January 24, 2023:

Hello Curb Appeal! The Best Outdoor Plants For Your Southwest Florida Home

You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Having a home with great curb appeal will significantly improve that first impression. People will often see your home for the very first time online, so in addition to having Exceptional Photography, showing your exterior looking its best will also go a long way. 

Many sellers worry that they need to completely break the bank when it comes to landscaping to achieve that excellent curb appeal. However, there are a few simple ways to boost your home's curb appeal, particularly by adding vibrant greenery. We'll take a look at some easy but beautiful outdoor plants for your Southwest Florida home and give you a few extra tips to get your home ready to sell. 

Southwest Florida Growing Conditions

Many people find gardening in Southwest Florida challenging since the conditions tend to be very hot and humid, which many more delicate plants cannot withstand. Typically your garden will require a bit more care and attention during the summer when there are longer periods between rain events. 

But there are still ways that you can enjoy having an outdoor garden without turning it into a full-time hobby. First, choose plants that enjoy full sun and withstand occasional drought conditions. Southwest Florida falls into the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9B, 10A and 10B, so double-check that those plants are hardy to those particular zones before making any large purchases.

How To Choose Outdoor Plants?

While an impressive outdoor garden can certainly attract buyers, a garden full of dead shrubs can have the opposite effect. When choosing plants for your outdoor garden, consider their basic care needs and your own gardening habits. If you tend to forget about your plants, avoid those that tend to be more thirsty when the summer heat gets turned up. Meanwhile, if you love pruning and watering each day in the garden, you may find those "difficult-to-care-for" plants incredibly easy. 

The key to gardening successfully is knowing yourself, knowing your environment, and knowing your plant to create perfect harmony. 

Which Types of Plants Work Best in Southwest Florida?

Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant STOCK

This plant is coveted worldwide as a houseplant, but we Southwest Floridians are lucky that spider plants will grow just fine outdoors and are hardy enough to withstand Florida's warmer temperatures. 

These plants offer a beautiful pop of green, but in the right conditions, they will also produce these beautiful tiny white flowers. Spider plants are great ground cover plants and look beautiful, lining a pathway. They are also very prone to producing tiny pups, which you can replant. 

Lilygrass (Liriope Spicata or L. Muscari)

Stock Image- Lilygrass

Another stunning ground cover plant that is incredibly hardy and easy to maintain is Lilygrass. Lilygrass will thrive in many areas where other grass simply will not grow. Also known as Lilyturf, this plant will thrive in full sun and full shade and is quite tolerant of longer periods of drought if it has to endure a dry spell. 

Lilygrass is tolerant of full sun or partial shade and prefers sandy soil with lots of drainage. In the spring, this plant will need some pruning to keep it looking tidy, but other than that, it is very low-maintenance. If you notice a few yellow leaves during a prolonged period of drought, then you may have to intervene and give it some water, but otherwise, this plant will thrive in your garden!

Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana)

Stock Image: Mexican Petunia

If you're ready to add a pop of color to your exterior, the Mexican Petunia is a great choice! These plants produce beautiful purple blooms in the morning that fall in the afternoon sun, so they are great for your favourite outdoor spot to sip coffee. In addition, they have a reputation for blooming in just about any condition, so this plant will look glorious even if you don't have a green thumb. 

While this plant is not technically a petunia, its name comes from the appearance of the flowers, which are quite similar to the famous petunia. All this plant requires is full sun or partial shade, and it will thrive! These plants can also add height and dimension to your garden as they grow up to 3-4 feet tall. 

Firecracker Flower (Crossandra infundibuliformis)

Stock Image: Firecracker Flower

This may be the thirstiest plant on the list, but the show-stopping orange blooms are well worth it! If you really want to add a shrub that embodies Southwest Florida's bright, tropical aesthetic, this one's for you! Originating in Asia, this plant also has glossy ornamental leaves that will still look effortlessly elegant between blooms. These plants prefer partial shade, so they would do well under a tree or shielded by taller plants in the hot afternoon sun. These plants will start to droop if they become a little too parched but will perk right back up once you give them a drink. 

Chinese Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense)

If you love a drought-tolerant tropical with breathtaking purple flowers, Chinese Fringe Flowers are sure to add fantastic curb appeal to your Southwest Florida home. The foliage is stunning enough to turn buyers' heads even if they aren't blooming. The Chinese Fringe Flower will prefer full sun or with some light shade. They like moist but not soggy soil, so adding mulch to the top of the soil is recommended to lock in that moisture during the summer. The most maintenance this shrub will need is the occasional pruning to keep any unruly growth occasionally, but the blooms are worth the extra effort!

Container Plants

If you prefer the look of container-grown plants to dress up your exterior, there are endless options for the perfect arrangement. If the container size is manageable, you can move them around in the event of weather extremes. Many people also find containers much easier to manage, so this may be a better option for beginners.

However, container growing can also come with some challenges. Container pots tend to dry out much faster than plants grown directly in the soil. In the heat of the summer, you may have to water your container plants daily to replenish the moisture. 

Tips To Boost Curb Appeal in Southwest Florida

Less is More

The goal of landscaping is to enhance your home's beautiful features. Going overboard can have the opposite effect. Too much foliage can clutter your space and hide some of your home's best-selling features. Choosing a simple, clean, and well-maintained landscape will go a lot further for prospective buyers than adding too much, making it overwhelming. 

Make Friends with Mulch

Mulch has many landscaping purposes. It contributes to a cleaner, more polished aesthetic and can also be beneficial for your plants and greenery. Mulch will help lock in moisture in the soil, preventing your plants from drying out. This will come in handy during particularly hot summers when we see very few downpours. It will also lessen the amount of watering you will need to do, saving you money. 

Keep Pathways and Entryways Clear

People naturally gather in entryways and pathways. This includes buyers! If you are putting work into your home's curb appeal, keeping walkways clear is paramount. Buyers will have a much easier time maneuvering around your home and will be less distracted by clutter. Clearing any debris or clutter will drastically improve your home's appearance. It also can be a hazard if the clutter is severe. Clear branches, sticks, leaves or rogue shrub growth from these areas. 


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