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Zone 9-10 Interesting and Useful Perennial Plants for Florida Gardens
by Leigh Fulghum, botanist

Knowing what to plant in Florida has mystified settlers since the days before the 1895 freeze wiped out citrus north of Lake Okeechobee. Marketed to speculating farmers as the future breadbasket of America, the early land boom promoters had not much experience with Florida's unique growing conditions and weather effects which just don't get along with many of the familiar cultivated plants of further north.

Time has advanced our knowledge somewhat, for those seeking more than just another yard or misch-masch or tropical jungle. Real annual beds, perennial flower borders, fruit, vegetable and culinary herb gardens can be made to survive in Florida, with some careful selection and combining of tried and true species capable of adapting to the extremes, increasing the presence of birds and butterflies while visually providing the beauty and fragrances of a genuine garden.


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  Lantana camara 'Bandana Cherry Sunrise'icon

Lantana camara 'Bandana Cherry Sunrise' icon 

4 or More Colors on Every Bloom! The Bandana™ series boasts the largest flowers ever seen on a Lantana. Plant Patent Applied For.

The Bandana™ series has revolutionized Lantana growing, with its huge blooms that change colors as they mature. Cherry Sunrise is one of the most exciting colors, because its flowers combine 4 or more colors: yellow at the center, followed by a ring of apricot, another of pink, and an outer circle of bright crimson! Much larger than other Lantanas, these blooms really stand out! Yet the plant itself is quite compact -- 20 to 26 inches high and about 2 1/2 feet wide. In the annual bed it makes a fine spreading groundcover, and in containers it trails agreeably, tossing up blooms as it goes. Cherry Sunrise is hardy in zones 8-11, where the plant can be mowed down in autumn and will reappear in spring.

from Park Seed

Lantana camara 'Bandana Pink'

Lantana camara 'Bandana Pink '

Super-adaptable and easy to grow. Plant Patent Applied For.

What a delightful improvement on those old, tiny-flowered Lantanas of our childhood! Bandana™ pink sets larger, brighter blooms over a summer-through-fall season that doesn't stop until the first frosts arrive. And such lovely blooms they are -- tricolored, brilliant, and calling out to all butterflies to feast upon them! The inner ring of florets on each bloom is white and yellow, which just makes the outer rings of scarlet-eyed dark pink stand out more beautifully. Unbelievably bright, the flowers are a beacon of color in the sunny garden, calling attention to themselves in any setting. This plant is quite compact, just 20 to 26 inches high and 24 inches wide. Ideal for containers on the patio or deck, it also makes a nice addition to the annual bed. Happy in heat and humidity and indifferent to drought, it is a great resource for those sweltering August days when many annuals are drooping by noon! icon 

from Park Seed


Cuphea ignea 'Matchmaker Scarlet' icon 

Available only from Park!

You might have thought you'd never want to grow a plant called Cigar Flower, but one look at this exciting new variety will change your mind!

Its common name comes from the shape of the blooms -- long, tubular, held straight out (for easier access from hummingbirds, who adore them), and boasting a glowing purplish-white tip, looking for all the world like ash! Matchmaker is the most exciting thing to happen to Cuphea in a long time, and you'll want to fill your finest containers and sunniest garden spots with this tropical beauty! Just one-half to one-third the size of the species, this little plant reaches a foot high and wide, covering itself in blooms from late spring right into autumn. Each flower is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long and boasts vibrant, almost glowing orange-red petals. Butterflies take notice, and so will anyone who comes within 50 feet of this plant -- there's nothing else like it in the garden or on the patio, and it's so easy to grow! Matchmaker Scarlet returns for years of beauty in zones 8 through 11, but the rest of us can get more than our money's worth by growing it as an annual. Just give them lots of fertilizer and water throughout the growth season, and they'll beam through heat, humidity, and more!

from Park Seed

Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun'icon  

Gaillardia grandiflora 'Arizona Sun' icon 

Begins the Bloom Season A MONTH EARLY! A huge breeding breakthrough for Blanket Flowers! Until now, Blanket Flowers have needed a "vernalization" period to flower -- that is, they had to go through winter temperatures in order to begin the flowering process. 'Arizona Sun' NEEDS NO VERNALIZATION. So this plant blooms much, much earlier than other varieties (up to a month!), flowers very heavily even the first year, and sets masses and masses of blooms. As "side benefits," it's also uniform in size and leaf structure. You just won't believe the flower power of 'Arizona Sun' until you see it blooming -- and blooming, and blooming! -- in your garden! The flowers are large, many-petaled, and lovely. Expect them to reach 4 inches wide and to crowd one another for space on compact plants 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. They begin blooming with the first warm weather of summer and won't quit until nipped by fall frost! NO wonder 'Arizona Sun' has received top honors on both sides of the Atlantic! The plant size is uniform, too, which is great for large plantings. And if you've grown other Blanket Flowers, you'll be impressed by the way 'Arizona Sun's foliage looks identical from plant to plant. Zones 3-10.

from Park Seed

Gaillardia 'The Sun'icon  

Gaillardia 'The Sun' icon  

The Longest-Blooming, Most Floriferous Blanket Flower Yet! From early summer through fall, hundreds upon hundreds of big yellow-and-orange blooms! Here is the flower to build a garden around. Endlessly blooming and very easy to care for, The Sun is a magnficient sun-lover you will enjoy in garden and vase for many seasons to come. The most floriferous of all Blanket Flowers, it sets its big yellow-and-orange blooms for many months, so your garden is never "out of bloom"! 'The Sun' is just 15 inches high and wide -- a good size for flowerpots as well as the garden bed and border -- but covers itself with blooms from early summer all the way into fall. Blanket Flowers are "cut-and-come-again," so if you keep the flowers picked or deadheaded, new buds will pop up quicker than ever. Blanket Flower is a native American perennial that thrives in hot, somewhat dry conditions. 'The Sun' has all the native vigor of the species, standing up to heat, humidity, poor soil, and even drought beautifully. 'The Sun' makes a fine companion to other Gaillardias, as well as to heat- and dry soil-loving perennials from Echinacea to Sedum. Carefree and always setting another round of blooms, it is a joy no garden (or gardener!) should be without! Zones 3-10.

from Park Seed


Gaillardia x grandiflora Painter's Palette icon

Blanket of Bold Colors--You Won't Find these Exciting Blends Anywhere Else! Big blooms of burgundy, yellow, rose, and bicolors! Unlike most Blanket Flower mixes, which tend to be brick-red shades tinged with yellow, our formula mix contains an outstanding blend of burgundy, clear yellow, rosy-red with golden tips, and other red and gold bicolor patterns. You won't find these vibrant colors and distinctive patterns elsewhere, and we are delighted to offer it exclusively to our customers! Painter's Palette blooms from June right up till frost on floriferous, long-lasting 30-inch plants. Widely adapted, they bloom strenuously the first year from seed. We sell only clean seed for extra-easy sowing. Gaillardia is ultra-tolerant of poor conditions, including heat, drought, and poor soil -- just plant it in full sun and forget it! Just the right size for the border, it also makes a delightful edging or mass display in a sunny bed. Nothing but easy-care color from this super, long-lived perennial! Easy to start from seed, Gaillardia asks only full sun and reasonably well-drained soil. This is a great choice for those blazing-hot spots where little else will grow! Pkt is 50 seeds.

from Park Seed

Belamcanda x Pardancanda

x Pardancanda 'Sangria'

A huge improvement for Pardancanda in bloom size and flowering time.Zones: 5 - 10 Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Full Sun Ship Form: 3-inch Pot Bloom Season: Mid Summer to Late Summer

Iris-like flowers reach 3 inches wide. x Pardancanda is an intergeneric cross of Belamcanda chinensis x Pardanthopsis dichotoma, first introduced to American gardeners by Park Seed several decades ago. The original selection was a mix, and there have been several other mixed color strains developed along the way, but never a showstopping single color such as 'Sangria.' The blooms are followed by large, attractive black seedpods that can be used as Everlastings or allowed to remain on the plant for garden beauty. This compact plant reaches 15 to 18 inches tall and about 12 inches wide, thriving in full sun and any well-drained soil. The flowers are superb for cutting, but they also draw attention to the sunny border or meadowland planting, as much for their deliciously twisted buds as for the fully open blooms. A very hard to find cultivar that most gardeners will not be able to identify but all will admire.


Helianthus maximilianii icon 

Prairie Sunflower

The Perennial Sunflower--Long Stalks Stacked with Bright Yellow Blooms! 3-inch blooms open in late summer on robust 6- to 8-foot plants! Glorious plumes of yellow, studded with 3-inch blooms in neat rows along their tremendous length, arise in late summer on these huge, hardy garden performers! The plants reach 6 to 8 feet tall, trouble-free and floriferous in the garden. Excellent for cut flowers or for massed color in the back of the border, bed, or against an outdoor structure such as a shed or fence, Prairie Sunflower is one of the finest, most free-flowering sources of summer color we know! The blooms come just when the summer annuals are fading, carrying the garden over the "in-between" season of late summer/early fall. Direct-sow in any sunny spot. Not fussy about soil, Prairie Sunflower is hardy almost everywhere in the contiguous U.S. Pkt is 50 seeds.

from Park Seed

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