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.
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