Gainesville Landscape Flower of the Month: Winter Violas

Violas are miniature relatives of Pansies, and are perfect for our winter seasonal color beds in Gainesville lawns. Violas are theoretically perennials, but are generally grown as annuals. Violas are much loved, grateful plants, which are used for an enormous variety of uses and applications. They give a wonderful color contrast in rock gardens, peek out from under taller plants in borders, brighten up containers, baskets and window boxes and generally show their happy sunny faces wherever they are planted...

3 Plants to Add Color to My Gainesville Landscape Beds

In this video, we go over 3 types of Gainesville Landscape Plants we are using in Annual beds this spring to add seasonal color. The flowers are Dwarf Penta (actually a perennial - but we use as an annual), Angelonia, and Helenium - all with varying colors. Some are great for bringing butterflies to your Gainesville garden and other pollinators as well (as you can see from the bumble bee in the video!)

Penta Tips:

  • Pentas are available in traditional and dwarf varieties. The traditional varieties can reach 2 – 3 feet in height and get a little sprawling, while dwarf varieties stay compact and top out around 12 – 15 inches. Read tags carefully and choose the variety best for your location.
  • Pentas are fairly easy to grow, but do require regular deadheading to look their best and flower well.
  • Grow pentas in full to part sun, and provide regular water especially as they establish. They grow well both in the ground and in containers.
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Gainesville Landscape Flower of the Month: Delphinium Pacific Giants

Delphinium Pacific Giants are an award-winning Gainesville Landscaping perenial strain with tall, elegant spires of closely packed, large, well-formed blossoms in pink, violet, and many shades of blue flowers. They are a great background plant that attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators.

The downside of Delphiniums require a good amount of maintenance (staking, pruning, deadheading, disease control) in order to perform well in the garden,  but their beauty makes them worth it for most landscapes.

They're susceptible to powdery mildew, blight, leaf spots and crown rot. Plants grown in full sun generally show better resistance to powdery mildew. Watering these plants at the base with drip irrigation helps to avoid wetting the foliage. Crown rot will inevitably develop if plants are grown in poorly drained soils or planted too deepWatch for aphids, leaf miners, stem borers and mites. Taller plants may need staking and appreciate being sited in locations protected...

Gainesville Landscaping Plant of the Month: Elijah Blue Ornamental Grass

"Elijah Blue" (Festuca glauca) is one of the most low-maintenance and Florida Friendly grasses around. It is easily grown in  well-drained soils in full sun. Although it can tolerate some light shade, they show the best foliage color in maximum sunlight.

This Gainesville Landscaping Plant of the month has outstanding, icy blue coloration and it's clumping ornamental grass holds up even through the heat of summer. Buff-colored plumes create eye-catching contrast. Perfectly suited for edging borders or mass planting as a groundcover. Drought tolerant when established. Semi-evergreen.

They are intolerant of wet, poorly-drained soils. Foliage is semi-evergreen. Clumps tend to die out in the center and need to be divided and replanted or replaced every 2-3 years. Cut back foliage in early spring to 3-4" to tidy clumps and to facilitate emergence of the new leaf blades. Clumps may decline in hot, humid summers, and should be cut back if such occurs. Mass densely (plant 8-10...

Gainesville Landscape Flower of the Month: Fall Mums

Instant impact! That's what you'll get when you put a generous helping of chrysanthemums (commonly just called "mums") in your entryway, flower border, or containers. Generally sold in ready-to-bloom form, mums add a fall finale of color to any setting. They come in a wide variety of flower colors and shapes, from small button-sized blooms to giant corsage-worthy flowers. Mum colors include white, yellow, pink, orange, red, burgundy, cream, salmon, and bi-color - which are all also great fall colors to go with Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. There are also dwarf forms that grow just 8 to 10 inches tall and standards that can reach a couple feet in height. Mums are very popular with bees and butterflies, too. 

They're only downside? They aren't this colorful year-round. As beautiful as they are for fall, they typically don't last through winter without special care and maintenance. A cold winter will freeze them down completely, but it...

September Landscape Plant of the Month - Jolt Dianthus

Our seasonal color nursery's first crop of 'Jolt' Dianthus is coming in and we're excited about these plants for fall.   This is our second year with 'Jolt' and our customers could not have been happier with its Gainesville landscape performance.

First, Jolt is an interspecific hybrid that is perennial locally. Basically, it survives throughout the year even though it struggles through the summer  These are taller than some Dianthus at 16"-20" tall and should be planted with 10"-14" spacing to enjoy the clusters of flowers up and down the plant.

Dianthus may be used in borders or containers, and make great bedding plants when massed together at commercial property entrances. Although this is our plant for September, our Gainesville Landscape clients should wait until October to plant. They will flower through winter and spring, only stopping when temperatures rise, usually in May.

They will do best in full sun to partial shade, and prefer rich, well-drained...

Rusty's Top 10 Gainesville Landscaping Plants!

Often times, when folks find out what I do for a living, one of the first questions asked is “What is your favorite plant?” or "What plant would you use here?"  Of course, being somewhat of a plant nerd, that can be a tough question to answer! The answer may vary depending on what is currently blooming, what type of soil or sunlight your yard has, or even a new and exciting plant variety was recently released!

And to be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure that I could pick just one. They all have different strengths and weaknesses. What I have put together for you, instead, is a list of ten of my favorite Gainesville landscape plants. These are my favorites for a combination of factors including how well they do in our particular climate, lower maintenance, drought tolerance, overall beauty, colors in bloom, and general resistance to issues like pests and disease. If planted in the right spot in your yard, they are almost guaranteed to do well in any...