End of Summer Florida-Friendly Blooms

As the summer calendar winds down, we have many flowering plants with a variety of colors in bloom in our Florida-Friendly Demonstration Garden at UF/IFAS Extension Polk County in Bartow.

The warm temperatures and rain have many plants still in bloom or just starting to bloom (looking at you early fall bloomers). With this wide array of flowers and colors, a reminder that your Florida-Friendly Garden can be just as colorful as you! Take a look at some of the current blooms in our Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Demonstration Garden at UF/IFAS Extension Polk County.

Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea)
Tropical sage plant with several pink flowers.

A Florida native perennial with red, pink, or white flowers. Blooms from spring through fall. Can grow anywhere from one foot to several feet tall. Plant in full sun or part shade. Easily re-seeds and may be cut back in the winter for a tidier look in the garden.













Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal flower with several bright red flowers.

A Florida native perennial that features bright red flowers from late summer through fall. Thrives in full sun to part shade. Grows in moist soils so perfect for a bog or water garden. Be prepared for it to go dormant during the winter.













Marigold (Tagetes spp.)

Marigold plant with several light orange flowers.

A warm seasonal annual with flowers of orange or yellow. Plant in full sun for best flowering. Size varies but they can be used in containers, borders in landscape beds, or even as cut flowers. You may have heard that marigolds can help deter nematodes. While that is true there is more to it than just plopping them in a garden. For more information on marigolds and nematodes, check out this article.












‘Sonja’ Sunflower (Helianthus annuus ‘Sonja’)

Sunflower with a bloom with yellow petals and a brown center. Also shows a bee that has landed in the center of the flower.

Nothing screams end of summer or fall like annual sunflowers. These flowers that we are growing are part of a demonstration under Luis Rodriguez Rosado, Small Farms and Pesticide Education Extension in Polk County. They are the ‘Sonja’ cultivar. In general, annual sunflowers can be planted in spring and fall in Florida. Don’t forget about our native sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) that can thrive almost year-round.












Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)

Plumbago plant with a cluster of light blue flowers with rain drops on the flowers.

This shrub-like perennial features light blue and sometimes white flowers almost year-round. Grows well in full sun and can reach over six feet tall and just as wide. Moderately drought tolerant once established.













Peacock ginger (Kaempferia pulchra)

Low growing plant called peacock ginger with large green leaves and the small purple flowers.

A low growing perennial that works well as a groundcover in part to full shade. Features purple or pink flowers in the summer. Will go dormant in the winter but returns in spring.














Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus)

Chastetree bloom with flower spike of purple flowers.

This small tree (or large shrub) really wows all summer long. Features spikes of purple flowers that are adored by pollinators. Plant in full sun to part shade. Can reach over ten feet tall and much wider in size. Keep in mind it is deciduous and will lose its leaves in the winter, but returns in the spring.














Beach verbena (Glandularia maritima)

Beach verbena plant with a cluster of small purple flowers.

A Florida native perennial with purple flowers. Low growing to less than a foot tall and just as wide. Can be used as a groundcover in full sun. Very drought tolerant once established. Great for a pollinator garden as a nectar resource.













Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Tip:

Before planning or re-designing your garden or landscape, remember to use the principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™. Follow the right plant, right place principle to select plants that match the site conditions in your garden or landscape. For more information on the Nine Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, visit this page.


Green garden mailbox and sign with nine principles Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles at garden entrance.

Looking for Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ inspiration? We invite you to stop by and check out Florida-Friendly Demonstration Garden in Bartow! We also have a have a self-guided audio tour to help you as you explore the garden.

UF/IFAS Extension Polk County
1702 Highway 17 South
Bartow, FL 33830
For more details and directions, call 863-519-1041.


An Equal Opportunity Institution


Headshot of Julie Schelb, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator with UF/IFAS Extension Polk County.
Posted: August 31, 2022

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes
Tags: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Florida-Friendly Plants, Flowers, Polk County, Polkgardening, Summer Flowers

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories