Gardeners in 2020 will veer from the beaten path, opting for unconventional varieties and eco-conscious surroundings, according to a plant trends study by horticulturalists with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
These plants original to a specific place generally are lower maintenance, requiring less water, pruning and fertilizer.
Gardeners without a lot of living space increasingly are choosing the dwarf varieties of their favorite plants. They also require less pruning.
To encourage beneficial insects and the health of your garden, allow shrubs to return to their natural shapes, let grass grow longer and permit a few weeds to flower, said Theresa Badurek, horticulture agent for Pinellas County. "Some of those volunteer weeds may be great wildflowers."
Fruit-bearing plants, ornamental vegetables and edible flowers do double duty, adding beauty as well as nutrition to the home landscape.
Plants for Wildlife
"Most contemporary landscapes lack diversity, so gardeners should choose a variety of plants that flower and fruit," Badurek said. Plants with berries attract birds, and layering plants of varying heights provides hiding places for other species.
Plants with red, purple or black leaves are striking additions to any landscape, making them attractive to gardeners looking for something new in 2020, said Marguerite Beckford, a horticulture agent in Sarasota County.
People are reaching out for lesser-known succulents that offer interesting shapes, textures and growth habits, the University of Florida horticulturists say.
Vegetable gardeners will be looking to diversify their harvests with leafy greens generally grown outside the United States — bok choy, mizuna and komatsuna among them, according to the horticulturists.
Landscaping for Natural Disasters
"Storms are becoming more erratic and more feared," Tancig said. "Plant the kinds of trees around your home that reduce risk."
Softer, Leafier Floral Arrangements
Flowers combined with foliage are gaining in popularity. "We are going away from the bundle bouquet of solitary flower blooms to the soft, organic feel of greenery," said Karen Stauderman, an Extension horticulture agent for Volusia County.