of livening up the shadows...   

Caladiums will always be my number one plant choice, for shade gardens.  The punch of color they add, their ease of care, and the fact that they return each season, bigger and better, makes them deserving of praise.  Coleus too, brighten up a shady spot, but they are an annual where I live, so they have to be purchased every season.  When I began this post, I thought I could easily rattle off my three favorite shade loving plants, but I'm stopping at one, and calling all the rest my favorites.    If you haven't figured it out yet, I love shade plants.  


Hostas bring the essential, restful green that a garden full of coleus and caladiums need.

They also have beautiful blooms.

Gingers are great shade plants, and are so varied.  I have curcumas, which are 'hidden gingers',  Disney, Peacock, Pine Cone, Shell and other gingers.

Variegated ginger leaves.

Then I have shrubs... azaleas, camellias, night blooming jasmine and of course, hydrangeas.  Hydrangeas occupy the only shady spot in my front yard.  Wouldn't you know, caladiums too.

Spring bloom.

Now, in the morning sun.

Just a few more photos of my 'shady friends'.

You're unique, your garden should be too.  Thanks for visiting.



  1. What a gorgeous riot of color! The oaks must be the secret to being able to tolerate the heat. We have almost no shade in our yard, so I'm not out there much. Your garden is so cooling and refreshing. Love those hostas. You're invited to share this outdoor post on The Maple Hill Hop! It's going on until Saturday morning.
    Enjoy your shade!

    1. Sorry you don't have shade. It's been unbearable outdoors this summer, unless I'm shade gardening. I'm looking forward to cooler weather so I can start a fall veggie garden, I know you are too.

  2. You have some real beauties growing there in the shade. I need to take some cuttings of my coleas to root in water, which they do so quickly.

    The shade is so much appreciated down here south of you. I'm looking forward to cooler weather whenever it comes our way.


    1. Me too...regarding cooler weather. My roses look really awful this summer, can't wait for their fall bloom. I'm also looking forward to planting my fall veggie garden.

      Have a good weekend, take care.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post and looking around your garden. It is really lovely and you have so much color despite us being in the summer doldrums right now. I was interested to see that you have some healthy looking hostas. I love hostas for the shade garden but have always understood they did not do well in Central Florida, but yours look lovely!


  4. Well that is so good to know...I will give them a try. When I lived in NC I used to get many from Plant Delights Nursery near Raleigh so I will look on their site to see what they have for warmer areas.
    Thanks again!

  5. I didn't know you could grow hostas in Florida! I'll have to look for some. I love them. I used to grow them when I lived in Atlanta.

    I can't believe your yard looks so fresh and colorful in July. Everything is so pretty--and I don't see ANY weeds!

  6. Hostas would do great at your place! You've got lots of beautiful shade trees to plant them under, and they would go so well with your ferns. I didn't realize so few gardeners grew them here in Florida, until I started this blog a couple months ago.

  7. I envy your shade! I don't have much,since our large oak tree went down a few years ago.Your caladiums are lovely.

  8. Chris, sorry about your tree. We lost two oaks in the front yard, over 10 years ago, and I'm just now getting used to all that sun.