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 Dirt on St Bernard's Lily

June 21, 2009 by Rick

Penny Carnathan from the Tampa Tribune posted on her Blog, The Dirt, comments and pictures from her recent visit to our farm to view new and current production items. Here is a picture of St. Bernard's Lily that will give you a good look at why I like this plant so much and promoted it to Penny.

St Bernards Lily

Saint Bernard's Lily - Anthericum saundersiae. This grass-like plant has long, narrow leaves that are dark green forming a clump with upright arching leaves. Showy white flowers with yellow stamens are produced throughout the year. Give it well drained soil and it grows to 3 feet. We have found that if you cut it to the ground every other year it sprouts back rejuvenated and to a similar size quickly. Use it as a 'THRILLER' in the center of a large combination planter for a long lived and trouble free focal plant. Mass plantings are very attractive especially when they are flowering heavily. You can check out a beautiful mass planting at The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden that has been in place since the garden was first planted.

Perennial Mania at The Home Depot - Day 3

May 22, 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). Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' - Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers' (AKA R. twedia) is one of the toughest, showiest and most widely used Florida Friendly perennials. This cultivar does not produce seed and was found to be sterile by University of Florida research published in 2002 that was sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection. This is important because the non sterile wild Mexican type has exploded in Florida wetlands over the last century and they are impossible to eradicate. The wild type is listed as a category 1 invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Wading birds continue to spread the seeds far and wide making them a dominate species in many of our wetland areas. Purple Showers is a wonderful sterile Florida Friendly Plant. Your garden will have no impact on the wetlands using sterile Purple Showers which is an excellent choice as it grows well just about anywhere with little or no extra water or fertilizer thus reducing your environmental impact further. No wonder it is becoming one of the most popular perennials in the south.



Disney uses Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' extensively for it's year round color and durability in a very wide range of water and light conditions. Here it is growing as a permanent planting in the beautiful floral display beds in the Canada attraction at EPCOT. Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' grows in ponds or in dry sandy soils and even tolerates coastal Florida salt air well.

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.

Perennial Mania at The Home Depot

May 20, 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). Among the top performing and top selling Florida Friendly Plants on sale today is Persian Shield - Strobilanthus dyerianus, a striking silver and purple plant, grows 4 feet tall and wide in the landscape. It highlights the shaded/partially shaded garden and is a great contrast to green foliage as well as bright colors in the perennial border. Prune the tips once or twice between May and August to make the plant sturdier and bushier. Protect it from frost and severe freeze and salt air. Use Persian Shield as a 'THRILLER' in combination with shade tolerant plants like Jewels of Opar, Red Flame Ivy, Impatiens and Begonias.



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Pot-in-Pot for Container Gardens

March 22, 2009 by Rick

If you followed the Pot-in-Pot concept from our previous article from March 3, 2009 and the benefits we described for garden planting then it is a natural step to think about this method for changing color in Container Gardens. Use this time-tested method:

  1. where you have container perennials and want to add seasonal annuals
  2. where you have container perennials and want to add holiday poinsettias
  3. where you have container perennials and don’t want disturb the root systems
  4. where you have container perennials and want move them to a different location and change the color theme with a different annual
  5. where you want to save time in refreshing your containers
  6. where you want to add a tender annual before the last frost free date and have the option to lift and protect it
  7. where you need the ability to experiment with color in the design


Pots that function as sleeves are the same size as the potted plants we will place in them. The tough and durable Vaiegated Flax Lily, the thriller or spikey component, is planted directly in the pot in a rich potting soil with 1 ounce of time release fertilizer mixed into the soil. An option you might find helpful is to connect a low volume sprayer for this container to an existing low volume irrigation system if you have one. You can buy one of the inexpensive and easy to install kits at your Home Depot to keep your plants watered and stress free. 


A pot of petunias is dropped in and acts as the spiller component. 1 Tablespoon of time release fertilizer is applied to this container. Too much and the salt will kill the beneficial organisms growing in our organic soil. Never exceed the labeled rates with salt based fertilizer or you will do more harm than good.

Drop in a pot of Lobelia as your filler component and you have an interesting, balanced and easy to maintain combination container.

Plectranthus Mona Lavender makes a nice filler component in this sunny location in the rose border where we have underplanted Knockout Roses with Euphorbia Diamond Frost for a year round bouquet of color.

When it is time for a change just drop in your new favorite plants.



Grow annuals or perennials in a large container and place an empty pot in the center when you first plant.

When you have your spillers blooming nicely drop in a thriller or a filler.

Change the center Pot-in-Pot when you need to decorate for a different location or occasion.

Containers are so versatile because you can move them into the right light to grow the plants and then decorate with them as you desire.


Bush Daisies compliment the burgundy petunia and verbena and make this combination pop.

As the Bush Daisy grows it will shade the petunias from direct overhead sun and they will last longer. Later you can plant the daisy in your garden for year round color.

Cordyline Red Star is the perfect Florida friendly spikey thriller component for containers. It lives for many years without problems.

Lobelias are so popular because of the colors and amount of flowers but they take special care to get them through the summer heat in Florida. Cut them back and grow them in bright shade and keep them from getting too wet.

When lobelias fade drop in a Strawflower or another durable bloomer or colorful foliage plant. Coleus and caladiums are great in midsummer.

Container gardening gives you more options for portable color. Pot-in-Pot in a container makes that even easier and quicker to keep you combinations beautiful when you need them most.

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