Container, or flower bed, gardening is a great way to liven up your landscape while still keeping it trim and tidy. Even if you have limited landscape space, containers allow you to enjoy planting and growing in places where it might otherwise be thought impossible. Container gardening has become increasingly popular—and for good reason! You can mix, match and display a variety of shrubs and flowers without the mess of planting directly in the ground – even in hanging baskets. Heat loving container plants are important to note in Florida because well… the heat!
With Florida’s spring weather upon us, now is a great time to take advantage of these ideal temperatures for planting blooms and shrubs that will last all summer long. Here are a few hardy, yet vibrant, plants we love for spring and summer containers flower beds and they are easy to grow!
Angelonia (Angelonia … ) are great plants that will easily withstand the Florida summer heat. This genus of about 30 species is classified in the Plantaginaceae (plantain) family. This bloom, often referred to as summer snapdragon, make a wonderful cut flower and give off a sweet mild aroma. Angelonia blossoms range from white to pink to lavender. It is best to plant Angelonias in the late spring in an area with full sunlight and moist, well-drained soil as it is mainly naturally occurring in arid and semi-arid habitats.
Lantana (Lantana … ) are a hardy, heat-loving plant that will bloom from early spring until the winter season. This genus of about 150 species of flowering perennials is classified in the Verbenaceae (verbena) family. Once in bloom, you will find caterpillars, butterflies and maybe even some birds, feeding on, or decorating with, them. The Lantana’s aromatic red orange flower clusters (umbels) come in a combination of yellow, orange, and red, or white and blue clusters. As the flowers mature, the colors on the clusters manifest into two or three colors. Can get up to 3-4 feet tall and it spreads! A great choice for heat tolerant plants.
Passionflowers (Passiflora … ) are incredibly beautiful climbing vines producing delicate blooms in a variety of vibrant shades. Also knows as Purple Passionflower, Wild Apricot, Wild Passion Vine, Maypop or True Passionflower, Passionflowers are a member of the Passifloraceae family. Passionflowers are a common wildflower in Southeastern United States and very hardy. Its flowers will begin blooming in summer and will continue throughout early fall. Passionflowers are a favorite among butterflies and hummingbirds. They prefer well-drained soil and are highly heat and drought tolerant plantseast, occasionally tolerating wet and acidic soils.
Plumbago (Plumbago … ) also referred to as Leadwort, are an outstanding evergreen shrub full of periwinkle blue flowers throughout most of the year. This genus of 10-20 species from the Plumbaginaceae family are native to tropical regions. Plumbago are exceptionally fast growing and thrive in full sunlight and moist, well-drained soil.
Skyflower vine (Thunbergia grandiflora) also known as Bengal clock vine, or clock vine, produces clusters of long, bell-shaped flowers from spring until winter. Of the Acanthus family, it is one of the most free flowering vines used for shade in the South – underused due to lack of availability. Its beautiful blue and purple flowers are set against rich, dark heart-shaped green leaves, making it a gorgeous addition to any landscape. The skyflower prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, rich, organic well-drained soil. Fast growing, it will easily cover a trellis, pergola or large section of fence in one season. In fact, it’ll need to be cut back often to control direction or size unless you have space to let it roam free. Its growth will slow or stop in cool temperatures, and the top will die after a freeze. However, it is evergreen in frost-free climates.