Florida Fall Planting: What to plant now and how!
We have one more month until Winter sets in (December 21st), but in Florida we are still in prime fall planting mode as the weather cools down. While we may not be able to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage that our northern friends are seeing, now is a great time to enjoy the outdoors thanks to the drop in humidity and the cool breezes. And working in the garden not only pays off in blossoms, and literal fruits of our labor, we can also work up a sweat and make a little room around the waistband to enjoy all of our holiday cooking!
What is good to plant this month?
Let’s talk flowers. The holidays are coming up and hopefully you’ll be enjoying a house full of wonderful guests and all of the mess they leave behind! Why not invest in some fall season annuals to brighten up your outside area, encourage your guests to enjoy the perfect weather, and in doing so, create less clutter in your home: everybody wins!
Beautiful Gazanias are the perfect annual for Florida winters, they’re colorful, vibrant, so friendly, and easy to plant and grow. They are used to dry, sandy soil which makes the need for potting soil minimal. If there were a flower yearbook, they would be voted “Most likely to succeed.” The only downfall with the lovelies is that they are not native to Florida. But they are non invasive, so they will not harm our native ecosystem.
How to plant (1):
Propagate by seed, cuttings – Start the seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date, or scatter the seeds where desired outdoors after frost danger has passed. Cover the seeds lightly, as darkness aids germination. Make basal cuttings in late summer or early fall.
Germination temperature: 60 F to 65 F
Days to emergence: 7 to 21
English Lavender is also a great flower to enjoy and a flowers that really plays well with others, meaning you can use it as a backdrop to other plants as in the picture above. It grows a little taller than most flowers (or at least you can prune your flowers in that manner) so it’s best to place it at the back of a bed. Once again it is non native and non invasive. An added benefit of lavender is that you can clip and enjoy the flowers in a vase.
How to plant (1):
Propagate by seed, cuttings, layering, division or separation – Lavender is most easily propagated by cuttings or division. Named varieties of lavender should be propagated by cuttings or layering and not by seed which will most likely not come true. May self-seed if not deadheaded.
Cuttings of strong growth taken with a heel in July or August can be grown in a greenhouse or cold frame the first winter and planting out the next spring after frost danger.
Seeds germinate slowly. Barely cover seeds with soil in a greenhouse. They will germinate in 1 to 3 months. When large enough to handle, put seedlings in individual pots and grow in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out late the next spring after the last expected frost.
Layering is possible at any time of the year by scraping the bark near the base of a long stem, applying a rooting hormone and bending the stem down and pegging with a “V” cut from a coat hanger.
These are just two of the hundreds of pretty plants that will grow well at this time of year. Unfortunately, there are certain intricacies to any kind of planting that should be taken into consideration. For example, if your budget is tight, you’ll want to look for plants that will last, plants that can propagate through cuttings, and plants that are healthy and large (the larger the plant, the more established it is already). The irony of being on a budget is that spending money up front can save you in the long run. Spending hundreds of dollars each season to replace dying plants is costly and makes your home depreciate in value.
If time is an issue, you need low maintenance plants that are planted in the best way to keep off bugs, limit weeds and require minimal cutting and other care.
To save you time and money, you can hire us to design your landscaping, deliver your plants direct from the local growers at a lower cost and in a healthier condition than retail. We can install them, provide any hardscaping and maintenance. We can also help you to understand your own garden so that you can enjoy your outdoor area, doing as much or as little work on it as you prefer!
If you’d like more information about fall planting, or would like to get a quote for your home, development, or commercial property landscaping, call us today: (954) 938-1999 or email us
References: (1) http://www.gardening.cornell.edu