Things to Consider Before Planting
From a Container into the Northeast Florida Landscape
from S & J Tree Farm and Nursery
LOCATION… LOCATION… LOCATION….
Plants grow literally everywhere on earth, there are plants thriving happily all over the planet with no help at
all from us! Plant life can be found happily thriving in the middle of a sandy desert with 120 degree temperatures,
wafting about in the ocean currents, on a rock cliff, in a swamp, under a blanket of snow, this list could just
literally go on and on. Plants are everywhere! So why do our precious treasures fail to thrive after giving them
all our loving attention? It all comes down to the right plant in the right place.
If you want a stress and pest free garden, the trick is simple, plant your plants not just where you want to see
them, but where the growing conditions will best suit them here in our Northeast Florida subtropical climate
The first step to getting your plant off to the best start possible is to make sure that your planting site is
well suited to the plant you have purchased. Ask your local nurseryman what conditions the plant will prefer in our
area. Remember that plant tags are made for the entire United States area and don’t always apply to our subtropical
climate temperatures and rainfall so be sure the information you gather is related to that particular plants
growing conditions here in Northeast Florida.
SURVIVING or THRIVING, What Makes the Difference?
There’s a few simple considerations that can be the difference in your new S & J Nursery plants simply
surviving or thriving after being planted into the landscape. Before you begin planting your new plants, consider
The components of your existing soil may need to be amended to better suit your plants needs. A water loving
plant may need manure compost added when being planted in sandy soils in order to thrive. A drought tolerant plant
may need to be elevated slightly when planted and sand added to the hole when it is planted into a heavy clay soil.
Knowing your existing soil composition will help get your plant the right amendment during planting and help get
your plant off to the best start possible.
Click this link to learn more about how the
components of your soil can affect your plants care needs during the establishment period and beyond
Sun is a tricky thing, areas that get full sun during summer may become partially shaded during the winter and
vise versa. Additional, here in Northeast Florida, morning shade and afternoon sun is all the sun exposure even a
plant tag that reads full sun will need. Knowing how much sun or shade a location gets, as well as what time of day
your planting area will get any sun will help to ensure that you’re sun loving plants don’t fail to bloom or
develop weak stems and ensure that the foliage of your shade loving plants don’t burn in the hot afternoon sun.
Different areas of the landscape may get varying amounts of water for several reasons.
– Downspouts from the roof gutters may keep an area saturated for days after a rain.
– On some homes, areas may have had the grade of the land completely changed when the home was built. The
same home lot may have sandier soil in some areas and have been backfilled with good black dirt during construction
on other areas in order to make rainwater flow in the desired direction away from the home.
– Irrigation systems may have dry spots where coverage is poor or overlapping areas that receive more
water than others.
Instead of trying to fight with these small differences, make those landscape microclimates work for you, plant
water loving plants like salvias or agapanthus near downspouts and keep drought tolerant plants like junipers, or
succulents plants isolated to the dry spots.
Don’t forget that those low areas cut into the yard between your property and your neighbors property may look
nice and dry now but when the rain comes they will be full of runoff water and may remain wet for days or even
months at a time during summer rains. Drought tolerant plants should be kept away from drain fields and plants that
will tolerate periods of wet and water logged soils can be used near those areas instead.
If you haven’t lived in your new home long, you may be unfamiliar with what areas hold water after rains. When
you are unsure how much water an area may hold, It is best to plant your new plants a few inches high out of the
ground or into a small burm.
Wind never seems like a factor for most of us in the landscape, but for some, the lay of the land or location of
the home, trees, fences, or buildings can funnel the wind powerfully into an area of the landscape. Some locations
may deal with the wind coming off of a lake or river and even during a mild rainstorm the winds can become
If you’re yard area is particularly prone to strong wind gusts, remember to choose plants and trees not prone to
limb breakage problems. In addition, your newly planted plants and trees will require staking with heavy duty 2 by
4’s instead of a normal strap staking kit.
Hot spots in a yard can be created near hardscape surfaces, asphalt on roads and driveways, you will need to
make sure supplemental irrigation can be applied temporarily when installing new plants into hot dry areas.
Consider winter cold protection when installing container tropical plants into the landscape. The same
plant that would cold burn elsewhere may overwinter easily when protected from frost by tree cover, buildings,
planted on the south side of a home or fence protected from North winds etc.
Click the link above for help with the installation of small
flowering plants, perennial borders, shrub beds and other areas where smaller plants will be planted in close
proximity to each other.
Click the link above for help with proper installation techniques when
installing larger container grown shrubs and trees into the Northeast Florida Landscape.