Post by Dan Bonner, Sumter County Master Gardener. This article was first published in The Gardener's Journal, January 2016, Vol. 60. A publication of the UF/IFAS Sumter County Master Gardeners.
January is a great month to focus on researching landscaping plants and trees for spring planting. The first principle of the nine Florida-Friendly Landscaping ™ Principles is “Right Plant, Right Place.” Some basic notes:
- Plants that are not hardy to our USDA Zone 9A may be risky to plant here. The USDA has identified the “average annual extreme minimum temperature” for Zone 9A to be 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When investing in palms the height and width at maturity is vital to know.
- Sun or Shade? Know what your future plant’s light requirements are.
Central Florida Recommended Palms: To start your search for a new palm that is suitable to Zone 9A and to be planted in the rainy months of June to October, please refer to this UFL/IFAS publication Ornamental Palms for Central Florida.
Fertilizing: Palm fertilization is not needed until March 2016! Watch for details about palm fertilizing in the March 2016 Gardener’s Journal.
Pruning: Totally brown leaves and petioles (stems/branches) can be pruned any time. Partially brown and green leaves have a remaining food source that benefits the growth of the palm. Wait until completely brown before pruning.