If you are new to the area or thinking of relocating to Wilmington NC, and have an interest in gardening, you will most likely want to spend some time getting acquainted with the beautiful flora and fauna that grace our Coastal Carolina region.
When we moved to Wilmington NC from the northeast one of the many charms of the area that delighted us and that we still enjoy every day is the wide variety of beautiful plants, flowering shrubs and trees adaptable to our Coastal Wilmington NC Environment.
There are so many exquisite species of flora and fauna that I never had seen up close and personal before. What fun to visit garden centers and explore the possibilities!
With the 60 degree temperatures gracing our Wilmington NC area, buds appearing on many of our trees and shrubs and the Garden Show in town this weekend thoughts of spring gardening are dancing in my head! It’s a great time to take a look at some gardening catalogs and plan out some new additions to our garden for the spring.
So let’s think spring and spring into a gardening state of mind! If you are just starting your landscaping and garden beds in NC it’s always a good idea to have a soil test done. To do this scoop out about a cup of soil from 3 different areas of your garden, the take a drive to the New Hanover County Arboretum and they will send it out for to be analysis free of charge. While there visit their gift shop or chat with one of the the Master Gardener volunteers who will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Perhaps you have a tree or shrub that is not doing well or has some leaf spot or just looks sick; cut a sample and bring it by for advice on how to treat it or not treat it. They are also available to take questions by phone on their hotline 798-7670
Popular shrubs along the Cape Fear Coast are Yaupon Holly, Oleander, Nandina, Eunonymus, Indian Hawthorne & Wax Myrtle and Azalea. Colorful perennials such as Lady’s Mantle, and Rudebekia, Veronica Speedwell and Lantana should fare well. Ornamental Grasses form all sizes such as the giant Pampas Grass to the smaller varieties such as Blue Fescue are a delightful sight in our local landscape designs.
When Choosing plant this year keep in mind though that drought tolerant plants Chinese Hollies, are a smart choice because of our water restrictions. Some drought tolerant plants and trees recommended for our area include Juniper, Lantana, Pineapple Guava, Rosemary, Lacebark Elm & Crape Myrtle.
You can find most of the shrubs and trees perfect for our zone 8 climate, and a wealth of good advice at local Nurseries such as , Pender Pines, Country Garden, Pierce’s Nursery, Pendercrest & Zone 8, Pender Pines, (Hampstead). Perennials, if not available locally can be ordered from catalogs and usually come with a guarantee.
I have been successful growing annuals from seed such as Zinnias and Cleome. So now is a good time to buy some seed packets. You can start them in trays in a few weeks.
More Resources information for Gardening in NC and the Coastal Areas is available at
Good Books On Coastal Gardening
My favorite Plant Catalogs order early favorites sell out quickly
Posted by Ginger Sala
Wilmington NC Relocation Specialist & Garden Enthusiast