Residential Lawn & Garden

Gardening Almanac


What to Plant in May


Annuals: Ageratum, Amaranthus, Balsam, Celosia, Cleome, Coleus, Dahlberg Daisy, Gazania, Impatiens, Marigold, Melampodium, Mexican Sunflower, Morning Glory, Nicotiana, Nierembergia, Ornamental Pepper, Periwinkle/Vinca, Rose Moss, Salvia, Silk Flower, Sunflower, Thunbergia, Torenia, Wax Begonia, Zinnia.


Okra, Sweet Potatoes, Peanuts, Southern Peas, New Zealand Spinach.

Herbs and Spices

Anise, Basil, Bay Laurel, Borage, Caraway, Cardamon, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro/Coriander, Dill, Ginger, Horehound, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mexican Tarragon, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme.


Amaryllis, Amazon Lily, Aztec Lily, Blackberry Lily, Blood Lily, Caladium, Canna, Crinum, Crocosmia, Dahlia, Elephant Ears, Gingers, Gladiolus, Kaffir Lily, Louisiana Iris, Moraea, Rain Lilies, Society Garlic, Spider Lily, Walking Iris, Watsonia.

What to Do in May

For more details on the following, call your local Extension office or visit the University of Florida’s publication website: 

Plant and fertilize annuals. (See January)

Plant and fertilize annuals. (See January)

Fertilize palms. (See March)

Fertilize perennials. (See March)

Watch for lacebug infestations. (See March)

Air layer shrubs and trees. (See March)

Fertilize muscadine grapes. (See March)

Spray roses to control black spot. (See March)

Side-dress vegetable plants with fertilizer. (See April)

Water wisely. (See April)

Check for signs of turf insects by drenching turf areas with a soapy solution. (See April)

Prune to control fire blight disease. Die back of loquat, apple, pear, and pyracantha may be caused by fire blight disease. Prune and destroy affected branches. Disinfect pruning tools between each cut with a solution of equal amounts of water and one of the following: rubbing alcohol, denatured ethanol or Pine Sol. Soak for 10 minutes.

Prune poinsettias to encourage a dense, compact plant. Pinch several inches of tip growth off each branch. Repeat this procedure whenever new growth exceeds 12".

Correct blossom-end rot on tomatoes. Rotted areas on the bottom side of tomatoes indicate a calcium deficiency. Have the soil tested for pH (call your county's Extension Service), try to keep an even moisture content in the soil and spray plants with products containing calcium (such as “Stop Rot”).

Control scale insects and mites. Plants suffering from chronic scale problems should be sprayed now to control the crawler (immature) stage. Watch for spider mite infestations during dry, warm weather. Spray promptly with a miticide or insecticidal soap 2 times (5 to 6 days apart) and/or wash the underside of leaves frequently with water.

Control oleander caterpillars. Covered in black, bristly, non-stinging hairs, these caterpillars are easy to control when young and small. Repeated sprays, prunings or hand picking are necessary. Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel, Thuricide, etc.) or Spinosad are "organic" alternatives.


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