..and hosta live in Sarasota? Is it too hot a climate for them? They're thriving in zone 6a now. I want to bring some with me when we move, but not if they will be doomed there.
Best of luck to you in your move. Unfortunately, I do not predict success with bringing those plants to the Sarasota area.
Day lilies - I've only seen a few successfully grown in this area, although other people have had some success.
Bearded iris - I was able to get one to bloom two years in a row, after 5 years of tending in a shallow pot. They were only about 12" tall. They tend to rot and need more chill hours than we have to bloom properly.
I have embraced other, smaller blooming iris for the bearded with great success. Yellow walking iris, African iris (yellow and white varieties) and Giant Blue iris which I believe is a Louisiana native.
Hosta - again too wet in summer and not enough chill hours. You will find there are numerous plants that will do wonderfully to replace these.
As for your plants being doomed - have you considered contacting your local garden club or agricultural extension office, county or city parks depts to see if they would like to have them?
Oh! I just remembered... there are some new hostas that have been developed just for the Florida climate. The local nursery that I frequent had some of them last fall. They are shorter than the typical northern hosta, but with similar variegated coloring.
I meant I didn't want to bring them if they would be doomed in FL. It appears they would be so I will leave them for the people who buy our house. Where can I find a list of garden flowers and plants that do well in zone 9? I Googled and all I got were commercial sellers. Are there any sites you know of that would be helpful to me?
I grow day lilies here in Port St Lucie. The ones they recommend for S Fl are the evergreen type. I have had success with the ones that go deciduous as well, but they aren't recommended.
An other problem with the hostas is the snails they love them. And the breaded iris are destroyed by the nematoads in the soil.
Welcome to Fl and I hope your move goes smoothly. :o)
Here's a good place to start
Here is a link that might be useful: Floridata
Floridata is a great site. A couple methods I like for finding plants that do well in a new are are these:
1) Drive around and see what's already working for others in your area. You might decide you like a tropical look, cottage garden, or something more formal. You're moving so you get to start your garden all over again. You'll have different options in Florida.
2) Find a local nursery, not a big box store, and shop there for plants. They are likely to only sell things that will thrive where you are.
Daylilies will do fine, but you need to plant the 'evergreen' variety. Any that go dormant in the winter won't do well here.
Hostas... I want to believe that the new varieties will be OK here but so far I'm skeptical. I managed to get a couple to survive for 3 years but each year they were smaller and less vigorous. I gave up.
Bearded iris... sorry, they just won't survive the wet soil of summer. The corms rot.
Good luck and please show us pictures of your new garden!
Solstice, Coffeemom and Katkin (as usual) have some great tips.
I tried the website searches after I got here and found that the variation in temperatures and soil conditions made it tough to select plants based by zone. Our home is technically Zone 9, however, has a lot of Zone 10 characteristics. Many times a plant will be listed to Zone 9, however that may be pushing it. Many plants, for example, listed as Zone 5-9 will not do well here, yet others will. Katkin can grow things over on the east coast that I cannot grow on the west coast and we are in the same zone.
I live north of Sarasota, yet when the freeze came in this winter I had minimal losses due a microclimate in my immediate area that keeps temperatures a couple of degrees higher. My soil has dry spots and wet spots that took some time to find.
Looking at other yards, going to the nurseries, talking to others, going to events with the Master Gardeners at the County Extension office have been my best resources. The other is the sheer joy (and pain) of trial and error. :-)
I use Accent Nursery in Palmetto, Mariposa Nusery near Lakewood Ranch, Crowley's Nursery east of Sarasota, I'd love to go to Hibb's in Sarasota, and Selby Botanical gardens has very nice specimen plants.
Here are some websites...
Low Maintenance Landscape plants
Bulbs for Florida
Of course, the very best website is right here! Do some searches, read some old threads, look at the pictures and you can get a feel for some of the things that work and in what areas of Florida.
And a couple of books that I found helpful.
Month-by-month Gardening in Florida - Tom MacCubbin
Florida Gardener's Guide - MacCubbin amd Tasker
Welcome to Florida! It's a big shift in what types of plants you can grow down here from in Tennessee.
You should try Louisiana Irises in place of bearded irises. I've had great luck with them and they come in a wide range of colors. Another iris that does great here is the native blue flag iris although it only grows in very wet conditions.
As for your day lilies they might make it. I have a friend that brings daylilies back from northern Alabama every time she goes to visit family. She digs them up (with permission from the properties owners) from an area where a daylily nursery went defunct. All of the daylilies she's brought back have done very well.
Kate's advise is very good. Local nuseries and fellow gardeners are your best sources for information.
Thanks. All this information (and the website) is very helpful. I feel like I'm going to have to learn how to "garden" all over again. :) It's a bit of a challenge but should be fun.
We'll be moving somewhere between I-75 and the gulf. Most likely Sarasota. We had to put off our house-buying trip as I must have major abdominal surgery next week. Doc says I can't travel for 8 weeks.
I suppose I should leave my pelargoniums (common geraniums) here as well. They only bloom in the greenhouse over the winter. Summers here are so hot and muggy they just "sit there" until fall.
That's how I've felt too - and I'm really enjoying the learning curve!
Good luck with your surgery and hope all goes well with that.
Geranium does well here from about late October until July or August. There is a fellow around the corner from us that has them in his garden and they have rebloomed for at least 9 years now. I prefer a tidier look from them, so I plant them in October or November and then remove them when they look ratty - anywhere from July to September depending on how wet the summer is - the wet is what seems to get them.