Steven L. Abrams
Mary Lou Berger
"An equal opportunity
Choose Flowers that Love Summer's Heat
If you want fabulous color in the landscape, consider heat-tolerant flowering annuals. Certain flowers grow and flourish in South Florida during the months of June, July, August and September, persistently blooming through the heat and heavy summer rains.
Bedding plants come in an almost infinite variety of form and color. You can plant summer-loving vinca, crossandra, salvia, portulaca, pentas, coleus, torenia, verbena, celosia, gazania, marigold or ornamental peppers.
Prepare planting areas by incorporating three inches of organic matter, such as compost, peat moss or potting soil into the planting bed. Sprinkle controlled-release fertilizer per label instructions into the bed. Mix the fertilizer uniformly throughout the soil before planting. Plant the annuals no deeper than they were growing in the container they came in. Water thoroughly after planting. Continue to hand water daily until the root systems are established.
The addition of annuals in the landscape will increase maintenance compared with other landscape plants. Hand weed, dead head old flowers, and recognize and manage pests as needed. The best method of reducing insect or disease problems is to keep the plants growing vigorously and free from stress.
For information on selecting hot weather-thriving plants for your landscape, call the Master Gardener volunteer hotline at 233-1750.
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