About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Cold-Hardy Plants

Here we go again...another unseasonally cold winter with one cold front after another. Two new plants added to my garden this year were surprisingly cold-hardy in our recent low temps in the upper 20's: Abutilon (Flowering Maple) and leopard plant.

Joe Parr, Director of Horticulture at Busch Gardens discovered our cold-hardy plant list, and added a few more plants to the list we all created last winter:  Blue Victoria salvia and citrona. He also mentioned that his established gingers fared much better than newly planted ones. This may be a clue for us to get sub-tropical plants in the ground early enough for them to become well established before winter arrives.

If you've got new plants in your garden that fared well this winter, please add them to our cold-hardy plant list. And again, many thanks to all of YOU who created this list. I have referred to it many times this past year when adding plants to my garden.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

FNGLA 2011 Plant Selections

Snow Princess
Photo credit:
Every year the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) chooses a selection of Florida's best plants. These plants are chosen for several reasons...one being their success in growing in our diverse Florida climate.

For 2011 the six "Florida Garden Select Plants" chosen were:

* Gold Medallion Tree (Cassia leptophylla) - This cassia has yellow blooms in early summer and can survive temperatures into the mid to low 20's. That definitely sounds promising considering our winters lately.
* Prostrate Yew or Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata') - This low growing shrub  has dark green leaves similar to a conifer.
* Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba) - This palm tree for zones 9b - 11 has silver-green fronds and can grow up to 50 feet tall.
* Snow Princess (Labularia hybrid 'Snow Princess') pictured above - An annual in other parts of the country, white blooms cover this mounding plant, and is perfect for hanging baskets.
* Yellow Butterfly Pea Vine (Cailaeum macropterum (formerly Mascagnia macroptera)) - This Mexican native sports 1" yellow cascading flowers. It grows up to 15 feet tall and is heat-loving.
* Wire Vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) - a small, glossy green-leaved groundcover.

These plants are available for purchase at your local garden center. Now you can also keep up with the FNGLA by becoming a fan at Facebook.

Click here for photos and more information on these plants.