There are many native shrubs that grow well in the Central Florida landscape. This list of low maintenance, drought tolerant shrubs should be installed and maintained following the Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles. These shrubs are readily available and are great choices for a home landscape.
Florida Privet (Forestiera segregata). Great for a hedge or screen. The Florida Privet is a thick, dense evergreen shrub that can tolerate pruning and shaping. Its small, glossy green leaves and black fruit make it a very wildlife friendly shrub.
Firebush (Hamelia patens). This moderately sized shrub has bright red flowers all year long that appeal to both hummingbirds and butterflies. It can be used as a specimen or in a mixed shrub border. The dwarf variety, 'Calusa', will grow to four feet tall.
Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). This loose shaped shrub is best know for it’s beautiful purple berry clusters that appear in the fall. Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub that is attractive to wildlife and can be used in a variety of settings.
Coontie Cycad (Zamia pumila). A versatile shrub that will grow in sun or shade. Low-growing and does well in many different landscaping situations. Plant in groupings for maximum impact.
Simpson’s Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans). An excellent specimen or hedging plant. Produces fragrant white flowers in the spring followed by red fruit. This shrub has a variety of uses and can be pruned to keep a compact form or trimmed up to create a small tree. 'Compacta' is a dwarf variety that will grow three-four feet tall.
Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum). This is a large shrub that provides a lot of benefit to wildlife. It flowers profusely with white flowers in the spring and then fruits in the summer. It is an evergreen shrub that can be used for hedges or specimens. 'Riefler's Densa', 'Withlachoochee' and 'Mrs. Schiller's Delight' are all varieties of Walter's Viburnum.
For more native shrubs for Central Florida download our Florida-Friendly Landscaping Plant List for Polk County. You can also visit our Florida-Friendly Demonstration Gardens to see these shrubs growing in the landscape.