Where’s my April Showers for My May Flowers?

Growing up in Kentucky, April held special significance as the onset of spring and the beginning of rainfall. The familiar adage “April Showers bring May Flowers” underscored the promise of blossoming plants. The emergence of crocuses and daffodils marked the changing seasons before the summer heat. However, moving to Florida required a notable adjustment to accommodate its distinctive climate. Like many, I had to adapt and learn anew to navigate Florida’s environmental idiosyncrasies.

North Central Florida Climate

One of the significant adjustments stemming from living in Florida is its pronounced climate variability, which can be strongly influenced by natural events such as hurricanes and El Niño occurrences. Consequently, there are no steadfast rules to rely upon; however, broad generalizations can be made.


  1. April is one of the dryer months. According to the Saint Johns River Water Management District, on average, we get about 2.76 inches of rain in this month, second only to January (2.48 inches).
  2. April sees an average of 3 days of rainfall
  3. April starts to see a steady rise in temperatures, with an average daily high of 83 Degrees Fahrenheit.

What does this mean for the Landscape?

By this point, we’ve witnessed the passing of spring’s floral displays. Azaleas, camellias, and redbuds have completed their blooming cycles. Numerous trees have emerged from dormancy and are in the midst of active growth. While some wildflowers and perennial plants continue to bloom, those seeking vibrant colors may need to supplement with annuals. This typically entails regular watering until the rainy season picks up in May. Nevertheless, it’s an opportune moment to contemplate the selection of summer plants for planting.

Three plants to consider:

Coleus offers a wide array of vibrant colors, making them an excellent choice for adding a quick burst of color and texture to your landscape beds. Many varieties are well-suited to thrive in Florida’s hot sun, but verifying this information on the label is essential. Regular watering is necessary for their upkeep, and applying mulch can help retain soil moisture. To encourage a bushier growth habit and prevent blooming, it’s advisable to pinch the tips of the coleus plants regularly.

Marigolds are renowned for their vibrant hues of yellow or orange, adding a delightful splash of color to any landscape. They are often utilized in mass plantings for maximum impact. Two main types are typically available: French Marigolds, which can thrive year-round, and African Marigolds, known for their larger blooms, best suited for spring and summer growth. Interestingly, marigolds originally hail from South America, a fact worth exploring further in my blog post titled “Marigolds: Blooms of Cultural Significance.

Pentas are a versatile option for adding vibrant color and attracting pollinators to your garden. They should be positioned towards the middle to back of the bed, as they tend to grow tall and bushy. While they can be cultivated as perennials, protecting them from freezes is essential, as they are susceptible to cold temperatures.

Right Plant, Right Place

There are many summer flowering plants to consider adding to your garden for a vibrant display. Sunflowers, Tropical Sage, Zinnias, Salvias, and Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans) are just a few examples. It’s important to note that while some of these plants are more drought-tolerant, others may require more consistent watering to thrive.

This blog wouldn’t be complete without a gentle reminder to conduct a soil test and assess the surrounding environment. These steps are crucial for adhering to the Florida Friendly Landscape principle of “Right Plant, Right Place.” By gathering this information, you can make informed plant selection and placement decisions. Grouping plants with similar water requirements in the same area promotes healthier growth and reduces the overall watering needs of your landscape. It’s a win-win strategy for your garden’s vitality and water conservation efforts.



Posted: April 3, 2024

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Horticulture

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