Blooms for the Florida Fall and Winter Garden: Not Just Orange, Yellow and Red

May 4, 2014 – 08:54 am

Gardening picture(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 31, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)

The climate in Florida allows its gardeners to enjoy blooms all year long. In most parts of Florida, gardeners can have blooming plants throughout the year. While gardeners to the north are mulching their flower beds and preparing their plants for the long winter sleep, gardeners in the sunshine state are preparing for another colorful bloom season.

This does not just happen. It takes a bit of preparation to have blooms all year long. Choosing the right plants for your zone and creating an area in the garden for plants to thrive will ensure success.

(Dianthus gratianopolitanus) photo courtesy of DGmember staceysmomThere are a few key points to keep in mind if you want healthy blooming plants in the ‘off season'.

Soil should be built up with organic matter which will add and help retain the nutrients plants need to produce blooms.

Providing plants with a slow-release fertilizer or a weekly dousing to the roots from an organic compost tea mixture will make your plants very happy and they will reward you with many colorful blooms to enjoy.

Regular watering is essential because winter is the dry season in the sunshine state. Long time gardeners already know, from about November through April, rainfall is sparse, which makes soaker hoses and sprinklers a must have. Using a soaker hose is much more efficient than using a sprinkler.(Asarina scandens) photo courtesy of DG member fhiggins or poppysue he roots of the plants without evaporating like the spray that comes from a sprinkler. I especially recommend the soaker hose here in Florida.

There may already be many plants in the garden that can be given new life in order to continue their bloom through the winter. One such plant is the petunia (Petunia integrifolia). If it is looking a bit ragged, the branches can be clipped back, giving the plant a new start. After being pruned, the plant will be much healthier. It will then be ready to bloom into winter.

(Viola corsica) photo courtesy of DG member Todd_BolandA few plants that will bloom into late fall and some that will bloom right through the winter are listed below.

Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus)
Photo courtesy of DG member staceysmom

Considered a perennial plant that can be grown from seeds and also from stem cuttings rooted in sandy soil. Dianthus can become ‘leggy' and fall over but can be trimmed back or better yet, allow them to sprawl over the front of flower bed borders. Grow in full sun for best blooms. Bloom is pink from mid spring into early fall and in some cases, into winter.

Chickabiddy (Asarina scandens)
Photo courtesy of
DG member poppysue

This is a lovely vine for full sun gardens with blooms of blue, lavender and white.
The blooms show well from early spring until first frost in the Florida garden.
It can be grown from seeds found in seed pods allowed to dry on the vine. It is also easily rooted from cuttings.

(Diascia rigescens) photo courtesy of DG member KMAC (Calendula officinalis) photo courtesy of DG member 22cold (Odontonema strictum) photo courtesy of DG member htop (Viola cornuta) photo courtesy of DG member DaylilySLP


Betrock Information Systems Betrock's Reference Guide to Florida Landscape Plants
Book (Betrock Information Systems)

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You might be able to flower them once

But they won't come back the next year.
Most tulips are native to the Middle East, where the winters are very cold, and the summers are hot and dry, with little moisture except in the spring as the snow melts. They need winter chilling, and they also need a dry, warm dormancy in summer.
In Florida you can't provide those conditions unless you own a home Climatron.
To flower them just that once, buy them as early in the fall as you can, pot them up, then put them in a cold refrigerator for some months. The temperature doesn't have to be below freezing: something in the range from 35F to 40F would be more than adequate

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Wiley Landscape Plants for Eastern North America: Exclusive of Florida and the Immediate Gulf Coast, 2nd Edition
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Nearly Natural Nearly Natural 4820 Tropical Floral Arrangement with White Glass Vase, Green
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Emerald Goddess Gardens TM Live Plant Petrea Volublis Florida Wisteria Purple Flowering Vine
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