​Starting a home garden or sprucing up your lawn may have crossed your mind, but you may not know where to begin. Once homeowners get the hang of it, however, many find gardening as a rewarding hobby or welcome escape from stress. In fact, Pinterest says that searches for “stress relief activities” are up 4.7x this year, so it’s a great time to learn how to garden!

​It’s natural to want to turn your home into even more of an oasis by adding an outdoor project to your list. If you’ve been bitten by the gardening bug and want to start a Florida home garden, here are some best tips for those of us without a green thumb.

Understanding Florida’s Climate for Gardening

​One of the most important things about gardening is truly understanding your area's weather and climate. You’ll save yourself a massive headache of planting flowers and plants that simply aren’t compatible with year-round hot, humid Florida weather.

Rain

Florida’s rainy season extends from late May to mid-October, so expect almost daily afternoon showers and stronger thunderstorms frequently. With wind, rain, and maybe even a hurricane or two, it’s important to choose plants and flowers that can withstand a lot of water and potential wind damage.

Salt

​Being close to the ocean and at a low sea level, Sarasota’s soil contains more salt than other areas. Naturally, you need to look for salt-tolerant flowers or else you risk killing your flowers due to this overexposure.

Heat

​Not all flowers are meant to withstand high Florida heat and humidity. Sensitive flowers can quickly die off, so you need to choose heartier, sturdier plants that can withstand an occasionally tough, humid climate.

Flowers that Grow in Florida

​Now that you understand more about Sarasota’s climate, you’ll want to select gorgeous blooms and flora to fill out your garden. Here are the best flowers to grow in Florida:

  • Blanket Flower
  • Mexican Heather
  • Pentas
  • Blue Daze
  • Coreopsis
  • Lantana

Blanket Flower

A truly beautiful flower that will pop in your garden, the blanket flower is perfectly suited for the Florida climate.

The Blanket Flower is a salt- and heat-tolerant perennial flower that blooms for 2 to 3 months a year, making it a good flower to grow in Florida. This plant needs sunlight and soil, so don’t be afraid to put it in the sunny area of your yard.

Mexican Heather

For a flower that grows in Florida year-round, try the Mexican Heather. A beautiful, lush shrub with tiny purple, white, or red flowers, the Mexican Heather is perfect for giving your home garden some definition. It makes the perfect outline for a driveway or walkway because it grows to a height of 12 inches, creating a distinct border for walking paths.

Luckily, this is also a heartier plant, meaning it can take full sun with partial shade and needs rich, well-drained soil.

Pentas

Another low-maintenance flower for your new home in Sarasota is the pentas. Pentas bloom nonstop and come in pretty shades of pink, red, and purple. They flourish most in full sun or partial shade, making them the perfect flower to line your driveway.

Blue Daze

For a truly unique blue flower, try planting the Blue Daze in your Sarasota home garden. The best thing about the Blue Daze is how drought resistant it is, which is perfect for dry spells in Florida. A fascinating flower to watch, these blooms open in the morning but usually close by mid-day.

Coreopsis

The Florida state flower, Coreopsis, is one of the brightest, happiest flowers you can plant. Naturally made to withstand Florida’s heat, rain, and salty soil, the Coreopsis grows in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. It truly is a perfect option for an easy flower to grow in Florida, and it encompasses the sunny nature of Sarasota.

Lantana

A gardener’s favorite, Lantana uniquely attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. If you’re wanting to have a buzzing, lively garden, this is the flower for you. It requires a lot of water, but its lush blooms expand out nicely and can fill in any large gaps in your garden.

A Simple Herb Garden

If you were worried about your lack of green thumb, an incredibly easy place to start is a simple herb garden. Not only will your backyard smell wonderful, but you’ll be able to use these herbs for cooking, so you’ll never be without basil again! Also, herbs are strong, hearty plants that actually flourish beautifully in Florida’s climate.

Many starter herb garden kits are available for delivery, making set up and planting even easier. Basil, cilantro, dill, lemon balm, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon are just a few of the herbs that thrive in Florida.

When you’re starting your garden at your new home in Sarasota, you’ll want to pay close attention to plants and flowers that can withstand Florida’s climate and soil, as well as look beautiful and bump up your curb appeal. Visit your local plant nursery or hardware store to pick out some gorgeous blooms and flora, and share your garden pride and joy with us!



Author

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Kari Rowell

Author

Kari Rowell is Internet Sales Manager for M/I Homes in Sarasota, Florida, and offers advice on a wide range of topics including finding the right home for any walk of life, finding the best weekend activities in the Sarasota metro area, and staying up to date on home design trends or tackling a DIY project. As both a Florida native AND an M/I homeowner herself, Kari is uniquely qualified to answer whatever questions you might have. When she's not finding helping homeowners with their dream home, she's spreading smiles and spending time with her husband and two adorable children, most likely while watching college football or relaxing at Sarasota's beautiful beaches.