This is for our soon to be up and running FAQ
Let's make a list
lilies of the valley
Veggies in summer
This might not be input that is useful, because you are in zone 10 and I am in 8B, but:
I grow one Hosta here in NW Florida, zone 8b.
I grow T.B. Irises in my yard.
Our box stores sell Jap. maples, although I don't have one.
I have a pot of Vietnamese Hollyhocks growing in my yard.
As for vegetables, I grow Tomatoes just fine.
I can't grow Tulips. I buy the bulbs, they grow for the 1st year, then don't reappear - maybe vermine are eating them.
I've seen regular (not Vietnamese) hollyhocks here in Stuart. Not the most beautiful, but tall enough.
Here is a link to an old GW thread on this topic. It's long and I haven't read through the whole thing :) As expected, there are disagreements about what you can and can't grow here.
Here is a link that might be useful: what you can't grow in Fla
Thank you so much for the help! Coffeemom, once we have all the relevant input, can you summarize it for me? That would be so great if you could.
How about regular old lilacs? I've never seen them.
You definitely have to break that list up by climate zones or at least regions of the state. There are several things on your "can't grow in Florida" list that you can grow in North Florida. Hosta has already been mentioned. I used to have a Japanese bearded iris that did beautifully for several years.
Also, for veggies, the growing seasons in N. Florida are NOT completely reversed the way they are in Central and S. Florida.
In most years it is just too cold to grow frost-tender vegetables in winter here in N. Florida. It's not just about protecting them from freezes. Even if you have a way protect them, in most years they don't get enough warmth to thrive in winter. So we grow vegetables like eggplants, pepper, tomatoes, okra, corn, beans, etc., from spring to fall, just like they do "Up North." We do have trouble with humidity-related diseases killing tomatoes and some other veggies in the worst of summer. Some plants won't set fruit well in the heat. But there are usually some alternatives (small or wild tomatoes, asian beans, cowpeas) that tolerate the heat. Or we replant in August for a fall crop.
Our growing season for veggies that prefer cool weather and can tolerate some frost (cabbage family veggies, root vegetables, lettuce and greens, etc.) is similar to Central and S Florida. However, we can plant some of them little earlier in fall and later into spring.
**I've attached the UF vegetable gardening guide because it lists planting dates for each crop for the different regions of the state. I suggest that it be linked to any FAQ that addresses vegetable gardening in Florida.**
And yes, as some others have mentioned, we can choose from a slightly bigger selection of deciduous fruits than Central and S. Florida. But we still can't grow most of the varieties of apples, peaches, pears, etc., that are sold in grocery stores. Even here, we need low-chill, nematode-resistant, humidity-tolerant varieties.
Here is a link that might be useful: UF Vegetable Gardening Guide
Sure, I can summarize, no problem!
I grew hollyhocks in Tampa
very amusing, telling me the things i can't grow in florida....:) we visit gardens all the time and visit neighbors gardens who are growing stuff that most would lose in one winter. it all Depends on how much do you want that plant to succeed in florida. hopefully you are talking out to the masses, 'cause we grow alot that do just fine with a little help..work, effort, ect..
This was more along the lines of telling Northern transplants that Florida gardening is different. That most of the plants they grew back home won't grow here. You can't bring your daffodils with you and expect them to flourish.
We get a few posts each year of gardeners moving here who want to bring their zone 5 plants with them. I figured we could send them to the soon to be developed FAQ.
Vegetables without some hair loss. :)
Ha Ha! I thought it was because of hair dye, but I think I have the same problem!
tulips, daffodils, lilacs.... sigh....
I do have a japanese maple growing here. It isn't exactly thriving, but it has survived four years. Maybe there should be three categories; yes it grows here, it might be possible to grow it here, and you'd better forget about it.
Wouldn't this be better titled ."Types that generally don't thrive in florida?? plants are divided into tropical and temperate . Most people don't realise that temperate with few exceptions , require a cool/cold reat period Tropicals will thrive as long as temps are such.unless they originate from mountains.
After all if you provide the necessary temps you can grow anything!! lol Maybe a better title would be "Plants that are generally not worth the effort??" or tropical alternatives to temperates?? gary
You can't grow marijuana in Florida. Not because it won't grow, of course, but because of the stupid war on that particular plant.
Good thread and always good to know what may be hard or impossible to grow. For me as a newbie, I just won't go there.
I was at a Nursery in Hillsborough County a few weeks back where I saw something from my childhood up north, Hostas. They were not huge leafed ones, sorry didn't catch the name, but I did buy two of them for my mom after learning they were hybrids designed for the Florida heat.
Wallisadi you are so bad, haha. We know there are some pretty good gardeners who grow all kinds of stuff here they aren't supposed to............you are hereby exempted from reading this FAQ in the future ;-)
I'm with Rita, would love to see Lilacs here in Florida.
Good luck with the list coffeemom and tina.
Being a recent northern transplant to south Pinellas county, I learned through a few failures on what didn't work in the summer. But I also had some successes with "plants that would not work". One of which was I grew great sweet bell peppers all summer long. My eggplant grew great, but only since its cooled down some has it set fruit.
To add to your list of "hard or impossible to grow" would be:
Rex begonia (outside)
Dahlia (started well, but rotted out within weeks)
Thyme (it thrived early, but had issues with it during the last wetter part of the summer)
Scented geraniums have not been hard for me to grow. Maybe you just need to try a different spot?
I grow thyme in a a pot and it's done well. But couldn't grow bell peppers, so hat's off to you for growing those. They won't fruit, like tomatoes, when the nightime temps are too high. But hot peppers do. I found the mildest one I could and grow that in the summmer. :o)
I've known people to grow dahlias here, but not in the summer.
I had green peppers, 4 varieties grow and fruit for me all summer long in full sun here in St Pete. Started them from seed in late march and put them out in April (like a good northerner.. lol)
I started with 6 scented geraniums and have one left.. they just never took off here. I had them in the ground. The one surviving one I put in a pot 3 weeks ago, so hopefully it does well.
How abt. TRILLIUMS? paper-white birch? rhubarb? really good sweet parsnips? gooseberries? and a whole bunch of great things that only grow 'way far north, like in Canada? also Canadian bacon..... Don't I wish! sally
They need a certain number of chill hours in the ground and we don't get that here.
Can't grow azaleas and peonies in coastal Florida. They require acid soil; we have alkaline.
Does Winter Savory belong on the can't grow list?
Add to the "can grow" veggies in summer: cherry tomatoes and yard-long beans (if you don't mind fighting aphids).
Ooops. I meant azaleas and rhododendron, not peonies.
I've had a horrible time with crepe myrtle. They grow beautifully a little further north in Georgia and Alabama but mine just seem to always struggle, and also attract weevils.
Crepe Myrtles will grow in pinellas county. Mine grow like weeds. You do need to amend the soil. I use miracle grow. The trick is the first 30 days to establish them. They must be watered all day every day. Put the hose about three inches from the base of the tree/plant. Do this sun up to sun down. Make it a very slow trickle. You must keep the roots moist. After that I water 2-3 times a week till the first winter (cool-cold snap). Prune you trees/plants no later than Dec. 31st. I have flower beds at the base of my trees. So, they have lots of mulch, and fertilizer. I also put a soak-er hose under the mulch that stays year round. Please check the height of the trees/plants you are looking at. Mine are the 20 foot tall variety. They all need full sun. Love the landscaping you put around the base and you trees will do great.
I take it there's no hope of growing asparagus??
Yes, asparagus can be grown in Florida with care and diligence. I have seen a few people post their asparagus beds on this forum.
I provided a link below to a previous posting on asparagus growing in zone 9
Here is a link that might be useful: asparagus zone 9
My name is Austin, i am moving to palm bay from Rhode Island, in a few weeks, i cannot wait but my growing season is only 130 days give or take. There are many things i wish to grow that i could not here. I am moving from zone 6b..
This post was edited by austinj419 on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 18:25
Austin, What are the things that you want to grow in Palm Bay?