While Florida may not have blizzards or snowstorms like other parts of the country, we do have our own unique version, known as ‘Florida Snow’.
It’s not cold, and you can’t make a snowman, or snow angels, but it does blanket the ground, and gives the appearance of a light dusting of snow.
What it really is
‘Florida snow’ is a plant with small funnel-shaped flowers that grows as groundcover in lawns. The heaviest flowering occurs September through January, so it just might look like a white Christmas this year!
- Scientifically named Richardia Grandiflora,Richardia scabra, or Florida pusley.
- It’s been identified in more than 26 counties throughout the southern half of Florida.
- It’s not known when the plant arrived in the U.S., but is native to South America.
- The plants live year-round and can survive in temperatures as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has been rated a Category II invasive plant, which is defined as “invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency” but have yet to extensively alter Florida plant communities.
The stronger & healthier your lawn is, the better the chance is of keeping ‘Florida snow’ out of your yard.
- ‘Florida snow’ grows where grass is dry, thinning, or has been stressed by insects, disease or lack of water.
- ‘Florida snow’ does well in drought areas, as it thrives in dry soil. If the lawn is not properly irrigated, the weed will take over the existing lawn.
- The hotter the weather, and the more sun exposure, the better it grows.
Horticulturists are hesitant to recommend herbicides to fight ‘Florida snow’, suggesting instead that you make changes to your lawn care routine that will improve turf health, and ultimately help overcome the weed.
- If you have it in your lawn and don’t want it, it can be a challenge to get rid of. You could try to remove it by hand, but it can be tedious work. Also, the small seeds will fall back onto the ground unnoticed, resulting in new plants.
- Mowing won’t get rid of it. Because it grows very low to the ground, it easily escapes mower blades. It also has lots of sticky seeds that can be spread by lawn mowers, and they are hard to get rid of once they take root.
- If changing your lawn care routine doesn’t improve your lawn health, you may need to consult a landscaping professional to find out the best way to manage the ‘Florida snow’ in your yard.
Despite being considered a nuisance by some, ‘Florida snow’ does have some positive traits
- The flower is drought tolerant and helps keep soil erosion at bay.
- It provides nectar for pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
- It’s pretty! The flowers come in hues of white, pink, blue or violet.
- It needs no fertilizer and very little water to survive.
- It stays green year-round.
- Diversity in your lawn helps make it hardier.