Fresh water has become a precious commodity in many parts of the world. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, “Florida’s current fresh water supply is projected to be unable to meet all of the growing needs of Floridians in the future.” Therefore, it is important to conserve water by purchasing plants that are native to your region or at least don’t need to be watered constantly.
I am not that experienced in all of the beautiful native plants Florida has to offer… but I do have several and I hope to acquire more. If you’d like to help conserve Florida’s water supply, consider supporting the Florida Native Plant Society and the Florida Wildflower Growers Cooperative.
I do, however, leave acres upon acres of my land natural, and plan to do so for as long as I breath, while the rest of the county is knocking down forests, and putting up housing developments. Joe jokes that all of the displaced animals will flock here, and I will feed, shelter and take care of them all.
Sometimes, if you don’t research ahead of time, purchasing plants is trial and error. In preparation for this article, I searched for “Florida plants that require too much water” or “worst plants for conserving water.” Unfortunately, I really did not find a good list. Most of the results displayed invasive plants, or plants that are good for a wet area, or drought tolerant plants you should use, but I didn’t find one that said DO NOT GROW THESE PLANTS if you want to be water-wise.
Through experimenting with different plants, you get to learn which ones consume the most. Here are the five thirstiest plants in my yard, that need to be watered frequently, even after they are established. So, either they aren’t planted in the correct spot (too sunny) or they are just massive water consumers. You can tell because they start to wilt and look pretty sad unless they get watered.
5. Mostly anything in pots and baskets (unless it’s a succulent or cactus)
4. Impatiens (even sunpatiens or new guinea)
Other thirsty plants, are firespike, hollyhock tree, elephant ears, bat flower, certain gingers (red button, alpinia), copper plant, sweet potato vine, tomatoes, morning glories in my raised bed in full sun, cranberry hibiscus, and heliconia.
Most plants not yet established.