Here in the Tampa area, we are fortunate to be able to garden nearly year-round. While much of the country is limited to annuals when they create container gardens, here in South Florida we can easily consider potted perennials for display on our lanais and porches.
After all, we enjoy temperate weather during most months, and on those few occasions when the temperature dips too low, we can simply move the plants inside for a few weeks until the sun returns.
Potting perennials is an exceptionally versatile way to beautify your home and landscape.
Once you pot the plant, it can generally remain in that pot for years. But if you wish to change up the look of your décor, you can simply move the pots around! Because we have such amazing sub-tropical weather, Florida gardeners have some uniquely beautiful perennials to choose from – guaranteed to be beautiful for years.
First Things First – Pots & Soil
You have a wide variety of pots to choose from, and really it comes down to preference. Clay or terra cotta pots are sturdier and longer lasting, but plastic pots are lighter (and thus easier to move around.) Make sure that the pot is large enough for the plant and provides a hole at the bottom for drainage, as roots will suffocate and rot in excess water.
Cover the hole with screening or mesh to prevent unnecessary soil loss. A lightweight commercial potting soil will work for most perennials, as it will retain moisture at appropriate levels.
Most mixtures are made of peat, compost, and vermiculite/perlite. Some may contain slow release fertilizer, which is helpful as a potted perennials rely on you for their food and water.
Florida Potted Perennials
Beautiful and reliable, perennials will allow you to enjoy flowers year-round. Learn about growing seasons, and you can have consistent blooms by mixing up the flowers and plants.
Some of our favorites include:
- Pink, red or white Pentas retain their color even in hot sun, and will attract hummingbirds to their long-lasting blossoms.
- Hummingbirds and butterflies alike will flock to the hardy yet showy Mexican Petunia, which boldly exhibits extravagant blue and purple flowers. Interesting fact, despite their specific name, these flowers are not actually petunias!
- Cuban Gold Duranta is a beautiful shrub which hails from Jamaica and can handle full sun. Brilliant chartreuse leaves produce violet blue flowers during the summer and fall, giving way to golden (non-edible) berries during other seasons.
- The salt-tolerant Lantana is perfect for our climate, even if you live close to the beach. Lantana flowers can be white, pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, or multicolored, and are known to be a favorite of butterflies.
- Sedum and Purslane are drought tolerant succulent plants which thrive in hot weather and sun, and produce bright, hardy flowers which butterflies also find irresistable.
Tampa and Sarasota homeowners love container gardening, as it allows us to create colorful, varied gardens no matter our available space. Adding potted perennials to your usual plants and flowers allows for consistent beauty during every season.
Big Earth Landscape Supply has the potting soil, fertilizer and advice you need – stop by one of our four Tampa Bay area locations or shop online today to get started!