Moving from WI to FL

dominoswrath(5 WI)August 5, 2014

Can anyone chime in as to how these plants will fare in FL climate and what type of soil can I expect in the Tampa and surrounding area? Any caveats I need to be aware of? (Salty air being too close to the bay, etc.).

I love my Annabelle hydrangeas. I have her on the north side of my house without supplemental watering and what a beauty. She's also a beauty in the southeast corner of my home where she gets more sun, performs equally as well, but I have her on a daily watering system otherwise she wilts from midday sun. I would miss her! She's my favorite.

In addition:

Seven son flower? (Aka heptacodium tree)
Upright sedum?
Rhodys and azaleas?
Lilac shrubs?
Honeysuckle vines? Lonicera semper...something if I remember correctly.
Pig squeak aka bergenia?
Ligularia, the rocket?
William Baffin rise bush and New Dawn climber?
Clematis vines?
Service berry tree/shrub?
Smoke bush? Grace and Golden Spirit.
Groundcover lamium
Climbing hydrangea shrub

I'm assuming bulbs like daffodils need a cold period in the south.

Ok, so can you surprise me with what I CAN grown in FL that I can't grow here in the Midwest, perennial-wise.


This post was edited by dominoswrath on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 16:43

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Many of these plants I'm not familiar with which makes me suspicious that they won't grow here. But the ones that we don't grow here that I know are hydrangeas (unless they are specifically bred for the South), Lilacs, Rhodys, Climatis, bulbs. We do grow boxwoods, honeysuckles, sedums, azaleas. The rest I don't have a clue. I have seen (seldom) hostas but have never tried them.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:38PM
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You will be moving to an entirely new world of gardening. I moved from northern Minnesota to South Florida 28 years ago. There are many nice Florida gardening websites. When you get to Florida, buy a gardening book. Visit nurseries in your area, and even the big box stores to get ideas. You will see Hibiscus, Jasmine, Orchids, and of course, Palm trees, fruit trees. Make sure not to bring a favorite plant into Florida from Wisconsin, since it is illegal. When crossing the border into Florida with a van or truck you must stop at the agricultural station for them to okay your entry.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:10PM
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There are hundreds of plants that grow well in Florida. Do you have strong preferences as to what you are looking for? I used to be into growing roses and in Florida they grow like gangbusters if they are on fortuniana rootstock. Clearly, though, some roses do better here than others.

I now garden primarily for hummingbirds and butterflies. There are many different plants that do well here for these beauties.

Some in this forum are experts at growing plants for food...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:15PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I miss the lilacs the most. I'm from Northern PA. I lived in Vero Beach area for 17 years. Plenty of cool plants there. Not sure where in Tampa you are going. Close to the ocean you would need to grow salt tolerant plants. It took awhile to relearn gardening, but it was a fun process. Sandy soil, IMO.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:41PM
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See link....

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:02PM
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You're not in Kansas anymore, so to speak. But there are tons of gorgeous, incredible plants that grow down here. Year-round. And often very fast. I came from North Carolina and isn't a lot of overlap with what typically grows up there. I say embrace your new climate and plant what thrives here.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:11PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Here's a link to the Univ. of FL website's Facts sheets on plants for FL - very useful info on many plants to grow in our state.

& don't let the title fool you - it's not just shrubs, but many types of plants...

Here is a link that might be useful: Shrubs Facts Sheets

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:22PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

& here's another link to a great site for growing plants in FL - it features color photos & various ways to search - including 'Plant Tags' for things like drought tolerant, fragrant, shade-loving, etc.

These 2 sites are my go-tos for plant reference.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:28PM
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All good advice above, but I'll give you the simple answer: if it grows in Wisconsin, it probably doesn't grow in Florida. Don't fret, the true test of a gardener is the ability to toss your favorite plant in the trash and replace it with another.

Here's the same advice I've been spewing for years: before you put a plant in the ground at your new home, take a ride around the neighborhood, out to at least a 5-mile radius. See what's growing well and why. Talk to the local nursery folk, not the big box stores; but do go to them last. Learn and be prepared to make mistakes.

Welcome to Florida

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hosta have a requisite cold dormancy.. that the majority of FL does not provide ...

leave all trees and shrubs ...

and simply look up dormancy requirements for the rest ...

perhaps what you are missing.. is all the new opportunity there will be in a tropic area ... that you couldnt grow in the great white north ...

and bugs.. good luck with that.. lol ...


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:05PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Bugs are alot worse in SE Georgia than they were in Vero Beach. My biggest problem was giant whitefly on my hibiscus.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:34PM
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>hosta have a requisite cold dormancy.. that the majority of FL does not provide ...

Technically that is entirely true, but I live in the Stuart area and there was a woman here who had a famous shade garden, including hostas, before the 2004 hurricanes destroyed the trees that made the shade, so while I'd be doubtful of success, it has been done.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:41PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Here's why I love Floridata - apparently one CAN grow hostas here - w/ some qualifications...

Here is a link that might be useful: Hostas @ Floridata

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:12PM
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We packed our cars with plants when we moved down from NY. No one ever stopped me at the border! What border?? We came down 95. There was nothing there and I made the trip numerous times. Two years before I brought 3 Plumerias, 5ft tall, in the back of our SUV. If it is illegal, there is nothing posted about that. Not like you are coming from Mexico.

Bring what you want and give it a try. Odds are the outdoor plants won't make it. Indoor houseplants do really well. I have many which I put in the ground and they've doubled in in size in a year.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:30PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

We did it to, but that doesn't make it right. (It was in the 80's and we didn't know!) The main reason down here is so fire ants aren't relocated to new areas. Now we have the Cuban tree frogs to worry about. Any pests or diseases your plants have will be brought to a new area to infect. Something you can google under the Dept. of Agriculture.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:26AM
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