If you want your plants to thrive, know your dirt. If it’s poor, amend it. Florida’s soil from the panhandle down through the central state contains clay or sand and must be amended to produce healthy plants. South Florida, your peaty earth makes gardening easy!
Beautify your landscaping and garden structures with climbing plants. Vines add softness, whimsy, and allure and can be trained to grow on trellises, pergolas, arbors, fences, and walls. Florida gardeners, check out our suggestions for vines that do well in sun or partial shade and salt air.
The bougainvillea plant is known for its profuse, vivid blooms, its two-inch thorns, and its wild growth habit. It can serve as a space-filling shrub, a colorful hedge, or a wandering vine that spans a wall or covers a pergola.
If you want to start growing vegetables, try square-foot gardening. Perfect for homeowners with limited yard space, this method involves small, square, raised beds, divided into square-foot segments. Each segment hosts one type of plant. Gardeners with more space can build several of these raised beds.
The magnolia tree, that southern icon with the wonderfully fragrant blooms, makes a great addition to any Florida landscape. It requires little maintenance and tolerates humidity and drought. While the Southern Magnolia is the most popular planting choice, there are 209 additional equally beautiful magnolia species from which to choose.
Viburnum is the beloved shrub of Florida landscapers and homeowners. Cold hardy, drought resistant, and sturdy enough to survive hurricane winds, the viburnum thrives throughout the sunshine state. Grow this plant as a foundation hedge, accent shrub, small tree, or giant privacy screen.
Bamboo makes a beautiful hedge or landscape accent with its tall, graceful growth habit. Plant a variety that clumps and is not invasive. Several cold-tolerant species grow safely in North Florida. Being primarily a tropical plant, bamboo thrives in lower Central and South Florida.
Surprisingly to some, many cactus plants grow well in Florida. Some are even native to the state. Florida’s most common native cactus is the prickly pear, with vertically stacked, tear-drop-shaped, flat branches and small yellow flowers. Cacti at home grow well in a collection of containers.
Invasive plant species may look attractive and harmless but left to grow unchecked will alter native plant communities and damage local ecologies. Don’t plant them at home.