Plant colorful shrubs that thrive in the summer heat and sun now. Good choices include angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia sp.), shown at left; bush allamanda (Allamanda schottii); dwarf red powderpuff (Callianadra haematocephala ‘Nana’); ‘Gold Mound’ duranta; Caribbean copper plant (Euphorbia cotinifolia); firebush (Hamelia patens); yellow bells (Tecoma stans); peregrina (Jatropha integerrima); orange cestrum (Cestrum aurantiacum); and oleander. Use all these plants in landscape beds or large containers. In beds where you have more room, you can plant several of the same selection for greater impact. In containers, use single plants as accents for a bright show of color.
- Entire State lawn care--If you haven’t fertilized since spring, apply a 15-0-15 fertilizer such as Lesco Professional Turf Fertilizer or Sta-Green Centipede Weed & Feed before mid-September. Use 4 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn, and lightly water it in.
- Great new plant--‘Diamond Frost’ euphorbia produces masses of tiny, white flowers continually from spring until frost. In frost-free areas of Florida it won’t stop blooming. Look for it at your local garden center. Plant in full sun to partial shade, and expect it to grow 18 to 24 inches tall and wide. It provides a good contrast to larger-leaf plants and can be placed in the ground too.
North and Central
- perennials--Add transplants of perennials such as lion’s tail (Leonotis leonurus), shown at right; Mexican bush sage; Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis); and cigar flower in a sunny spot for blooms this fall. For a partially shaded area, use Philippine violet (Barleria cristata) and firespike (Odontonema strictum).
Central and South
- citrus, avocados, and mangoes--Care for these plants now with a little feeding. You can improve the fertility of the soil by adding a thin layer of composted manure around the base of your plants. You can also use a commercial product such as RiteGreen Citrus, Avocado, & Mango Fertilizer 4-6-8. Scatter the fertilizer under the branch spread of the tree and outward past the branch line. Water it in lightly.
- palms--To replenish nutrients leached out of the soil during summer rains, feed palms with a special low-nitrogen fertilizer such as RiteGreen Palm Fertilizer 7-3-7 or Lesco 8-10-10 Palm and Tropical Ornamental Fertilizer.