Flowers that tolerate full summer sun include floss flower (Ageratum), amaranth, asters, vinca (or periwinkle), celosia, coleus, cosmos, dahlia, dahlberg daisy, lisianthus, blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella), gazania, gerber daisy, kalanchoe, sunflowers, gomphrena, melampodium, lobelia, portulaca, blue salvia, red salvia, dusty miller, marigolds, and zinnias.
Flowers for shady areas include flowers in shady areas, here are some to choose from; non-stop and tuberous begonias, caladium, coleus, firecracker flower (Crossandra spp.), impatiens, and geraniums.
Flower seeds to plant right away include Celosia, Coleus, calliopsis, Crossandra, dusty miller, Exacum, Gaillardia, Gazania, holly- hock, Impatiens, Lobelia, Marguerite daisy, marigold, Nicotiana, ornamental pepper, Pentas, periwinkle, Phlox, Portulaca, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Streptocarpus, sweet William, Thunbergia alata, Torenia, Verbena and Zinnia.
Bulbs and bulb-like plants to plant in April include Achimenes, African iris, Amazon lily, Aztec lily, tuberous Begonia, blood lily, Caladium, Canna, Crinum, Gladiolus, gloriosa lily, kaffir lily, shell ginger, society garlic, spider lily, tiger flower, walking iris and Watsonia.
Bulbs add vibrant color and attractive foliage to the garden setting. They are easily propagated by division, offsets, bulblets or cuttings, depending on the type of bulb. See: “Is this a bulb? The difference between bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and other bulb-like plants.”
When planting bulbs, make sure to plant the right side up and don’t bury them deeply. Follow spacing and fertilizer recommendations. Bulbs such as amaryllis produce seed heads after flowering. Remove spent flowers and seed heads to promote blooming. However, resist the urge to cut off yellow leaves until they turn completely brown because the leaves are making and storing food for the bulb.
Vegetables include beans (bush & pole), Chinese cabbage, okra, collards, New Zealand summer spinach, peanuts, sweet corn, southern peas, sweet potatoes, squash, Swiss chard, calabaza, chayote, yard-long beans, jicama and other tropical crops. Start seed- grown okra, southern peas, and Swiss chard to plant in May.
Herbs include basil, chives, garlic chives, dill, borage, pineapple sage, Mexican oregano, fennel, Mexican tarragon, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram and thyme.
Fruits Plant cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas and other tropical fruits such as guava, papaya and pineapple. Containerized fruit plants can be planted throughout the year.
Trees and Shrubs
Spring is a wonderful time to plant new trees and shrubs and the time when the greatest selection is available. See below for upcoming sales. However, delay planting balled and burlaped palms until summer rains begin. Keep the bud tied until it forces new growth. This keeps the young leaves from drying out until new roots are established.