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Seeding for the Seasons – Selecting Landscape Materials to Cultivate Color and Interest Throughout the Year

One could make an unending list of all the reasons it is wonderful to live in the state of Florida from the beaches to the wilderness trails. The one item most likely to appear across every list would be the weather; with an average annual high of 79.9 degrees and an average low of 57.5 degrees, Floridians and its visitors enjoy the opportunity to be outside year round…barring a hurricane, of course. Although it may be difficult to discern the passing between seasons in Florida, the landscape presents us a way to gauge Mother Nature’s transition.

As we pass from the dry season to the wet or from summer to winter, one has the opportunity to witness the slowing of turf and annual growth. Yet, when some plant materials are settling down others are waking up providing visual interest and eye catching colors. As we are moving through summer there are a variety of trees and shrubs we can look forward to watching blossom while approaching the winter months. Some of the most noted varieties according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences website are Camellias, White Frangipani, Chickasaw Plum, and Eastern Redbud. Another beauty that thrives in the cooler temperatures is the Cassia bicapsularis – or Butterfly Bush.

Classified as a semi-evergreen shrub, the butterfly bush, growing between heights of 8 to 12 feet tall, produces vivid yellow blossoms that resemble butterflies. Often confused for the Senna bicapsularis (Senna pendula) – which is highly invasive, the butterfly bush is also referred to as the Christmas senna, climbing cassia, or valamuerto (Frank, 2018). Its spread is equal to its height often reaching out between 8 to 10 feet, and its branches are known to be susceptible to breakage. Not partial to any particular soil – it has been known to grow in loam, clay, sand, and acidic as well as slightly alkaline soils, the butterfly bush will perform well in zones with full sun, partial sun, and partial shade.

Although the butterfly bush is low maintenance, it is best to provide care to prevent the shrub from grabbing more real estate than you can allocate in your landscape environment. As it prefers to spread and slouch under its own weight, the butterfly bush would serve as an ideal backdrop to any physical obstruction (wall, fence, etc.) or within a shrub bed where it can rely on other plantings for physical support.

When planning the landscaping budget for your property this year, why not think about more than just mowing and mulching? At LMP, we have highly trained and experienced individuals whom can help you “seed for the seasons” by assessing the materials currently thriving on the property, and suggesting ways to enhance areas by adding in (or even moving) materials that flourish as one season changes to the next. Call us today at (877) LMP-PRO1 to have a greener tomorrow.