This page details all the basic South Florida planting tips you need to know to get a new plant off to a great start.
Just because they're small and compact now doesn't mean you can jam plants close together.
South Florida has a long growing season and plants need room to grow. Correct spacing is very important to a plant's longevity and beauty.
Overcrowding in a landscape also means more work for you.
If you dislike that newly planted look, add annuals or perennials in between...or buy bigger, more mature plants.
If you're instructed to plant 3 feet apart, this usually means "3 feet apart on center." From the center of the first plant to the center of the next should measure approximately 3 feet.
The Plant Pages will tell you the soil amendments, plant spacing and any special planting tips for each plant.
Our sandy soil has no real nutrients. Amending the soil gets a plant get off to a good start.
Just add soil amendments to the hole when you plant. Don't work them in elsewhere - you'll just give weeds a happy home.
A combination of cow and peat works for most plants. The formula is 1/3 cow, 1/3 peat (or top soil), and 1/3 dirt, all mixed together in the base of the hole.
If you use only peat or top soil, use 2/3 peat and 1/3 dirt.
Do not use potting soil. It's too light and the plant may sink too deeply or fall over later.
Do not add fertilizer to the hole. This will burn the plant's roots. Only fertilize around the plant 3 weeks or more after planting. See our page on Fertilization for more details.
NOTE: Certain plants take specific soil amendments. For instance, palms prefer top soil (or organic peat) only. Always consult the Plant Pages before you plant.
Water once a day for 3 to 5 days.
Then back off to twice a week, then once a week in winter.
If you're planting in summer, keep the frequency to 2 times a week - or even 3, if it's been very dry.
For large plants, palms and trees, create a dirt "bowl" or trough around the base of the plant.
Fill the bowl with water 2 or 3 times. Do this once a day every day for 3 to 5 days. Then gradually reduce the frequency until you're at a normal level. After a month, knock down the bowl.
Staking is helpful against windy conditions.
Some fast-growing plants don't have the density of wood that slow growers do and can snap in two during a strong gust.
Staking is good for any young plant with some height.
For tall palms and trees, use a staking kit to keep the trunk straight and the plant upright in windy weather.
For small trees or tall shrubs, use a wood or bamboo stake. Tie the plant to it with green tie tape made specially for plants.
This tape will expand as the plant grows. Don't wrap too tightly.
After a period of time, remove the tape so that it doesn't leave a "dent" in the stem. Re-tie with more tape in another area, also to be removed after the plant has grown some more.
Planting in South Florida is different from anywhere else. Follow these planting tips and - with regular care - your landscape plants will grow to be happy, healthy and beautiful.
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