Beautiful Water-Wise Garden

October 29, 2009 by Rick

Pamela Crawford's Water-Wise Garden in Georgia is going to be featured in a spring issue of Southern Living.

Pamela wrote several Florida books while living in south Florida. Here is a link to her special containers, videos, books and designs.


You should click here and follow us on

Florida Friendly Coleus

July 2, 2009 by Rick

Select Coleus varieties for the long haul. Coleus often last as perennials in Florida if the winters are not extreme. One key is to grow varieties that are extremely late to flower. The second key is to find varieties that are not susceptible to leaf diseases. The leaf disease that is a problem is Downy Mildew. Chartreuse or yellow leaved varieties are most susceptible.


We sell varieties at The Home Depot in gallon pots that are late to bloom and disease resistant with vibrant colors. Below are just a few of our best varieties. All our varieties are suited to sun or shade.

ColeusOrange and Finger Paint

Coleus Rustic Orange and Finger Paint in production.


Coleus Finger Paint sports red, yellow and a mosaic of red & yellow. Pinch out the color you desire the least of and customize the color patterns of your Finger Paint. The yellow in Finger Paint is not prone to disease.


Coleus Mariposa is a very large growing big leaved coleus. Pinch Mariposa before it gets too big and falls over in a windstorm. Mariposa becomes variegated in the fall with wide hot pink edges against dark red centers.


Coleus Peter's Wonder is very strong and very popular too.


Diablo Coleus

Defiance is one of the all time best performing mildew resistant gold edged reds.


This is the new Versa Crimson Gold that is also downy mildew resistant. It flowers quicker than the vigorous growers we supply to The Home Depot but pinching the flowers is not much more trouble than pinching non-flowering tips of the vigorous varieties to keep them compact so the windstorms don't topple them. This Versa series upgrades the quick blooming and mildew prone Wizard Coleus series that has been so widely used for many years. We are trialing the other colors of Versa to see if they are mildew resistant too. We sure need a chartreuse that won't get mildew like the one pictured at the top of the page. The Versa implies versatility for use in sun or shade. When pinching you should not remove more than 1/3 the length of any of the stems of the plant. Pinch often and you will enjoy your coleus more. Experiment with staggering where and when you pinch parts of a plant so it always looks full and stays relatively compact and windstorm resistant. Another problem with coleus is that they eventually succumb to nematodes, microscopic parasitic root feeding worms. You can grow coleus in containers and they will remain nematode free. A good deterrent in your flower beds is organic soil. The good bugs (bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms) in organic soils kill nematodes. Consider growing coleus and other annuals in our Pot-in-Pot method and you will be able to keep them longer and lift them to protect from frost or while mulching and getting rid of weeds in the garden. With this method you can better focus the water and fertilizer to the plant and waste much less while saving time.

Growing coleus in containers is very popular. Here is a window box with gallon containers featuring Coleus Peter's Wonder, Sweet Potato Vine, a great Spiller, and the most beautiful and popular grass, Red Fountain Grass which is also commonly called Purple Fountain Grass. Pennesetum setaceum 'Rubrum'. Such a Thriller!

Succulent Success

June 29, 2009 by Rick

Variety is the spice of life they say and with our Classic Creation 9 packs you get a nice variety of succulents with which you can make some very interesting gardens. Succulents are the perfect plant for many folks. The are very forgiving of water and fertilizer deficiency. Succulents grow in sun, part shade and moderate shade and are often used as houseplants. Plant them in a well drained soil.

Succulent Strawberry Jar 1


Classic Creations include 9 different succulents for any container

you might choose.


Maraca Portulaca molokensiensis Riverview Flower Farm

On a recent visit to the Farm, garden writer, Penny Carnathan from the Tampa Tribune, was very excited when she saw our trials with Maraca. Based on Penny's reaction we will be moving up the time table on production of Maraca. look for it to appear in Florida Home Depots by sometime in October. You can thank Penny for this.

Portulaca Maraca

The Orange for Every Garden

May 31, 2009 by Rick

Crossandra 'Orange Marmalade' - Crossandra infundibuliformis is one of the best Florida Friendly Plants to be developed in the last 3 years. It is a reliable perennial in sunny or partially-shaded Florida gardens. It is moderately drought tolerant once established and is insect and disease free. It blooms heavily in all the warm months of the year and a little less in the winter. Protect from hard frost and freeze for best year-to-year performance of these long-lived plants. Orange Marmalade is a sterile hybrid that holds its flower petals for several days longer than the older types or seed produced varieties that have exploding seed pods. Older varieties are also very tender to moderately chilly weather and often show damage when temperatures dip into the 40's. You will easily notice the major performance difference once you try Orange Marmalade. Use it as a 'FILLER' component in a complimentary container design with flowers that are in the blue shades. Go Gators! You should readily find this at The Home Depot stores in the Warm Season.

Image Title 

Orange Marmalade 

 Orange Marmalade Crossandra

Orange Marmalade has been on the market 3 years now and I am begining to see more of this perennial in home gardens as I travel around the state. Tell me if you think it is as great a plant as I do. I would like to share any photos of Orange Marmalade you have. Please leave a comment and I will contact you about posting them.

Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 2

May 21, 2009 by Rick

The WOW price on perennials in the green Florida Friendly Plants containers continues until Memorial Day, Monday May 25 while supplies last. Tell a friend. Click the Pass it on Florida link at the top of the page. (See store for limits and details). Included in this event are Pentas lanceolata, one of the most popular Florida Friendly perennials. It blooms continuously and is one of the best Butterfly attractors. The tall varieties should be pruned several times a year to shorten and strengthen their structure. Soil enriched with 50% organic matter (compost, leaf mold, cow manure, peat) supports beneficial bacteria and microbes that combat microscopic nematodes, a pest that can cause the eventual decline of Pentas. Pentas is adaptable to full sun and partial shade and repeating several groupings across the length of your garden alternating with another tough and colorful plant like Variegated Flax Lily adds harmony, texture and formal appeal to a design.

PentasWhite PentasMixedColorLandscape


Pot in Pot in Pot 15  DiamondFrostPentas

Pentas is a versatile ever blooming perennial that is useful as a combination component.

Mixed with Euphorbia Diamond Frost, another ever blooming perennial, Pentas makes an appealing arrangement or mass planting in a flower bed or border.

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Categories: Butterfly Garden | Container Gardening | Florida Friendly Landscape | Thriller-Filler-Spiller Design Concept
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