Florida's consistent, year-round warm weather makes gardening tricky, especially if your particular area is suffering drought conditions. Because one area of the state suffers from drought at one time or the other, growing plants, such as tender herbs, requires extra care. Many areas of the state impose water restrictions during times of drought, so choosing the right herb for the right place in your landscape is imperative. With a little preplanning and consideration of the particular herb's requirements, you should be able to grow lush herbs despite the drought and warm conditions.
Select herbs to plant directly into your Florida landscape that are relatively drought-tolerant and do not require extra watering. Herbs such as rosemary, chives and lemon balm are drought-tolerant and will tolerate less-than-average watering.
Plant herbs that require moister conditions in containers so you will be able to control the amount of water they receive. Herbs that have high moisture needs and grow well inside containers are basil, beebalm and ginger.
Use a moisture-control potting mix when planting your herbs in containers. The potting mix will hold moisture longer than regular mixtures and you can water less frequently.
Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of your herbs planted directly into the ground. This will conserve the moisture in the soil, allowing you to water less frequently, as well as cut down on unwanted weed growth.
Stop fertilizing herbs growing in the ground during drought conditions in Florida. The fertilizer promotes new growth and increases the water requirements of the plant. Fertilize container-grown herbs with a water-soluble liquid fertilizer, as they require less water than those planted directly into the landscape.
Water the herbs with 1 inch of water, as needed. Place a container or can in the area of the herbs and turn on the water. When the container fills to 1 inch, the herbs have received a sufficient amount. Florida's sandy soil, when watered with 1 inch of water, will seep approximately 12 inches into the soil.
Water only when the herbs seem dry or wilting. This will help the herb plants in becoming drought-tolerant as they develop a longer taproot and require less frequent watering.
Water the herbs in the morning instead of in the afternoon. Florida's weather can be hot and water will evaporate if applied in the heat of the day. Morning watering allows the water time for absorption by the herb's root system.