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It’s hot and wet

July 6, 2018
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Annul flower planting - warm season and cool season annuals for Florida.

A Florida annual plant is just that - an annual. A one-year lasting plant, whether it blooms, or not.

Warm weather annuals are for South Florida areas and our hot summer sunshine.

Cool weather annuals are for Central Florida and North Florida areas.

A gardener needs to know which one they are planting. With all annuals, you need

to be watchful when buying, because some gardening outlets sell plants out of season, or do not pay enough attention to Florida zone guidelines.

An example, impatiens, beautiful planting, you will see them sold for both warm and cool seasonal blooming. They will bloom in a cooler heat area and maybe

their best season will be a few weeks earlier than another hotter zone.

Warm season plants will tolerate the hot blooming sun of our Zone 10A.

The Department of Agriculture has designated 11 zones to guide gardeners. They consider the most southern area of Florida to be Zone 10B. That area is south of us. They consider the zone 9B to be just above us designated as the Central region. I might as well also include the North Region of Florida, which includes the Panhandle and the rest of the northern border, and is designated as

8A and 8B. Some gardening magazines will include these designations. Pay attention when mail ordering bulbs and plants.

There are big differences and little differences in the climates of these regions. Changes are always being made as growers try hard to hybridize and explore new generations of anything with roots and bulbs.

The least complicated thing to remember is that our zone has the most heat and humidity and there are many things to grow here. There are many things that grow poorly or not at all. As a gardener, you may love to try new things not recommended for this area. That is OK; just remember when you are not successful, do not despair; when you are successful, brag.

Water is a big problem, always too much or too little - a never-ending battle.

Remember the fertilizer ordinance. All Florida's groundwater is connected to stormwater runoff. A waterfront community, storm drains, ditches and your yard. Maintain a 10-foot space between lawn gardening and water.

Pesticides and pet droppings all eventually flowing into a surface water body like a lake or stream, cause clean water complications.

Your yard and garden directly influences the health of our Florida waters.

Also keep pots and pails and birdbaths flushed out several times per week.

Yes, bromeliads love a center cup full of water, it can be a fresh cup full every other day when necessary. Do not just throw them away.

Keep cool and dry till we meet again.

H.I. Jean Shields is past president of the Garden Club of Cape Coral



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