Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Fall colors!

By Kathy Esfahani

As the temperatures drop to the low 80s (or maybe even 70s!), we start to feel hints of fall in our Northeast Florida home! It is cooling off enough to return to the garden, but what is best to plant now for seasonal color?

Many flowers that wilt in the summer heat enjoy the cooler temperatures of Florida’s fall and winter. Although annuals need replanting every season, they show off vibrant colors throughout a landscape. Consider adding celosia, dianthus, Dusty Miller, marigolds, pansies, petunias, snapdragons and violas to your garden and/or containers now for color in the coming months. There are also perennials that will bloom now and return again next fall. In our area, look for firespike, geraniums, mums, pentas and salvia.

Shrubs and other plants can also be added to your landscape alongside these flowers. Plants that feature colorful foliage include crotons and loropetalum. Shrubbery can provide color and fill in throughout your yard. Holly and other shrubs that produce berries attract birds looking for food as they migrate through our area. These berries also remind us that the holidays are right around the corner!

Although Florida may not see the changing fall leaves of trees in cooler climates, there are trees that provide seasonal color in our area. Now is a good time to plant the trees that you have been considering for your landscape. Ideas for trees that feature fall color include bottlebrush, cypress and maple.

When you prepare your garden for new fall planting, be sure to enrich the soil with organic matter. This step allows plants to find and retain nutrients that help them grow and produce beautiful blooms. If desired, add a slow-release fertilizer or organic compost to support your new plants. And, as always, don’t forget to water regularly!

The coming months are the dryer season in our area, so you will need to maintain moisture throughout your gardens.

Visit us at the nursery to select plants to add fall color around your home! Happy planting!

Flower of the Week: Marigolds

Please email Kathy at kcg.pvr@gmail.com for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information & ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.

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