for Florida Homes
By John V. Watkins
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner
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Introduction .. .. .... .......... .
Growing Annual Flowers .......... ......... .............
Securing Seeds .. . .... .. .............
Sow ing the Seeds ............ ...........................
A nnuals From Cuttings.............. .....................
Culture of Annuals .
C u ltiv atio n ........ ... .. .. ... ........ ...... .. ............
Sp raying ..... ... ........ ......... ... ...... .... .......... .. ... .. .........
Annual Flowering Plants for Special Uses........................ ....
V varieties and Species ........... .. ...... ....... .....
H erbaceous Perennials ... .. ..... ..... ....... ..........
H ow To Use Them ............................................ .......
P rop ag atio n ..................... ......... ......................... .............
C u lture ....................... . .. .... .. .. -..
Species and V varieties ............... .... ......................................
Rose Growing..................... .......................................
R oses for C cutting ..... ............ ...... ...... .......... .....
C lim b ing R oses ....... .... ...... ... ....... ........... ................
W aterin g ................... ....................
P ru n in g ........ ..................................
Com m ercial G row ing .............. .............. ........ ...........
Sum m arized Suggestions .................... ............. ............
Florida has the largest and most varied plant life of any state in
the nation. Many beautiful exotic plants thrive in our oceanic climate,
which is characterized by heavy rainfall, high humidity, comparatively
mild winters and predominately acid soil. From foreign lands the
world around, plant hunters have introduced some of the most beauti-
ful plants known to horticulture and many of these become dependable
components of our home ground plantings. In Florida, gardening is
a twelve months job, and we are fortunate that a long list of native
and exotic plants may be grouped together to assure satisfying, though
changing, compositions every month in the year.
Science has contributed much to the art of gardening through plant
breeding. Annuals, perennials and roses available today are a far cry
from those of grandmother's garden. Size has been increased, new,
bright, clear colors have been introduced, the plants are more vigorous
and resistant to diseases and, apparently their ability to tolerate adverse
conditions has been much improved.
Many aids have been developed during recent years that make
gardening less laborious and much more of a certainty. War-born
chemicals are seen to have great potentialities in reducing the ravages
of insects and losses by disease. Soil fumigants, efficacious in control-
ling the root-knot nematode, weeds and disease will undoubtedly be
much less expensive in the future. Hormone-like and chemical weed
killers are great aids in lawn making and post-war power mowers have
taken the drudgery out of lawn maintenance.
The fact that it is possible to establish gardens quickly and main-
tain them in attractive condition the year around makes a lasting im-
pression upon first-time visitors. Permanent residents are conscious of
the value of beautiful settings for their homes and they consider well
spent, the time and effort that they expend in gardening. Many expert
hobby-gardeners in all sections of our state have developed skill in
growing specialized groups of plants.
Trees for framing and background, a lawn for foreground, base
plantings to relate the house harmoniously with the ground, and an-
nuals, perennials and roses for seasonal color and for cutting will all
contribute immeasurably to the attractiveness of our homes.
GROWING ANNUAL FLOWERS
Annuals are especially valuable in Florida, as many of them are in
bloom during winter months, contributing splendidly toward a colorful
garden and producing endless blossoms for cutting.
Other more tender annual species are depended upon to give us
4 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
flowers during the trying months of June, July, August, and September,
persistently blooming through the heat and heavy rains that come dur-
One may literally have a colorful garden and cut flowers every
month in the year by judiciously selecting varieties and planting seeds
at intervals to give a succession of plants for bedding.
Annual plants may be roughly divided into two groups as to sea-
sonal adaptation. First, and possibly most important, are those hardy,
frost resisting, cool-weather plants, the seeds of which are sown in
autumn, that they may take advantage of the temperate climate of the
months of November to May.
Second are those tender, heat-tolerant, pest-resistant plants that defy
the high temperatures, heavy rains and numberless garden pests of
summer. Seeds of this second tender group are best planted in the
months of February through August in those portions of the state that
experience freezing temperatures, but in the frost-free areas they are
planted at any time of the year.
The uses of annuals are endless. The variety of colors, the differ-
ences in height and habit of growth, the ways in which they lend
themselves to effective flower arrangements, account in part for the
tremendous popularity of this group of blooming plants. Indeed it is
a drab garden that does not display annuals as edgings, as bold but
incidental color masses in shrubbery bays or in the bright striking
borders that are so essential in our modern gardens.
Although the permanent woody shrubs are always to be preferred
for foundation plantings about buildings, and to enclose the garden,
sometimes a temporary planting is desirable and then the annuals,
especially the tall growing sorts, will serve the purpose admirably.
As window box materials and porch plants, annuals are indispensa-
ble for that necessary touch of color.
If it is not possible to use grass as a ground cover for a sunny
piece of ground, one might well consider these hardy, pest-resistant
annuals whose seeds may be sown broadcast and forgotten. Many of
our flowers such as annual phlox, annual blanket flower, periwinkle,
coreopsis, and petunia can be used in this manner; they will volunteer
each year, supplying endless numbers of colorful blossoms with the
least possible care.
Is is an established fact among successful growers that the best
seeds one can obtain are the only seeds worth planting. Of course there
is no best source or seed house, but an old reliable concern that has a
big turn-over, that buys large quantities of seeds from established pro-
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 5
ducers, can be depended upon to distribute fresh seeds of excellent
quality. In many cases, experienced flower growers buy seeds direct
from the specialist who produces them and who has spent years of
careful work and study developing good strains. Fresh seeds from true-
to-name, robust parents contribute in a large way toward a successful
garden of annuals.
Most novice gardeners think that they will get the widest range
of colors and most interesting forms if they plant packets of mixed
seeds, those bargain mixtures that appear at the end of each listing in
their seed catalogs. It is true that there is a color range, but these colors
are so often inferior, size is sacrificed and the plants may not be robust
growers. After long experience, it is the firm conviction of this gar-
dener that the most expensive seeds sold by separate colors will produce
the best flowers.
Seedsmen publish impressive descriptions of their novelties each
year, and as these annuals have won places in the All America Trials
they deserve the prominence that they are given in the seed catalogs.
You are urged to try a packet or so of new varieties that seem especially
attractive. It should be borne in mind that perhaps these new annuals
have not been tried in your section, and they may not be adapted to
your local conditions. On the other hand, almost any annual will grow
in Florida if it is fitted into the season that fills its needs, and, therefore,
success should attend your trial of most novelties. Our gardens would
certainly be commonplace if no one ever tried the newer annuals and
it can be said that the standbys of today were the novelties of yesterday.
When you buy started seedlings from your florist or nurseryman
they are usually from mixed packets of bulk seeds, so you cannot expect
to grow the choicest prize winning annuals unless you sow top quality
SOWING THE SEEDS
To get a good stand of seedlings and to protect them from the
dread disease, damping-off, requires planning and careful manage-
ment. During August, September and October when most annuals
are planted, the warm weather is very favorable to the growth of
damping-off organisms and one may lose a considerable portion of his
Sowing seeds in flats is preferable to open ground planting be-
cause conditions may be more easily controlled. A flat is a shallow
box of any convenient size that has plenty of drainage holes or cracks
in the bottom to allow water to pass freely out of the compost. Thor-
ough drainage is important as young garden plants can not grow in
a water-logged soil. In the bottom of the flat should be placed a layer
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
of pine straw, fallen leaves, dead grass clippings or other coarse mate-
rial so that soil will not wash through the drainage holes.
The earth used in seed flats may be any fertile mixture that has
a fair amount of well-rotted organic matter such as cow manure, oak
leaves or peat. If a compost pile can be laid up with alternating layers
of hammock soil, and one of the materials listed above, an excellent
compost should be the result. Earth taken from a heavily wooded area
should be comparatively free of root-knot.
Pasteurization of soil for seedling flats is highly recommended.
Moist soil cooked at about 160 degrees for a couple of hours should
be free of damping-off, root-knot and most weed seeds. If pasteuriza-
tion by heat is not feasible, the soil may be treated with formalin or
one of the soil-fumigants obtainable at your seed store.
Several organic materials prescribed for the control of damping-
off are also for sale at your seed store. Semesan, Spergon, Fermate,
Karbam and others, when mixed in water and used exactly as directed,
should prevent damping-off, arrest its development if it has started in
Within recent years several novel substances have been introduced
as media for germinating seeds. With these, chemical damping-off
controls should not be needed. Sphagnum moss is one of the best of
these because of its high water-holding capacity, excellent aeration and
freedom from damping-off. The usual soil mixture is filled in to about
half the depth of the flat; over this is screened a one-inch blanket
of sphagnum moss. After this is soaked, the seeds are sown and then
they are covered with an additional half-inch of the screened moss.
Because harmful fungi do not grow well in this spongy medium, garden
seedlings will usually be quite free of damping-off.
Supplementary feeding is recommended if seedlings are left in the
sphagnum moss medium for several weeks. Simply mix an ounce or
so of your favorite balanced fertilizer in a gallon of water and springle
this between the rows just as the seedlings begin to look yellow and
As sphagnum moss is native to Florida it may be gathered along
drainage ditches in flatwoods areas and on the low mucky shores of
Another remarkably useful medium for germinating seeds is ver-
miculite. This is a form of mica that is expanded at very high tem-
peratures to make a flaky, granular substance that is sterile, retentive
of moisture yet well aerated and very pleasant to handle. Vermiculite
may be used in the method described above for sphagnum moss, but
is must be allowed to remain loose and fluffy. If vermiculite is packed,
good aeration is sacrificed and proper drainage is impaired.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 7
Vermiculite may be purchased from your seedsman or hardware
Firm the soil to within half an inch of the top with a block of
wood and flood with water. After the liquid has drained through, sift
the seeds on the wet surface. Some growers broadcast the seeds, others
like to drill them in neat rows. Cover lightly by sifting sand, sandy-
loam or peat through a screen over the seeds. Covering seeds too deeply
is a common error. Generally speaking, if the seeds be just barely
hidden, good results may be expected. The final operation is to cover
the flat with a pane of glass or a moist newspaper. The latter is pre-
ferred by many growers because water flooded in on top of the paper
will seep through gently and evenly to soak all of the soil in the flat
yet the seeds cannot be washed out. In any case, the wet newspaper or
the pane of glass must be removed as soon as the seeds commence to
germinate or the seedlings will be leggy and misshapen. Place the flats
on boxes or benches that are protected from ants, and during the warm
weather of early autumn select the coolest possible location. The north
side of a building under a tree or an open shed should do nicely.
After germination, the flats must be placed where the seedlings
can get an abundance of light; if they are left in the shade, the seed-
lings will grow into weak, leggy plants. A muslin shade, such as is
used for celery or tobacco seed-beds, allows sufficient light to penetrate
to the young plants. Shortly after germination, the flats may receive
an application of a compound for the control of damping-off. Water
should be carefully applied through a fine spray.
When the seedlings show about four true leaves, they may be trans-
planted to well prepared beds where they are to bloom. Choose a cool,
cloudy afternoon for transplanting if it is at all possible, and set the
plants about 12 to 18 inches apart. Close planting is desirable to assure
bold color masses. Great care should be exercised in watering the
young plants until they are well established. Over-watering can be as
harmful as under-watering.
Annuals which have very large seeds and those which do not trans-
plant readily are planted in the open ground where they are to bloom,
much the same as vegetables are handled. Sow the seeds thinly in
shallow drills or trenches. Cover lightly with soil and sprinkle with
a damping-off control. The drills or rows may be covered with wet
strips of burlap. If this material is used, water will not wash the seeds
out of the soil, and the earth stays uniformly moist. If ants are abun-
dant, DDT or rotenone or chlordane dust should be sprinkled liberally
along the rows. As soon as the seeds germinate, the burlap must be
removed, and a second application of the damping-off control may be
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
made if necessary. When the plants are well established, thin so that
they stand about 12 to 18 inches apart.
ANNUALS FROM CUTTINGS
Although the majority of annuals are grown from seeds, it is some-
times desirable to propagate a particularly fine individual by cuttings.
Tip cuttings about 3 inches long inserted in clean, coarse sand should
root in two or three weeks. A box with plenty of drainage holes may
be used to contain the sand. The sand should be kept moist, the cut-
tings protected from sun, wind or cold. When the roots are an inch
or so in length the cuttings may be potted up or planted where they
are to bloom. Some annuals that will grow readily from cuttings are
carnations, chrysanthemums (annual), petunias, pinks, snapdragons,
torenias and verbenas.
CULTURE OF ANNUALS
Special preparation of the soil is usually necessary if thrifty plants
which produce large numbers of flowers of good substance are ex-
pected. If the native soil be light, sandy and low in organic matter,
it should be built up by using good quantities of rotted manure, rotted
leaves, hammock soil, or peat moss. If the soil, on the other hand, is
low and subject to flooding, adequate drainage should be provided.
Beds raised about 12 inches with ditches between them should be
satisfactory for annuals. Much evidence points to the value of mulch-
ing and after the plants are set where they are to bloom, a blanket
of peat moss, rotted manure or oak leaves will preserve the moisture,
keep the roots cool, and discourage weed growth.
After the plants have been growing in their permanent positions
for about six weeks and are well established, a schedule of regular
feeding may be started. A balanced vegetable or lawn' and garden
fertilizer which contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potash together
with traces of the minor elements should be used to insure robust plants
and an abundance of blooms. A light sprinkling of this balanced
fertilizer every two or three weeks is much preferred over heavier feed-
ings at great intervals. If annuals are growing under a mulch of leaves,
the fertilizer can be sprinkled on top and watered in; if you are using
a hoe for clean cultivation, the fertilizer should be lightly hoed in,
followed by ample irrigation. Ordinarily annuals are not fed in punch-
bar holes as are trees and large shrubs.
While most authorities insist that annuals will grow best under a
mulch of leaves or compost, most gardeners prefer clean cultivation
for this group of plants. Annuals grown in drifts in front of shrubbery
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA
for garden decoration are usually set quite close together so that an
over-all effect of solid color results. A long handled scuffle hoe is
the best tool for stirring the ground between the closely set plants.
When annuals are grown in straight rows, the middles may be kept
free of weeds and grass most efficiently with a garden plow. However,
if the garden is nor large enough to justify this implement, a scuffle
hoe will do an excellent job. The old-fashioned gooseneck garden hoe
is a poor third choice, yet many gardeners still employ this ancient
chopping tool. A blade that cuts no deeper than an inch or so will
not injure the root systems to any great extent.
Frequent cultivation is indicated while the plants are small and
during the warm weather of springtime. When the plants touch to
shade the ground, cultivation is discontinued.
Choose a clear afternoon to work in your garden of annuals so
that the bright sun and the wind will assure prompt desiccation of the
weeds as they are turned out of the earth.
It has been said that it is possible to grow almost any garden annual
in Florida provided that it is fitted into the season that fulfills its
needs. While we are fortunate in being able to grow many annuals to
perfection, our climate is favorable to the rapid development of many
virulent diseases and noxious insects. Because of the prevalence of
garden ills it is necessary for Florida gardeners to protect their charges
constantly with effective fungicides and lethal insecticides.
Formerly, either copper or sulphur was the standard element for
the control of leaf-diseases, latterly, however, several war-born chemi-
cals have come into prominence as effective fungicides. Ferric dimethyl
dithiocarbamate sold under the trade names Fermate and Karbam is
highly effective against leaf spotting diseases when it is used exactly
according to directions. Dithane and Phygon have many uses too. The
new compounds are frequently combined with other fungicides such
as wettable sulphur and with insecticides like DDT, rotenone, or
pyrethrum to be sold as one-shot, all-purpose sprays.
Insofar as insecticides are concerned, DDT, the most spectacular
and widely publicized, is already quite widely employed. As noted
above, it is frequently mixed with other chemicals. It must be remem-
bered that DDT is not recommended for aphids. For these and some
other sucking insects, nicotine, pyrethrum or rotenone are for sale in
ready-mixed formulas as sprays or dusts. For chewers, arsenate of lead
is still often used with hydrated lime as a dust or in a spray with a
sticker such as calcium caseinate. Research now in progress will un-
doubtedly bring to the fore many new and extremely potent insecticides.
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
If your garden is a large one, you will want to invest in a wheel-
barrow sprayer. These efficient implements are available in single or
double-wheeled models, with or without rubber tires. Wheel-barrow
sprayers operated by hand are simple machines, easy to clean, easy to
repair. Those with pumps driven by little gasoline engines or electric
motors are capable of producing very high pressure and they do an
excellent job of atomizing the liquid.
If your place is of medium size and you have a regular yard man,
perhaps a five gallon brass, knapsack sprayer would be a good type
to own but if you must do the work yourself, much less messy to use
are the war surplus pumps that pull the liquid out of a water bucket
that stands nearly on the ground. These pumps are simple, inexpensive
and they give very good coverage.
Small inexpensive dusters are an abomination. Post-war all-alumi-
num knapsack jobs with plastic bellows should be satisfactory for a
large garden, while a very small plot of flowers can be dusted with
one of the little cardboard expendable tubes that are for sale ready-
packed with a shot-gun mixture.
In general it can be said that the cartridges that are screwed on
the end of your hose to dispense a chemical in the water that rushes
past are not too effective. Though they are attractive little gadgets,
they are not highly effective in their killing powers.
ANNUAL FLOWERING PLANTS FOR SPECIAL USES
Annuals for Cutting
Aster, baby's breath, blanket flower, blue-eyed African daisy, blue
lace-flower, Browallia, butterfly flower, calendula, California poppy,
calliopsis, candytuft, cape marigold, carnation, chrysanthemum (an-
nual), clarkia, cone-flower, cornflower, cosmos (both species), crota-
laria, cup-flower, cuphea, dahlia, delphinium, Flora's paintbrush, floss
flower, gilia, godetia, globe amaranth, hollyhock, hunnemania, lark-
spur, lupine marigold, mignonette, mourning bride, nasturtium, painted
tongue, pansy, phlox, pink, poppy, strawflower, scarlet flax, snap-
dragon, spider-flower, stock, statice, sunflower, Swan River daisy, sweet
pea, tithonia, zinnia.
Annuals That Readily Re-seed Themselves
Alyssum, blanket flower, blue-eyed African daisy, California poppy,
calliopsis, Chinese forget-me-not, cosmos (sulphureus), crotalaria,
floss flower, globe amaranth, larkspur, marigold, Moroccan toadflax,
rose moss, nicotiana, petunia, phlox, poppies, spider-flower, sunflower,
tithonia, wish-bone flower, zinnia.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 11
Annuals for Window Boxes or Porches
Alyssum, balsam, begonia, carnation, cuphea, cup-flower, double
English daisy, floss flower, lobelia, mignonette, rose moss, nasturtium,
pansy, petunia (dwarf), phlox, verbena, wish-bone flower.
Annuals for Rock Gardens
Alyssum, begonia, butterfly flower, California poppy, candytuft,
cape marigold, cuphea, cup flower, double English daisy, Flora's paint-
brush, floss flower (dwarf), lobelia, mignonette, Moroccan toadflax,
rose moss, pansy, petunia (dwarf), phlox, pink, snapdragon (dwarf),
stock, verbena, viola, wish-bone flower.
Cypress vine, gourd, morning glory, nasturtium (climbers), sweet
Annuals for Edgings
Alyssum, begonia, calendula, cone flower, cuphea, Dahberg daisy,
double English daisy, floss flower (dwarf), phlox, snapdragon (dwarf,
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Tagletes, lobelia, marigold (dwarf), Moroccan toadflex, rose moss,
pansy, viola, wish-bone flower, zinnia (lilliputs and Mexican hybrids).
Plant These Annuals in the Fall for Winter
and Spring Bloom
Alyssum, baby's breath, blanket flower, blue-eyed African daisy,
Browallia, butterfly flower, calendula, California poppy, calliopsis,
sandytuft,- cape marigold, carnation, Chinese forget-me-not, clarkia,
cornflower, cone-flower, cuphea, cup-flower, Dahberg daisy, delphini-
um, double English daisy, Flora's paintbrush, gilia, goderia, hollyhock,
hunnemania, larkspur, lobelia, lupine, mignonette, Moroccan toadflax,
mourning bride, nicotiana, painted tongue, pansy, petunia, phlox, pink,
poppy, scarlet flax, snapdragon, spider-flower, stock, statice, Swan
River daisy, sweet pea, viola.
Plant These Annuals In the Early Spring
for Summer Bloom
Aster, balsam, begonia, blue lace-flower, celosia, chrysanthemum
(annual), cosmos (both species), crotalaria, cypress vine, dahlia, floss
flower, globe amaranth, gourd, marigold, morning glory, rose moss,
nasturtium, strawflower, sunflower, Tagetes, tithonia, verbena, wish-
bone flower, zinnia.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 13
VARIETIES AND SPECIES
Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) *
The several varieties of sweet alyssum, with white or lilac flowers,
are among the best of annuals for edging. Low-growing, seldom ex-
ceeding a height of 12 inches, this plant should have a place in every
garden and window box.
Of easiest culture, extremely hardy, sweet alyssum may be sown
every month in the year, except during mid-summer, and will bloom
in four to six weeks. Volunteer seedlings are usually abundant about
The scuffle hoe will be needed often to keep alyssum edgings neat
and trim. As a window box plant it will benefit from a light mulch
or peat. Annual alyssum in Florida is usually free of insect pests and
Aster China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)
The annual aster as we know it today is a highly developed horti-
cultural plant. This annual is not to be confused with the smaller
flowered perennial aster native to America.
The annual China aster is an old favorite, prized as a cut flower
on account of its variety of color and form and its grace in a cut flower
arrangement. Unfortunately, a host of insects and diseases prey upon
the China aster and for this reason great care should be taken to grow
the plant in new soil each year, to give the plants a bit of shade and
to keep them in a vigorous growing condition at all times. Even the
most careful grower frequently experiences difficulty with his asters.
Aphids and plant bugs carry yellows and other diseases and conse-
quently aster plants should receive frequent applications of sprays or
dusts that will keep the plants clean.
Baby's Breath (Gypsophila elegans)
The white, rose or carmine flowers of the three varieties of annual
baby's breath are handy to have for fill-in material. The tiny flowers
on wiry stems add a daintiness to an arrangement that might be lacking
Baby's breath blooms quickly from the time of sowing and un-
fortunately passes quickly into seed production so several plantings at
monthly intervals are to be recommended if the blossoms are wanted
over a long period.
* The nomenclature used in this bulletin follows that of Dr. L. H. Bailey,
Hortus Second, 1941.
14 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Balsam (Impatlens boalsminsa)
Of easy culture, the quick growing, cheerful balsam is well worth
using as a window-box subject, porch plant or as a border in a shady
place. The newer kinds of this old favorite are striking in form and
color. The seedlings should be pinched several times so as to assure
stocky, well-shaped plants, the tips of the finest ones stuck in sand as
Begonia (Begonia semapertforens)
Of great value for winter gardening in tourist sections of extreme
southern Florida are the fibrous-rooted, brilliant-flowered begonias of
the semperflorens class. In other sections, these tender annuals should
not be bedded out until danger of frost has passed.
There are excellent standard varieties in your seed catalog, and, in
addition, novelties appear intermittently. Seeds may be sown in flats
of pasteurized, coarse, leafy compost in the autumn. If you prefer, the
dust-like seeds can be sown in sphagnum or vermiculite as described
on page 6. The seedlings should be potted as soon as they are large
enough to handle and then bedded out from the earthen containers
before they become potbound.
Subject to attack by the root-knot nematode, bedding begonias are
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 15
not recommended for soils which are known to be infested with these
parasites and so they are frequently grown in beds of specially prepared
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella picta)
The annual forms of the blanket flower, single, semi-double and
full double, are of great value in any garden. The red and yellow
daisy-like blossoms are desirable for cutting on account of their cheer-
ful colors, long stiff stems and excellent keeping quality. The blanket
flower is cosmopolitan, volunteering annually and producing abundant
flowers persistently, even on the light sands of the seashore.
Frequent hoeing of the soil and liberal applications of fertilizer
are helpful in getting the maximum number of large, full-double blos-
soms from your blanket flowers. Keep the flowers coming by removing
the heads as soon as the petals fade.
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Blue-Eyed African Daisy (Arctotis stoeehadifolla)
Graceful, light blue, daisy-like flowers about 2 inches across
with steel blue centers are profusely borne by the plants of Arctotis.
One of the most easily grown of the hardy annuals, it succeeds in
trying situations, volunteering year after year. The flowers close in
the afternoon, so it is best not to use blue-eyed African daisies in flower
arrangements for the evening. The new hybrids, (A. breviscapa) have
cheerful blossoms in tones of buff.
Blue Laee-Flower (Trachymeme caerulea)
The globular blossoms of the blue lace-flower are composed of
many tiny light blue florets and resemble a sky blue scabiosa flower.
As the plants are not attractive as garden subjects, the merit of this
annual lies solely in the blossoms as cut flowers which are rather out
of the ordinary and lend themselves to attractive arrangements. Ap-
parently sometimes difficult to grow, the blue lace-flower is not at all
A mulch of oak leaves around the plants is recommended and
insects must be forestalled by the applications of the proper chemicals
at the very first sign. Frequent syringing should keep the foliage free
of red spider mites.
Browallia (Browallia in several species)
This tropical American genus contains several species that have
long been popular with professional gardeners. Of easiest culture,
Browallias grow from seeds or cuttings to blossom in a very short while.
Usually grown as pot plants and for massing for color effect, the plants
should be kept stocky by pinching and staking as necessary. Volunteers
often occur about old plants.
Singularly free of insect pests and diseases, the browallias are a
pleasure to grow as a change from those plants which require constant
Butterfly Flower (Schizanthus pinnatus)
This delicate, graceful plant, when properly grown, is covered with
tiny, orchid-like blooms and always attracts a great deal of attention.
Perhaps because it requires constant care and the most favorable con-
ditions, the butterfly flower is not often seen in Florida gardens. Per-
haps pot culture might be preferable to open field planting, certainly
a mulch of leaves or peat and constant protection against parasites is
needed to bring butterfly flower into bloom satisfactorily.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
A universal favorite, the calendula is one of our most important
winter-blooming annuals. The charming double flowers in shades of
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 17
orange and yellow are not only excellent as part of the garden picture
but they are unsurpassed as cut flowers. If the seeds are sown in
August-September and the seedlings are protected from the direct sun
for a month or so before bedding out, blossoms may be cut in Decem-
ber and throughout the winter into the early spring. The plants will
stand considerable cold; even though the blossoms are blasted by the
heavy frost, others will quickly open with the advent of warmer weath-
er. When low temperatures are expected, the plants may be protected
with piles of Spanish moss.
Caterpillars which chew the leaves in early autumn are liquidated
with a dusting of a stomach poison made up of arsenate of lead one
part, hydrated lime eight parts or a modern 3% DDT dust which is
available at your seed store. Aphids must be eliminated in winter
time with a nicotine, rotenone or pyrethrum spray or dust.
18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
California Poppy (Eschscholta californica)
The California poppy is especially effective when grown in large
groups in a sunny garden. Recently seedsmen have offered varieties
in creams, white and reds that are striking deviations from the typical
yellows. Very hardy, easily grown from broadcast seeds, the California
poppy should have a place in every garden. The blooms are excellent
as cut flowers when arranged in low containers with their own foliage.
Unfortunately, the flowers close in the evening.
Calliopsis (CoreopsisL- several species)
The calliopsis or coreopsis is another type of the numerous daisy-
like flowers that play an important part in Florida gardening. The
flowers in shades of yellow, some varieties with maroon or terra cotta,
are borne in profusion on stiff, wiry stems, and are valuable both in
the garden and in bouquets. Of easy culture, growing in difficult
places and often naturalizing in large colonies, the calliopsis can be
most highly recommended to beginning gardeners.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 19
This annual grows to perfection when the scuffle hoe is used fre-
quently to keep the earth well stirred. Adequate fertilizer must be
furnished yet little or no attention in the matter of spraying or dusting
Candytuft (Iberis in two species)
Candvyuft in its varieties with white, lilac, crimson umbels of
flowers, is a good subject for edging, for the rock garden or for cur-
ting. It is similar to sweet alyssum, but is a taller plant and the flowers
are larger. Hardy and not difficult to grow. candytuft can fill the need,
as does sweet alvssum. for a hardy, dwarf, much branched flowering
An occasional attack of aphids will be noted, and these insects must
then be dispatched with a contact insecticide.
The Floss Flowuer
Cape-marigold (Dimorphotheca aurantiaca)
Daisy-like flowers, about two inches across, in shades of yellow,
buff, orange and salmon, are produced in abundance by the dwarf
spreading plant of Dimorphotheca. The plants do not always succeed
and the flowers close in the evening.
20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Carnation (Dianthus In several species)
The hybrid annual carnations which have been so highly developed
by plant breeders, will supply everything save size, for which the per-
fect florist carnations are prized. The delightful spicy fragrance, the
charming variety of colors, the way in which the flowers lend them-
selves to arrangements certainly makes the annual carnation worth
growing. Crown rot should be combatted by watering the rows with a
solution of Spergon, Fermate or Karbam as soon as the first infected
plant is discovered.
Celesia (Celosia in several species)
The red or yellow plumes of the celosias or cockscombs, borne on
robust, quickly growing plants, are often seen in summer gardens and
occasionally as dried bouquets. Tender, but of easiest culture, the
celosias succeed during the summer months. However, the root-knot
nematode is a serious pest and will sometimes take a heavy toll of the
seedlings growing in infested soil.
Chinese Forget-Me-Not (Cynoglossum amabile)
For blue flowers in the late spring garden, one should certainly
consider the Chinese forget-me-not. Although it is injured by frost,
it is easy to grow, volunteers readily and blooms in a comparatively
short time. This charming annual deserves a place in everyone's gar-
den. Possibly its greatest use is for blue color masses in the spring
border, because the flower spikes may wilt when they are used as cut
Chrysanthemum Annual (Chrysanthemum
The perennial chrysanthemums are among the most important of
the flowers for cutting, yet for daisy-like blossoms that come earlier
than the perennial sorts, we might take advantage of the annual vari-
eties. These are tender and must be sown after danger of frost has
passed. The plants, which attain a height of 2 or 3 feet, should furnish
abundant yellow, white or banded, small daisy-like flowers during
summer time. As the plants are robust growers, they should stand
about two feet apart.
Clarkia (Clarkia in several species)
Native to the Western United States, hardy and comparatively easy
to grow during the cool weather of the winter and early spring, the
Clarkia, although seldom seen in Florida gardens, is worthy of trial.
The plants, attaining a height of about two feet, produce spikes of
single or double flowers in shades of white, pink, salmon or red,
that are worthwhile additions to the annual border and to flower
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 21
Coneflower (Rudbeekia spp.)
These attractive native American members of the daisy family,
also called black-eyed Susans, will grow well on fertile soils in full
sun. Seeds may be sown in flats in January or February or in the open
ground in March. The plants may stand about two feet apart.
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
The cornflower has long been a favorite and somehow seems char-
acteristic of the old-fashioned garden. The single and double flowers
of white, pink, red, blue and purple, borne in profusion in early spring,
contribute beautiful clear colors to the border and are excellent for
cutting. Especially pleasing color combinations may be obtained by
planting good seeds in separate colors. Soil-borne diseases in the late
spring sometimes are fatal to the plants and for this reason it is well
to sow the seeds early and thus have plants that bloom before the
advent of hot weather. Except for this trouble, the plants are of easy
culture, germinating promptly, transplanting well, and withstanding
Cosmos Early (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Single, crested or double daisy-like flowers in white, pink or red
that are particularly good for cutting, may be had during June and
July if the seeds of the early cosmos are planted in March. Tall grow-
ing, tender and seldom very attractive as a garden plant in Florida,
the chief value of the cosmos lies in the excellence of its blossoms for
summer flower arrangements. The seeds germinate easily, especially
in the single varieties, the plants grow rapidly and bloom quickly.
Staking and careful tying are recommended to prevent the wind from
blowing the plants over or breaking off the heavy branches.
Cosmos, Late or Klondyke (Cosmos sulphureus)
Yellow flowers are produced in the autumn by many members of
the compositae or Daisy family, and with us, one of the most dependa-
ble of this class is the late or Klondyke cosmos which blooms in
autumn. This cosmos is apparently not at all particular as to its re-
quirements, as it succeeds without any care whatsoever, thriving in
abandoned dooryards or very often escaping from cultivation. New
varieties with anemone-type flowers are popular.
Crotalaria (Crotalaria spp.)
Principally used as a green manure crop for agricultural lands,
several species of crotalaria bear very attractive golden flowers in the
autumn and are often seen in flower arrangements. The hard, pea-
like seeds are sown in the open ground in March and the seedlings
thinned to stand about a foot and a half apart each way. Volunteer
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
seedlings which appear in great numbers may be thinned and fertilized
when they are a few inches tall.
Cup-flower (Nierembergla caerulea)
While HORTUS designates this plant as a perennial, it is listed as
an annual in your seed catalog and so grown in Florida gardens quite
often. The diminutive plants, to one-foot in height, bear showy pale
lavender, cup-shaped flowers that have purple centers. The small
leaves, wiry stems and closely-packed blossoms combine to make this
an annual of fine texture that makes a superior edging, facing down
plant, pot plant or window box subject. Seeds should be planted in
flats in the autumn, desirable forms perpetuated by tip cuttings. The
lovely Purple Robe is worth growing.
Cuphea (Cuphea spp.)
If you are attracted by the seed catalog description of the cuphea
Firefly, be assured that it will grow quite well in Florida. The compact
plants of neat habit which freely produce attractive red flowers make
an excellent edging to follow pansies. Seeds germinate well and tips
taken as cuttings, will root quickly in white sand.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 23
Cypress Vine (Quaimoclit pennata)
This is a graceful vine whose finely cut foliage and attractive tiny
blossoms of white, red or salmon make it a good subject for temporary
small screens or trellises. It is said that the seeds are so hard they do
not germinate readily unless they are scarified, but given fair condi-
tions, volunteers often grow where the vine has seeded. Ordinarily, the
best and most heavily flowered cypress vines are those that are mulched
with cow manure or oak leaves and frequently watered.
Dahlia (Dahlia spp.)
Almost as easy to grow as zinnias, the dwarf annual cutting dahlias
listed in your seed catalog as Unwin Hybrids, should succeed on rich
organic soils that are well supplied with moisture. Seeds may be planted
in flats or in the open just as danger of frost has passed, the plants
transplanted to stand 2 feet apart, then heavily mulched with leaves.
Blossoms should be produced in mid-summer. As with all dahlias
root-knot, red spider mites, aphids and flower-thrips are to be con-
Delphinium (Delphinium in several species)
Several species of Delphinium are widely grown as annuals in
Florida. Fresh seeds, comparatively cool weather, a constant moisture
supply, and a soil that is free from diseases seems to be essential to a
good stand of healthy seedlings. If sown in early autumn, Delphinium
should be blooming in March and April. Always popular in flower
arrangements and as subjects for the spring border, annual delphiniums
are certainly worth growing. A serious crown-rot disease, Sclerotium
rolfsii. may be held in check by drenching the delphinium rows with
a solution of New Improved Ceresan.
Double English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Although the English daisy or Bellis is really a perennial, in Florida
usually it will not thrive after the advent of warm weather in May and
is grown as a winter annual so that it may enjoy the cool growing
season. The charming double flowers of white, pink or red are borne
singly on stems about four inches above the flat, tight rosettes of shining
green leaves. If plants are properly grown and set in close masses, the
effect is particularly delightful.
Flora's Paintbrush (Emilia sagittata)
Clusters of gay scarlet, tassel-like or brush-like flowers on stiff
seems about 18 inches long are produced by Flora's paintbrush in
the spring. Of easiest culture and ordinarily quite free of pests, this
annual is commended to beginning gardeners. Numerous light hoeings
together with the usual applications of fertilizer and generous watering
will make for success.
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Floss Flower (Ageratum in several species)
For blue flowers during the summer, nothing surpasses the floss
flower or ageratum. Equally desirable as garden material or for cutting,
the soft lacy flowers are an adjunct to every garden and lend them-
selves very well to color combinations and special effects. There are
dwarf sorts as well as tall varieties in white, pink, or shades of blue.
The plants are of easiest culture, seedlings usually volunteering in
abundance about old plants. Ageratum is injured by frost so bedding
out should not be done until tip cuttings root readily in early summer.
Pests and diseases are usually not of great moment, though liberal
watering during periods of drought will result in best growth by these
shallow-rooted, warm weather annuals from south of the border.
Gilia (Gilia spp.)
Another blue flower of merit that blooms in the late spring is gilia.
The foliage lacy, and fern-like is an attractive feature in itself. The
flowers are rough, globular heads, about an inch in diameter, and are
borne in profusion all over the plant. As yet something of a novelty
in Florida, the blue-flowered hybrid gilia has proved its ability to
thrive here and should be more widely grown. Standing cypress, (Gilia
ruibra) is a tall red-flowered,spire-like perennial that is native to Florida.
Globe Amaranth (Gonaphrena globosa)
As this plant is sometimes called bachelor's button, it should not
be confused with the cornflower (Centaurea) which also goes by that
common name. The globe amaranth thrives during hot weather, pro-
ducing myriads of white or red, globular flowers that resemble clover
heads. In texture they are harsh, woody, like strawflowers or statice
and are used for permanent or dried bouquets. Tender, but of easy
culture, volunteering in great profusion, the globe amaranth can be
depended upon to succeed under almost any conditions during the
Godetia (Godetia spp.)
Although the godetia or satin flower, like the gilia and clarkia, is
not often seen, it will succeed in Florida, especially in a partially shaded
situation, and it undoubtedly deserves consideration as a spring flower-
ing annual. The open, primrose-like flowers of white, rose or red are
borne on spike about 18 inches long. The seeds germinate well in the
autumn and the young seedlings, which closely resemble snapdragon
plants, grow off quickly and the losses from transplanting are negli-
Shiny black beetles that attack godetia plants may be held in check
by dusting liberally with a stomach poison such as the lead arsenate-
lime mixture or 3S' DDT mentioned on page 9.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 25
The gourd in their many varieties are too well known to warrant
descriptions or discussions. Interesting, unusual fruits of multitudinous
shapes are borne by the rampant annual vines. For temporary screens
during the summer or to cover stumps or small buildings, they are
very useful. The seeds should be sown in a well drained, sunny loca-
tion when danger of frost has passed.
Many times aphids will congregate on the undersides of the leaves
in great numbers and for this reason the vines must be sprayed at regu-
lar intervals with an approved contact insecticide. As gourd vines are
attacked by root-knot they should be grown on new ground, heavy
land or in earth that has been treated with one of the new soil fumi-
gants available at your seed house.
Hollyhock (Althaea rosea)
For many years it was thought that hollyhocks would not grow
in Florida, but the introduction of an annual strain in the thirties.
made it possible for us to have hollyhocks with single or double blos-
soms that are the equal of those found in northern gardens. Seeds of
an annual strain should be sown in September. Hollyhocks will be
benefited by positions near buildings so that the roots may be pro-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
tected by the structure. Occasionally hollyhocks will live over and
sometimes volunteer seedlings will appear, but generally speaking,
fresh seeds should be sown each autumn.
Red spider mites may put in their appearance during spring dry
spells, so syringe your hollyhocks frequently, yet if the mites become
established, dust the plants thoroughly with fine dusting sulphur.
Hunnemania (Hiuneemania ftumariaefolia)
The hunnemania, sometimes called tulip poppy, resembles a sul-
phur-yellow California poppy of giant size, coarser and of greater sub-
stance. The plants, about two feet in height, are very prolific, hardy
and easy of culture after germination. Difficulty in getting a good
stand is the general rule. Like the poppies, the seedlings do not trans-
plant readily and for this reason the seeds should be sown where the
plants are to bloom. Hunnemania is an excellent source of sulphur
yellow color in the late spring border and as a cut flower it excels
because of its attractive tulip form.
Larkspur (Delphinitum spp.)
The well known larkspur is so popular, so widely grown, that it
seems hardly necessary to describe this valuable annual. Single and
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 27
double flowers of white, buff, rose, blue, lavender and purple are
borne on tall spikes during the early spring. Some of the newer cre-
ations, named varieties having very double flowers of clear colors, are
very charming, and should find places in every garden. These are
especially desirable if color combinations are to be worked out. Fre-
quently larkspur seeds fail to germinate if they are planted early in
the fall. Because this is a distinctly cool-weather plant, it is probably
best to wait until November, then sow the seeds thinly in shallow
drills, firm them into the ground and water with a fine spray without
covering. Volunteer seedlings usually appear in late fall where plants
bloomed the previous season. These seedlings, however, usually pro-
duce single flowers in colors that are not so clear nor so attractive as
are those produced from fresh seeds. The young plants are hardy, trans-
plant very readily and react very favorably to good care. Drench the
rows with a solution of New Improved Ceresan as soon as you discover
the first plant dying from infection by the crown rot known as Scleroti-
n rolssi. Lohblia (Lobelia erilnus)
Lobelia, in their beautiful shades of blue, may be had in dwarf
compact forms, which are desirable for edging and also in trailing or
hanging forms which are used in pots, boxes and baskets. The charm-
ing dwarf plants, under six inches in height, of many tiny branches,
are covered with tiny blue flowers throughout the blooming season.
Unfortunately, they demand cool weather, but cannot stand freezing,
so they must be grown during the winter and receive protection on
cold nights. The seeds germinate well and quickly produce good stands
of robust plants. For good color effects the plants should be set no
farther than 4 to 6 inches apart.
Lupine (Laspineus spp.)
As subjects for a tall border, the annual lupines are very effective,
and they are no less striking as cut flowers. Their keeping quality is
excellent. Long spikes of pea-like flowers of white, pink, and shades of
blue are numerous in the spring. Sow the seeds where the plants are
to stand and thin the seedlings to 12-inch intervals in the row. Usually
the plants grown from Florida-grown seeds are entirely satisfactory.
While it is the consensus that most annual flowers will grow best
with a mulch instead of mechanical cultivation, the lupines will grow
and bloom very satisfactorily when they are lightly hoed enough to
keep the rows free of weeds and grass. These hardy annuals need little
attention in the matter of spraying.
Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
The African marigold is tall, erect, attaining a height of three feet
and bears large globular flowers that range in color from lemon yellow
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
to orange. This type is valuable at the back of borders where height
is desired. The blossoms are among the best for cutting during sum-
mer and fall.
The French and Mexican marigolds are compact dwarf, rarely ex-
ceeding 16 inches in height, and are good subjects for edging and for
positions in front of other, taller plants.
In late September through October, when most annuals are out of
season, the marigolds, in their many forms and varieties, contribute
their striking yellow and orange flowers to our gardens whose bright-
ness has begun to wane. Withstanding heat and drought, thriving
where many plants would perish, free from pests, the marigolds are
exceedingly useful in the garden and in the home. Annually, new
sorts are introduced by the seedsmen and these are all worthy of wide
trial. Seeds germinate well and quickly, and the seedlings are easy to
Mignonette (Reseda odorata)
Its delightful fragrance has won for mignonette a place in every-
one's heart. The dwarf plant which bears the odd flower trusses of
this old favorite grows well during cool weather. Of no particular
beauty so far as color or design is concerned, the chief value of mignon-
ette is its use in bouquets of flowers which have no odor of their own.
Difficulty is often encountered in getting the seeds to germinate and
hot weather is fatal to the plants.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA
Possibly this old-fashioned annual will succeed best in our state if
it is grown in containers that do not stand in direct sunlight. A mulch
of peat on the surface of the soil is superior to mechanical stirring.
Aphids can be kept in check by spraying with a suitable contact
Morning Glory (Iponmoea purpurea)
As an annual vine. nothing can surpass the morning glory, a
vigorous rapid grower which is covered with glorious flowers through-
out the summer and fall. Seeds of the better kinds offered by the seeds-
men will produce plants that bear large flowers of beautiful clear
colors. Volunteer seedlings usually have flowers of inferior quality.
The morning glory will make a good screen or covering for the
summer if seeds are sown in February.
A gross feeder, this vine must be provided with liberal quantities
of fertilizer, a thick mulch should protect its roots to discourage root-
knoc nematodes and frequent watering should keep the soil moist to
assure robust growth.
Moroccan Toadflax (Linaria naaroccana)
In Florida gardens this little toadflax from Mexico has gained the
popularity it so rightfully deserves. It is a dwarf grower of exceeding
hardiness that bears its spikes of tiny snapdragon-like flowers through-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
out the winter and early spring. The small dark green leaves are nar-
row, delicate in texture; the flowers are white, lemon, pink, blue and
purple. The plant self-sows and volunteers grow most readily, being
used as planting stock year after year.
Blooming profusely, even during frosts, in poor sandy soil, the
toadflax is very much at home with us and can be most highly recom-
mended for edgings, borders, and for rock gardens. Most seed houses
offer new improved strains that are characterized by delicate pastel
Looking best when grown on clean soil that is frequently stirred,
this diminutive annual succeeds when it is repeatedly worked with a
Uncommonly free of pests, the sprayer is seldom needed for toad-
Mourning Bride (Seabiosa atropurpurea)
The globular, tufted flowers of the mourning bride or pin-cushion
flower furnish a range of color found in no other annual. From white,
through yellow, blue, rose, red, maroon, to an almost black purple,
the colors are most charming, and are, of course, always harmonious.
The plants, which attain a height of about three feet when well grown,
are prolific, thrifty and hardy. The keeping quality of the blossoms
is good, the long stiff stems make for artistic flower arrangements.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.)
Nasturtiums, if planted after the danger of frost has passed, in
the early spring, will furnish an abundance of delightful color for a
period of about two months. The many flowers of yellow, orange and
maroon make an attractive addition to the garden and are good for
cutting. The new races of double flowers have met with considerable
favor. Climbing varieties make interesting small vines, although only
for a short time. Free from pests, and enjoying light soils, and frequent
stirring, the nasturtium well deserves its popularity.
Nicotiana (Nicotiaona spp.)
Because the long, funnel-shaped flowers of ornamental tobacco
remain closed and are of little beauty during the day, the principal
value of this plant is for its perfume which is delightful when the
flowers open in the evening. Very much like commercial tobaccos, the
ornamental forms are large, coarse annuals, to three feet, that suc-
ceed during the late spring and summer. Several different colors are
Painted Tongue (Sapiglosis sinuata)
The striking, highly-colored, gold-banded and veined flowers of
the painted tongue resemble ornate petunias. A wide range of bright,
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA
bizarre colors is exhibited by the funnel-shaped blossoms. Germination
of the seeds is satisfactory in cool weather, but even under good cul-
tural conditions, the small plants perish in such large numbers that
continual replacement is necessary. Painted tongue is probably most
successful in the northern and western part of the state on the heavier
soils. In peninsular Florida the plants should be given a northern
32 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
exposure, the best possible soil and the protection of a heavy mulch
over the roots.
Aphids must be combatted upon occasion, and for this purpose,
a contact insecticide is indicated.
.Pansy (Viola tricolor)
Nothing can approach pansies for edging or for bedding in the
late winter and early spring. The newer, highly-developed strains are
characterized by gigantic flowers of most striking brilliance and end-
less variety of design. The pansy is distinctly a cool weather plant.
Pansies probably are the best annuals for winter edgings and borders
seeds will not germinate well in the warmth of late summer, the young
plants that are produced are sickly and slow-growing. However, if
fresh seeds are planted in a cool, shaded place in late autumn, no diffi-
culty should be experienced. Set the plants 6 to 8 inches apart so as
to obtain a continuous border without breaks. A stock of plants should
be kept on hand for a while so that dead or unthrifty individuals in the
edging may be replaced. The loss from moving, when properly done,
is negligible. Pansies will stand considerable cold without injury.
As neatness of an edging is of paramount importance, the ribbons
of pansy plants are usually hoed clean. A scuffle hoe is the best tool
to run down both sides, but, to get between the plants, a finger weeder
may be needed. During warm autumn weather pansy plants occasion-
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 3
ally succumb to attacks by Rhizoctonia. A solution of wectable Spergon.
Fcrmate or Karbam applied through a sprinkling can should halt the
spread of the soil-borne disease.
Petunia (Petunia hy!brida)
No garden would be complete without petunias. The humble.
small single sorts are valuable for color effects, while the more pre-
centious. single and double fringed and veined giants always attract
a great deal of attention because of their unusual texture, size and
The small single varieties are very easily grown from seeds, if the
flats are protected from ants. Seeds of the large, fringed types are rare
and expensive. especially in th- double flowered varieties, because they
are the result of hand pollination. Not only are the seeds expensive,
but germination is often slow and uncertain. Poor stands of small,
weak plants result from the sowing of the seeds of the giant fringed
petunias unless the greatest care is observed in planting, watering and
transplanting. The smaller single sorts are more hardy than are the
giants, which should be protected when sub-freezing weather is expect-
ed. The full, double-fringed varieties are propagated by placing tip
cuttings in coarse sand in order to secure plants that are identical with
34 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Either clean cultivation or a mulch of rotted manure will make
for success with these easy-to-grow, hardy annuals. Pests and diseases
are not likely to be troublesome, but the occasional plant that shows
the yellow mottling that is a manifestation of mosaic disease, must
Phlox (Phlox drummondi)
Annual phlox is one of the easiest of all plants to grow from seeds.
As an edging for ribbon beds, as a ground cover for a sunny expanse,
and for naturalizing, annual phlox is widely appreciated. Self-sown
volunteers are numerous in the vicinity of old plantings and even in
places where discarded plants have been piled. If true, rich, clear
colors are wanted, it is best to plant seeds because the colors deteriorate
after about two years.
Annual phlox is relatively free from pests, transplants most easily,
and succeeds in dry, light, sandy soils. The star phlox, with its irregular,
pointed petals, and the new giant flowered types are novelties that
should be more widely grown.
Pink (Dianthus in several species)
Pinks are very much at home with us, numerous kinds thriving
as annuals, very often producing a second period of bloom if they are
cut back and fertilized. No attempt will be made to distinguish the
species or hybrids of Dianthus, but it is suggested that different kinds
be tried, so that the gardener can select those which are best suited to
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 35
his conditions. The hardiness of the plant, the old-fashioned quaintness
of the fragrant blossoms, the many clear colors, the ease with which
the seeds sprout and grow, commend the annual pinks to everyone who
has a garden. New hybrid Dianthus are charming annuals of consider-
able merit. New Improved Ceresan and wettable Spergon may be'
needed, upon occasion, to stop the onslaught of soil-borne diseases.
Poppy (Papaver in several species)
Poppies have long been garden favorites, and certainly they can
never lose the universal popularity they have always enjoyed. The
bold, bright colors of the opium poppy and the fragile, fine-textured,
delicately tinted flowers of the Shirley group, offer us variety in sub-
stance, color and design. Poppies do not transplant well, the seeds do
not sprout in hot weather; hence, it is best to sow the seeds in No-
36 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
vember, where the plants are to grow. As ants are very fond of poppy
seeds, DDT or rotenone should be sprinkled along the rows, as pro-
tection. Thin the seedlings to stand a foot or a foot and a half apart.
Some varieties of opium poppy volunteer readily to occupy the same
garden spot year after year.
Rose Moss (Portulacca grandttlora)
For the summer edging or rock garden plant, probably nothing
else equals the Rose Moss. The leaves are narrow, thick, succulent,
and are completely hidden in a blanket of gay colors in the mornings
when the flowers are open. Shades of buff, salmon, pink and red
are characteristic of the double and single flowers.
The Rose Moss flourishes under the most trying conditions of heat,
drouth and poor soil. The seeds germinate best during warm weather.
The young plants can be moved with very little loss. Volunteer seed-
lings should not be used because of the poorer quality of their flowers.
Seeds of the best double strains will give the most satisfactory color
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 37
effects. As the blooming season is short, it is well to have small plants
available by sowing seeds at intervals of six weeks during the summer.
Scarlet Flax (Linumt grandiflorum)
This red-flowered species of flax is a hardy, bushy annual, of about
two feet in height. Of graceful habit, it is covered with charming red
open flowers throughout the spring. The clear scarlet is good in the
border or in a flower arrangement. Seedlings are easy to grow, they
can be moved with little or no loss, and they are quite free of pests
and diseases. Clean cultivation is usually the rule for the annual scarlet
Snapdragon (Antirrhinun n nmajus)
Although the snapdragon is really a perennial, in Florida it is
treated as an annual because it rarely survives the high temperatures
and heavy rains of our summers. Like the pansy and the larkspur it
is distinctly a cool weather plant and is really successful only when
it is grown through the winter and early spring months.
The tiny seeds should be sown in a cool, shady place which is
38 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
protected from ants. After germination, culture is easy, as the seed-
lings transplant easily and grow off quickly, producing their spikes
of delightful blossoms in the early spring. Invaluable as a cut flower,
as well as a border subject, the snapdragon is indispensable in Florida.
In order that the spikes will be straight and of first quality, snap-
dragons should be staked and tied after they reach about eight inches
in height. Frequent shallow stirring with a scuffle hoe is recommended.
As snapdragons are subject to nematode invasion and crown rot
caused by Rhizoctonia, fumigated soil is recommended. Lacking facili-
ties for fumigation, new sites are urged. It will be recalled that Karbam,
Fermate and wettable Spergon will halt the ravages of Rhizoctonia.
Spider-flower (Cleomte spinosa)
This is a tall garden annual, tropical American in origin, which
finds conditions in Florida much to its liking. As a background in a
flower border where height is needed, spider-flower is very satisfactory.
Seeds may be sown in the open ground during autumn. Volunteer
seedlings are usually numerous where old plants have grown.
When it is grown in front of shrubs as a landscape plant, spider-
flower will succeed with a generous mulch of leaves or rotted manure.
Pests are ordinarily of little concern.
Statiee (Limonium in several species)
The annual kinds of statice are well adapted to our gardens, thriv-
ing, if necessary, under difficulties. Limonium sinuatum has tall spikes
of blue or white flowers arising from dwarf, tight rosettes of lobed,
spatulate leaves. L. bonduelli is very similar in habit, but produces
yellow flowers, while L. suuorowii, the rat-tail statice, bears tall grace-
ful spikes of delicate pink flowers. This last-named species deserves
wider trial as it is especially good, and receives favorable comment
wherever seen. All of these kinds are desirable garden plants, excel-
lent for fresh bouquets or as everlasting. Like straw-flowers, they
may be hung in bundles, blossom end down, to dry. Germination is
slow, but the plants are easily handled, once they become established.
Clean cultivation is general, care being exercised to make sure that
soil is not pulled in to cover the growing point in the center of the
very flat rosette of foliage. Insects and diseases are usually of little
Stock (Mathiola incana annaa)
Stocks are old favorites that have developed wonderfully at the
hands of flower breeders. Full double varieties in many delightful
colors are offered by the seed houses.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 39
The seeds give a good stand and transplanting is easily accom-
plished. The plants should stand 8 to 12 inches apart. Aphids or
plant lice are fond of stock and are sometimes very troublesome. A
tobacco spray or dust is used in controlling these pests. Several soil
borne diseases that are prevalent during warm weather in old garden
sites, may be reduced by the use of soil-sterilizing compounds. Warm
weather, typical of the usual Florida autumn, may prevent flower bud
formation and thus create a barrier to the successful flowering of stock.
Strawflower (llelichrysum bracteatumn)
Tall, robust annuals which attain a height of some three feet, and
produce many blossoms for dried bouquets, the strawflowers grow well
in Florida. When the buds are about half open, cut them, strip off
the leaves and hang in bundles, blossom end down, in a shady, well
ventilated place until dry. A range of gay colors is available. Though
40 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the plants will stand some cold, it is best to grow strawflowers after
danger of frost has passed.
Clean cultivation is the rule for growing these large annuals which,
ordinarily are quite free of insect pests.
Sunflower (Helianthus in several species)
Great variation in height, habit and size of blossoms is available
in this group of heat-tolerant annuals. They are good material for
screens, boundaries and for cutting during the months of May through
September if successive sowings of seeds are made. These should be
sown where the plants are to stand, and the seedlings should be thinned
to two or three foot intervals, depending upon the habit of the variety.
Refined types are being sold by the seedsman that are a far cry from
the old-fashioned, coarse kinds. Mildew attacks some varieties but
does little harm, apparently. It can be controlled by dusting with
sulphur. Insect pests create no problem in growing small-flowered
sunflowers for cutting.
Clean cultivation is the general rule and abundant plant food and
water are needed to supply the needs of these gigantic annuals.
Swan River Daisy (Brachycome Iberidifolia)
An annual.of very fine texture whose blossoms are admirably
adapted to use in miniature arrangements is the Swan River daisy.
The plants grow about a foot in height and bear daisy-like blossoms
that are blue, white or rose in color. The plant may be used as an
edging subject, but it is probably best adapted to cutting. It is sug-
gested that Swan River daisy be grown in a protected place and that
the roots be insulated by a fertile organic mulch.
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Sweet peas are, without doubt, among the most important of our
winter and spring blooming annuals. Their fragrance, delicacy of
texture and design have won for them a place in everyone's heart,
but at the same time it must be conceded that the host of pests which
prey upon them are most alarming and often most difficult to control.
Until the mid-thirties, the most popular group of sweet peas for
Florida was that great class known as the winter-flowering Spencers.
Seeds of these, sown in September, should produce plants that come
into production in time for Christmas. In Florida, Spencer sweet peas
oftentimes produce but one or two blossoms on the rather short stems.
In the mid-thirties, there was introduced by one of the large seed
houses, a strain of sweet peas named the Cuthbertson, in honor of the
man who had been instrumental in their development. During their
first trial in Florida, it was evident that the Cuthbertson sweet peas
were of outstanding merit for our soil and climate. Vines growing in
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 41
fertile trenches grew very call and thick and the unusually long stems
very often contained four perfect blossoms of remarkable substance.
The Cuthbertsons, following the Spencers in March, April and early
May, extend the flowering period of this popular annual. Some seeds-
men, other than the originators, list this group as Early Spring Flower-
ing, and offer the dozen or so colors separately.
There are many ways of planting sweet pea seeds, many ideas, often
at variance, as to how to prepare the seedbeds. The method described
herewith, although not necessarily the best. should be satisfactory. If
the soil is light, sandy, infested with root-knot, remove it from a trench
16 inches deep where the trellis is to stand. In the bottom of this
trench place six inches of rotted cow manure, fill to the ground level
with a good compost of rich hammock soil that is made alkaline by
sprinkling in lime as the trench is filled. Root-knot will probably not
be troublesome for the first season if the soil is taken from a heavily
shaded, wooded hammock. It is important to treat the bed with a
soil-sterilizing compound. Plant the seeds in a staggered double row,
so that the trellis may be erected between rows. When the seedlings
emerge treat the bed with the soil-sterilizing compound to control
42 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
damping-off. It is best to thin the plants to stand a foot apart. When
the sweet peas are six inches high apply a balanced fertilizer, then
stir lightly. A mulch of oakleaves or peat is valuable in conserving
moisture. When tendrils appear some sort of support must be pro-
vided. This may be poultry netting stretched between posts, a trellis
of cotton cords running vertically over horizontal bars at top and
bottom, or a line of brush stuck firmly into the ground between the
Frequent cutting of the blooms is essential to prevent formation
of seedpods which will materially reduce the period of flowering.
When the stems begin to get short, apply nitrate of soda in a water
solution at the rate of one tablespoon to the gallon.
Aphids, frequent visitors to sweet peas, are controlled by tobacco
sprays, and red spiders are forestalled by dusting with sulphur or syr-
inging the vines with water under high pressure.
The vines will stand considerable cold but the flower buds are so
easily injured that protection on cold nights is suggested. A mulch
of rotted manure is much preferred to mechanical cultivation.
Tithonia (Tithosia sp.)
Of the many excellent garden flowers that Mexico has contributed,
certainly not the least important for Florida is this "Golden Flower of
the Incas." Large sunflower-like seeds may be sown in the open
garden in March, then seedlings thinned, later to stand three feet apart
from their neighbors. In full sun and a fertile soil the plants will
surpass six feet in height during the rainy season. Deep orange-
yellow, daisy-like flowers on long stiff stems are available for cutting
through most of the long, hot summer, into the autumn until the
plants are cut to the ground by frost. Little troubled by pests, an
occasional infestation of red spider can be halted by sulphur dust.
Like the cutting-type sunflowers, these huge annuals thrive when
they are supplied with liberal amounts of plant food and water and
given repeated cultivation during the summertime.
Wish-bone Flower (Toressia fournieri)
As an edging or rock garden subject that will withstand heat and
succeed with little attention, the torenia deserves consideration. The
plants, about a foot tall, are covered throughout the summer with
masses of unusual white or lavender, yellow blotched flowers. The
habit of this sun-tolerant annual is creeping, the runners or stems
rooting where they come into contact with the ground. The rooted
tips, of course, may be separated and used as new plants. Chance seed-
lings are present under favorable conditions. It is hoped that torenia
will receive wider trial in Florida gardens.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 43
Verhena (Verbena hortensis)
The modern verbena, with its globular heads of large individual
flowers, is a particularly desirable garden subject. Although ordinarily
a perennial in Florida, it may be treated as an annual. Strong, clear
colors are characteristic of this hardy, low growing herb. If no par-
ticular color is wanted, the plants may be grown from seeds, however,
propagation of choice kinds should be by cuttings.
Because verbenas root where they touch the ground, perhaps a
mulch of rotted manure would be the best treatment for the bed where
they grow. Cultivation, obviously, should not be resorted to.
Viola (Viola cornuta)
As a change from mixed pansies for edgings, the smaller-flowered,
self colored violas can be employed with striking effect. You may sow
your own seeds in September, or buy plants of a wanted variety in
November. The diminutive plants should stand about eight inches
apart so that a continuous ribbon of a single, solid color results. The
best effect is attained when there are enough plants to set a staggered,
Zinnia (Zinnia in several species)
When one considers the remarkable thriftiness, the heat tolerance
of the zinnia, the facility with which it grows in adverse conditions,
it must be awarded a place of importance on our list of summer blos-
soming annuals. Our gardens, from July to November, would be much
less colorful if it were not for this most admirable of flowers.
Plant breeders have worked long and patiently with the zinnia and
now we may have many charming clear colors, in blossoms that range
in size from tiny Mexican hybrids to giant dahlia-flowered kinds that
are, perhaps, eight inches across. There are pompom sorts, curled and
crested, picotes, quilled and others that contribute variety to the flower
The seeds may be planted either in flats or in the garden after
danger of frost has passed. Sowings should be repeated every eight
weeks so as to have a succession of new plants to replace those which
have ceased blooming. The liliput kinds should stand a foot apart,
while the dahlia-flower giants should not be sec closer than two feet,
if they are to receive proper care. Abundant plant food and water
should be available to these gross feeders. Shallow cultivation is
recommended. As garden subjects, as well as for cutting, the zinnias
cannot be excelled during the summer and early fall months. The
Mexican hybrids and liliputs are especially good as edging plants.
Powdery mildew which looks like a frosty coating on the leaves,
is controlled by dusting at first signs with 300 mesh sulphur.
44 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
WHEN TO SOW
Baby's Breath ..............- _Aug.-Dec.
Balsam ....................... Feb.-April
Begonia ..... ................ Sept.-Dec.
Blue-Eyed African Daisy ......Aug.-Jan.
Blue Lace-Flower.............. Feb.-April
Browallia .................... Aug.-Oct.
Butterfly Flower .............. -Aug.-Feb.
Calendula. .............-....*. Aug.-Oct.
California Poppy' ..........-- -Sept..Dec.
Calliopsis ..........- .... ..* Oct.-Dec.
Cape Marigold .............. Aug.-Feb.
Carnation ..............-- --- -Aug.-Dec.
Celosia.. ....... ... ........ Feb..April
Chinese Forget-Mc-Not........ Aug.-Feb.
Chrysanthemum (annual) ...... -Feb.Mar.
Clarkia ........................ Sept.-Nov.
Cone Flower*................. Jan.-Mar.
Cornflower.............- .... Aug.-Oct.
Cosmos (bipinnatus) --... ... -Feb.-April
Cosmos sulphurouss ) ......... -May-Aug.
Crotalaria ..........- -....... Mar.-April
Cup-flower ..... ....... ...-- Sept.-Dec.
Cypress Vine. ............-- - ar.-May
Dahlia ........................ Mar.April
Double English Daisy ......... Sept.-Oct.
Flora's Paintbrush............ Aug.-Dec.
Floss Flower*. ...........-... Feb.-April
Gilia .......................... Sept.-Dec.
Globe Amaranth............... Mar.-April
Godetia ........... ........... Sept.-Dec.
Hollyhock .............. ....-- Sept.-Dec.
llunnemania ............--- -. Nov.-Dec.
Larkspur* ................... Oct.-Dec.
Lobelia............ ........... Sept.-Mar.
Lupine .......... ........... Aug.-Dec.
Marigold ............- ....... Feb.-Mayv
Mignonette................. ... Sept.-Nov.
Morning Glory................ Feb..Aril
Moroccan Toadflax*.......... Sept.-Nov.
Mourning Bride ...........-... Sept.-Dec.
Nasturtium.....-....-...-. .. Feb.-Mar.
Nicotiana ...... ...............Aug.-Nov.
Painted Tongue .............. -Aug.-Nov.
Pansy ..........--.......... . Aug.-Nov.
Petunia* ...................... Aug.-lan.
Phlox '......... ....-...- .... .. Aug.-Feb.
Poppies ...................... Nov.-Dec.
Rose Moss ................... Feb.-July
Scarlet Flax ................ ...Sept.-Nov.
Snapdragon ............ ...-- Aug.-Dec.
Spider Flower* ................ Sept.-Dec.
Statice ..................... ... Aug.-Dec.
Stock ................ .........Aug.-Dec.
Strawflower ...............- ... Oct.-April
Sunflower ..................... Feb.-April
Swan River Daisy............. Sept.-Nov.
Sweet Pea.................... Set.-Nov.
Tagetes ....................... Feb.-April
Verbena ...................... Aug.-Dec.
Viola .................. ..... Se t.-Dec.
Wishbone Flower .............Feb.-May
Zinnia*......... ............... Feb.-Aug.
* Re-seed and volunteer readily
TIME IN BLOOM
TRND R OR
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 45
Florida gardens depend largely upon annuals for color, with the
result that herbaceous perennials are often entirely lacking in the
design. This is unfortunate in view of the fact that a wealth of mid-
summer and early fall bloom is available through the use of well
selected herbaceous perennials. Annuals and exotic flowering shrubs
are recommended for winter and early spring blossoms, but cheerful
colors during the late summer and early fall will be filled in ade-
quately by perennials when many of the showiest annuals are through
For Florida planting the choice of herbaceous perennials is quice
restricted as compared to the North and East. Nevertheless, there are
many kinds that thrive in Florida. Many more perennials, such as
common garden irises, delphiniums, foxgloves, hollyhocks, columbine,
hardy phlox, phlox subulara, perennial pinks, thyme, mallow and lily
of the valley, have been tried and have, for one reason or another,
proved unsatisfactory in peninsular Florida. In the western part of
the state, some of these are worthwhile perennial garden plants.
HOW TO USE THEM
Considering our wealth of hardy broadleaved evergreens and beau-
tiful flowering shrubs, it is best to use herbaceous perennials in shrub-
bery bays subordinate to the woody things rather than by themselves.
excepting in the case of borders in enclosed formal gardens. Certainly
herbaceous perennials alone should not be depended upon for founda-
tion plantings, but they do add a completeness, a finishing touch, to
By a judicious choice of materials one may have perennials in
bloom from April until frost.
Herbaceous perennials are most valuable in bold, closely planted
masses for the color effect and are really most successful when grown
thus rather than spotted about with a great deal of distance between
A decided advantage in favor of this group of plants is that once
the garden is laid out, the plants need not be propagated every year.
Furthermore, the foliage of many perennials is delightful in itself
when the plants are out of bloom.
This group is, as a whole, extremely easy to propagate by divisions,
seeds or cuttings. A note regarding the common methods of propaga-
tion of each plant will be found under the discussion of species.
Division: Propagation by the division is the easiest, quickest and
46 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
best way to increase most herbaceous perennials. Dig the plants, shake
off the dirt and it will be apparent that they will divide up into units
or small plants all having roots, stems, buds or leaves. These units may
be separated and planted. The beds should be thoroughly prepared
beforehand by spading in rotted manure or rich compost and abundant
water should be added to pack the soil well about the roots. Most
herbaceous perennials are best divided after the blooming season or
when frost cuts the plants to the ground, but with care they may be so
increased at any time.
Cuttings: This method also is much used in the propagation of
perennials and it is not at all difficult if a good grade of sharp, clean
sand and plenty of water are used.
Old stems are cut in three or four-inch lengths, just above and just
below convenient nodes or buds. The leaves on the upper node should
Dividing a herbaceous perennial to provide more plants
be left intact. A sharp knife that will make a clean, neat cut is the
best tool to use in making cuttings.
A flat or box of any convenient size in the bottom of which sev-
eral holes have been drilled to allow the free passage of water is an
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN IFLORIDA
ideal receptacle for the rooting of cuttings. Cover the drainage holes
with coarse material so chat the sand will nor wash through. Fill the
box with coarse sand to within an inch of the top: pack well, insert
the cuttings to the upper nodes, and water to firm the sand about the
cuttings. Cover the flat with a pane of glass or a piece of doubled
cheese cloth and keep the sand moist at all times. When the roots
ire about one inch long, set the young plants in fertile soil that can
be readily watered, and protect them from the hoc sun or cold until
they are well established.
Seeds: The plants discussed herewith vary a great deal in facility
of propagation by seeds. Some set seed readily and are so much at
home that chance seedlings are found scattered about the vicinity of
old plantings. Others seldom or never set seed and propagation of
these must be by division or cuttings.
Under most conditions the seeds should be planted as they become
ripe. They may be sown in open seedbeds protected from cold or the
direct rays of the sun, or better still, in shallow boxes as described on
: -t '7 --.
Vincar major vsariegata is a good window box subject
for northern Florida
pages 5 to 7 in the section on annuals. In any case, the soil should
be well supplied with humus, such as rotted cow manure or peat moss.
A good mixture for seedbeds or seed boxes is loamy soil and fine pear
in equal amounts. Plant the seeds very thinly and lightly cover with
sifted soil, peat or sand to a depth of about four times their diameter.
48 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Very small seeds may be dropped in rows and pressed into the soil
with a board. It is a desirable practice to cover seedbeds with sacks
until the seeds germinate. A very fine spray under light pressure is
used in watering. It is important that seedbeds have an adequate water
supply at all times.
The young plants should be ported off or set out before they
crowd, as over-crowding greatly reduces the vigor in young seedlings,
causes them to become leggy and often encourages damping-off.
For a successful garden of herbaceous perennials, the land must,
in most cases, be especially prepared. The soil of the beds should be
enriched with well rotted cow manure and good woods soil. A bal-
anced fertilizer, tankage, cottonseed meal, a sprinkling of a mineral
mixture and peat should be spaded into the beds. Thorough prepara-
The native Florida coontie is well adapted to shady locations.
tion in advance is essential, as the plants in a perennial garden will
often stand as long as three or four years without being moved. Appli-
cations of complete commercial fertilizers furnishing nitrogen, phos-
phoric acid and potash should be made before growth starts each
spring, and again at the beginning of the rainy season.
A heavy mulch for this type of garden is strongly recommended
and for the purpose, peat, well rotted manure, or oak leaves are
excellent. The mulch preserves moisture, keeps the roots cool during
the heat of the summer, and discourages weed growth and the root-
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 49
knot nematode. Each spring when commercial fertilizer is applied,
new mulch should be added.
Weeds must be checked when very young and should never be
allowed to gain a foothold. Hoeing is often impossible or dangerous
where the plants are grown very close together, so hand-weeding is
to be preferred in the perennial garden. Small plants in nursery rows.
or hobby collections, spaced widely, should be lightly cultivated with
a scuffle hoe sufficiently often to eliminate weeds and grass while they
are very young and tender.
One great disadvantage of this type of garden is that maintenance
is a 12 months' proposition and the gardener is often inclined to
neglect weeding, mulching, and applying the essential side-dressings
of complete fertilizers during the summer when this work is most
SPECIES AND VARIETIES
In the following pages are listed a number of species and varieties
of herbaceous perennials which can be grown successfully in Florida.
The common name appears first, with the scientific name of each
species immediately following.
Adanl's Needle (Yucca filanenatosa)
This yucca is native to Florida, hardy and perfectly at home. The
unusual habit of Adam's Needle makes it useful for landscape work
here and the tall spikes of white flowers, produced in summer, are
particularly striking in the garden picture. The thorns at the ends of
the leaves may cause painful wounds and for this reason they should
be cut off as the leaves unfold. Adam's needle usually is propagated
by means of offsets that arise about the old plants. A variegated form
is sometimes used as an urn or pot subject.
Angelonia (Angelonia salicarinefolia)
This graceful Latin-American perennial grows about two feet in
height and has lance-pointed, toothed leaves about three inches long.
The flowers are dark blue, white centered and bloom from May until
frost. In the spring it is advisable to cut the plant back for new, fresh
Artillery Plant (Pilea microphylla)
This Mexican herb has found a congenial home in southern Florida
and has escaped from cultivation in many places there. In almost any
soil, in sunlight or shade, the artillery plant is one of the very best
edgings and window box plants.
Cuttings, taken at any time when there is abundant moisture, may
be set directly where they are wanted to grow. Seedlings abound in
the vicinity of old plantings.
50 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior)
The Aspidistra has long been a favorite pot plant and window
box subject. It probably can withstand as much abuse as any other
plant, as shade seems to be its only requirement. The stiff, shiny
green leaves, 15 to 20 inches long, grow in thick masses. It is very
hardy, but winter may kill the plants in the colder sections if not
Asystasia (Asystasia coromaandeliana)
For tropical Florida, one of the most attractive little perennials is
this flowering scandent herb from the tropics of the old world.
A garden spot in full sunlight that is reasonably well supplied with
moisture suits the asystasia quite well and it will produce its tubular
lilac flowers almost the entire year around.
Divide heavily matted beds into fertile soil every 4 or 5 years. A
leaf mulch is preferred to cultivation.
Natirei Adam's needle used as a border for a drive
Banana (Musa spp.)
These large herbaceous perennials are grown in many Florida
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 51
gardens for fruit and their tropical effect. In northern Florida they
are valuable as garden plants when used behind hardy evergreen
shrubbery or walls, then the frost-injured plants are hidden until new
growth is well advanced in the spring. Bananas are usually dependable
for a year-'round effect in the southern part of the Florida peninsula.
Propagation is by division of the suckers from the parent plant.
Mulching is preferred to clean cultivation.
Begonia (Begonia spp.)
The Begonias are among the most popular of plants for the house
and conservatory, but with good conditions and proper care, their
planting extends to the out of doors in Florida. They must have shady
situations, a soil rich in humus and plant food, a leaf mulch and an
abundant water supply at all rimes. Protection from frost is important.
Propagation is by division, cuttings or seeds.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)
An erect perennial growing to a maximum height of two feet,
bearing showy yellow and red daisy-like flowers two or three inches
across, on stiff straight seems. It is difficult to distinguish this species
from the annual varieties.
The blanket flower requires full sun for best results and thrives in
almost any soil that is not too wet. Clean cultivation with a scuffle hoe
should contribute to good growth and heavy flower production.
Blooms may be had the first year from seed and during the second
or third year the plants may be divided.
Blue Flag (Iris spp.)
The bearded irises do not thrive in Florida excepting on the clay
hills of the western end of the state where a few varieties may be
grown. Seven native species of irises together with those from southern
Louisiana are particularly graceful and may be successfully transplanted
and grown in the garden. They are water-loving herbs, two feet in
height, that bear lovely white, violet or purple flowers in the spring.
Large numbers should be planted as but few flowers are borne by each
plant. The native irises will thrive in or near the lily pool and with a
little extra attention to watering they may be grown in any good
garden soil that is well supplied with humus.
Blue Sage (Salvia spp.)
The Salvias are propagated by division, cuttings, or seeds. Several
varieties of Blue Sage are excellent perennials for Florida gardens.
The attractive spikes are produced in summer and early autumn.
Bugle-Weed (Ajuga genevensis)
For gardens in western Florida this creeping perennial is quite
well adapted and is considered a first rate ground cover. In early
52 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
summer, the terminal spikes of blue flowers are borne on stems that
reach above the mat of green that is formed by the prostrate plants.
Either sun or shade suits the plant but it prefers a heavy soil and is
not recommended for the light sands of peninsular Florida. Because
Bugle grows in heavily matter clumps, a light mulch of leaves should
be supplied; mechanical cultivation omitted.
When plantings become overcrowded, lift out the plants, fertilize
the bed and replant with single divisions set about six inches apart.
r~ ~ !-- ------- `-, R III~~~~ -
The Blanket Flower
The Blanket Flower
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 53
Cacti (Opuntia, Echinocactus, Mainmillaria, etc.)
As a result of the present day seeking of the unusual, the Cacti
have become quite popular. The kinds of Cacti available from col-
lectors and nurserymen are almost endless and they can be grown
quite easily if given full sun and poor soil that is well drained.
Canna (Canna, many species)
Canna varieties that have flowers of red, yellow, white, buff or
pink with foliage of green or bronze are available at most seed stores
in season. Varieties vary in height from 18 inches to seven or eight
Giant night blooming cacti thrive out of doors in southern Florida
54 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
feet. Cannas do well anywhere in the sun if there is an abundant
supply of water and plant food.
Frequent shallow cultivation and abundance of plant food and
water are requirements.
A pyrethrum spray frequently applied controls the canna leaf roller
(Geslina cannali), an insect that causes unsightly injury to the leaves.
The root stocks should be divided every two or three years to
prevent undue crowding. This is best done when the plants are killed
to the ground by cold.
Cardinal's Guard (Packystackys coccinea)
A tropical American herb which grows to five feet, with large,
remarkably shiny, green, opposite leaves and abundant showy spikes
FLoWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 55
of crimson tubular flowers. The plant is an excellent source of bright
red and is most effective when it is grown in large clumps.
Of easiest culture. Cardinal's Guard requires little attention, but
it responds favorably to frequent cultivation and abundant water and
plant food. Propagation is by cuttings or division.
Century Plant (Agare spp.)
The Century Plant is so easy of cultivation that it is found, in
many varieties, growing almost everywhere in Florida.
Century Plants are valuable when used sparingly to lend an exotic
Propagation is by suckers arising from the old plants and from
plantlets which are formed in the inflorescenses.
Chirysantheimuiln (Chrysanthenmuin mPnorifolium)
Chrysanthemum flowers, in multitudinous forms, range in size. from
single daisy-like blooms through the pompons, anemones and spidery
Japanese varieties to the huge globular flowers so popular ac football
Many varieties. from all of the groups listed above, have been
successfully grown our of doors in Florida.
Probably the most troublesome insect pests are the flower chrips
56 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
which are usually present in great numbers during the warm, dry
weather of early autumn. Control by a contact insecticide such as
nicotine sulphate, pyrethrum, DDT or rotenone has been urged repeat-
edly, but many backyard gardeners find it impracticable to spray or
dust the few plants that they grow. It is suggested, therefore, that
varieties be grown which mature during November and December.
At this time of the year lower temperatures usually aid materially in
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
suitable spreader will assure healthy green foliage. Unfortunately,
casual gardeners seldom apply spray materials at frequent intervals
throughout the season and as a result, heavy infection by the leaf
spotting diseases may result.
One hand-picking of diseased leaves in September and another in
October has kept many varieties relatively free of spotted foliage.
It has been observed that plantings maintained by division of old
clumps are much more severely attacked by the leaf spotting diseases
than those which are renewed each season by fresh tip cuttings. For
this reason, it is suggested that the plants be destroyed after cutting,
and a fresh start be made each year.
Rooted cuttings, secured from a wholesale grower each May, should
mature into plants that show remarkably little leaf spot. While this
practice is more expensive than the usual method of increasing garden
chrysanthemums by division, the improvement in quality will more
than pay for the planting stock each season. Of course it is possible to
retain your old plants and keep them free of leaf spot by frequent
application of a fungicide. In springtime tip cuttings are made and
dipped immediately in Fermate solution.
As a further precaution against the leaf diseases, it is suggested
that rotation between several plots be practiced. Two or three sunny
areas that can be used in alternating years will give good results and
these may be planted to annuals or bulbs in the interim.
Heavy applications of cow manure well in advance of planting,
supplemented by light, bi-weekly feedings of a balanced fertilizer.
should provide adequate nutrients for garden chrysanthemums.
Frequent shallow cultivation is the rule.
A square wooden garden stake should be driven close by each
plant, with the plant being tied to this support every eight or ten
inches with heavy cotton cord. Wire stakes are likely to whip in the
wind and bend under the weight of water-filled blossoms, when used
in outdoor plantings.
1. Use November-flowered varieties to avoid serious thrips in-
2. Avoid leaf spot diseases by destroying old plants each season
or by protecting the foliage with a suitable fungicide.
3. Replant each spring with fresh stock grown from clean tip
4. Spade manure into the bed well in advance of planting, and
apply a balanced fertilizer in small amounts every two weeks.
5. Tie the plants to stakes so that the stems will not bend and
break from the weight of water-filled blossoms.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 57
reducing infestation by flower thrips, and the blossoms are of much
At this season there is the real danger of frost injury in many
parts of Florida. Several methods of protecting chrysanthemum plants
have been used with success.
I. A muslin-covered frame can be built over the plants prior to
the date of expected frost.
2. The plants may be carefully lifted and transplanted into a
greenhouse or similar well lighted structure until the blossoms
Century Plant in the forcground
3. The plants can be potted in large containers, staked and car-
ried into the garage on cold nights.
Leaf spotting of chrysanthemums, the result of infection by several
different fungi, is particularly serious in Florida, and in certain years
clean foliage is restricted to small rosettes just beneath the blossoms.
A copper fungicide such as cuprous oxide or Flordo or one of the
newer materials like Fermate or Karbam if applied frequently with a
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 59
Coontie (Zamiat floridana)
This is a hardy Florida perennial with long pinnate leaves, valu-
able in the sub-tropical plan, and as a ground cover for shady places.
Cooncie can be propagated by seeds, division of offsets or the
plants may be collected from their native habitat in the open pine
Cyperus (Ciperus spp.)
These graceful sedges are useful for striking foliage effects when
used in or near water plantings as they actually grow well in water
a few inches deep.
Although low temperatures usually cut the stems to the ground
rhey quickly rally in warm weather.
60 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
There are two important species.
The Egyptian paper plant (C. papyrus) is probably the more desir-
able, although more render. Stout triangular stems to a height of eight
feet bear attractive clusters of small, wiry leaves, about five inches
long, at their tips.
The umbrella plant (C. alternifolius) is the more widely grown,
probably because it is more robust. It is not so striking in appear-
ance as the Egyptian paper plant. The variety, gracilis Hort., is
smaller and more slender, the variety, variegatum Hort., is striped
Propagation of both species is by division or seeds.
Daylily (Heamerocallis spp.)
No perennials are so well adapted to Florida gardens as are the
Daylilies. Their hardiness, long blooming period, brilliant coloring
and freedom from pests make them indispensable for the Lower South.
There is certainly great satisfaction in growing plants that are not in
constant need of dusting, spraying and replacement. Many old plant-
ings are known where Daylilies have bloomed profusely each season
without any care whatsoever save for one spring feeding and an occa-
sional soaking during periods of drought.
For greatest numbers of large blooms over an extended period,
liberal feeding and watering and frequent light cultivation is suggested.
Most varieties of Daylilies are cosmopolitan plants that thrive on
the muck of the Everglades, the oolitic rock of Dade County, the light
sands of central Florida and on the red clay hills of the western part
of the state.
Over most of Florida the Daylily season opens in early March,
reaches its climax in April and extends well into June. Certain types
will bloom a second time toward the end of the rainy season. In
northern Florida, flowering dates are some two months in advance
of the dates published in northern catalogs. In western Florida the
dares will be a week or two behind those for Gainesville, while toward
the tip of the peninsular, all types bloom a couple of weeks earlier.
By carefully compiling one's varietal list, these hardy perennials can
be enjoyed over a period of some four months.
Daylilies are most effectively grown in clumps of three or more
plants in the bays of shrubbery borders. If the colors are grouped
separately, perhaps the best effects will be attained.
The genus Hemerocallis has received much attention from plant
breeders and now we have huge blossoms that are bi-colored or two
toned, flowers that are a bright cardinal red and other choice varieties
whose blossoms are a deep glowing purple. Indeed the color range in
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA
Hemerocallis is remarkable and it is expanding every year as further
generations of carefully bred seedlings come into flower.
False Dragon-head (Physostegia virginiana)
This is a vigorous, hardy herb, about three feet in height, that
has the characteristic square stems and toothed leaves of the mint
family. The white, pink or lilac flowers are borne in a striking four-
sided spike and are useful by virtue of the fact that they bloom in the
It is not particular as to soil, but responds well to good culture.
Propagation is by division.
Ferns in variety are valuable for moist, shady locations. Splendid
kinds such as the cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), and the
different maidenhair ferns (Adiantum spp.) may be collected in the
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Ferns and other tender herbaceotts plants
woods. Scores of horticultural varieties of ferns are grown in Florida.
They should be protected from extremely low temperatures.
Thoroughly enriched beds or borders containing peat or muck on
the north side of walls are ideal locations for ferns.
Soil moisture is of prime importance in fern-growing. Propagation
is by division.
Fig Marigold (Glottiplayllamni depressama)
This is a prostrate herb from South Africa that is very desirable
as a ground cover for seaside gardens. Revelling in full sunlight, well-
drained sandy soil and thriving in spite of salt spray, the fig-marigold
is of value of Florida's coastal sand dunes. The old clumps can be
lifted and cuttings taken in mid-summer.
Four-o'clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
An erect bushy herb that is easily grown from the large black
seeds. The fragrant funnel-shaped flowers in shades of red. yellow,
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 63
white or striped, borne in late summer and early fall, open in cloudy
weather or late afternoon and close in the morning.
Four-o'clocks are killed to the ground by light frosts, but they
will quickly recover in the spring.
Chance seedlings that are usually found about parent plants are
Ginger (Zingiber officitinae)
The gingers are striking perennial herbs, which are widely used in
cooking and medicines. In Florida, the gingers find their greatest use
in the ornamental field, but have long been grown to a limited degree
as culinary herbs. They thrive in shady, moist locations and should be
provided with a leaf mulch in lieu of cultivation. Usually winter-
killed in colder sections. ginger is evergreen in southern Florida.
Propagation is by division of the rhizomes.
DiPA RTM LiNT OP AG;RICULTURE
Ginger-Lily (IHedychiumsn coronamriunn)
The ginger-lily is an herb with canna-like leaves, about three
inches across, that grows to a height of four to six feet. A water-
loving plant admirably adapted to use in the lily pond planting. The
leaves are killed by a temperature of about 25' F.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 65
The long-tubed, white flowers which appear in September and
October are extremely fragrant and are much admired.
Golden Glow (Rudbeckia laciniata)
A hardy perennial whose flower stalks in the late fall rise to a
height of four or five feet and bear large, full, double, lemon-yellow
flowers in great profusion that are excellent both for garden decoration
and for cutting.
Golden glow prefers the climate and soil of the western part of
the state and is not recommended for peninsular Florida.
A half day's sun with shade in the heat of the afternoon suits the
plant very well. When used in bold clumps, on the east side of a
north-south hedge or wall, the effect is very striking.
An abundance of plant food and water is required and frequent
stirring with a scuffle hoe is beneficial.
Propagation by division should be repeated every year or two.
Mildew may be checked by dusting with 300 mesh sulphur.
Japanese Snake's Beard (Ophiopogo. japonicus)
This is a perennial stemless lily-relative of about a foot in height
that grows from rootstocks and soon forms large clumps by means
of stolons. The tiny spikes of white or violet flowers are inconspicuous.
Like its close relative, the Liriope, this grass-like plant is very use-
ful as a ground cover, for window boxes, or as an edging. It grows
well under the most trying conditions of sun or shade, heat or cold,
drought or moisture. As a ground cover under oak trees where grass
will not thrive, this attractive little perennial excels.
There is a variegated variety and a large species known as O.
Propagation is by division.
Justicia (Justicia secunda)
This is a large, coarse herb attaining a height of 4 to 8 feet, that
bears, during spring and summer, loose terminal spikes of red, pink
or orange tubular flowers. They are most useful as a background in
the herbaceous border.
Propagation is by cuttings and division.
Lily-turf (Liriope spp.)
A member of the lily family with graceful grass-like foliage a foot
high, the Liriope is exceptionally fine as a ground cover, for the win-
dow box, or as an edging plant. The Liriope grows well in most soils
but seems to thrive best in the shade. It bears its spikes of tiny blue
flowers in the summer. Tolerant of heat and cold, all of the lily-tufts
66 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
must be protected from scale by an occasional spraying with a summer
Propagation is by division.
L. muscari, the wide-leaved Liriope, attains a height of 15 inches
and is an excellent species for its lilac flowers which appear in June
and July. There is a variegated form.
L. spicata, creeping lily-turf, does quite well in Florida and is
recommended for densely shaded spots.
Cultivation is impossible so a leaf mulch is used instead.
Moraea (Moraea spp.)
As a substitute for iris on sandy soils, this perennial is hardy,
vigorous and easy to grow. M. iridioides, the species illustrated, is
better known than M. bicolor which is occasionally seen in peninsular
The Moraea can be grown on light sandy soil
Florida gardens. The clumps should be divided every two or three
Propagation is by division or seeds.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 67
Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
Pampas Grass is popular in Florida where it is usually found as a
lawn specimen. It grows in large, graceful clumps to 10 feet in height,
bearing, in the fall, striking plumes which rise to a height of 12 feet.
A gross feeder that requires full sun for best development.
Valuable as a screen or when used in connection with clumps of
bamboo. Often the leaves are browned by low temperatures. but
this doe-s not impair the screening value of pampas grass. New growth
quickly starts in warm weather.
The variety Rio des roses has rose colored panicles.
Propagation is by division.
Pentas (Pentas lamnceolata)
Pentas has become very popular in extreme southern Florida.
where it thrives out of doors with little care. Colorful, attractive heads
The perituinkle thrives uwhere many flowers uiwoul perish
of tubular flowers in lilac, pink, white or red are borne throughout
most of the year. Pentas is prized for cutting as its keeping quality is
excellent. Cuttings root quickly if they are simply set where they are
to mature and are \watered frequently.
Periwinkle (Vincea rose)
A robust, erect, ever-blooming perennial growing to two feet. that
is seen everywhere in Florida. Of easiest culture. it has escaped culti-
vation and may be seen in old fields and about abandoned houses.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
In spite of the fact that it is so common, the periwinkle deserves
a place in most gardens because it is sure to give a cheerful mass of
color, even without attention. In the colder sections of the state, Vinca
rosea is grown as an annual.
Propagation is by seeds or cuttings. Chance seedlings abound year
V. major variegata is a reclining or creeping perennial that is used
in window-boxes and hanging baskets and is easily handled in Florida
if it is grown in the shade and replaced occasionally with freshly
Vinca minor, running myrtle, is valuable as a ground cover in
extreme western Florida.
Sansevieria (Sansevieria spp.)
Various kinds of sansevieria are popular as pot plants, urn subjects
and in patio plantings. Although they are not sufficiently hardy to
The Scarlet Sage
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 69
withstand cold winters, in the warmer parts of the state they are used
Tolerant of heat, sunshine, shade, and drought, the sansevierias will
thrive with very little attention. Some 50 species have been described,
but only a half dozen are in general cultivation in Florida.
The erect, thick, succulent leaves that arise from underground root-
stocks usually are mottled, sometimes variegated, and are admired for
their tropical character.
Propagation is by division or by cutting the leaves into pieces 2
to 3 inches long and inserting them in sand.
Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens)
This perennial is widely cultivated in Florida. A vigorous peren-
nial that furnishes bright scarlet spikes throughout the summer until
cut down by frost. In cold districts, it is usually treated as an annual,
unless protected from cold. Almost 20 horticultural varieties have been
Propagation is by cutting or seeds.
Selaginella (Selainella spp.)
This is the type genus of a large family of fern-like plants con-
taining many species that succeed outdoors in Florida. They are much
prized for their delicate, feathery effect. Closely allied to the ferns,
they enjoy practically the same culture.
Most of the Selaginellas require shade, an even supply of soil
moisture, and humid atmosphere for their best development.
Propagation is by division of old plants.
Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum maxiammn)
The Shasta Daisy is a perennial that is truly at home in northern
Florida, but often will not survive the summers and light sands of
the peninsular. Large, pure white, yellow centered daises borne on
stiff leafy stems a foot and one-half in height, are produced in pro-
fusion during the spring. These daisies prefer full sun in the morning
with, perhaps, partial shade in the afternoon. The plants stand a tem-
perature as low as 25 F. without apparent injury.
Propagation is by division in the fall.
Within recent years, improved forms such as Marconi and Esther
Read have become very popular as cut flowers.
Shrimp Plant (Beloperone guttata)
This striking and unusual perennial attracts a great deal of atten-
tion wherever it is seen. The plant attains a height of two feet, and
-0 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
is prolific in its production of shoNwy coppery-red flower bracts that
are somev.hat similar in structure to Bougainvillea bracts. The shrimp
plant will survive mild winters. but it should be potted and take,':
indoors in the colder parts of the state.
Propagation is by seeds or cuttings.
Slipper Plant (P'edilautllas spp.)
These are succulent herbs growing to six feet which exude a milky
juice when bruised or crushed. Although members of this group are
very tender, they stand adverse cultural conditions and are valuable in
southern Florida gardens when ; tropical effect is wanted. There are
Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia)
This familiar native plant warrants no special discussion. Valuable
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORID)A
when massed for the sub-tropical effect, especially where it is too dry
for many perennial plants to thrive. The many branched spikes of
fragrant white blossoms are very striking.
The thorns on the rips of the leaves should be removed by pruning
shears to prevent injury.
Propagation is by offsets from old plants.
There is a variegated form.
Stokles Aster (Stokcesin laeris)
This plant is. without question, one of the best native American
perennials chat succeeds in Florida.
The strong clumps about a foot in height, bear blue aster-like
flowers three inches across, on stout stems throughout the summer.
Although Stokes' Aster prefers high, well-drained, rich, sandy loam,
it will persist in poor. light sand, blooming year arter year during
summer time when flowers are needed for cutting.
There are pink, white and yellow forms, but they are not as de-
pendable as the blue type.
72 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Frequent light cultivation supplemented by several feedings during
spring and summer should make for heavy flowering.
Propagation is by division, which should be practiced every three
Strawberry-geranium (Saxifraga sara entosa)
As an unusual ground cover for densely shaded locations on the
heavier soil types of western Florida, this little perennial is highly
commended. It is frequently used also as a porch plant, hung so that
the drooping stolons carry the tufts of young plantlets as a part of the
decorative scheme of the porch.
Strobilanthes (Strobilanthes spp.)
A coarse, erect herb about three feet high that has attractive light
blue funnel-shaped flowers from May until frost. When grown in
large clumps the effect is very striking from sunrise until noon. Un-
fortunately, the flowers fade in the sun. Prolific and cosmopolitan,
Strobilanthes will endure almost any hardship and seems to succeed
anywhere in the state.
Propagation is easy by division, cuttings or seeds. Volunteer seed-
lings are found in numbers about the parent plant.
S. isophyllus is larger, coarser, more hardy than is the more slender
Tall Cup Flower (Nierenbergia frutescens)
A graceful shrubbery perennial herb to three feet high. Handsome
cup-like white flowers tinted with blue are borne in profusion in early
summer. N. coerulea, is a dwarf species that can be grown as an annual
throughout the state.
Though the cup flowers are little used, they succeed here and
warrant more extensive planting.
Propagation is by cuttings, seeds, or division of the old plants.
Transvaal Daisy (Gerberia jamesoni)
This superb perennial is, justly, one of the most popular grown
in Florida. The plants, which grow in large clumps to ten inches
in height, are vigorous, deep-rooted and quite resistant to insects and
The large single or double daisy-like flowers, ranging in color
from white to cream to rose red, are borne on stiff stems a foot or
more in length. The flowers are produced continually if not cut down
by frost and have excellent keeping quality.
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 73
Employ the scuffle hoe frequently to stir the topsoil and discourage
Propagation is by seeds or division. The latter method seems best
as there has been difficulty in germinating seeds, unless they are abso-
Divide ar least every three years into well enriched soil.
Rhoeo discolor is a stiff, upright, tender foliage plant with long
lance-pointed, strap-shaped leaves that are green above and purple
It is unusual in appearance and consequently prized in sub-tropical
74 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
gardens. In colder sections it is advisable to lift the plants in the fall
and carry them through the winter in pots indoors.
The inconspicuous flowers are borne in clusters protected by pur-
plish, leaf-like bracts close to the upright stem.
Pot culture or a moist, shady, deeply mulched bed is recommended.
Propagated by separating the young offsets from the parent plant,
or by seeds.
The native spiderwort, sometimes called blue-eyed grass, is a worthy
perennial that can be transplanted to the garden. Flowers of white,
pink or rose are to be found, in addition to the blue type.
The Wandering Jew is valuable as a ground cover for a densely
shaded, moist spot, where it is allowed to cover the ground in a deep
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 75
Verbena (Verbena hortelrsis)
The present-day verbena, in many charming colors, is a result of
the hybridization of four species.
Usually perennials in Florida, verbenas are low, creeping plants,
of the simplest culture, that are dependable for strong color notes.
Attacks of red spider can be forestalled by dusting the plants with
sulphur or syringing them with heavy pressure from the water hose.
Valuable as a ground cover in sunny places, edgings, rock gardens and
for window box work, verbenas should not be uprooted by cultivation.
Propagation of choice kinds should be by cuttings, but if no special
color is desired, the seeds may be planted.
Moss Verbena (VI. erinoidesi is valuable as a self-seeding subject
for bold masses of lilac color. It is similar to the above, but not so
highly developed as to flower size. Only one or two shades are known
in this species.
Violet (Viola odorata)
Everyone loves violets and everyone can have them out of doors
in southern gardens. An acid soil abounding in humus and plant food,
moisture, shade and a mulch of leaves are requirements. The delicious-
ly perfumed flowers are numerous from December until May, unless
extremely low temperatures are experienced.
Divide the old plants each year or two, in August or September.
The variety Princess of Wales is probably the one grown most widely
Wedelia (Wedelia trilobata)
This creeping perennial is one of the best ground covers for south-
ern Florida. Thriving on any soil type, in sun or shade, in moist or
dry locations, the worth of this yellow-flowered member of the daisy
family is widely appreciated and it is to be found growing abundantly
in the warmer sections of the peninsula.
The prostrate stems root readily at the nodes and abundant planting
stock is always at hand.
Cultivation is not possible because of the stem-rooting characteristic.
-6 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS FOR SPECIAL
PERENNIALS FOR BLUE FLOWERS
Angelonia ............................. 49
Blue flag........ .................. 51
Blue Sage ................................. 51
Lily-turf .................. .............. 65
Stokes' aster ............................ 71
Strobilanthes ........................ 72
Verbena .................................. 75
Violet .................................... 75
PERENNIALS FOR THE SUNNY GARDEN
Adam's needle ......................... 49
Banana ..................................... 50
Blanket flower ....................... 51
C acti ..................................... 53
Canna ..................... ............... 53
Cardinal's guard ......................... 54
Century plant ........................... 55
Chrysanthemum ....................... 55
False dragonhead ............... .... 61
Four-o'clock .............................. 62
Justicia .............................. 65
Moraea ............................... 66
Blanket flower .............. ....... 51
Cacti ..... ........... .. ...... .... . 53
C anna ... ........... ................ 53
Chrysanthemum ....... .............. 55
Pampas grass ............................
Scarlet Sage .............................
Shasta daisy ..............................
Slipper plant .......................
Spanish bayonet.... ..................
Stokes' aster ..............................
Strobilanthes .......... .........
Tall cup flower.........................
Transvaal daisy .... .............
D aylily .. ...... ..................
Four-o'clock ......... ............
Golden glow ............................
PERENNIALS FOR THE SEASHORE GARDEN
Adam's needle ..........................
Banana .......... .. .. ..
Cacti ................... .... ...
Cardinal's guard .....................
Century plant ............... .....
Coon ie ......... ...... ....
D aylily ......................................
Fig marigold ............ ........
Four-o'clock ................. ........
Japanese snake's beard ...........
Lily-turf .............. ................
Periw inkle .......... ...... .....
Sansevieria ...... .................
Scarlet Sage ................. ..........
Slipper plant ............ ..........
Spanish bayonet .......................
Strobilanthes ........... .........
V iolet .... ... ......... ....
W edelia ..... ....................
PERENNIALS FOR FOLIAGE EFFECTS
Adam's needle ..... ................
A spidistra .... .. .................
Banana .......... .........
Begonia .... ... ........... .........
Blue flag ....... ...................
C acti .... ..... ... ....
Century plant ...........................
C oontie ................. .................
Daylily ......... ............
Ferns ............. .. ........ ...
G inger ....... ..... ...... .....
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 77
PERENNIALS FOR FOLIAGE EFFECTS-(Continued)
Ginger-lily .......... .. .....
Japanese snake's beard ............
L ily-turf ................ ... ....
M oraea ......... .. ... ....... .
Pampas grass ....................
Slipper plant ...........................
Spanish bayonet ............ ......
T radescantia ..................... ....
Vinca major variegata .............
PERENNIALS FOR WINDOW BOXES
Aspidistra ................ ... ..... 49
Begonia ................................... 51
Beloperone ..... .. .................. 69
Coontie ......... ..... .............. 59
Ferns ........................................ 61
Japanese snake's beard ............
Lily-turf ... .. ........
Selaginella ... ........
Verbena ........ ....................
Vinca major variegata ............
PERENNIALS FOR THE SHADY GARDEN
Aspidistra .............. . 49
Begonia ..................... .51
Beloperone .... .. ... .......... 69
Blue flag ....... ...... ....... 51
C oo ncic ................................ .. 59
Ferns .. ........................ 61
Ginger ................. .63
Ginger-lily ..... .. ....... 64
Japanese snake's beard ........ 65
Lily-turf ....... ........ 65
Sansevieria ... ........... ... 68
Selaginella ..... .... ............ 69
Tradescantia .. .......... ......... 7
V iolet .. ............ .... .. 75
Wedelia .................. 75
PERENNIALS FOR GROUND COVER
Bugle ................... ...... .......
Ferns ........... ............. .
Japanese snake's beard ....... .
Lily-turf ......... ......... .................
V erbena ....................................
Vinca major variegata ..............
Violet ...... ....................
W edelia .... ............... .........
PERENNIALS FOR THE WATER GARDEN
B lue flag .......... ....................... 5 1 G inger-lily ................................
Cyperus ............. ............ 59 Japanese snake's beard ..............
D aylily ............. .. ... 60 Lily-turf ..... ........ .....
Ferns ....................... ............... 61 Selaginella ... ................
G inger ...................................... 63
PERENNIALS FOR CUT FLOWERS
Angelonia ............. .... .......
Blanket flower .......... .............
D aylily ............. ... ... .. ..
False dragonhead ... ... ...........
G inger-lily ........................
Shasta daisy ...........................
Stokes' aster .. .... ................
Transvaal daisy .... .......
V erbena ............ .......................
V iolet ... .. .........
78 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ROSES FOR CUTTING
Through the centuries man has held the rose in highest esteem,
and there is little reason to believe that this flower will not continue
to hold first place among garden flowers. Color, form, fragrance and
tradition work together to justify this regard among the people of the
civilized worlds. The present day cutting varieties are characterized by
long, pointed buds, attractive colors, frequently blended and heavy,
Red and Pink Radiance
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 79
dark green foliage. Unfortunately, these modern hybrid tea roses have
been developed in temperate regions and all too often they are not
adapted to the Lower South. In peninsular Florida the light sandy
soils, the lack of winter rest, the high humidity and prevalence of
diseases make rose growing a difficult business. While many old
fashioned favorites like Louis Phillippe, Minnie Francis, Marie Van
Hourte, and Safrano may flourish like natives, the up-to-date fashion-
The Edith Carell is a desirable ox-blood red Polyantha
80 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
able varieties frequently are short-lived. Some rose lovers have accepted
this fact as inevitable, and they candidly grow their cutting roses as
annuals. They prepare fresh beds each fall and buy just enough plants
to furnish roses for the house, discarding them in early summer when
disease and senility have reduced them to sorry, unproductive bundles
of sticks. Actually, in times of normal prices, this method is not ex-
travagant, as roses may be had for cutting much below your florist's
Bush roses in close bed formation should not be employed as a
main feature of the landscape plan in Florida. When the plants are
Rev. F. Page Roberts
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 81
dormant, when they are properly pruned, covered with fungicides, and
stripped of their buds daily, they leave a great deal to be desired from
the standpoint of aesthetic appeal. For much of the time, it must be
admitted, modern bush roses are anything but handsome shrubs. For
these reasons, it is the feeling of this gardener, that the rose beds should
Antoine Rivoire, a hybrid tea with creamy white blooms delicately
tinted with pink
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
be in an enclosed portion of the grounds, preferably as a part of that
utilitarian area that designers call the cutting garden.
The prospective rosarian should choose plants that are known to
be free from crowngall, brown canker and black spot, if at all possible,
yet, these three very serious diseases are all too frequently present in
new planting stock.
Mrs. Aaron Ward, a hybrid tea with Indian yellow blooms
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FI.ORIDA 8S
The rose bed should be prepared about two \weeks before the bushes
are procured. It should not be situated near trees or large shrubs whose
roots will rob the soil of plant food and water and whose foliage will
intercept the sun's rays. In the event that it is necessary to establish
the bed near large plants, a root restricror made by burying metal roof-
In vertically along the edge of the bed nearest the rrees or shrubs will
Fr.,/ Karl Dru.sch.ki. often ca/lleld Wi'be American Beai'uty
be beneficial in keeping out roots for a year or two. The plates of
roofing must overlap several inches.
An abundant supply of water is necessary, so some provision must
84 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
be made for the proper irrigation of the rose garden. On the other
hand, roses cannot stand wet feet, so a well-drained situation must be
In laying out the rose garden, narrow beds are preferred to facili-
tate cultural operations without injuring the plants. Grass, when prop-
Duchess de Brabant, Tea rose
early grown and frequently mowed, makes a near-perfect walk for rose
If the soil is loose, light, and sandy, remove it to a depth of fifteen
inches and replace it with a compost of rotted leaves, cow manure,
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 85
and good hammock soil. The older this compost is the better, but
new compost is acceptable if the cow manure is well decomposed. Do
not use fresh manure when planting rose bushes. In western Florida,
if the garden is to be on a clay, or clay loam soil, this preparation is
Rose Marie, hybrid tea uwith attractive rose-pink blooms
not necessary. Adding three inches of cow manure to the soil and
turning it under usually is sufficient preparation.
The best planting time is when the nursery stock is completely
dormant (usually in late December to early February) but planting
time may vary with the season. Choose an overcast day for plant-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ing, if possible, so that the stock will not be exposed to the sun. The
plants should be carefully cut back to four or five eyes, and all broken
or bruised roots should be cut off clean and smooth with sharp shears.
The holes must be sufficiently large to accommodate the root
Gruss an Teplitz. cri,,son-flou'ered hybrid tea
systems without crowding. In the bottom of each hole drop a hand-
ful of balanced fertilizer and cover lightly with top soil. Dip the roots
of each plant in a bucket of water just before planting. Insert the
new bush so that the root system maintains its former shape and posi-
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA
tion, and so it will stand at the same level that it stood in the nursery
row. With a slow, steady flow of water from the hose, work the soil
about the roots, filling the hole to the ground level. Pack firmly by
tramping with the feet, and put a large saucer of earth about the plant
to hold water.
The Duchess of Wellington is a saffron hybrid tea
Cultivation is discouraged; and if a heavy mulch of leaves, peat
or rotted cow manure is used, the few weeds that appear may be pulled
easily by hand while they are still small. As the new growth produces
the blossoms, it is evident that any cultural practices that will break
this new wood should be discouraged.
When flower buds appear, one-half a pound of a garden fertilizer
may be scattered on the mulching material and washed in with a strong
88 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
spray from the hose. A second application of plant food should be
made in summer, and a third should be applied in September to en-
courage autumn growth as the weather turns cooler.
Early morning, when the dew is still on the leaves, is the best
time to cut garden roses in Florida. Select buds with two or more
Betty -a coppery pink hybrid tea rose
petals open and cut them with as short stems as possible. Cutting
roses with long stems is sometimes necessary, but this practice greatly
reduce the leaf area, and thus causes a serious check to the plant. A
plant is dependent upon its leaves for its well-being, and if it is to
succeed, it must not be defoliated. Small, sharp, pruning shears are
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 89
best for cutting roses. The cut should be made at a slant, just above
an eye which points away from the center of the bush.
Flower arrangements should not be placed in direct sunlight, in
a draft or near heating appliances. Each day cut half an inch off the
end of each stem, and renew the water in the container.
Etoile de Hollande, a hybrid tea with crimson buds
Black spot is one of the most serious diseases with which the ros-
arian has to contend. It is first evident in the form of minute, irregular,
black spots on the upper surface of the leaves. As the fungus grows,
90 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the leaves turn yellow and drop off. When the leaf area is thus re-
duced by attacks of this dreaded disease, stunted plants, bearing a few
small blooms, will be the inevitable result.
So far as we know there is no cure for black spot, so preventive
measures are the only means of control. Fermate, copper compounds
such as Bordeaux mixture and the several proprietary products that
your seed house will recommend, are efficacious if frequent applica-
Francis Scott Key, large deep red, thrifty
tions are made. Spray first, on the day the plants are set, next follow
with another application when the shoots are six inches long and then
after each crop of buds is cut.
Finely ground sulphur (300 mesh) has been very successfully used
as a fungicide during the cooler months of the year. By the middle
of June it will be necessary to suspend the use of sulphur as tender
growth will be burned during hot weather. During the summer months
FLOWiERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 9!
it is a good plan to use one of the copper fungicides, or Fermate, Kar-
bam or Zerlace.
Brown canker or stem canker is another serious disease Chat ac-
racks rose plants. Small, purplish spots develop along the canes; and
as they enlarge, they become grayish or brownish in color. As the
The Radiance is the easiest and most reliable pink hybrid tea
disease progresses, the cane is girdled, and death is the result. The
disease frequently begins around pruning cuts, so it is an excellent
plan to mop all pruning curs with a thick paste of wettable sulphur
or Bordeaux mixture. The flowers, themselves, are often attacked by
the rose canker disease.
92 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
As with the black spot disease, a copper fungicide or a finely di-
vided sulphur dust or one of the new rose sprays should restrain rose
Paul's Scarlet Climber blooms profusely in the spring
Rose aphids, or plant lice, at times are serious pests in the rose
garden. They may gather in great numbers on the tender new growth
and about new buds. Stunted shoots and imperfect blooms are the
result if the insects are allowed to go unchecked. Nicotine and soap
sprays or nicotine dust are efficient controls as are rotenone and Pyr-
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 93
ethrum compounds. Some of the new insecticides such as Vapotone
and Gamtox are lethal to aphids when they are used as directed on
Flower beetles occasionally feed on the tender buds. It is possible
that DDT sprays used for other insects may give a control, if not,
hand-picking is advocated.
Flower thrips are extremely troublesome during dry seasons. They
are tiny, light yellow insects that infest blooms in numbers beyond
estimation. Browned petals and balled buds that fail to open (similar
to the injury caused by rose canker) often result from attacks of thrips.
Some varieties of roses are more seriously injured than others. All
roses should be gathered as soon as they open sufficiently. Two or
three applications of DDT before and during the flowering season
should be helpful. As weeds and flowers of many kinds harbor thrips,
a careful cleanup program is recommended.
Pumpkin bugs often attack roses, especially during the fall, and
punctured buds of abnormal shapes result from their feeding in the
rose garden. Knocking them off into a pan containing a little kerosene
may be practiced. Spraying with Vapotone or Gamtox may be helpful.
Catch crops, such as sunflowers, may prove of benefit if the bugs are
systematically collected from them.
Cottony-cushion scale, when found feeding on the under sides of
leaves or on the canes, is best controlled by colonies of Vedalia, a
small beetle which is a specific predator. It is possible to reduce the
infestation by washing the scale from the bushes with a vigorous stream
from the nozzle of the garden hose.
Red spider mites may be kept in check by dusting with sulphur,
spraying with Vapotone or by heavy syringing with the hose.
When a plant demonstrates its adaptability in a new country so
well that it naturalizes without aid from the hand of man, that plant
deserves our serious consideration. It seems to be a gardening tradi-
tion to seek the exotic, the unusual, the rare plants for one's garden,
and this trait is commendable in that it sets one's garden above the
commonplace, gives it distinction and charm. But all too often in our
seeking for the unusual, we overlook excellent material that is grow-
ing at our very doorsteps. These tried and true materials should be
used as the firm foundations upon which the weaker growers, the
temperamental garden plants, should be allowed to lean for stalwart
The roses that inspire this tribute to dependable, naturalized plant
material are the Cherokee rose (Rose lavigata) that native of China
94 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
that has found a congenial home in Florida, and the Macartney rose
(Rose bracteata) that contributes so magnificently to the spring garden
In addition to these naturalized oriental species, certain other mem-
^ ^4 ^^ii
& Va ^fT ^ ^
BL. ''*^^ ^'
Marechal Niel is an old favorite climbing rose
bears of this great genus, Rosa, which, although they do not naturalize
themselves, show a remarkable tenacity of life in our trying semi-
tropical climate. First place in this class might be given to the Banks
rose (Rosa banksiae). This robust, evergreen, thornless climber ex-
hibits an adaptability that is most heartening when contrasted with the
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 95
very short lives of modern popular cutting varieties. That comparative
newcomer to Florida gardens, Belle of Portugal, a hybrid of Rosa
gigantea, is almost assured of success in the deep South. The vigor
with which it grows and the myriads of huge pink flowers that it
produces each spring should satisfy the most critical of rosarians.
Next in this class of persistent garden roses for the lower South is
the interesting Noisette group which contains that long-time favorite,
shade-loving Marechal Niel, which is indispensable in every garden
of the old South. In this group that was originated by John Champney
in Charleston, we find also Reve d'Or and Lamarque, two varieties
that are very tenacious of life in the semi-tropical climate of Florida.
These rampant climbers and some of their descendants can be
depended upon to contribute to the garden ensemble year after year,
while cutting roses may have succumbed to the ravages of black-spot,
brown canker, the upsetting influences of light sandy soils, and in-
sufficient rest. Perhaps it is fortunate that things have worked out
this way: the rampant climbing forms, always to be used as back-
ground materials are so well adapted to the Florida climate that they
are very long-lived and seldom need replacing, while the tempera-
mental bush hybrids that are demanded today for flower arrangements
can be grown in closely planted beds in front of the climbers and
discarded and replaced as need be.
If the garden design calls for a fence or trellis, one or more of
these striking roses can be trained on it at planting intervals of eight
feet. Very often a vigorous vine can be in the narrow space on either
side of the garage doors. When tied to horizontal wires it covers,
softens and adds interest to the gable end. The double yellow Banksia
is well adapted to this use.
Most of us have seen the delightful effect that can be attained by
planting vigorous climbing roses by pine trees so that the canes may be
secured to the tree trunks as they grow. Members of the Noisette group
are charming when grown in this way.
One of the most popular of garden appurtenances is the combi-
nation gate and arbor with seats on either side. This structure, in its
many variations, lends itself to the planting of attractive climbing
roses. It displays them well and it permits easy maintenance.
A favorite way of growing choice garden plants is in the "stand-
ard" form which the rosarian calls the "tree" form. Unfortunately,
our climate is not ideally adapted to this type of training, so that rose
trees are usually unsatisfactory here.
In a garden of formal design pillar roses are effectively employed.
Posts of material and color that reflect the feeling of the garden are
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
set at strategic accent points, and on these posts are trained climbing
roses. By careful renewal pruning and tying, these pillars are kept
neat and compact. When they are in bloom, they are very telling in
the garden picture.
In the modern mode for white houses of brick or concrete block,
certain climbing forms are very effective espaliered against a garage
Reve D'Or, a climber of the Noisette group
Watering is very important, as soil moisture must be abundant to
assure adequate growth. When there is no competition in the garden
from roots or nearby trees, about one thorough watering each week
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 9-
during dry weather will suffice. However, if roots from other plants
penetrate the soil of the rose garden, it may be necessary to water
oftener and some soils may require a daily application. With certain
clay soils that have a high water-holding capacity and no outside root
competition, less frequent irrigation may meet the requirements of
the plants. The grower must study the plant and soil conditions and
apply moisture as often as necessary to maintain adequate growth and
an abundance of bloom.
Cherokee is well adapted for trellis or fence
In applying water it is better to flood the soil if possible, other-
wise use a good sprinkling system so as to give an even distribution
over the entire garden. Where the latter method is used a good type
of ordinary whirling lawn sprinkler will give satisfactory coverage if
it is sec so as to water the entire area. It will be found convenient to
follow the practice of turning on the water in the morning after the
buds are cut, allowing it to run for as long a period as required.
The care of climbers does not differ greatly from that of bush
roses. With climbers the flowers are produced for show and are borne
on short stems on the canes, which are directed over and along some
type of support. Organic materials and commercial fertilizers should
be applied to meet the requirements of the climbing types at all times.
The pruning of plants at time of setting has been discussed and
during the first year very little additional pruning will be required.
98 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
In cutting the flowers there will be a certain amount of wood removed
and the stubs which are left should contain not less than two or three
vegetable buds and healthy leaves. If there is a tendency for the plants
to grow too rank, a certain amount of judicious heading back can be
practiced by pinching out the terminal buds.
After the first year, plants will continue to require adequate prun-
ing to produce growth suitable for satisfactory cut flowers. This prun-
ing, which should be done during late January or early February, con-
sists in removing about half of the wood by cutting back the canes to
an outside vegetative bud at the proper location on the stem. All dead
and diseased canes should be cut out completely and under no condi-
tions should they be left in the garden. Climbing roses are pruned by
the renewal system. Each summer, after flowering, old unproductive
canes are cut our close to the ground and new canes of current season's
growth are trained to take their places.
Some disbudding will be required with certain varieties, if stems
containing a single flower bud are to be had. All lateral flower buds
are removed as soon as they can be grasped between thumb and fore-
Usually there is a ready market for high quality rose buds on long
stems with healthy, attractive foliage. As a result, of this demand,
there are good possibilities for commercial production in the vicinity
of our larger towns.
In Florida it is common practice to purchase new rose bushes each
autumn as replacements for the stock that has become unproductive.
Early orders for these plants are placed annually with the large whole-
sale growers in northern or western Florida or eastern Texas, so that
shipment can be made as soon as the plants become dormant in the
As this is written florists in Florida favor the variety Editor Mc-
Farland over all others for cutting. In addition, Radiance, Red Radi-
ance, Etoile de Hollande, Countess de Sastago, Better Times, Texas
Centennial and other varieties are grown in quantity.
A fertile, well drained location is important. Cow manure at the
rate of two to three tons per acre should be disked in at least two
weeks before planting. It is best to set the plants in rows three feet
apart spacing them one and one-half to two feet in the rows. Mulch-
ing is nor practicable for large areas, and so frequent applications of
fertilizer and a limited amount of shallow cultivation should be given.
Cultivation may begin when signs of new growth appear and a light
FLOWERING PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA 99
stirring should be made at intervals to keep down weeds and grass.
A suitable fungicide must protect the plants from blackspot at all
rimes. Fermate, Karbam, Bordeaux mixture, Flordo, 300 mesh sulphur
or one of the many proprietary rose sprays will give this protection,
if it is carefully applied once every ten days during growing weather.
At planting time, a handful of balanced commercial fertilizer is
dropped in the bottom of the hole and mixed with the soil, when first
flowers form a surface application at the rate of about 1,500 pounds
to the acre is stirred in lightly. At intervals of two or three weeks
thereafter, additional light applications should assure continued growth
and satisfactory production.
I' _;--5: ~~: J
A productive rose garden
Locate the rose garden so that it receives at least five hours of sun
each day, and avoid trees and large shrubs.
Buy rose bushes of Number I grade that are budded or grafted on
a suitable stock.
Enrich the soil before planting.
Planting bush varieties in beds 18 to 24 inches apart each way,
and space climbers at least six feet apart.
100 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
To have ample buds of a given color for flower arrangements, set
several plants of a desired variety.
Plant as early during the dormant season as possible, setting at
the same level as the bushes stood in the nursery row.
Use a heavy mulch of some organic material.
Give plenty of water and plant food. Fertilize several times during
the growing season. Remember that roses must grow to bloom.
Prune twice each season. Remove dead, infected and weak wood.
Give heaviest pruning when plants are dormant.
Dust or spray with a good fungicide and insecticide to control
diseases and insects.
Replace weak, unthrifty plants each dormant season.