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Tips for Summer Gardening in South Florida

As we start the summer, now is a great time to take a look around your garden and give it a little TLC. Whether you just want to spruce up what you have or do a complete overhaul, we’ve got a few ideas to help you beautify your garden for summer and fall!

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Image source: decoist.com

 

PREP FOR PERFECTION

Before we get into beautiful new blooms and border plants, make sure your garden is in prime condition for planting first. Taking care of your soil is the most important first step to getting the beautiful garden you envision. Start by topping off your soil with 1-2 inches of compost. This helps your soil hold nutrients as the waste breaks down. Add a fresh layer of mulch on top of the soil to give your garden an instantly refreshed look and help cut down weeds. If you have any dead blooms on your existing plants, be sure to trim those off.

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Image source: USDA.gov

 

KNOW YOUR HARDINESS ZONE

If you’re new to Florida or just new to gardening in Florida, it would be helpful to find out which plant hardiness zone you fall into before your decide what to plant. The above map is created by the USDA to show extreme minimum temperatures throughout the state. For example, if you live at The Isles of Collier Preserve in Naples or Westlake in Palm Beach County, you’re in zone 10a, so you want to make sure you choose plants that can withstand winter temperatures as low as 30-35 degrees F.

 

FLOWER POWER

Now that your soil is ready and you know your hardiness zone, you can pick some colorful new blooms to add to your landscape. Here are a few of our favorite flowers and flowering shrubs that thrive in Florida’s climate:

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Image source: HGTV

Blue Salvia

In addition to being a gorgeous shade of bluish-purple, blue salvias are a fairly low maintenance addition to your landscape. They grow best in full sun and are loved by hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. As a bonus, their sturdy blooms and lovely scent make them a good choice for cut flowers to enjoy inside as well.

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Image source: Garden Lovers Club

Mexican Heather

This is a popular choice in Florida due to its extremely low maintenance and versatility. Mexican Heather features dainty light purple or pink flowers and works well as a main attraction or groundcover plant. It grows well in full sun or partial shade.

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Image source: Gardening Know How

Coreopsis

Also known as “tickseed,” the coreopsis is Florida’s official state wildflower (not to be confused with the state flower, which is the orange blossom). Its cheery yellow blooms will brighten up any garden. They are incredibly low maintenance and grow well in full sun or part shade.

 

GORGEOUS GREENS

If you prefer a green-only garden or you want to make your flowers pop, these shrubs make excellent groundcover or border plants to add to your landscape:

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Image source: Pinterest

Lilyturf

Lilyturf, also known as lilrope, is a popular border plant choice in Florida. This grassy plant grows about 18”-24” tall and grows well in sun or shade. Some varieties of lilyturf feature spikes of purple flowers that bloom during the warmer months.

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Image source: Wilson Bros Gardens

Japanese Boxwood

This small shrub adds a nice manicured look to any garden. It grows slowly and only requires occasional trimming, making it a great low maintenance choice for green thumbs and gardening novices alike. Boxwoods grow well in either full sun or full shade and look beautiful as foundation plants, border plants or surrounding a tree.

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Image source: Orlando Plants and Trees

Juniper

Junipers are available in many varieties and are found in many gardens throughout Florida because they are hardy and simple to care for. Junipers don’t require much trimming and are extremely versatile. Plant them as a fence liner, border plant or groundcover.

These are just a few of our favorite Florida garden staples. Have some of your own? Share them in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Tips for Summer Gardening in South Florida

  1. Thank you for this post! I love Japanese Boxwood, it is such a beautiful plant to line a driveway with due to its low maintenance. South Florida landscaping is nearly incomplete without Japanese Boxwood. I would love to see a post on south Florida trees and tree care. As a tree service expert, it is nice to see someone who can write effectively about gardening and plant care. one of my favorites is the bush allamanda, it flowers year-round and as it matures it leaves space for new small plants at its base. Thank you again for this post!

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