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Southern Florida Low Maintainance Plant questions

 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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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.
 
                          
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
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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: http://www.floridayards.org/fyplants/index.php
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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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
Posts: 37
Location: USA, West central Florida
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Some of these will depend on what part of Florida you are talking about...

Barbados Cherry
Blueberry (southern high-bush varieties)
Papaya
Loquat / Japanese Plum
Quail Grass
Malibar Spinach
Kale
Citrus
Avocado
Lychee
Persimmon

See here for lots of other suggestions:
UF Dooryard Fruit Varieties http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg248

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

Jim
 
Sheryl Dutton
Posts: 10
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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. 
 
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more ...   2016 PDC and Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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