Landscaping Plants Used in Alabama

johnfromperrycopa(zone 6 scPA)April 1, 2006

My daughter and husband are moving to a new home in the Dothan area. I would like to visit them and do some basic landscaping for them. Since I am from Zone 6 in PA, I am not familiar with landscaping material used in AL. Are junipers used, dogwoods, azaleas, etc? What are the native species used in home landscapes? Are there any good garden centers around the Dothan area?

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I am sure there are good gardening centers around Dothan. Dothan is a very nice little city and is home to one of the largest hospitals in the state, if not the largest, so there would be demand for good gardens there. They are also home to the Wiregrass Botanical Gardens where you might want to visit the gardens there and get ideas for plants that do well there. Alabama is home to Bellingrath Gardens that grows some fine azaleas.

Dogwoods are special and need good culture to get started. Speak with a nurserymen about these. Dogwoods like to grow where birds drop their seed better than any place else, but given the right conditions, they will do beautifully and are a lovely compliment to any garden with their delicate bloom and airy architecture.

If all else fails, just up the road in Montgomery, is a wonderful landscape nursery, Southern Homes & Gardens, which grows many of its own plants in their fields and have a great selection for the landscape.

Of course, azaleas do perfectly in Alabama, but they must be provided they have some shade secondary to the heat here.

Bridal wreath, a form of spirea, that blooms simultaneously with azaleas really mades azaleas "pop" and adds a lovely airy look to the garden.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 4:29PM
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johnfromperrycopa(zone 6 scPA)

Thanks Patricia! I look forward to visiting your state and helping the kids with their landscape. I will forward your comments to them and keep a copy as a reference.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 10:33AM
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Hi John!

Here's my list of favorites for landscaping:
Azaleas (they are in full bloom right now and are gorgeous)
Crape Myrtle
Camellia (which happens to be the state flower, btw)
Yellow Bell Forsythia
Snowball bush
Burgandy Lorapetalum
Elephant ears along with begonias, caladiums and coleus are nice to break things up between the shrubs.

If you have time to add color, you've got a great variety of options including impatients in the shade, petunias, salvia and of course a wide variety of asiatic and day Lilies will grow well here. Roses are always a good choice.

Pampas grass also grows well if you like the look of it.

There are lots of more experienced gardeners than me on this forum and hopefully they can provide you with a listing of native plants. You can also find the gardening by zipcode in this link - just enter the Dothan zipcode to find out what plants grow well there.

Have fun and welcome to Alabama!

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening by Zip Code

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:56AM
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OH! One thing I forgot to add... Hosta are my absolute favorite for foreground borders and edging plants.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 12:00PM
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joyb26(7b AL)

The two native plants that come to my mind immediately are oak leaf hydrangeas, and native azaleas, both of which can be easily found at most area nurseries.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 1:30PM
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john_trussville(z7b AL)

If I had a home in Dothan, my yard would definitely include a few palms. Native to Alabama are needle palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix) and sabal minor. Minors are native even up here in Jefferson county (Birmingham) & needles to Bibb county (just south of Birmingham) so both would definitely thrive way down in Dothan....along with sabal palmetto, butia capitata, sago (not really a palm), and possibly Washingtonia robusta.

If you're daughter is interested in adding a tropical look to her yard, I've seen a nursery with palms out on Route 231 just northwest of Dothan. I've never stopped there, but have seen it many times passing thru the area on the way to Florida.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:43PM
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johnfromperrycopa(zone 6 scPA)

Wow! You Alabamians (is that the right term?..ha) really know how to make a Pennsylvanian feel welcomed. Thanks! There are definitely some plants mentioned I would have never known about. I like the Oakleaf Hydrangea, and if I am correct, it does well in some shade as well. Well, when all the posts are in and done, I will print this info or consolidate it into an email or word document for my daughter. I do hope to make a visit after they move in later this month and do some planting for them.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:59PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hi, John! I'll make a suggestion for a nice dogwood substitution...and a native tree to boot. Carolina silverbell is a lovely flowering tree, blooms at the same time as the dogwood. The binomial name is Halesia tetraptera. I have the variety 'magniflora' and am very pleased with it. Should be fairly easy to find, too.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 12:25AM
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