19 Best Plants for Raised Beds in Humid Climates

If you’re struggling to find raised bed plants that thrive in your humid climate, join. Florida gardener Melissa Strauss as she shares her top garden picks that thrive in muggy conditions.

A close-up of wooden raised garden beds filled with various annual plants, showcasing green foliage and colorful flowers of different sizes, set in a lush and vibrant garden.

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Humid climates aren’t for everyone, but they certainly do lend themselves to good health and longevity. It’s no wonder people move to these climates in retirement. Humidity keeps you younger for longer. It’s also very good for certain plants. If you’ve relocated to a humid gardening climate from a drier one, you might struggle to cultivate the same plants. 

Gardening in raised beds can be helpful in humid climates, as it brings your plants up off of the ground. Here, they can get more air circulation. Certain plants will struggle with fungal disease in humid climates, so knowing which ones to plant is important. Here are 19 plants that will thrive in your raised beds in a humid climate. 

Salvia

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Violet Queen Salvia Seeds

Amaranth

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Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranth Seeds

Marigolds

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Crackerjack African Marigold Seeds

Tickseed

A close-up of a Tickseed plant featuring yellow flowers on slender green stems, accompanied by deeply lobed green leaves.
This flowering plant is exceptionally easy to care for.
botanical-name botanical name Coreopsis tinctoria
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Tickseed is one of my favorite raised bed flowers. It’s incredibly hardy in my climate, which is very humid. This sweet flowering plant has slender, graceful stems and basal leaves that are bright green and strap-like. The flowers dance and bob atop the foliage in the slightest breeze. They can grow fairly tall as they mature, and they will fill a space nicely in their second year.

Here in Zone 9, these are frost-proof. They stay green all year, though they stop producing flowers as the days get shorter. In the spring, they burst into color, making them one of the earlier flowers in the new season. They come in a variety of warm shades, and they are exceptionally easy to care for. They prefer very humid climates. 

Culver’s Root

A close-up of Culver’s Root plant with lance-shaped leaves and slender spikes of white flowers, set against a backdrop of blurred green foliage from neighboring plants.
Optimal moisture retention in raised beds benefits plant growth.
botanical-name botanical name Veronicastrum virginicum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-7′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

This fun perennial bears a strong resemblance to Veronica, but it can grow taller, up to seven feet! The smooth stems with whirling leaves grow in odd-numbered groups of three to seven. Atop these tall stems are delicate flower spikes covered in tiny white flowers. It makes a great ornamental, adding a vertical element to the raised bed.

Culver’s root is very tolerant of humidity. In cooler climates, grow this plant in full sun. In very warm and humid climates, give your plants some afternoon shade. In addition to moisture in the air, this plant prefers moist soil, as well. The improved drainage of a raised bed helps to maintain the proper moisture levels and drainage for this plant. 

Anise Hyssop

A close-up of Anise Hyssop plants featuring dense clusters of lavender-blue flowers and green leaves, with a blurred background revealing rustic brown wooden gates.
Avoid nighttime watering to prevent fungus.
botanical-name botanical name Agastache foeniculum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-5′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

This is a plant I will always grow in my raised beds. I’m an avid pollinator-lover, gardener, and beekeeper, so anything that the bees are attracted to stays in my garden. Anise hyssop is an attractive plant with aromatic leaves and tall spikes of tiny purple flowers. It’s incredibly easy to grow and will be happy in full sun or partial shade. 

While this plant doesn’t mind humidity, it is a good idea to keep the interior thinned out to avoid fungus. Don’t crowd it much. It likes to sway in the breeze. Anise hyssop is drought tolerant but won’t be unhappy if you keep it watered. Just avoid watering at night, and make sure your soil drains well. 

Sweet Potatoes

A close-up of pinkish sweet potatoes resting in brown soil with green branches and leaves surrounding them.
Their attractive vines produce beautiful purple flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Ipomoea batatas
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6-10′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

If it’s vegetables that you want to grow in your beds, sweet potatoes are a great crop for humid climates. Not to mention, their vines are really lovely. Vines come in purple or green and produce pretty purple flowers. Planting potatoes in raised beds makes them a cinch to harvest. They need loose, rich soil to perform their best. 

Sweet potatoes are moisture-loving plants. Keep them watered, particularly in times of little rain. Mix some extended-release fertilizer into your bed before planting these tasty vegetables. 

Amaranth

A close-up of an Amaranth plant featuring its vibrant pink flowers and leaves against a backdrop of blurred green foliage.
‘Love Lies Bleeding’ variety is adored for its charming, draping flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Amaranthus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-7’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Amaranth is a fascinating and beautiful plant that is completely edible, too! Depending on the variety, this plant likes anywhere from 40-75% humidity. The leaves will dry out if the air is dry. This plant is often used as a grain, and the leaves are very attractive and tasty, eaten raw or cooked. 

I have found amaranth to be a very heavy feeder. It should stand alone in a raised bed; otherwise, it’s likely to steal nutrients from other plants nearby. It can be pushy, but it’s spectacular looking, and the flowers have an interesting texture. I love the ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ variety for its fun, draping flowers. 

Salvia

A close-up of vibrant orange Salvia flowers amidst green leaves in a wooden raised bed, with blurred green trees in the background.
Salvia’s tubular flowers attract hummingbirds with their vibrant colors.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Salvia is a wonderful flowering plant that pollinators adore. It grows quickly and provides a lot of color in the garden. It can also be a bit pushy in the ground, so it makes a wonderful raised bed plant. It is better contained this way. 

Salvia comes in several colors, including purple, red, and blue. The tubular flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. Although they are native to the hot, dry climate of the Mediterranean region, they tolerate humidity very well. I live in a very humid climate and never have any issues with salvia, it is tough as nails.

Zinnias

A close-up of colorful Zinnia flowers with green leaves, in a sunlit wooden raised bed.
Prevent powdery mildew with clean stems and good airflow.
botanical-name botanical name Zinnia elegans
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6″-3′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

If you want a colorful display that lasts all summer and until the first frost, zinnias are a winner. They grow so quickly, blooming just 60 days after planting. They never back down from hot temperatures. Even in the dead of summer, when the thermometer is passing 100°F (38°C), my zinnias still bloom. However, they do appreciate more water. 

Zinnias can be susceptible to powdery mildew. Keep the stems clean at the base and allow room for air to circulate to avoid fungal issues. They bloom best with some humidity. They make wonderful cut flowers, and the more you cut, the more they will bloom.

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Purple Prince

A close-up of Purple Prince plants featuring light purple leaves, showcasing their vibrant hue and intricate veining pattern.
The plant’s resilient nature thrives in diverse climates and soils.
botanical-name botanical name Alternanthera brasiliana ‘Purple Prince’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 9-15″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Purple prince plant is a wonderful and versatile plant that is happiest in at least 80% humidity. A tropical plant, this one is a perennial in Zones 9-11 and an annual elsewhere. You can plant this one in most exposure conditions, from full sun to nearly full shade, although some shade in the afternoon is best. It spreads wider than it grows and fills in nicely between taller plants.

This plant prefers compost-rich soil with good drainage. It stands up well to the elements, braving heat, rain, drought, and humidity like a champion. You will love how low-maintenance this plant is! Mature leaves are shades of purple and red, with new leaves coming green. 

Marigolds

A close-up of Marigolds with vivid orange flowers and distinctive green leaves, potted to emphasize their vibrant colors and lush growth.
Regular watering extends flower longevity.
botanical-name botanical name Tagetes spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-4′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Marigolds make famously good neighbors with their insect repelling characteristics. They also don’t mind a high humidity situation, and they make excellent container plants. Marigolds are happy in full sun or partial shade. In hotter climates, I find they prefer a bit of afternoon shade. In too much hot sun the flowers will die faster, but the foliage is not usually affected.

These flowering plants are drought tolerant, but again, their flowers will last longer if you water them regularly. Deadhead your marigolds to make them produce lots of cheery, warm-toned flowers. I’m partial to the small French marigold because of the colors, but all types produce lovely flowers. 

Tomatoes

 A close-up of tomato plants with ripe red tomatoes hanging amidst lush green leaves, next to a basket overflowing with freshly picked tomatoes, all planted in a raised bed styled with bricks.
Pair tomatoes with marigolds for pest control.
botanical-name botanical name Solanum lycopersicum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height up to 10′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-11

Another vegetable that works well in raised beds and happily tolerates high humidity is tomatoes. The ideal daytime humidity for tomatoes is 80-90%, so if you’re in a hot, humid climate, you can grow a ton of them! These veggies are heavy feeders. Make sure to work plenty of compost and fertilizer into the soil before planting them.

Plant your tomatoes with basil for exceptional flavor. Marigolds will help to keep the flying insects away. To avoid fungal diseases, thin out the bottom branches and leaves in the center and around the bottom of the plant. 

Purple Coneflower

A close-up of Purple Coneflower plants showcasing vibrant pink petals surrounding golden centers, supported by sturdy green stems and accompanied by lush green leaves.
The blooms are long-lasting and great for arrangements.
botanical-name botanical name Echinacea purpurea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Purple coneflower is a very tolerant and resilient plant. It handles heat, humidity, drought, and poor soil very well. This long-lived perennial is a favorite among pollinators, drawing bees and butterflies to the garden. Let them go to seed, and your beds will fill up quickly with these fun and extra sturdy plants. 

You can plant these flowering plants in full sun or partial shade. They aren’t picky about soil, but drainage is important, especially in high-humidity climates. The blooms are long-lived and make excellent cut flowers. Deadhead to reduce spreading, or leave the seed heads for birds to eat in the fall. 

Yarrow

A close-up of Yarrow plants shows clusters of delicate pink flowers with numerous small petals, accompanied by fern-like, feathery green leaves that are finely divided and create a soft, textured appearance.
Thin plants occasionally for better air circulation.
botanical-name botanical name Achillea millefolium 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-3′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Yarrow is another favorite of mine for the raised bed cutting garden. The flowers give a sweet, vintage vibe to floral arrangements. Their fern-like foliage adds texture and interest to mixed beds, and they are incredible bloomers. They are reliable perennials and tolerate a lot of heat and drought. 

While yarrow does tend to prefer dry weather, it is highly tolerant of humidity. Water at the soil level to prevent powdery mildew, and thin out your plants now and then to maintain air circulation. Butterflies love this plant, and will visit them often, especially the red varieties. 

African Blue Basil

A close-up of African Blue Basil features lavender flowers with intricate, tubular shapes, attracting a bee that is busily collecting nectar, while the blurred background reveals lush green leaves.
This plant attracts bumblebees with its fragrant blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Ocimum kilimandscharicum x basilicum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height up to 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

While it doesn’t require it, African blue basil tolerates humidity very well. It’s also much more cold-tolerant than most sources would have us believe. I know because I have several plants, and they survive periods of temperatures around 20°F (-7°C) every year here in Zone 9. This incredibly sturdy and resilient plant is a pollinator favorite, and it reliably blooms from early summer until the first freeze.

African blue basil isn’t the most appealing variety if you like to cook with it. Although, it does make a nice pesto. I plant it because it seems indestructible, is highly pest resistant, and drought resistant, too. Bumblebees will visit the garden daily for this fragrant treat.

Lantana

A close-up of Lantana plants showcasing vibrant clusters of pink and yellow flowers amidst lush green leaves.
Lantana’s aggressive growth may dominate gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Lantana camara
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

Lantana is not specifically indicated for humid climates, but it doesn’t mind the moisture. The structure of the plant is open, keeping good air flow through the interior. This attractive plant flowers for a long season, and is a host plant for several butterfly species. It loves lots of sunshine and is incredibly drought-tolerant. 

This plant can be aggressive if it likes where you plant it. It can overtake other, less aggressive plants if you don’t keep it pruned. It takes well to pruning, though, and you can cut it all the way back mid-summer. It will grow back to its full size in a matter of two months. The brightly colored flowers are attractive and cheerful. There are shrub and trailing varieties available. 

Begonias

A close-up of Begonias planted in a decorative pot, displaying a colorful mix of yellow, pink, and red flowers with green leaves, set against a background of steel bars.
Most begonias tolerate high humidity, up to 90%.
botanical-name botanical name Begonia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 8″-2′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Many people think of begonias as houseplants, and they do make nice houseplants as long as they get enough humidity. Rex begonias, in particular, like a lot of moisture in the air to maintain their beautiful foliage. If you want these plants to thrive and produce flowers, humidity is key. While specific needs vary by species, nearly all begonias are tolerant of high humidity. Up to 90% is well tolerated by most. 

In warm climates, begonias will be happiest in partial shade. In cooler climates where these plants grow as annuals, they will tolerate full sun exposure. Begonias prefer to be slightly root-bound, so they thrive in containers of all types. Keep the soil moist but well-drained. 

Coleus

A close-up of vibrant Coleus plants showcasing striking red leaves with intricate patterns and textures.
Pinch young plants to encourage bushy growth.
botanical-name botanical name Plectranthus spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6″-3′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

For bold color and decorative foliage in your raised beds, coleus can’t be beat. This tropical plant comes in a wide range of patterns, typically in shades of red and green. It produces an inflorescence with small white or purple flowers and commonly re-seeds itself. Like most tropical plants, it not only tolerates but prefers high humidity. 

Coleus has good resistance to pests and diseases. If you pinch the plants when they are young, they will branch nicely and grow into a shrub like shape. They like moist, fertile, well drained soil, making them an excellent raised bed plant. Let the soil dry on top between waterings to help prevent fungal diseases. There are types of coleus that like full sun and others that prefer partial shade. Be sure to find the right type for your exposure. 

Calla Lily

A close-up image of Calla Lily plants showcases their elegant yellow-orange flowers with smooth, trumpet-shaped petals, accompanied by broad, glossy green leaves that provide a lush, vivid contrast to the blooms.
These flowers are favored in weddings for their enduring beauty.
botanical-name botanical name Zantedeschia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Calla lilies are stunning plants that grow from tubers and produce interesting foliage and flowers. You’ve certainly seen these flowers in grocery stores or florist shops, as they are extremely popular in floristry. They are a favorite wedding flower for their elegant shape and ability to last a long time in cut arrangements without water. 

Callas like high humidity, but be careful about overwatering these plants. Their tubers are susceptible to root rot if you keep them moist all the time. These plants prefer rich, moist, but well-drained soil. Let the top of the soil dry between waterings and cut the flowers often for repeat blooms. 

Cardinal Flower

A close-up of Cardinal Flower showcasing its vibrant red, tubular flowers with delicate, fringed edges clustered along the tall, slender stem, surrounded by lush green foliage in a natural garden setting
Avoid pruning until spring for optimal growth.
botanical-name botanical name Lobelia cardinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4-5′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Cardinal flower is a beautiful plant that thrives in moist conditions. It likes evenly moist soil and tolerates humidity very well. You can even find these plants growing in swampy areas. However, they are versatile and don’t require high humidity, so a dry spell won’t damage their leaves as long as you keep the soil moist. 

This plant has excellent cold tolerance, as well, and can tolerate temperatures down to -34°F (-37°C). In colder climates, protect the roots in winter with a heavy helping of mulch. Cardinal flower isn’t a common container plant, but under the right circumstances they will grow well in raised beds. They are beautiful and dramatic additions to the landscape. Avoid deadheading or pruning until the spring. 

Rudbeckia

A close-up of Rudbeckia plants highlighting their bright yellow, daisy-like flowers with dark brown centers, amidst dense, green leaves, all thriving in a large wooden raised bed alongside other greenery, set against a brick-style wall.
Ensure adequate air circulation by thinning out lower foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Rudbeckia hirta
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-4′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

You might know this plant by its most famous variety, black-eyed Susan. These exceptionally resilient plants can grow just about anywhere and are very drought-tolerant. They grow happily in hot, humid climates, but they tolerate cool climates, as well. While they don’t mind humidity, it’s best to keep them thinned out near the ground and in the interior of the plant to avoid fungal diseases. 

Rudbeckia is not picky about soil. It will grow nicely in loam, sand, and clay and tolerates moist or dry soil types. Avoid watering from the top to keep excess moisture off of the leaves in humid climates. Rudbeckia maxima is an excellent choice for humid climates. 

Final Thoughts

All of these plants will enjoy growing in your raised beds in a humid climate. Avoid fungal issues by maintaining proper airflow around your plants, and water the soil rather than the foliage in this type of climate. The moisture in the air will keep your foliage looking tip-top. The added drainage of a raised bed will help keep away fungus, as well. 

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