While Mother Nature is doing her best to hang on to higher temperatures, Central Florida is finally starting to see the signs of dryer and cooler conditions. And without those regular Summer rains, we won’t be seeing the same lush green as we experience the summer months. That doesn’t, however, mean your landscaping can’t still look amazing throughout the winter months.
But here’s the catch… with average high temperatures around 75 to 78 degrees F and less than 10-11 days of rain, you’ll need to be smart about which plants you’re investing in during our fall and winter months.
You’ll want to choose plants which do better in cooler temperatures and don’t require as much water. Here are 6 types of plants to consider this month (HINT: think annuals and bulbs). By planting annuals and bulbs, you’ll have beautiful color through the New Year.
PANSIES, PETUNIAS, SNAPDRAGONS & VIOLAS
This is the perfect time of year to add some of these annuals. They will add a nice burst of color and brighten up your landscaping (and they’ll last all winter).
Fall and Winter are a great time to plant “bulb plants” such as Amaryllis, with a trumpet shape bloom. When planting bulbs outside, you should make sure to layer with mulch to help protect against colder temperatures in the winter. Also, don’t forget that bulbs need routine water initially to help them become established. If you plant these in your flower beds, you might consider adding crinum to compliment.
PLANTS FOR MIGRATING BUTTERFLIES
With the cooler temperatures up North, butterflies migrate to areas like Central Florida for the winter. Why not welcome our “out of town guests” with a place to hang out for the winter? There are several types of plants that will help attract & feed your butterfly guests, such as: monarchs, zebra heliconia, and gulf fritillary (or you can plant pentas, lantana, plumbago, and salvia for nectar meals).
The fall months with cooler temperatures are also a good time to plant new evergreen shrubs (including some flowering trees/shrubs) like camellias, azaleas and citrus trees. Also, another you might consider are holly bushes – these red-berried glossy leafed bushes will provide nice clippings to use for holiday decorations.
Like to cook? Plant some herb seeds. It’s a great time to plant annual herbs like cilantro and basil (great for cold weather foods like soups).
While technically not plants, entryway containers are a great way to jazz up your landscaping for the fall. Plant some colorful mums with flowering kale to give your porch that “autumn feel.”
This is also a great time of year to plant a vegetable garden – check back next month for more guidance on which veggies to plant!
Irrigation reminder: Good news for the water bill – cooler temperatures mean less water is needed for your garden. Adjust your irrigation system schedule. But keep in mind, even though your plants will need less water, they still do need water… You should ensure all zones of your sprinkler system are working properly, and your sprinkler heads are providing the required coverage. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll come take a look.