Florida Gardening forum: New to site - need help choosing plants!

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GardGirlFL
Mar 12, 2018 5:14 PM CST
I am new to this site and although I have lived in Florida off and on for awhile I am still not as comfortable gardening here as I was up north! I miss my Hydrangeas, Hostas, Peonies, etc.!

I am finally at the point where I want to update my gardens around my house. I have several challenges - first one - I have two large dogs who run over anything that is delicate in their quest to hunt lizards Smiling so anything I plant has to be fairly hardy! I also do not have a working sprinkler system and work very long shifts at the hospital so there will be many times when the plants will not get watered so drought resistant is key. I have a fondness for flowers and house already has some hibiscus that got frozen, two palm trees, 1 cardboard palm and tons of roebelenni's (not my favorite and there are LOTS).

I want a very tropical feel to the yard not northern and would like flowers frequently. I have some plumeria cuttings that have started to leaf, plan on some philodendron, some bananas and some bird of paradise. Any other suggestions?

I also have a narrow area by my front sidewalk that I would like something flowering but needs to be somewhat small and strong due to my furry friends - looking for suggestions and ideas on what to plant!
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Mar 12, 2018 6:47 PM CST
What part of state are you in

GardGirlFL
Mar 12, 2018 7:35 PM CST
I am in the Spring Hill area - I am also on a salt water canal so have a very sandy yard...
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
luis_pr
Mar 17, 2018 11:16 AM CST
You can plant ground covers that enjoy shade: Asian jasmine, English ivy, Persian ivy, liriope, ophiopogon, horseherb or dwarf shade-loving shrubs. Not sure how well they do in sandy soil though. You can also use only mulch: shredded cedar/eucalyptus, lava gravel or decomposed granite. You can also prune the trees to lift the canopy higher and let more sun "in". Or at worst, cut the trees. I am aware of some Orlando residents growing hydrangeas and the native oakleaf hydrangeas but they need shade from the summer sun starting around 11am-ish, good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew and some protection from drying summer winds. Mopheads and lacecaps can be found in the area; oakleaf a little less and panics not too much since, until recently, they got so big but Bobo and the "Little" ones (Quickfire, etc) have changed that. I have not heard of anyone growing panics myself but Univ of Florida's IFAS recommends them for north and central FL: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas... Personally, I would first grow them in a pot until you can find a proper place in the summer where they get shade starting at the right time and then I would plant them once the temperatures have come down from summertime levels. Add compost annually & before planting to increase the levels of minerals (sandy soils need this) and then "regularly" afterwards in the form of mulch (2-4" up to or beyond the drip line. I normally apply about 1 gallon of water per watering here but feel free to use 1.5 or 2g per watering in sandy soil. Increase waterings or the amt of water from May thru September (your & my hot season). Note that growing them full time in pots can be an option and will make it easier to move around if the first spot turns to have 'too much sun' issues.
[Last edited by luis_pr - Mar 17, 2018 11:20 AM (+)]
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GardGirlFL
Mar 18, 2018 7:11 AM CST
Thank you!
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Mar 18, 2018 8:40 AM CST
Sorry to be disagreeable but no, no, no to any type of ivy. Once planted, ivy will consume anything and everything in its path. And can be next to impossible to remove.

I have horse herb in an area that gets a fair amount of shade. It was there for years before I learned what it was. I walk on in with abandon and it doesn't seem to mind. I have never fed or watered it. It's not evergreen here. Don't know about other climates.

I like the idea of mulch (not an artificial or 'colored' mulch). Decomposed granite is great and I wish I could use it. I have lots of oaks and would not want acorns covering it up. If you can use a good mulch or decomposed granite, they could buy you some time to think about your plans. They are good for protecting the soil.

Here's a picture of my horse herb and it's pretty little yellow flowers. It's a low grower but you can't tell from the picture.


Thumb of 2018-03-18/tx_flower_child/7c199a

So one more thing, a true confession of sorts. I don't really know much about your growing conditions in Florida.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Mar 18, 2018 9:09 AM CST
Ivy is a no no, you will never get rid of it and your neighbors will hate you because they won't be able to get rid of it either.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Mar 18, 2018 9:50 AM CST
Asian jasmine is equally bad. Most Lirope that I've encountered also spreads and is extremely difficult to get rid of.

Both are pretty but they're bullies.

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