Indian Hawthorn Isn’t Your Only Shrub Choice

Indian Hawthorn Southwest Florida

Indian Hawthorn isn’t your only shrub choice in Southwest Florida, but you might think otherwise seeing this ubiquitous evergreen in practically every HOA community around. Sure, Indian Hawthorn is a traditional specimen, but if you’re looking for a nontraditional alternative, here are three ArtisTree recommends to give your landscape a breath of fresh air.

Green Island Ficus

Green Island Ficus

Some homeowners run scared as soon as they hear the word ficus, thinking it’s a cranky plant that drops leaves every time the wind blows. Well, you can relax. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, tropical border, this dense waxy specimen is the perfect choice.

That’s because Green Island Ficus is anything but fussy. It won’t mind if you keep it trimmed small or let it get up to three feet or so. This award-winning slow grower spreads out as it matures, filling in nicely. ArtisTree likes it for its drought/ salt tolerance and amazing versatility. Rich green glossy leaves resemble a jade plant and contrast well with other plant types such as crotons, white fountain grass and gold mound. No matter if your Florida garden is casual or formal, Green Island Fiscus is a hard choice to beat.

Confederate Jasmine

Confederate Jasmine

Confederate Jasmine is actually a woody vine, but sometimes ArtisTree will install it as an unexpected alternative to ground-hugging flat shrubs. Why? It’s so fluffy that it almost seems to flounce. Confederate Jasmine shows off year round with creamy white and green foliage that twines together and is easily shaped (no worries; it’s not invasive).  Once established, it requires hardly any assistance and thrives in partial shade.

Besides having some nice height to it, Confederate Jasmine thrives in a variety of soils, which means you can pair it with a wide range of plant choices. There’s nothing prettier than seeing a froth of Confederate Jasmine surrounding dark green plant material. Add light and texture to your Florida garden with this hardy specimen known for its poofy personality.

Podocarpus Pringles

Podocarpus Pringle

If you’re looking for a pint-sized shrub that packs a powerful punch, these little babies are sure to please. Dwarf podocarpus, or podocarpus pringles, are just plain cute. They have an elegant fine texture you can sculpt so they can stay three feet or even shorter. Evergreen and drought-tolerant (once established), these slow growers will “garnish” your beds, lanai, walkways or drive in a delightful, almost whimsical way.

The Pringle’s claim to fame is its amazing color. Mature foliage is a deep, beautiful bluish green, with new growth popping out in a light green shade that almost seems to glow. Add its slow growth habit, and you can see why it’s one of Southwest Florida’s favorite, low-maintenance shrubs.

ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance and Design

Bottom Line

Explore all your options in the shrub world. You always have a choice! If you’re dreaming of a landscape renovation, choose the landscaper that luxury builders use by calling Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897. Or visit

For community-wide HOA landscape maintenance services, contact Mike Casper at and we’ll get your proposal started. Our nationally ranked company serves Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

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