Gainesville Landscape Plant of the month: 'Mystic Spires' Salvia

Well-branched and very free-flowering, 'Mystic Spires' produces masses of sturdy, colorful flower stalks that are of great aesthetic appeal in beds, borders or containers and attract scores of butterflies, hummingbirds, and beneficial insects

This plant produces masses of colorful flowers that mix nicely with other annuals and perennials, is tolerant of heat and humidity (low and high), and is not bothered by pests or diseases or deer!

Exposure: full sun

Planting Time: spring to summer from containers

Soil type: adapts to most soils, but needs good drainage

This low-maintenance plant is perfect for Florida’s hot summers and keeps on blooming when other flowering plants have begun to decline.

How to Care for your Salvia:
Be sure to water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a container, then, once plants have...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the month: Coreopsis

Coreopsis may be just what you need if you’re looking for lasting summer color after most perennial flowers fade from the garden. It is easy to learn how to care for coreopsis flowers, commonly called tickseed or pot of gold. When you’ve learned how to grow coreopsis, you’ll appreciate their sunny blooms throughout the gardening season. Coreopsis flowers may be annual or perennial and come in a variety of heights. A member of the Asteraceae family, blooms of growing coreopsis are similar to those of the daisy. Colors of petals include red, pink, white, and yellow, many with dark brown or maroon centers, which makes an interesting contrast to the petals.

Coreopsis are sun-loving, low-maintenance perennials with daisy-like flowers. They are drought-tolerant, long-blooming, and happy to grow in poor, sandy, or rocky soil.

New coreopsis plants need regular water to keep the soil evenly moist (but not soggy) until they are established. After their first year, these plants...

Plant of the month: Trailing Lantana

The trailing Lantana is a popular groundcover prized for its masses of beautiful lavender flowers that appear almost year-round. Wonderful for cascading over raised beds and hanging baskets, or as a container plant. This plant is excellent for erosion control on sunny hillsides and slopes a perfect addition to your Gainesville Landscape.

Water your newly planted trailing lantana enough to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Once established, the plants tolerate drought and only require occasional watering. Water plants once a week, if they do not receive at least 1 inch of rainfall weekly.

Lantana flowers have such a potent effect against mosquitoes they are a perfect addition to your outdoor living space. Both the native and non-native species are pollinator-friendly. As a bonus Butterflies and bees are strongly attracted to lantana plants. You will not find a flower that is better at attracting these fluttering beauties. They will flit around a bush for hours,...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the month: Drift Roses

Drift Roses are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniature roses. They were bred to provide all of the resilience, disease resistance and frequent flowering of larger landscape roses on much lower-growing bushes, filling a special niche in the landscape rose market. They will fit beautifully into smaller spaces, provide the perfect size shrub for foundation plantings and look great in containers.

How tall do drift roses get?
2-3 feet tall. They're true, low-spreading, dwarf shrub roses that grow only 2-3 feet tall by 2-3 feet wide and are covered with blooms that open to 1 1/2 inches. Drift roses are perfect in small gardens, splashing your landscapes with visual delight.

What is the difference between drift roses and knockout roses?
Although newer than Knockout roses, Drift roses are quickly becoming a gardener's favorite. Drift roses also bloom nonstop and don't need to be sprayed for the disease. Drift...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the month: Redbud Tree

The redbud tree is an attractive native tree with a range that stretches from Canada all the way down to Florida and into Mexico. It signals the start of spring with a striking floral display. Redbud's rapid growth and small size make it an excellent choice for gardeners hoping to add color or fill an empty space in the landscape.

Redbud trees are frequently recognized by their blooms. In early spring clusters of small pink or white flowers open along still-bare branches. White (alba) cultivars tend to bloom about a week after the pink cultivars. In late summer, seed pods follow these floral displays. The pods are green, sometimes with a red tinge, and mature to a red-brown. The beans they contain provide food for birds.

Redbud trees can be planted in full sun or partial shade and generally require little care. Plant them on their own as specimen trees, or use them under a larger tree with a dappled canopy. The further south in the state they are planted, the more...

Gainesville Landscape Plant of the Month: Little Gem Magnolia

In Gainesville, this Magnolia variety called 'Little Gem' has a compact, upright growth habit. It's a slow grower but eventually reaches heights of 30 to 35 feet with a dense, dark oval or pyramid shape that makes quite an impact.

With all the charm of a southern magnolia in a smaller size, the little gem magnolia is a popular ornamental choice for people living in hardiness zones 6 through 10. It is often used as a standout landscape specimen, to add evergreen beauty near decks and patios, as a floral screen or hedge, and in large containers.

This tree does prefer moist soil, especially when newly planted. When your tree is newly planted, water deeply 3 times per week. Water 1 to 2 times per week for the next couple of months. After establishment, your Magnolia will be drought tolerant and only need watering once weekly in summer. The tree produces a heavy bloom in spring and then blooms on and off the rest of the year (more in warm months).

Considering that...

Gainesville Landscape Flower of the Month: Pansies

Bring color to your flower beds in the dark days of winter with Pansies. This hardy plant will flower for the majority of the winter season and straight into spring, leaving your lawn looking bright and colorful all year long. Pansies prefer sunlight, however, they grow well in partial shade, which makes them a perfect addition to your winter landscaping.

In order to get the best-looking pansies in your winter lawn, be sure to plan ahead and plant these in the pre-winter months of September to early October. By doing this the pansies will use the warmth of the soil for faster growth and have a better chance at growing sturdy roots and producing more flowers throughout winter.

If you properly care for your winter pansies, you can expect to see them last for 3 or more years. These flowers are bred to withstand the harsh freezing temperatures. They may become a bit droopy, but they rebound when the temperature rises.

To care for your winter pansies start by...

Gainesville Landscape Flower of the Month: Poinsettias

The poinsettia, widely used in Christmas floral displays is our plant of the month for December due to their red and green foliage they are perfect for holiday decorating. They are a showy perennial plant native to tropical parts of Mexico and Central America and introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett.

Poinsettias thrive in steady room temperatures and need light to survive. When choosing a poinsettia for your holiday decor, be sure to select a plant with brightly colored bracts (the leafy flower portion of the plant) and be sure there are no damaged, broken, or wilted portions. Also, inspect the base, a healthy poinsettia will have leaves at the base of the plant.

When you get home from the store with your poinsettia remove the wrapping so that water can easily drain through the pot. Keep the soil damp but be sure not to overwater the plant. If you have overwatered, your poinsettia might have been shocked, you will notice the lower leaves...

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...

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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