There’s something so dazzling and dramatic about flowering tropical shrubs—their bright colors and voluminous growth grab people’s attention for all the right reasons. Spring is the perfect time to start planting some new tropical shrubs in your yard because we aren’t quite at peak summer temperatures yet, so moisture won’t evaporate from the ground quite as quickly. This helps the shrub’s root system grow stronger, and it makes it a little easier for you to keep up with watering since newly planted shrubs need a lot more water than those that are more established.
Flowering shrubs have so many useful benefits. Not only are they gorgeous to look at, but they can also help to establish a functional design layout in your yard, creating separation between different areas, and adding a sense of privacy when planted along borders. An artful layout of colorful flowering shrubs can create a pretty spectacular landscape, and that leads to an increase in property value! Pretty amazing, right?
6 Flowering Tropical Shrubs For Fort Lauderdale Gardens
Whether you’ve got a modestly sized yard in the city or a sprawling acreage, you’re bound to find a flowering shrub that suits you. Here are some of our favorites that you can plant right away!
It’s no surprise why this popular flowering shrub got its name—it’s covered in blazing red blossoms that look like little fireworks. Its stems are a deeper red tone that boldly contrasts with its smooth, green leaves. Firebush is a favorite among Florida gardeners because it’s practically indestructible once it’s established, and it blooms for more than half of the year! At maturity, with regular pruning, most firebushes will grow up to around 5–8 feet tall.
After it’s had a few months to settle in after planting, firebush is pretty tolerant of drought. It can also handle moderate amounts of salt spray, so if you have coastal property, you can get away with adding some firebush into your landscape design. If it’s vibrant beauty wasn’t enough, it’s also a magnet for birds and butterflies, so you’ll have even more pretty things to look at in the yard!
This lovely tropical shrub, also known as jessamine, has clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers that come in plenty of different colors and smell absolutely divine. We suggest planting them outside your bedroom window if possible, because the scent is most potent at nighttime, and it’s really quite nice when it wafts in on the breeze!
So long as cestrums receive full sun and well-draining soil, they’re pretty low-maintenance. They typically grow up to about 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Garden pests like rabbits and deer will steer clear of cestrum because its leaves and stems are toxic; however, hummingbirds absolutely adore its fragrant flowers and often sip nectar from them like little champagne flutes!
The hyper-pigmented, star-shaped flowers of this tropical shrub almost look electric! They range from fire engine red to neon magenta—colors that hummingbirds can’t resist. Even better: they bloom all year long! For the biggest, brightest flower clusters, you’ll want to plant your jatropha in full sun—however, it can still handle growing in partial shade.
We recommend pruning your jatropha to keep it to a size you can easily manage because, if left to grow freely, it can reach heights of up to 15 feet. With that being said, it’s still a pretty versatile plant and can be trained into a small tree, or grown in large containers if properly pruned and maintained. Take care and wear gloves when you prune its stems because they release a milky sap that can irritate your skin.
The deep, emerald green leaves and lemon yellow blossoms of this desert shrub are simply breathtaking! Yellow bells love the heat, and a prolonged dry spell with no rain won’t do much harm after their roots are firmly established. Its bell-shaped flowers bloom from late spring until fall, and it grows very quickly, so if you’re a bit of an impatient gardener, you’ll love this one!
Yellow bells usually reach up to 12 feet tall at maturity, though you can keep them to a smaller size with proper pruning. Since they spread so quickly, it’s a good idea to plant them in a spot with ample space around the base, far away from any structures or swimming pools, so their roots can spread without doing any damage. They’re pretty resistant to pests, but they might occasionally get taken over by caterpillars, which you can easily get rid of with an organic soap-based pesticide.
All year long, you can enjoy the tufts of dainty yellow blooms produced by the thryallis bush. Its lime-green foliage grows quite densely, so you can prune them into a pretty uniform shape if you like. It usually reaches heights of about 6–9 feet tall, with a narrower width, giving it a uniform, oval shape.
This gorgeous, pest-resistant ornamental shrub is right at home in South Florida—after it has established, you likely won’t ever need to water it, as it’s quite suited to our climate conditions. Overall, you won’t need to do much to keep thryallis happy—just an occasional light pruning is all it needs.
A close cousin of the hibiscus, Turk’s cap has candy-apple-red blossoms with a very distinct shape. They kind of look like a rose that hasn’t quite opened up all the way, but with a long, red stamen poking out of the top. They’re a bit on the bigger side, growing about 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall, so you’ll want to give them lots of space to prevent them from getting too cramped.
Unlike the other tropical shrubs on this list, Turk’s cap prefers to grow in light shade instead of full sun. Its flowers will appear in early summer and last until winter, so it’s best to give it a quick tidy-up with the pruning shears in spring to ensure the flowers form on fresh, healthy wood.
Want to add some of these tropical beauties into your yard? Visit Living Color Garden Center, or place an order over the phone! We will gladly deliver your plants right to your door, or arrange for curbside pickup.