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Tropical Plants Perfect for Your Florida Landscape
What is your first thought at the mention of our great state of Florida? For many, it is the acclaimed weather ‒ following Walt Disney World, that is. Known for abundant sunshine, and the less admired humidity, Central Florida is classified as a humid subtropical climate. South Florida is considered a true tropical climate, with vegetation that includes tropical rainforests, tropical monsoons and tropical savannas. The consistent weather pattern of wet and dry seasons is the reason our landscape consists of towering palm trees, and a variety of other tropical plants. Keep reading to learn which plants are suitable for a tropical climate, and how they can fit into your Florida landscape design.
What is a Tropical Plant?
To understand what plants will thrive in your Florida yard, you need to know what a tropical plant is. A tropical climate is typically hot and humid, with temperatures constantly exceeding 18 degrees Celsius, with zero frost days. A tropical plant is one that grows and thrives naturally in this climate, which resembles the environment of a region known as the tropics ‒ the region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. Contrary to what many people expect, these plants do not do well in direct sunlight. Whether blooming or foliage plants, they tend to fare better in shade.
Choosing Weather-Tolerant Plants
While susceptible to direct sunlight, tropical plants are surprisingly resilient against other extreme weather conditions. This is important for Florida homeowners during periods of extended drought, or the annual hurricane season. In rare scenarios, there may also be water-use restrictions in place. If you do not select weather-tolerant plants, you may find yourself investing in new landscaping on a yearly basis.
Consider the following plants for your Florida yard:
Firebush - This easy-to-grow shrub is extremely colorful and produces yellow and orange flowers. Popular among butterflies and hummingbirds, these plants thrive in garden beds or containers.
Beautyberry - Growing from 5- to 9-feet tall, beautyberry produces delicate lavender flowers and clusters of highly decorative purple berries in late summer and fall. This shrub prefers well-drained soil and full sun, or light shade.
Blanket Flower - A Florida native plant, blanket flowers are drought-resistant and salt-tolerant. These bright red and gold flowers bloom in the summer, and produce a nectar that attracts butterflies.
Buttonwood - A simple, leafy plant, buttonwood is often used as a hedge, an accent or a small tree.
Saw Palmetto - Especially great for areas that are exposed to high levels of salt, this palm grows 4- to 12-feet tall, with fan-shaped leaves that may be 1½ - to 2-feet across. It can thrive in both sun or shade.
Tropical Landscape Design
While the most obvious perk of featuring tropical plants in your landscape design is the casual atmosphere, there are numerous advantages ‒ one being the reduction in lawn size and grass. Less grass means less space to maintain, and a cutback on water usage. It will also produce less waste, and reduces air and noise pollution. Unsure of where to start? Check out the Florida-friendly Plant Database for landscape plant ideas. It will assist you in narrowing down specific types of plants suited to your region, while taking your personal preferences into account.
Prefer an experienced landscaper who knows the lay of the land? Call Daniels Lawn Service and Pressure Washing. We can design the optimal space for entertaining your friends and family, customized to your lifestyle and interests ‒ such as a lush garden that attracts birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects ‒ and allows you to relax and reflect.
Utilizing native plants is a fantastic way to enhance the natural beauty of your Florida lawn, as well as increase its property value. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule an appointment.
As spring approaches and the weather warms back up, Central Floridians look forward to spending more time outdoors. However, with the springtime rainfall comes a rise in the mosquito population. Learn how to modify your landscape to prevent these pesky insects, with natural and beneficial alternatives to harsh chemicals.
Mosquito Season in Florida
Just as people flock to Florida for its year-round temperate weather, there is a pest that enjoys the warmth and mild moisture as much as we do. Mosquitos are present throughout the year, but they thrive during the spring and summer. Mosquitos rely and two main factors present in our ecosystem: temperatures consistently above 50 degrees, and a significant rainfall.
In the state of Florida, there are around 80 species of mosquitoes. Of these, 33 species are known to be a nuisance to humans and pets. Worse, 13 species can carry more serious, even fatal diseases, such as Zika or West Nile. Two of the most common mosquito species in Florida are the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the gallinipper (Psorophora ciliata). While both have the potential to carry a number of dangerous viruses or diseases, they can be deterred with insect repellents.
Mosquito Repellent Plants for Your Yard
It is common knowledge that many pest repellents present significant risks to our health, and the health of our pets. To avoid contact with chemicals altogether, there are several plants that can naturally repel vexing mosquitoes.
Utilizing these natural plants will also add to your landscape by making it more lush and fragrant.
1- Marigolds - A beautiful and vibrant orange flower, marigolds have a very distinct smell. They can be purchased as seeds, or a starter plant. They perform well around entry points such as doors or windows, as well as around patios and other areas for outdoor entertaining.
2- Citronella - You have likely heard of this plant in the context of the popular mosquito deterrent candle we all know and love. This perennial grass grows in tall clumps up to six feet tall, and has a strong scent. It performs best in large pots with adequate drainage and sunlight.
3- Catnip - We hope you enjoy some feline company! Catnip is an easy-to-grow herb that your cats will love and mosquitos will hate. You can even crush the leaves to release an added boost of the repellent scent.
4- Lavender - A scent you most likely enjoy in candles and soaps, lavender has a relaxing aroma. It can be placed in a variety of areas, from entryways to entertainment areas. The bright purple bloom is an appealing addition to most gardens.
5- Basil - While this plant repels mosquitoes, you can also enjoy it on a delicious pizza or pasta dish. It is one of the few plants you do not have to crush to enjoy the benefits of, so it can sit happily on your windowsill.
6- Lemon balm - Lemon balm is a vibrant leafy plant that attracts pollinators, and wards off pests. It is however fast-growing, so it should be contained in a pot rather than planted in an open garden.
To avoid attracting insect pests, particularly mosquitoes, be sure to turn unused plant pots upside down. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, as well as other unwanted bugs. When you are outside, wear adequate clothing and use your choice of mosquito repellent. Any extra measures you take will decrease the likelihood that you are bitten.
Enjoying your yard should not be a territory battle! At Daniels Lawn Service & Pressure Washing, we can help design a landscape with plants that are ideal for repelling mosquitoes. And, with regular maintenance, the space will always be prepared for you to enjoy with friends and family. Contact us today to learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment!
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About UsDaniels Lawn Service and Pressure Washing Inc. is a landscaping company located in Lake Mary, Florida right outside of Orlando. We specialize in Lawn Care, Tree Services, Pressure Washing, Bush Hogging, Land Clearing and Clean up services in Lake Mary FL, Sanford FL, Longwood FL and surrounding areas. We are completely licensed and insured for our services. If you have any questions about the services we provide, please don't hesitate to contact us at (321)282-9731 or visit the contact page and send an email.
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