In the Garden - November

Vegetables - Cool-weather vegetables to plant in November include; beets, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, all types of onions: short-day bulbing varieties, bunching & multipliers, English peas, radish, spinach, and turnips.

See Vegetable Gardening in Florida:

Flowers - annuals to plant this month include: alyssum, calendula, dianthus, flowering tobacco, pansy, petunia, phlox, snapdragon, stock, viola, and verbena, nasturtium and flowering kale. See Annuals:

Bulbs - Many bulbs like to get their start in cool weather. Bulbs to consider planting this month include; Agapanthus, African iris, amaryllis (these make great Christmas gifts), Aztec lily (Sprekelia formosissima), calla, crinum, Kaffir lily (Clivia), day lily (Hemerocallis spp.), narcissus, Elephant ears (Acacia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma), hurricane lily (Lycos’s), society garlic (Tulbaghia violate), snowflake (Leucojum spp.), shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), walking iris (Neomarcia gracilis), Watsonia Iris (Iris spp.) Grow native iris or Louisiana iris and their hybrids because German or Japanese iris do not grow well here, rain lily (Zephyranthes) and spider lily (Hymenocallis spp).

See Bulbs for Florida:

Herbs - Continue planting herbs from seeds or setting out purchased plants. For the cool weather herb garden include; chives, garlic chives, fennel, rosemary, sage, lemongrass, salad burnet, lavender, dill, Greek oregano, lemon balm, lavender, Mexican tarragon, chervil, cilantro, and thyme. See Herbs:

This is the last month to set out strawberries.


Now that November’s cooler weather is almost you may feel like making some changes in your yard. If some of your annuals or vegetables are doing poorly then replant with some of the cool-season choices listed above. October’s generous rainfall encouraged rampant growth of both desirable plants and weeds, so plan on some judicial pruning of shrubs, deadheading flowers and removing weeds or at least removing their blooms to keep them from going to seed.

Try to check your vegetable plants daily to make sure they are healthy. Keep an eye out for caterpillars and pick them off as needed.

Give vegetable plants some granular fertilizer monthly. Another helpful hint, once your vegetable plants are flowering and producing begin spraying fish emulsion & Maxicrop seaweed on the foliage (both sides until it drips) every week.

Lawns - As days get shorter and the weather cools you may only need to mow every two weeks. Just make sure that you don’t wait too long or remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade when you mow.


Turf diseases - Watch for brown patch and large patch. These fungal diseases cause areas of grass to turn brown. Since treatment is difficult, prevention with proper cultural practices is key. These diseases become active when the soil temperature, measured 2–4 in. deep, is between 65°F and 75°F and go dormant when the weather warms in May. See Turf Diseases:

If you want to over-seed your lawn with rye wait until the end of the month. This is a great way to add organic matter to the soil.

Irrigation - Turn off systems and water only if needed. Plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather. Run through your system, turning off zones that don’t need supplemental irrigation and adjusting nozzles to accommodate changes in plant height that may block water from reaching lower plants. See Landscape Irrigation: and Conserve Water with High-Efficiency Rotary Irrigation Nozzles irrigationnozzles/

Perennials - Divide and replant overgrown perennials and bulbs now so that they establish before the cold weather arrives. See Seeds and Propagation (Lawn and Garden):

See also 10 Tips on Dividing Perennials

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Do not prune deciduous fruit trees until winter.

Scale insects - Take advantage of lower temperatures to apply horticultural oil sprays to control scale insects. See Landscape Pest Management:

Migratory birds can still be found passing through on their way further south. Fill bird feeders to help them with their success and to catch a glimpse of these visitors. Orlando Park is a prime viewing spot. On many days this Fall, I've seen birders with their binoculars at the park.

Orchids - This is a good time to start repotting Cattleyas, Oncidiums, Dendrobiums, and Cymbidiums. Dr. Martin Motes has wonderful month-by-month notes on how to care for your orchid collection but don't let the information overwhelm you. I never water my orchids and seldom water them. Most grow on trees and they seem to do fine and reward my neglect with beautiful blooms. Read about how to protect your orchids from potential cold and wind: collection

The RePotMe people have a webpage and are a good online source at with links to a wide variety of orchid culture topics at All Orchid Care Articles – rePotme. Lowes and Home Depot carry some orchid supplies.

An excellent YouTube video on repotting Phalaenopsis by a plant biologist at the Chicago Botanical Gardens at: (212) How to Repot an Orchid: Phalaenopsis - YouTube. YouTube also has a channel with comprehensive educational videos by MissOrchidGirl at:

Poinsettias - Watch for hornworms on poinsettias (and tomatoes) planted in the landscape. This pest can quickly defoliate the plant; handpick or treat only the infested area. See Poinsettias at: poinsettia. Remember - no nighttime light for poins

ettias, Christmas cactus, and kalanchoe.

Check for dead or diseased branches in trees and shrubs and remove them.

BTI - You can flush bromeliads weekly with a hose to keep mosquitoes from breeding. But I've found it's much easier to give each plant a few Summit Mosquito Bits, the trademarked name for granules containing Bacillus thuringiensis v. israelensis, is much easier. BTI is an organic solution to killing mosquito and fungus gnat larvae but is harmless to other forms of wildlife. Mosquito Bits are great for water gardens, flower pots, rain barrels, birdbaths, tree holes, unused swimming pools, old automobile tires; wherever there is standing water. I also put the Bits in the many water-filled containers I have in the house for rooting cuttings. I use the larger Summit Mosquito Dunks in my rain barrels. These products are available at Ace Hardware and Amazon. Lowes has the Dunks but not the Bits.

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