Pollinators are necessary for the production of 90% of flowering plants and 33% of food crops. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, and birds. These beautiful animals not only enhance the beauty of gardens; they also offer essential services to nearby plants. If you want to contribute to abundant and healthy pollinator populations, incorporate some of these pollinator favorites into your Landscape Design in Coral Gables.
Swamp Sunflower - Helianthus angustifolius
Sunflowers are not only beautiful; they are remarkably easy to grow. Our favorite is the swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), a native sunflower species that will keep pollinators buzzing.
Planting: Can grow in a variety of soils, including those that don’t drain too well. It can spread rapidly through underground stems, so place in an area where it will have room to grow. Plant at any time except January, as they may struggle to become established in the cold.
Care: A Florida native, the swamp sunflower requires very little care once established. They do not require fertilization or watering. Prune to keep it tidy. It is susceptible to spittle bugs and powdery mildew, though they rarely cause extensive damage.
Use: Is great as a focal point in a perennial bed. Also performs well along borders, such as fence lines. It might be the best Coral Gables option for mass plantings, as it will spread quickly while providing beauty and ecosystem services.
Pentas - Pentas lanceolata
Pentas come in a variety of colors and sizes. They produce colorful flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Our favorite species is the Pentas Lanceolata, which grows to become 4 feet tall and bears flowers most of the year.
Planting: Can handle a variety of soil types, though it does best in well-drained soils. Can handle full sun to partial shade, though it grows faster with more sunlight. Water regularly after planting, but scale back and water only as necessary once established.
Care: Best left unclipped for maximum flower production. Fertilize once a year in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Mulch around the base of the plant to conserve water.
Use: We like to place pentas in a container in sunny areas that need some color. Does well in planting beds or in small planting areas in Coral Gables Landscape Designs.
Blue Bush Sage – Salvia Urica
A pest-free perennial that is certain to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Our favorite salvia is the blue bush sage, whose bright blue flowers and textured green leaves make any landscape design in Coral Gables pop.
Planting: Does best in full sun, though will handle partial shade by reducing flower production. Place 3 feet away from other plants, as it can grow to be up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It does best in well-draining moist soils. Water regularly following planting.
Care: Salvia is relatively drought tolerant when established and should not need additional watering in South Florida’s tropical climate. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in the springtime. You can lightly prune salvia in flowering season to maintain a neat appearance.
Use: Use as a backdrop to smaller plants, especially light-colored ones such as succulents. Also does well as the lone species lining a narrow planting bed bordering a structure. Its flowers will attract plenty of butterflies and hummingbirds, so place them somewhere where you will be able to enjoy the show.
Black-eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta
A hardy Florida native that is a favorite for bees, this small wildflower is a perfect addition to any pollinator garden.
Planting: Prefers full sun. Like other plants in this list, Black-eyed Susan can tolerate partial shade but will produce less flowers. They do well in a variety of well-draining soils, including sandy soils. Water regularly after planting.
Care: Black-eyed Susan is very low maintenance. It does not require any fertilization. Though short lived, Black-eyed Susan drops many seeds during its lifespan, ensuring there will be new plants to replace those that die. It is rarely bothered by pests and diseases.
Use: Black-eyed Susan forms a wonderful mound of foliage topped with its bright flowers, so we like to give it its own space in garden beds. Place next to green shrubs or small flowering plants to create a palette of color in your Coral Gables Landscape Design.
Coral Honeysuckle - Lonicera sempervirens
A native vine that can make any fence or trellis pop, the Coral Honeysuckle is a versatile hummingbird favorite.
Planting: Does best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It will handle a variety of soils. Water regularly after planting.
Care: Once established Coral Honeysuckle will not require much maintenance. It is drought tolerant and pest-free. Does not require fertilization. If used as a vine you can prune it regularly to help direct it.
Use: Coral Honeysuckle is perfect for trellises and fences. It can also be planted as a groundcover in your Coral Gables landscape design.