Florida Gardening forum→Moving to Tallahassee

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Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 10, 2020 5:06 PM CST
We are moving from south Florida to a lakefront lot in Tallahassee and starting our gardening experience from scratch. Any suggestions as to plants and flowers to begin with?
We're excited for the change of seasons, but it's a little baffling as to plantings. Please help.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Oct 10, 2020 5:47 PM CST

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Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
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Miamiu
Oct 11, 2020 4:22 AM CST
Might be easy to check out plant selling websites so you can see some of the plants that are good in your zone. For example almost Eden and proven winners. Also look at the database. Certain salvia and milkweed are doable in your zone.
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
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sunkissed
Oct 18, 2020 5:33 AM CST
Nice property, congrats. Best to check with local nurseries in the area, you will get some cold temps up there, maybe someone in the area will pop in to give advice.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 19, 2020 8:08 PM CST
I lived in the area for a few years. You're going to have to get used to a while new way of looking at plants & gardens. See, I'm a south Floridian like you & I was completely lost when we moved to north FL. Nothing is going to bloom year round - just forget that right now. Everything is now going to be seasonal. It was really hard for me to adapt. Get anything tropical out of your mind. Just go ahead & do it now. It will save you pain later. Do not try to grow ANY tender plants - forget about it! No, well maybe they'll survive, they won't.
OK, now you think azaleas - learn how to grow them & when to prune them
Gardenias
Hostas
No, Tally is not cold enough for tulips - don't waste your money
Daylilies
Mahonia
Hollies
Redbud
Tea Olive - Osmanthus fragrans. Fragrant Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
Crepe Myrtle
Tulip Poplar
liriope
Camellias
Dogwoods
Hydrangeas
Japanese red maple
Magnolias
You could do some Witch Hazel down by the creek/lake also sassafras
Non tropical gingers
Pentas
Milkweed
Salvia

You absolutely must go to
https://www.tallahasseenurseri...

Allow a whole day. I'm serious! It's HUGE. More importantly, they know their stuff backwards & forward.

There's a hibiscus -- I forget the name - it has blooms the size of dinner plates & will withstand the cold. Would never grow in south FL. Ask Tally Nursery, they'll know what I'm talking about.

You'll doubtless have trouble with deer & moles. Just a warning.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 19, 2020 8:54 PM CST
Thank you for your input, that's helpful to know. We're giving away a lot of our potted tropicals that I'm sure would not make it. But hoping I can keep my orchids by moving them in and out as the weather permits. New territory for sure!
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Oct 20, 2020 6:41 AM CST
There are many plants that bloom in the cooler months, think of the hundreds of varieties of Camellias alone. Then there are microclimates, your home could provide a niche where semi-tropicals can do just fine, it depends on how it is situated. They are growing several palms right up to the Washington DC area now. Your lake will serve as a heat sink and keep your soil a bit warmer, those few degrees will help. The next few months will be a good time to visit Tallahassee Nurseries, you can see what is blooming. I am envious, I would love to be able to grow Japanese Maples and have banks of Hydrangeas. You could still grow Satsumas, Meyer Lemons and Grapefruit. Musa Basjoo makes a huge tropical looking non edible banana that is hardy to zone 6 and Musa Velutina would thrive there and the hot pink flowers and non-edible fruit looks as tropical as it gets. Have fun. Hurray!
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
[Last edited by ardesia - Oct 20, 2020 8:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2020 7:33 AM CST
Good info. from Alice.
Yes, your orchids can move with you. Those you can move indoors & outdoors. Maybe a very select few potted plants but remember, you want to enjoy life not be chained to more work dealing with moving a bunch of big potted plants in & out.

Actually, there are some ground orchids that do well in these parts under the right conditions.
https://garden.org/plants/sear...
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2020 7:34 AM CST
When are you making the move?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2020 7:35 AM CST
The walking iris' do well here but not the bearded.

https://garden.org/plants/sear...
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Oct 20, 2020 8:03 AM CST
I live not too far south of I-10 in the panhandle. Have a GH that is heated...the heater is set on the frost setting so it doesn't run all the time. Yes it's work to schlep stuff in and out fall and spring but summer is plenty hot...in winter it's nice to enjoy summer blooms
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 20, 2020 7:37 PM CST
Wow, these are some great ideas for plants. Thanks to all of you. There is already a dogwood tree on the property, I'm hoping it's not in the construction zone. And, my husband and I are both really excited to plant a Japanese red maple. I also love hydrangeas. You've listened so many great possibilities for plants. Our first stop will definitely be Tallahassee nursery to get a tour. A green house with minimal heat is a great idea. The orchids I have don't like it under 40 deg.
We're moving in just a few days, and most of my plants have gone to surrogate homes. Except one of my orchids that is in full bloom now. I can't leave it behind.
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Keep your ideas coming please. Very interested in Witch Hazel, I would have never thought of that one.

Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2020 8:03 PM CST
The Japanese Red Maple is going to cost dear just so you know. But boy are they worth it! You might want to wait until construction is finished before installing it. You know how construction goes..... they're libel to offload lumber on top of it. Just don't risk it till you're moved in.

Beautiful orchid you have there in bloom! Very, very pretty!

Good luck on your move.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Organic Gardener Bromeliad Tropicals
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sunkissed
Oct 21, 2020 5:14 AM CST
Best wishes to you on your new home, and the orchids must go with you, they're beautiful.
Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 21, 2020 5:41 AM CST
Ann, I'm so eager to get going, but you're right about the trucks and workers. I'll have to try to be patient.
Thank you Ann and Sherri. I'll try to post when I plant something new.
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Oct 21, 2020 6:18 AM CST
I have been dying to make the trek to Tallahassee Nurseries. Everyone just raves about that place. You are going to have such fun with that blank slate. A friend who is building a new home has fenced off specific areas with that orange plastic mesh fencing. Home depot and Lowe's carry it and the builders keep their pick ups, etc. out of those areas.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 21, 2020 12:44 PM CST
Thanks Alice for the orange fencing tip!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 21, 2020 3:10 PM CST
I'm not so far north, but I still have an area where I can shelter my more tender tropical things and some of my orchids. If you have a garage or other building with a south-facing wall, you can make a hoop structure easily against that wall. The building serves as a wind break from the cold north wind that blows after a cold front, and the wall itself will be a heat sink absorbing the sun's heat all day, and releasing it at night. I have a frost cloth cover for my hoop house that I deploy whenever the temperatures are falling into the 40's, and I just roll it up under the overhang when it's not in use. (March through November it is put away) Keeps the plants at least 10deg. warmer than the outside ambient temperature, and if I put a heat source inside there I can keep it even warmer.

The last serious frost event we had here was January 2018 when it went down well into the 30's for two nights. I did bring all my orchids into the house for that one, but suffered no losses of other tender plants in the hoop house AND my tomato and pepper plants carried right on blooming and producing fruit all winter.

Just saying, you CAN push the zone a bit up there with the right resources. The Florida sun is still pretty warm even in the dead of winter. Not sure I'd go for the effort and expense of a full-blown greenhouse, as they're hard to ventilate effectively and a lot of maintenance for the few months you want them.
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 23, 2020 4:12 PM CST
Great ideas Elaine. We actually have some frost cloth from years ago when we had planted some new coconut palms and the temps we're getting close to frosting, even in Sarasota. They survived and now we enjoy fresh coconuts frequently. I guess we'd better stock up, since I don't think Tallahassee weather will support cocoanut palms. You're right though, just a covering might work for tender plants.
Tallahassee, FL
Seacrest950
Oct 24, 2020 5:44 AM CST
Great ideas Elaine. We actually have some frost cloth from years ago when we had planted some new coconut palms and the temps we're getting close to frosting, even in Sarasota. They survived and now we enjoy fresh coconuts frequently. I guess we'd better stock up, since I don't think Tallahassee weather will support cocoanut palms. You're right though, just a covering might work for tender plants.

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