Central Florida Gardening Calendar — October– December Planting Guide

Annuals

  • Set out seasonal annuals: snapdragon, Shasta daisy, foxglove, Pansy, and Petunia plants. In November, also plant statice, carnations, Calendula, and Dianthus. All are for December planting.
  • Fertilize annual flowers during soil preparation and then monthly.
  • Plant perennials: African iris, African lily, Amaryllis, Anemone, Cyclamen, pineapple lily, Aztec lily, Calla, Crinum daylily, elephant ears, Gladiolus, Iris, Kaffir lily, Lilium, shell ginger, society garlic, spider lily, walking iris, Watsonia, and zephyr lily. In November, can also plant hurricane lily, pineapple lily, Dutch Iris, Ixia, and Ranunculus. Montbretia, tulip and voodoo lily bulbs, in addition to the above can be planted in December.
  • Plant cold hardy trees, shrubs, and groundcovers, and transplant those which have been root pruned throughout the year.
  • In December, plant bare root apple, pecan, peach, persimmon, pear, grape and blueberries. Potted trees may be planted at any time of year. DO NOT FERTILIZE AT TIME OF PLANTING.
  • Set out strawberry plants in October and November for best fruiting.
  • Plant beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions, English peas, radish, rutabaga, Swiss chard, spinach, and turnips.

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Landscape Care

  • Water during dry spells, especially azaleas and camellias. When rains stop, water 1-2 times weekly.
  • To conserve moisture, apply mulch around plants (except Citrus) at least 2" to 4" deep but avoid covering the crowns of low-growing plants.
  • Replenish mulch in existing areas.
  • Winter residents only have until the end of October to lightly fertilize landscape plants which have been neglected over the summer. (It's best to complete regular fertilizer applications by late September to prevent cold damage to new growth.)
  • Continue to fertilize annual flowers monthly.
  • Don't do any major pruning - allow plants to harden off for winter.
  • Outdoor poinsettias and azaleas have set their buds so do not trim them again until after they flower.
  • Remove old flowers from annuals to extend blooming.
  • Bulbs can be divided and reset after foliage yellows and dies.
  • Root cuttings of deciduous plants.
  • Refrigerate Narcissus, daffodil, crocus, tulip, and hyacinth bulbs for winter planting. These bulbs require chilling for 60 days at 40°F or 120 days at 50°F.
  • Horticultural oil sprays control scale insects on dormant trees and shrubs.
  • Check weekly for thrips and scale insects.

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Seasonal Tips

  • Harvest mistletoe for decorations. Since it will kill the tree if allowed to grow, remove the parasite by cutting it out of the tree. Cut the limb off on where it is growing. Cut just above another main limb which is closer to the trunk.
  • Soak fresh cut greenery in water for several hours before using in arrangements.
  • Do not expose poinsettias, Kalanchoe or Christmas cactus to artificial light at night.
  • Read seed catalogues and plan your Florida garden for the coming year.
  • Clean, oil and store equipment not in use. Drain gas tanks and lubricate engines.

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Cold Protection

  • Prepare to protect plants from cold weather and frost. Outdoor tropical plants (Schefflera, croton, Dieffenbachia, pothos, Philodendron) should be protected from temperatures below 55°F. Have boxes, blankets, hay, plastic, lights, etc. ready for early fteeze protection.
  • Protect citrus from temperatures below 28°F. If banking with soil, be sure to cover the bud union (where it was grafted) with soil that is free of sticks, leaves and other organic matter. Avoid damage to trunks of trees as this can lead to disease and insect damage. Applying a fungicide registered for citrus before banking or wrapping tree trunks will help reduce foot rot disease.
  • Move outdoor house plants to warm locations. Clean pots and leaves and control insects and diseases before moving plants inside or into greenhouse.

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Citrus

  • Harvest 'Hamlin' orange, 'Robinson' tangerine, and grapefruit. In November, harvest 'Navel', 'Parson Brown', and 'Han-din' oranges, 'Orlando' tangelo, 'Dancy' and 'Robinson' tangerine, and grapefruit. In December, harvest 'Hamlin', 'Navel', 'Parson Brown', and 'Pineapple' oranges, tangelos, 'Temple', 'Dancy' tangerine, and grapefruit.
  • Keep weeds away from citrus to avoid flaking bark from foot rot disease.
  • Preparing citrus trees for cold weather.

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Other Fruits

  • Fertilize banana, avocado, and guava in October.
  • Graft avocado trees through February. Grafted trees produce quality fruit in 3-5 years.
  • Harvest avocado, figs, papaya, pecans, pears, and pomegranate.
  • In December, if it is cool, prune blueberries for stronger plants and bigger berries. Prune grape vines for baskets and wreaths and form while the vines are fresh.

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Vegetables

  • Dig up sweet potatoes as needed.
  • Begin harvesting of fall crops. Water during dry weather.
  • Protect beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and small plants

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Statice

Statice

Calendula

Calendula

Mistletoe

Mistletoe

Avocado

Avocado

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