self sufficient life pdc dvd permaculture playing cards permaculture tees home medicine 101
Permies likes southern usa and the farmer likes Southern Florida Low Maintainance Plant questions permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login
permies » forums » regional » southern usa
Bookmark "Southern Florida Low Maintainance Plant questions" Watch "Southern Florida Low Maintainance Plant questions" New topic

Southern Florida Low Maintainance Plant questions


Joined: Sep 09, 2010
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
Hello,  let me start by saying, I AM not from florida.
I know nothing of the plants here, I do know a little of the environment and leaching soils, the 'traditional' marshes turned suburbs. I'm from Washington

Anyways I am at my grandparents, who are having a need for plants that can be watered just twice a week (hopefully not needing it at all) and will survive florida weather and sand ass soils.

In wa I would plant clovers, jerusalem artichokes, poppies, wild lettuce, chards brassicas, and lupines w/ tons of legumes, and seaberries!

So it would be awesome to have a simple list for me to research while I am here, and definatly to create more of a shrubbed habbitat feel for the birds that are all over at day.

Salad Farmin till the Berries show up.

Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
Hi, Ruso—I'm in a similar situation; I grew up here in Florida, but I now live in California. I'm visiting central Florida to put in a garden for my parents.

Pomegranates do well here. There's a variety of grape that grows wild everywhere near my parents' home but rarely fruits unless it's "pruned"—i.e. hacked back annually within an inch of its life. Some people suggest low-chill muscadine grape varieties. Edible cacti can be good choices—we just discovered that my mother's volunteer cactus produces edible fruit, it's a Cereus peruviana/repandus. Iceplant is a terrible invasive weed, but is edible. Purslane is another good option, I think. Maypop, a passionfruit, is native here; other passionfruit do well. Perennial peanuts are a good groundcover option, and some locals are having great success with velvet bean.

Try this out:
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame

Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
What kind of functions are you looking for in these plants?  Ornamentals?  Edibles? 

I currently live in S. Florida (Martin County) but moving to Japan soon.

Moringa Oleifera would be high on the list of low-maintenance and good food plants.  There are tons of tropical fruit trees that will do well with little care. 

Herbs that have done well for me are rosemary, lemongrass, basil, greek oregano.  Sweet potato is perennial here, just plant once and let it go, though it will spread all over. 

Surinam Cherry makes a nice hedge.  It will produce some fruit, though it is tart, mostly suited to making jam. 

Bamboo is great, but could become a nuisance if you don't like to eat the shoots or otherwise have a reason to harvest. 

Malanga/Taro looks like an ornamental, but a nice root crop. 

Florida is awesome permaculture territory, just depends what you want to do with it. 
Jim Porter

Joined: Jul 02, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: USA, West central Florida
Some of these will depend on what part of Florida you are talking about...

Barbados Cherry
Blueberry (southern high-bush varieties)
Loquat / Japanese Plum
Quail Grass
Malibar Spinach

See here for lots of other suggestions:
UF Dooryard Fruit Varieties

Also see "Eat the Weeds" with Green Deane on Youtube and for lots of wild Florida edibles.

Sheryl Dutton

Joined: Mar 22, 2011
Posts: 10
I'm a South FL native.  I've got some very drought resistant/hearty plants and herbs growing here with little care.  Moringa, malabar spinach, quinoa, calaloo and cherry hibiscus for greens.  Fruit trees:  Papaya, mango, lychee, strangler fig.  Herbs: rosemary, mint, basil, fennel.......  Many plants can take the summer heat under a thick layer of mulch and sandy soil can most def. be improved. 

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Southern Florida Low Maintainance Plant questions