Bulbs: Many different bulbs can be grown successfully in Florida. If you received an amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.), shown, during the holidays, you can plant it in the landscape or just keep it in the pot. They will bloom each year in the spring. Plant each bulb in a sunny to part-sun location with the top third of the bulb above the soil surface. Amazon lily (Eucharis grandiflora) can be planted from February through May and will bloom in late winter to early spring. They need partial shade and should be planted with the tip of bulb on the surface of the soil. Amazon lilies will grow in the ground, but in Florida they do best if grown in pots.
Select your caladium tubers as soon as they are available at the garden centers. Plant them in shade or partial sun. Some newer varieties with straplike leaves can handle full sun locations. Space tubers 12 to 18 inches apart in a bed prepared with plenty of organic material. Cover the tops with about 2 inches of soil. Firm the soil around tubers to prevent the formation of air between the tuber and the soil. Caladiums grow best in a moist, well-drained soil.
Fertilize: Things to fertilize this month are annuals, bahia grass (if not fertilized in February), bananas, bromeliads, bulbs, cacti, crape myrtles, figs, hibiscus, hollies, ligustrum, papayas and vegetables. If you are using a weed and feed lawn fertilizer, use care since herbicides can damage the lawn if the temperatures are above 85 degrees. Also, be sure the type of your grass is listed on the label and keep the product away from the roots of shrubs and trees when it is applied. Remember to use ordinance compliant fertilizers to help protect our waters. For more information, go to www.pinellascounty.org/PDF/Fertilizer-Ordinance-Brochure.pdf.
Source: Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. Learn more at askextension.org or pinellascountyextension.org.