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Florida Gardening

This blog is a resource for gardeners in North and Central Florida. It contains links, plant and book reviews, Florida Gardening resources and other helpful guides for growing trees, shrubs, flowers, vines and other plants in Hardiness Zone 9.

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While Florida's sweltering summers can sap the strength out of most humans and plants, it is not the heat that typically determines whether a plant will thrive in Florida, it's the cold. For example, in July the normal high temperature in Florida is somewhere between 86 and 91 degrees, whether you are in Tallahassee, Orlando or Miami. It will be hot no matter where you go in the state. However, the January low temperatures for these three cities varies greatly:

City
Zone
Av. Low
Record Low
Tallahassee
8
38
6
Orlando
9
48
19
Miami
10
62
32

If you live in Tallahassee, you expect killing winter freezes and know that you will have to take extraordinary precautions to protect your tropical plants. In Miami frosts are rare and tropical plants typically make it through the winter without the need for a great deal of attention. It is the central part of the state in cities like Orlando and Tampa where you find the challenge. While the winters are typically mild in Central Florida, there will usually be two or three frosts and some will last long enough to be a hard or killing frost

So Central Florida is too hot and too cold. It is too hot for many of the plants that depend on mild summers and cold winters and too cold for many Tropical plants that collapse with the first sign of freezing temperatures. Still, there are a large number of plants that thrive in Central Florida's heat and still make it through most winter frosts.



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