When thinking about putting the right plant in the right place, consider several factors:
- Are you in north, central or south Florida?
- Check cold hardiness zones for plant resilience at the U.S. Department of Agriculture or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration websites (www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov or www.bit.ly/35NfFe3).
- Is the species native to Florida?
- What is the growth rate, height and spread of the mature plant?
- What is the pH of the soil?
- What is the soil’s texture and moisture holding capacity?
- What is the plant’s drought tolerance and light requirements?
- Do you want to attract wildlife?
One tree that is a great selection for a full sun environment—designated as six hours of direct sunlight or more—is the turkey oak.
The turkey oak is found in our native Florida ecosystem, the Sand Hill community. Learn about turkey oak at www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr312.
A great ground cover selection for a full sunlight environment is railroad vine, perennial peanut or sunshine mimosa.
If your landscape has less than three hours of direct sunlight a day it is considered full shade landscape. Gingers are laterally spreading shrubs that thrive in a shady landscape. There are many varieties and species of gingers that love being planted under trees.
For more information, see the free “Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design” book online at www.bit.ly/2Lmm5up.