“I would love to find a client who would consider all white plants for their Florida landscape. For me, white really pops. It’s soft, but if you want to go real formal, there’s nothing prettier than white against dark green plantings like a hedge of podocarpus or Japanese boxwood. A Florida garden in all-white has the most delicious southern feel. Plus, white is the color of serenity — perfect for a relaxed, Florida lifestyle.”
– Amy Crutcher, Landscape Designer, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design
White plants in Florida landscapes don’t always get the credit they deserve, primarily because they’re eclipsed by the more-perceived tropical colors of lemony yellows, brilliant oranges and dazzling violets. But white also deserves its day in the sun (and shade) for its amazing versatility to fit into almost any landscape. A mass of bright white plants or a few artfully placed specimens can pack a punch or serve as quiet, elegant garden accents. It all depends on the mood you wish to create: casual, festive or formal. Here are a few ArtisTree favorites to get you started in the white direction.
- Gardenias: These fragrant evergreen shrubs do best in rich, well-drained soil and need plenty of circulation to help with pest prevention. Their creamy white blossoms beckon against glossy, dark green foliage and smell so divine. Plant in full sun or partial shade, and be prepared to pamper a bit.
- Crepe myrtles: You see these everywhere in pinks and lavenders, but the whites are frothy like a latte. Crepe myrtles bloom prolifically May into fall, and are heat- and drought-tolerant. Plant them in sun as specimen or small shade trees. Trunk and branches are attractively gnarled with smooth bark.
- White fountain grass: This popular ornamental grass is a sight to behold when backlit by the Florida sun. Electrified wisps of white plumes reach a height of four to five feet and bloom throughout the year. Heads up: It can reseed and spread, but it’s not invasive. Easy to control and cold hardy.
- Sweet alyssum: This hardy ground cover dazzles with dense clusters of tiny snow-white flowers (available in other colors, too). Plant this annual in partial sun or shade and watch it spread about 12 inches wide and up to six inches tall. Likes well-drained but organic moist soil. A lovely way to add sparkle to your garden.
- Star Jasmine: You can’t wrong with this easy-care shrub; it grows anywhere as though it’s eager to please. Starry white flowers shine against glossy, emerald-green leaves; all you have to do is plant in sun or shade and watch it grow. Usually kept at about four feet tall. Doesn’t mind “wet feet” and smells so good.
Of course you have myriad other choices in the white color palette — why not visit your local nursery or call a professional landscape company for their suggestions on white plants? If you live in Sarasota, Bradenton or Venice, consider contacting ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design at 941.488.8897. Landscape Designer Amy Crutcher would love to create a white-themed Florida garden for you!