Plant of the Month: Poinsettia
December 14, 2020
If you're interested in gardening, you will certainly have come across the terms annual and perennial. You probably know that annual plants only last for a year, so they need to be planted annually, while perennials live for multiple years once they are established.
But did you know that where you live can make a difference to which plants will bloom only once and which come back to give your garden color for a second or third year?
Here in Florida, the climate is much warmer than in the northern regions and that can change which plants will act as perennials. In South Florida, where even in winter the weather doesn't tend to get cold enough for a frost, some plants that would be annuals elsewhere can return to bloom again.
On the other hand, some perennial plants actually need those colder temperatures to go dormant over the winter, so that they can come back the following spring. So there are some plants which are evergreen perennials here in North Central Florida, but which never really come back for a second bloom down south.
All this can be very confusing, especially as plants are sometimes categorized differently by the company that grew them. Sometimes you'll see the same plant labeled as both annual and perennial by different companies.
It can help to know what plant hardiness zone you are in. The USDA has more information on hardiness zones here, and there's a simple map to show Florida's zones here.
If you're still not sure, an expert landscaping company such as LawnMore can offer you a range of options for a beautiful, low-maintenance yard of gorgeous perennial flowers and foliage. An experienced landscaper can help you to choose plants that are suited to the climate here and that will have your outdoor space looking beautiful in every season, year after year.
In case you want to plant them yourself, or for some inspiration, here are our top seven plants to keep your garden attractive and inviting for years.
Bougainvillea is another vibrant yet low-maintenance plant that does well in full sun.
The flowers, which are often bright pink in color, are so profuse that they dominate the dark green leaves, making a striking addition to your outdoor space. Bougainvillea grows on walls and fences, in pots and containers, and can also grow as a shrub if trimmed frequently.
With its effusion of violet-blue flowers peeking out from a green leafy background, evolvulus glomeratus, or blue daze, will brighten up any yard.
Blue daze likes full sun or partial shade. It makes great groundcover, usually growing eight to ten inches. It blooms in the summer and can also be grown in containers or hanging baskets.
Bush daisy, or euryop pectinatus, makes a cheery display with its large numbers of sunny yellow flowers blazing from the shiny green foliage.
This border plant likes full sun. It blooms from spring into summer. Cold weather may cause it to die back it will grow again the following spring. Although it can grow two to three feet tall, bush daisy does best if trimmed to about two feet. It will spread as a border plant, or can be grown in containers.
A great plant for attracting butterflies, the striking cones of feathery white or lavender blooms will look wonderful in any backyard. Orthosiphon aristatus, or cat's whiskers, does well in part sun to part shade.
Cat's whiskers will grow up to two feet, blooming in late summer and fall. Take care of it by trimming off any dead blooms. You can cover the soil with mulch during hot weather to make sure this gorgeous perennial has enough moisture.
Lantana, a genus with over 150 species, is often known as verbena. There is an impressive range of color between cultivars, with some varieties sporting a rainbow of colors within each globe of blooms.
Lantana is a prolific grower, blooming all year long. It is a drought-tolerant shrub that likes full sunlight for some hours but does best if it also spends part of the day in the shade and prefers well-drained soil.
Lower growing varieties look great along walkways or as groundcover, while the trailing cultivars work well in containers. These native plants are very attractive to birds, bees, and butterflies.
Cuphea hyssopifolia's dainty pink or purple flowers make an attractive addition to your yard - especially so because they will bloom repeatedly during summer and fall.
This fast-growing plant thrives in direct sunlight and needs watering only once a week. It can also be planted in a container, in which case it should be watered more often. Mexican heather grows between ten and eighteen inches tall.
Periwinkle, aka vinca, is a native European plant that grows very happily as a perennial in zones 4-9. Its blue, purple or white flowers have five pretty, swirling petals and will often be the pale indigo color that is named for this plant.
Periwinkle is a creeping vine which looks beautiful trailing from a container or window box. It works well as groundcover. Periwinkle will root wherever the stems touch soil so it spreads quickly. It can bloom more than once in the same year, too, so you'll be sure to see lots of beautiful blossoms if you use periwinkle in your landscaping.
So, which perennial plants will you choose to bloom year after year in your backyard? Would you like to select and plant them by yourself? Or would you prefer to take all the hard work out of creating an enticing, colorful, long-lasting display in your yard?
If so, it would be a great idea to contact a landscaping specialist such as LawnMore. Because we work with plants every day, we have expert knowledge of the qualities of each cultivar and can help you make a great choice for our North Florida climate.
Whether you're after a riot of color or a calming, verdant scene, we can help! Get in touch to request a quote and take all the hard work out of landscape planning. All you'll need to do is sit back and relax in your beautiful yard!
For small projects, large renovations, and maintenance agreements for homes and businesses of any size, we’re ready to do an excellent job for you.