Simply stated, most of the popular perennials grown throughout the U.S. are not suited for Florida's climate and soils. Therefore, one key to success is to learn which plants are Florida Friendly Plants, their mature size, sun or shade tolerance, preferred soil type and salt tolerance (if you are near the coast). If you make a mistake, perennials are easy to transplant.


Bed Preparation-
An additional key to success with perennials (and annuals) is to improve the native, nutrient poor, sandy soils with organic matter. Organic matter increases the water holding and nutrient holding capacity of soil. It also reduces nematode activity and produces stronger, healthier root systems, which can tolerate nematodes better. Organic matter includes composted manure, peat, compost, leaf mold, humus and topsoil. Most Florida topsoil contains sand, the component you are trying to reduce. It is more cost effective to use peat, manure or compost high in organic matter and low in sand content. We recommend using Black Kow.
Native perennials and wildflowers are adapted to sandy soils and additional organic matter is not necessary for success but it will enhance the performance of these plants.

Three to six inches of mulch applied as needed throughout the year will reduce soil temperature and evaporation. Mulch reduces plant stress, suppresses weeds, and breaks down to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

Generally, the first 60 days after planting is the most critical period of the establishment process. Water frequently to reduce plant stress and establish a strong, extensive root system.


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