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Balcony Gardening in South Florida facing South

Posted by gardeniapstd none (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 19:51

Last June I moved to a 15th floor condo in South Florida; I (never assume!) didn't feel overly challenged as I am from South Louisiana. Boy was I dumb.

First off, in my ignorance, I had never accounted for the wind, as this is my first high-rise. I also think the hot air is less humid than that in Louisiana. My poor plants went through a holocaust (I don't want to use that term lightly, but I felt terrible about what happened).

I should mention a few things; one, my Mother was a real green thumb...and I am a kind of yellow thumb, much less adept than she wasG but somewhat educated by her. Second, all of the plants in question I either purchased or propagated in Florida.

I found a pineapple top in a supermarket parking lot and grew it; it is still thriving. My friend gave me a small palm which did well untill this winter, and it is browning. None of my herbs made it. A native tomato (Everglades) died on arrival. I now keep succulents (aloe, Cacti) out there for the most part. Can't recall how many flowers Impatience, a few others that were given to me. This has been very upsetting. My houseplants do me the favor of thriving. Please advise...I hear that fruit trees may do well but I do not wish to kill anything else...if possible, as I got into this forum following the purchase of 2 Gardenias. They are indoors and currently behaving.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Balcony Gardening in South Florida facing South

you might try using the trick of shading smaller lower plants with higher taller ones.
may be pandanus? palmettos, yuccas, large aloes and broms that can take full sun - like neoregelia fire ball (small red, clustering ones). most of these will take wind.
best go to florida gardening forum - they will be able to be more specific.

This post was edited by petrushka on Mon, May 5, 14 at 10:48

RE: Balcony Gardening in South Florida facing South

it occurred to me that you can easily get one of small fl cycads:
either coontie or furfuracea. seach for 'zamia'. they are very slow growing, can take full sun and heat, drought resistant and even can take cool temps. they look like little palms, but have very thick leathery leaves.

RE: Balcony Gardening in South Florida facing South

another shrub i came upon browsing thur my pics:
carissa macrocarpa, common name is natal plum.
it has beautiful smell. normally it has thorns and can be grown as shrub/tree or hedge. but there are dwarf varieties that are also thornless - it should be fairly easy to find.
it's drought resistant and grows in the sun. the leaves are very fleshy and should withstand the wind well.
plus it bears edible fruit similar in taste to sweet cranberry.
i think it's quite popular in the gardens.
here's pic it untrimmed trailing from the balcony.
not a dwarf :)

Here is a link that might be useful: floridata on carissa

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