Flowering plants

What is Plant Dormancy?

With Southern Florida’s tropical climate, many people assume that plants grow and bloom year-round without a break and never experience a dormant period. Most deciduous plants require a dormant period in which they prepare for a time of less water, fewer nutrients, less sunlight, and lower temperatures. Dormancy is when plants go into survival mode.

Dormancy periods are a little different in South Florida. Lawn grass, for instance, experiences a form of dormancy. It remains green and grows at a much slower rate, but doesn’t completely “sleep.” Unless there are extreme or unusual fluctuations in weather conditions, lawn grass won’t experience the same type of dormancy as those in northern locales.

The South Florida climate is the primary reason that some plants don’t grow well. They don’t have an adequate dormancy period. Perennial plants have a type of “memory” triggered by hormones that tell them when it’s time to resume growing based on temperature and increased light.

Succulents are popular in Florida and they also undergo a period of dormancy during which they don’t grow as quickly as they do at other times of the year. Succulents tend to be opportunistic growers and will flourish as long as their desired growing conditions are being met.

The South Florida climate doesn’t offer enough of a chilly period for some trees and plants to succeed. Tree leaves may or may not turn colors and fall in the autumn. Some plants will do well at first, then die out without enough of a dormancy cycle. Others may adapt by dropping their leaves and entering into a short period of self-induced dormancy.

Florida does have a dormancy period, but it’s not like that of even other areas of the state. A wide variety of native species have dormancy periods that align with the specific climate. Others engage in a near dormant state that lasts for a very short time – instead of months as in northern states – and enables them to marshal their resources for another round of growth.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Annuals vs. Perennials

Flowering plants create an ever-changing perspective in landscapes and provide an important source of food for butterflies, hummingbirds, and honey bees. Individuals can choose from annuals, perennials or a combination of both to produce a bounty of blooms. There are also biennials that live and flower over the course of two growing seasons.

Annuals

Gardeners typically plant annuals in the spring and summer months. These are the plants normally found in abundance at nurseries and popular chain stores. They grow and flower for a single season, then die. However, due to South Florida’s unique weather and growing conditions, some annuals may reseed themselves.

Annuals will require more work since they need to be replanted each year, but the trade-off is a profusion of spectacularly colored blossoms. Deadheading annuals will keep them looking neat and encourage new blooms. One of the advantages of annuals is that they bloom over a longer period and do so freely. They’re an excellent way to have showy flowers between the bloom cycles of perennials.

Planting annuals ensures a continually changing kaleidoscope of colors, but they do require more fertilizer and watering to remain healthy. If a gardener plants a variety they don’t care for, they can simply plant something different the next year. Annuals are also less expensive than perennials. Popular annuals include petunias, zinnias, pansies, marigolds, begonias, snapdragons, and impatiens, along with moss roses, geraniums, celosia, and calendula.

Perennials

These are an ideal solution for those that want to “plant it and forget it.” While they’re not entirely maintenance-free, they grow and multiply each year without any help from gardeners. Depending on the type of perennial, they may need to be trimmed or cut back at the end of their bloom cycle. Some types may need to be divided periodically to prevent them from overgrowing their allotted space.

Perennials have a stronger and deeper root system that enables them to adapt to extremes in weather. Their root systems also require less water and fertilizer since they forage for nutrients from deeper in the soil. Those same roots help hold and stabilize soil and aid in minimizing weed growth.

They’re more expensive since they’re a one-time purchase, but younger plants can be obtained at less cost for those that are willing to watch them grow. Perennials include a variety of flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and lilies. Other perennials encompass delphiniums, phlox, some carnations, coneflowers, bleeding hearts, and lavender.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more