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Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach
Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach

Florida Landscape Ideas for Covered Patios

News   >  Knowledge Base   >  Florida Landscape Ideas for Covered Patios
Jason Herring
November 9 2022

The heat and humidity of South Florida is both a gift and a challenge for local homeowners who love spending time outdoors. Whether your ideal relaxation destination is your patio, garden or covered outdoor kitchen, creating an outdoor escape from the heat will ensure you enjoy far more time outdoors. Adding a luxurious white pergola to your outdoor living space not only creates that flexible shaded space, but offers an amazing blank canvas for some exciting Florida landscaping ideas.

The unique humid climate here on the Gold Coast of FL, means plenty of sun-filled days, frequent afternoon showers, and temperate nights. These conditions are ideal for an array of shrubs, flowering plants, climbing vines and trees to flourish in your yard. Landscaping that accentuates your outdoor living space will make it even more enjoyable and can be a wonderful extension of your personal style, but proper landscaping can also create added privacy for your covered patio.

Pergola Orientation Drives Florida Landscaping Ideas

Modern adjustable louvered roof pergolas are ideal for homeowners looking to incorporate plantings inside a patio area. Because the louvers can open to allow sunlight to reach the plants, just about any plants in pots, planter boxes or even patio cutouts for planting right in the ground can accent your landscape design.

In the design phase of a new pergola project, a qualified pergola contractor will look to orient the pergola to allow the louvers to open for southern exposure when possible. This not only ensures you see beautiful blue sky when the louvers open, but guarantees the most sunlight on the patio when desired. Once the pergola’s design and orientation have been determined, you can start to plan your landscaping.

louvered pergola azenco miami fl landscape 1

Some of the best Palm Beach pergola ideas showcase the amazing flowering plants that are able to thrive here in Florida. An inspiring landscape design will also create a flow of colors and plant heights from the front yard to the backyard, throughout the outdoor living space and into the adjoining garden. Plants growing on, under or around the pergola, can also benefit from rain water that flows off the covered patio, through the pergola’s hidden gutter system, and into surrounding beds.

So, let’s take a look at some of the favorite plants for landscaping your South Florida yard.

Popular Climbing Plants for Florida Pergolas

Planting vines and climbing plants at the base of your pergola support columns allows them to be trained to attached trellises. Choosing flowering plants that accent your home’s exterior and the rest of the décor on the patio helps integrate a new pergola with the rest of the home’s exterior design.

Training climbing plants on a pergola is only recommended for solid roof pergolas, and it is important that plants be grown on an exterior trellis attached to the pergola frame. Allowing climbing vines and plants to grow on the structure can damage the exterior coatings, creating a breeding ground for oxidation. Climbing plants are never recommended for adjustable louvered roof pergolas because the vines can easily grow into the inner workings of the louver system, damaging these key components.

fixed roof pergola Florida landscaping ideas

Some climbing plants you can consider in South Florida include:

  • Sky Vine – Blue flowers are rare in South Florida plants, so the summertime blooms on this climber will stand out in any landscape design. The vine grows rapidly, and its tendrils reach several feet, so routine pruning is the trade off for these unique blue flowers.
  • Bougainvillea – With small flower bunches, bougainvillea’s aromatic flowers are hardy and able to tolerate high heat. Mix-and-match the vast array of color ways to create a patchwork of color splashes throughout your pergola garden.
  • Coral Honeysuckle – Honeysuckle is a magnet for hummingbirds with tubular flowers for which their long beaks are ideal. For Florida, coral honeysuckle thrives in full sun and its thin vines can be easily trained to a trellis.

Ground Plants for South Florida Landscape Ideas

Selecting some ground plants to surround your pergola space can help delineate the covered patio from the rest of the yard, and choosing plants or flowering shrubs that will mature to appropriate heights can create some added privacy as well. South Florida has a great deal of native plants that you can incorporate into your landscape design.

Some local favorite ground plants include:

  • Muhly Grass – Growing to about three-feet tall, this ornamental grass sprouts fluffy flowers that are usually white, pink or purple. A strip of muhly grass along the exterior of a pergola-covered patio will create separation from the yard and a playful light when in bloom.
  • Coontie – Floridians know coontie as arrowroot, an evergreen with prominent feathery leaves. The plant provides a popular food source for migrating butterflies and its high salt-tolerance makes it ideal for beachfront properties throughout Palm Beach County.
  • Yucca – Not just for culinary purposes, yucca is a beautiful addition to any Florida garden, especially as its sharp grass-like leaves bloom with distinctive white clusters of flowers each summer and fall. With several species native to Florida, including Adam’s needle and Spanish bayonet, yucca is a stylish and functional addition to your outdoor living space.


If you are considering a landscape redesign, and would like to explore how a modern pergola can take your outdoor space to the next level, contact us today.

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