Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flower Power Helpline: A reader asks, How can I find South Florida wildflowers for light shade?

QUESTION:  We are redoing our front yard in Coral Springs to a "naturescape" with a focus on butterflies. We want to use a lot of native wildflowers but don't know which will do well (or at least OK) in shaded areas. The area we're thinking of gets some direct sun for a couple of hours but otherwise is shaded until late in the day.Is there a guide that will help determine what native flowers will work? 

ANSWER: Your project sounds great. There are several sources that can help you choose plants: 
  • Native Florida Plants (Haehle and Brookwell), Florida’s Best Native Landscape Plants (Nelson), and A Gardener’s Guide to Florida’s Native Plants (Osorio) are good books that can help you select appropriate wildflowers and plants that are host or nectar plants.
  • www.Plantrealflorida.org – the Florida Association of Native Nurseries’ consumer Web site has a page for Broward County. The nurseries and professionals listed there can help you select the best plants for your light situation and location. Or you can click on the nursery, click on a plant it has to see a profile (though some don’t specify light conditions).
  •  Also check the Florida Native Plant Society's Web site. In this chart, clicking on the Institute for Regional Conservation links will give you info on light and soil requirements, plant form, etc.

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