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Native Shrub Option for Sandy Soils

Native Shrub Option for Sandy Soils

We often talk about sandy, nutrient poor soil in Florida and how difficult it is for growing many favorite landscape plants. Gardeners may spend considerable time and money amending soils with organic matter to improve quality.

The low maintenance approach is to embrace your sandy soil and consider plants that thrive in sandy, well-drained soil. One very attractive native shrub that actually prefers this type of soil is false rosemary, Conrandina canescens.

False rosemary is a member of the mint family that is well adapted to drier, sandy soils. It can be found in many coastal communities growing in natural areas.  It is easily recognized in the spring and early summer by light purple blooms.  Considered a small shrub or groundcover, False rosemary needs full sun. One plant can easily spread out to 4-5 feet in diameter with a height of 2-3 feet.

False rosemary is an attractive native plant for Gulf Coast landscapes. Photo by Beth Bolles, UF Escambia County Extension

False rosemary does have aromatic foliage and is attractive to bees. It is a very low maintenance plant once established and its few issues tend to be related to soils with too much moisture and plants being shaded after establishment.  New seedlings will emerge around the main plant when growing conditions are right.  If you want to try this native plant in your landscape, talk to a local nursery.

False rosemary flowers are attractive to pollinators. Photo by Beth Bolles, UF Escambia County Extension

 

PG

Author: Beth Bolles – bbolles@ufl.edu

Horticulture Agent, Escambia County

Gardening in the Panhandle

Permanent link to this article: http://leon.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/03/30/native-shrub-option-for-sandy-soils/