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8 Beautiful Red Flowering Trees in Florida (Grow or Admire)

This list undoubtedly favors South Florida landscapers.

Such is because most red flowering trees are from the tropics, as is the case for most orange flowering trees

A few of the trees on the list are popular landscaping staples, such as royal poinciana and red buckeye. The latter is one of the few red flowering trees, including pomegranate, which is cold hardy enough for North Florida. But there are also some exotic options, such as the red African tulip tree and red flowering gum

Planting a red flowering tree will give your landscape attention and appeal. This list should give you an idea of which one is the perfect red flowering tree for your landscape. But you should consider multiple trees if you have the space because they are all gorgeous.

8 Stunning Red Flowering Trees to Grow in Florida

1. Red African Tulip – Tree (Spathodea campanulata)

African Tulip Tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The African tulip-tree is perfect for a large, open landscape. But if you want to provide deep shade for a small spot, you can consider planting it. It features football-sized clusters of orange-red flowers. They are upward-facing with fuzzy brown flower buds.

The tree blooms during late winter through spring. Note, this tree is only of the frost-free areas of Florida, zone 10B. Though in South Florida, using the four-season distinction doesn’t work. Instead, it is better to say that the tree blooms during the latter part of the dry season, as do so many other tropical flowering trees.

The African tulip-tree is a rapid grower. You can plant it easily from seed.

It is best to grow an African tulip-tree in full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soils, including the sandy ones typical to Florida. Also, the tree has good moderate tolerance to salt.

USDA Growing Zones: 10B – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 50 – 60 feet tall and 35 – 50 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late Winter through spring

2. Red Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia)

Red Royal Red Poinciana
Image by john skewes via Flickr

Native to Madagascar, the fast growing royal poinciana is famous for its showy and dramatic display of flowers. But also for its broad and attractive canopy that resembles an umbrella. It is an excellent tree for large landscapes such as large lawns.

The tree’s orchid-like flowers come in deep red with an animated petals display. The flowers appear in clusters from May through July. It takes about five years for the tree to start blooming.

The leaves and canopy of this tree provide beauty to the landscape when the flowers are not blooming. The leaflets are delicate and fern-like. The umbrella-like canopy is a gift during the hot Florida summers providing dappled shade.

Unfortunately, not all Florida residents can enjoy the beauty and charm of this tree. It grows best in frost-free areas of the state. However, it may survive the occasional frosts as far north as Orlando, which is in Zone 9B.

This one does best in full sun, as with most tropical flowering trees. Without enough sunlight, it won’t bloom enough. Red royal poinciana does well in a wide variety of soils as long as they drain well.

Other Common Names: Flame tree, Flamboyant, Peacock flower, Royal flame tree, Gold mohair

USDA Growing Zones: 9B – 12

Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 40 feet tall and 40 – 70 feet wide

Flowering Season: Summer

3. Peregrina (Jatropha integerrima)

Peregrina_Florida
Image by Carol VanHook via Flickr

Peregrina offers 365 days of scarlet red flowers. Peregrina’s star-shaped flowers come out in upright clusters. The bright scarlet red flowers are about an inch wide and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The tree’s perpetual blooming makes it an excellent addition to any landscape plan.

The small evergreen tree has an open, symmetrical, rounded, or vase-shaped form. The leaves are glossy and dark green when mature and display a lovely bronze tone when young.

This tree grows at a moderate to fast pace and thrives in either full sun or partial shade. Peregrina, once established is drought tolerant and prefers that you water it only when the soil dries out.

Peregrina benefits from an annual pruning in late March to early April, right before strong growth starts. In some weeks, the foliage will become lush and full for the rest of the growing season.

Other Common Names: Jatropha, Fire-cracker

USDA Growing Zones: 10B – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 10 – 15 feet tall and 10 – 15 feet wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

4. Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

Red Buckeye
Image by Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr

Red buckeye is one of the few non-tropical or sub-tropical trees with vivid red flowers. Guy Sternberg, the author of Native Trees for North American Landscapes, says it is “among the most beautiful of any temperate-zone tree.” With many red blossoms in erect clusters each spring, few temperate trees offer such a lush and tropical feeling

This deciduous flowering tree also has stunning leaves. It features lustrous dark green leaves, which have a delicate drooping habit. The leaves drop earlier than most deciduous trees, but they come back earlier than most. 

Red buckeye is an excellent choice for North Florida, the southern limit of its native range. It will not do well in the year-round warmth of zone 10 areas such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach. It is best for those north of Tampa or Orlando. 

Red buckeye does well with at least four hours of direct sunlight daily. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types, provided that they drain well.

Other Common Names: Firecracker plant

USDA Growing Zones: 6 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 10 – 20 feet tall and 10 – 20 feet wide

Flowering Season: Spring

5. Red Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus)

Red Bottlebrush
Image by Tatters via Flickr

The red bottlebrush is a small multi-stemmed tree that is great as a specimen plant for a small landscape. The tree features an upright, rounded crown that you can trim or prune for a manicured look. 

The red bottlebrush-looking flowers appear on and off throughout the year, especially during the warmer months. Like peregrina, they are great at attracting butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds. 

Red bottlebrush loves regular watering, so you should keep the soil moist. You should ensure that the soil is well-draining, so it doesn’t become too soggy to support healthy tree growth. 

During late March, you can cut off about 1/3 of the tree, encouraging dense and bushy growth. In the landscape, you can consider planting the tree as a corner of the house accent, a focal point near an entry, or multiples as a natural fence. 

Other Common Names: Lemon bottlebrush

USDA Growing Zones: 9A – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 10 – 15 feet tall and 10 – 15 feet wide

Flowering Season: Year-round but mostly in the warmest months

6. Red Hummingbird Tree (Sesbania grandiflora)

Red Hummingbird Tree
Image by 阿橋 HQ via Flickr

The beautiful red hummingbird tree is a member of the pea family, Fabaceae. The small tree has large red flowers reminiscent of hummingbirds in flight. Interestingly, the flowers, bean pods, and leaves are edible. In Southeastern Asia, people cook these parts like a vegetable in curries and salads. 

Like most legume or pea family members, the red hummingbird tree is a rapid grower. So much so that the University of Florida identifies it as a potentially invasive species. It can reach 10 feet in a growing season with enough warmth and moisture.

The red hummingbird tree is excellent as an ornamental shade tree or for reforestation because of its fast growth. It grows well outdoors on the Florida peninsula, but you can grow it in containers on the panhandle, placing the tree in a sheltered location during freezes. 

Overall, the red hummingbird tree is easy to care for, adapting to full sun or partial shade. It likes a lot of water and will do well in various soil types.  

Other Common Names: Scarlet Wisteria, Red Wisteria, Vegetable Hummingbird, West Indian Pea

USDA Growing Zones: 9 – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 30 feet tall and 10 – 20 feet wide

Flowering Season: Year-round but heaviest during winter

7. Pomegranate Tree (Punica granatum)

Pomegranate Flowering
Image by Ninara via Flickr

The pomegranate tree, like red buckeye, is another excellent choice for those looking for red flowering trees in North Florida. Such is because of its cold hardiness. But in reality, you can plant it anywhere in Florida. The small tree is deciduous in most cases but can be evergreen in South Florida.

The tree is known for its interesting multi-seeded fall and winter healthy red fruit. But its scarlet red flowers make this tree stand out in the landscape. The flowers are tube-shaped and one of the best trees for attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators. 

Pomegranate trees are super easy to grow and have no special requirements. Diseases and pests do not affect the tree. It is a good idea in Florida to plant pomegranate trees in partial shade because of the hot summers. The tree does well in a range of soil types as long as they are well-draining. 

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 10

Average Size at Maturity: 12 – 20 feet tall and 12 – 20 feet wide

Flowering Season: Spring

8. Red Flowering Gum (Eucalyptus ficifolia)

Red Flowering Gum
Image by John via Flickr

Native to Australia, this tree has an outstanding display of red flowers and few flowering trees compare in terms of extravagance. The flowers appear in clusters at the end of the branch; they are red or vermillion-orange, coming out in the summer.

Like other eucalyptus trees, the fast-growing red flowering gum has aromatic foliage which provides freshness to the air. The tree has a wide range of uses, anywhere from a landscape specimen to along street sides.

Red flowering gum is an excellent choice for coastal sites with acidic and sandy soils. It is better to give the tree full sun. As a plus, red flowering gum has a high drought tolerance.

USDA Growing Zones: 10A – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 40 feet tall and 15 – 25 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late summer

How to Choose the Right Red Flowering Tree in Florida

The visual appeal of having a red flowering tree in the landscape is undeniably powerful. Choosing the perfect tree for your landscape starts with knowing the Florida planting zone you are in. 

Though warmer than most of the United States, North Florida has regular freezes during the winter, eliminating the possibility of planting tropical trees outdoors. But pomegranate and red buckeye are great substitutes. South of Orlando and Tampa, you can grow most of the trees on this list. Actually, for even more impact – feel free to plant multiple! 

You should know the soil type and how much sun your landscape gets before planting any of the above trees. Most of the trees on this list are easy to care for; they need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight.  

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