Shrubs 101: The Florida Shrub Maintenance Guide You’ve Been Missing

Shrubs.

Not so exciting to think about, right? They’re not flashy or fancy and they don’t tower above your head in treetop style. They just don’t get your blood pumping like a big, beautiful flower or a giant palm tree.

We’re here to tell you that you’ve been dealing with the wrong kind of shrubs, friend.

They may seem like a simple addition to a landscape or lawn, but boy, oh boy, do shrubs ever add style, texture, and flavor to your unique property.

Not only are shrubs an extremely popular landscaping feature for the sole reason that they’re stylish, they’re also incredibly easy to care for, offer you the curb appeal you’ve been lacking, and can even contribute to the health and well-being of your other flora and fauna in your landscape.

That being said, shrubs aren’t always as easy as they may seem. There are a few shrubs misconceptions that you might want to consider before you factor them into your garden, lawn, or landscape. We don’t say this to deter you, we just want you to be fully shrub-prepared before you line your whole yard – there will be some work involved.

Shrubs, overall, area great choice for adding privacy, adding a dash of spice to your landscape, and giving you the uniqueness you’ve been dying to add to your yard. To help you get the shrub results you’ve been dying for, the team at Landcrafters put their heads together and came up with a shrub guide you won’t shrug your shoulders at (okay, okay, that was a bad attempt at word play, but we’re landscapers, not comedians!)

Check out our shrub guide below for a complete look at what kind of shrubs you should be using in your yard, the right way to care for them, and the shrub tools that make all the difference.

Pick Florida-Friendly Shrubs for the Least Amount of Trouble

We’re going to kick off this shrub guide with a heaping dose of reality – we live in Florida, and landscaping here is tricky, tricky, tricky.

You might think that doesn’t apply to shrubs but guess what – it does. No matter what you’re planning to plant here, you’re undoubtedly going to deal with some Florida specific issues.

The best way around that?

Plant the Florida locals, friends! Starting with native plants to Florida is going to make your life, and landscaping endeavors, so much easier. If you pick a naturally-occurring Florida shrub, you can bet that you’re going to get results that will make your heart sing a love song to shrubs (like we do!)

Check out a full list of Florida-friendly shrubs here. While you’re certainly not limited to these options, this is a great starting point for you on your shrub endeavors.

Shrubs Are Low Maintenance, But They Do Require Some TLC

One of the main reasons that people choose shrubs for their yard is because they’re famously low-maintenance and are pretty durable – but don’t let this reputation fool you entirely. Shrubs require a little TLC, so it’s not like you’re going to be able to plant them, water them once, and then forget they exist.

Like any other plant, shrubs are living things that will prosper when they’re well taken care of.

No matter if you pick a very low maintenance shrub (like allamanda) or a beautiful flowering shrub (like Bird of Paradise), you’ll need to do the research and take the time to study and understand each shrub’s individual needs and then oblige them.

The best way to do this? Chat with your local landscaping company about what kind of care each shrub needs, do your own research, and monitor your shrubs daily to see what kind of care works best for them.

Plant Your Shrubs at the Right Time (and in the Right Place)

You might now know this about shrubs, but timing is everything when it comes to planting if you’re looking to achieve maximum growth. Typically, the best time to plant shrubs is when it’s not super sunny, hot, or dry. If you plant your shrubs in these conditions, it’s likely that your shrubs establishment and growth process could be negatively impacted.

We know what you’re thinking – isn’t that every Florida season?

Well, technically, yes, but Florida Fall and Winter tend to be a little less treacherous than Florida Spring and Summer, so you might find these cooler seasons the best time to plant your shrubs for optimum growth.

For that matter, location is a big deal, too. Shrubs need to be planted in a spot where they can establish easily – this means you’ll need adequate spoil space for root expansion and growth. The best shrub growth will likely happen when there’s ideal soil water, drainage sections, and nutrition getting to the shrubs root system.

Pruning is Important – Don’t Forget It

Pruning is going to be one of the most vital maintenance projects for your shrubs. If you want your shrubs to continue growing in a healthy and productive way, you’ll need to ensure that you’re continuously cutting back the overgrown and dead branches that are on your plant.

When it comes to pruning, there are a few precautions you’ll want to take and a few tips to abide by.

For starters, always make sure you have the right tools for the job (we’ll talk more about this later, so stay tuned!) We suggest that you try to prune as close to a 45-degree angle as you can to make it easier for new branches to grow back and to keep you consistent in your cuts.

Try to thin out your shrubs first before you remove the bigger branches, then take a crack at those before you get to the large, dead or dying branches.

Pruning your shrub will help keep your plant in good growing order, but it will also protect your property and house from any overgrowth damage that the shrubs might cause (it also just looks a lot tidier to have properly pruned shrubs on your landscape!)

 

Mulch Can Help the Health of Your Shrubs

We could write you article after article about how mulch can benefit your landscape — in fact, we have.  But mulching is especially important when it comes to the health of your shrubs.

Once you’ve planted your shrubs, you’ll need to ensure that the soil is kept at an ideal temperature and is retaining enough moisture to help the shrub grow healthily. Mulch does all of this and more!

Mulch can help to prevent overly-packing of the soil, minimize run-off and soil erosion, and even help control weeds! Mulch is necessary to have on your property for when those random freezes (though they’re few and far between here in Florida) happen in order to keep your shrub’s root system happy, healthy, and protected.

Adding mulch to your newly planted shrubs is going to make all the difference in the shrubs’ establishment. We suggest a regular routine of mulching in order to keep your shrubs healthy.

Pick the Right Shrub Tools

If you’re planning to take care of your shrubs on your own (we encourage that, more power to you!), it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right tools to take care of the job. We suggest putting in a call to your local landscape company to bend their ear about tools that might work best.

For starters, though, we suggest a great pair of pruning shears to help guarantee the sharp, precise cut that you’re looking for. Loppers are a great choice for bigger shrubs, privacy shrubs, or shrubs with thicker branches. Look into hand trimmers or gas trimmers, too!

Our biggest recommendation, though, is to invest in a great pair of gardening gloves to keep your hands and arms safe during your shrub maintenance routine.

 

We hope our shrub 101 guide gave you all the shrub answers that you needed – but if it didn’t, don’t sweat, we’re around to help you out! If you have more shrub questions, want to chat about your options, or simply have shrubs on the brain, we want to hear from you! Give our office a call at (727)- 201-3947 to have a heart-to-heart about all things shrubs. Want a little more landscaping info and advice? You’re in luck. We’ve got you set up with a weekly-updated blog with all the landscaping information you’d ever need. From mulching tips to Florida-specific tricks, everything you want to know is at your fingertips on our Landcrafters blog.