As the weather continues to warm-up you'll notice the pansies, petunias, snapdragons and other winter annuals in your garden steadily declining. Now's a great time to replace them so they'll have a chance to become established before the really hot weather arrives.
|Wishbone Flower - Torenia fournieri|
When you visit the garden center you will find a large selection to choose from...but beware. On my last trip there I noticed lots of petunias and pansies...which are winter annuals in Florida...still for sale. In addition, there were very pretty dahlias, fuschia, tuberous begonias and Asiatic lilies not suited to this area.
I'm always amazed to see these plants in the garden center at this time of year, and when I see people scooping them up I fear they will become frustrated Florida gardeners and give up. Don't get me wrong...if you love the dahlias, fuschia, tuberous begonias and Asiatic lilies you CAN buy them and enjoy them while they last but don't expect them to thrive in your Florida garden.
Every winter I buy a container of tulips to enjoy just because I like them, and a friend of mine bought 2 beautiful tuberose begonias that she enjoyed in a container all through the winter months. They're an enjoyable splurge, but I wouldn't invest a lot of money in them.
What annuals will take the Florida summer heat?
|Wax begonia - Begonia semperflorens|
Fortunately, we have a large selection to choose from: ageratrum, begonias, celosia, cleome, cosmos, dalburg daisy, impatiens, lisianthus, lobelia, marigold, melampodium, nicotiana, periwinkle, portulaca, purslane, rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan), salvia, sunflowers, torenia (wishbone flower) instead of pansies or violas, verbena and zinnias.
Some of my favorite hard-working summer annuals are: impatiens and the green-leaf wax begonias for the shade. The burgundy-leaf wax begonias, periwinkle, portulaca, purslane, salvia, torenia and zinnias for the sun.
What favorite summer annuals have done well in your Florida garden?
|Impatiens - Impatiens wallerana|