I need a suggestion for a planting bed in SW Florida that is located in an area with little or no sunlight. It has plenty of light but little direct sun. I am interested in planting an area about 1 foot by 20 feet.

Drought Smart Plants reply: not being familiar with your area, I’ll just have to suggest some plants that will like shade, and let you sort them out as to if they’ll like the heat and humidity.

Some of the best flowering plants for shade are Begonias. There are many that flower in double blooms of red, peach, pink, white and yellow, and these look fantastic in masse.

They are a bit prone to powdery mildew, so if that’s a problem for you, then go with some of their relatives, Begonia rex types, which are grown for their gorgeous foliage, which is striped, splashed and variegated with lime green, burgundy, and silver in various patterns.

Other plants to grow in dry shade are Epimedium, with heart shaped leaves on wiry stems, and these will bloom with really interesting, but not terribly showy flowers.

Ferns of course, thrive in shade, and also like high humidity, but dislike heat, so if you can find some that don’t mind a warmer climate, these would be a great choice. Mixed with some other little ground covering plants like button ferns, this area could be a little woodland area.

Of course, many plants that cold climate gardeners grow as houseplants thrive outside for you, so Bromeliads such as Tillandsia and Bilbergia would love those kinds of conditions.

I hope I’ve given you some good choices; I’d be happy to offer more if these aren’t what you want.

Happy Shade Gardening!