Attracting Butterflies To Your Miami Garden – The 16 Best Butterfly Attracting Plants For South Florida

Attracting Butterflies To Your Miami Garden – The 16 Best Butterfly Attracting Plants For South Florida

Butterfly gardens are easy to create and butterflies bring joy every time they flutter by.

So, if you love butterflies and if you enjoy having nature around your home, then install a butterfly garden. Butterfly gardening not only brings butterflies but also a small host of other wonderful wildlife to your doorstep.

South Florida, Miami and all of the surrounding cities and suburbs of Dade and Broward counties are perfect spots to create a year round and fully functioning butterfly garden. Caterpillars, which transform into butterflies, require special kinds of plants to feed upon and these plants grow extremely well in the South Florida sub-tropic planting zones. These are called hostplants.

In this article we will highlight the best plants for Attracting Butterflies To Your Miami Garden – Our 16 Favorite Butterfly Attracting Plants.

These host plants are amazing sources of nectar and other flowers that provide food for those winged beauties.


Firebush Hamelia Patens Florida Native Plant with Zebra Butterfly

Native Firebush Plant with Zebra Butterfly

Firebush, Hamelia patens, is a native to Florida and is perfect for south Florida and the Miami area! This beautiful perennial grows year round in our sub tropic heat and produces flowers from late spring until the first frost (as if there were frost in Miami). This semi-woody shrub can reach fifteen feet in height and produces bright red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, including the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies.

The Hamelia patens grows and flowers best in full sun and it is best to trim your Firebush to five or eight feet tall. It works well in hedges, mixed borders, or as a stand-alone shrub. Firebush can be planted in any well-drained soil and will do best if it is watered regularly until it is established. Once this native south Florida plant has caught hold it is amazing at attracting both birds and butterflies.


Firespike Odontonema strictum with Hummingbird plant for south florida

Firespike with Hungry Hummingbird

Firespike is known botanically as Odontonema strictum and adds a bright red pop to your south Florida garden and is perfect for attracting hummingbirds and several species of butterflies that feed on the nectar. The Odontonema strictum grows between 4 to 6 feet tall and produces clusters of 3-inch-long, tubular red flowers.

Firespike can be planted year-round in Florida and blooms best under full sun.

Ruby Red

Ruby Red Pentas - Egyptian Star Cluster Butterfly Garden

Ruby Red is a Great Butterfly Attractor

This Ruby Red Pentas also known as Egyptian Star Cluster and Pentas lanceolata is a south Florida plant that produces some of the most vivid red flowers of any of the Pentas.

It blossoms from spring until fall and bares 3″ flower clusters that will attract butterflies and other nectar loving creatures like bees and hummingbirds to your gardens throughout summer The Ruby Red is an upright rounded shrub-like tropical perennial that is often grown as an annual.


Blue Porterweed

Parantica_Aglea_Butteryfly-on Blue Porterweed Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis

Parantica Aglea Butteryfly on Blue Porterweed

Blue Porterweed also known as Stachytarpheta jamaicensis is one of the most popular of South Florida’s butterfly attracting plants, with brilliant blue flowers appearing partway up the funky, swirly, upright stems.

This plant is a fast grower and best kept between 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall.

The Blue Porterweed is best in part sun and partial shaded areas. Trim the shrub occasionally to keep it shaped. Give these plants a regular watering, but don’t keep them overly wet.



Jatropha Tree

Jatropha Integerrima Jatropha Tree Butterfly Attractor South Florida Planting

Jatropha Attracting More Than Butterflies

The Jatropha integerrima aka Jatropha tree produces scarlet flowers which attracts a ton of beautiful butterflies and it blooms 365 days a year.

The dwarf Jatropha tree (Jatropha integerrima ‘Compacta‘) is the one to buy…it stays smaller and denser and is the one most commonly sold at nurseries.

This red flowering tree is actually a Jatropha shrub and can be trained to a single trunk or grown as a bush. Keep the trunk free of baby shoots to maintain the tree look.

One of South Florida’s most consistent butterfly attracting plants, Jatropha is also a favorite with hummingbirds.

This tree is a fast grower – the dwarf variety gets only 6 to 8 feet tall. It needs full to part sun and a well-drained spot.

Ruellia Brittoniana

Ruellia brittoniana the Mexican petunia as a butterfly insect garden attractor in south florida

Insects Love The Ruellia

Ruellia brittoniana the Mexican petunia is a tender evergreen perennial that forms colonies of small and medium sized stalks it has a maximum height around 3 ft.

The lance-shaped leaves are to 6-12 inches in length and are 1/2-3/4 wide. It blossoms scores of trumpet shaped blue beauty flowers that accent the bluish metallic cast the leaves give when grown under hot sunny conditions. This Mexican petunia is very good at attracting swarms of admiring butterflies.

Varieties with white, pink, and many shades of blue are available, as are dwarf versions.

Almond Bush

almond bush Prunus glandulosa south florida miami insect butterfly gardening

Humans Are Not The Only Wildlife That Finds The Almond Bush Attractive

The flowering almond bush (Prunus glandulosa and Prunus triloba) put on a spectacular show in the garden, which makes this a great butterfly and natural wildlife attractor. For smaller areas chose the P. glandulosa, or dwarf flowering almond as it grows between 4 and 6 feet tall and equally wide. The Almond Bush produces white or pink flowers in mid-spring.

Select a planting site that receives full sun to partial shade. Flowering almond prefers a loamy soil that drains well, but keep away from salty water and salt saturated air.



Turk’s Cap 

Turk’s Cap Malvaviscus arboreus south florida hummingbird garden

Hummingbirds LOVE the Turk’s Cap

The Turk’s Cap is also known as the Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii it is a spreading shrub that grows between 2 to 3 ft but, it can reach heights of 9 ft. if left unattended. The bright-red petals resemble a Turkish turban, thus the name Turk’s Cap. The flowers never fully open. They overlap to form a loose tube with a protruding staminal column. This is a perfect flower type for bee’s, butterflies, hummingbirds and other nectar gathering insects.




monarch-caterpillars-common-milkweed-south florida butterfly plant

Monarch Caterpillars Working On Transforming Into the Big Beauty Monarch Butterfly on the Milkweed Plant

The Milkweed is the king plant for the king of butterflies, the Monarch. It is also very important for many other insect species like Milkweed Bugs, and Milkweed Leaf Beetles that only eat milkweed.

Common Milkweed grows up to six feet tall. It has large, broad leaves, usually four to ten inches long. They sometimes have red veins and have flowers that are pinkish-purple clusters which often droop.

They are very hardy plants and grow nearly anywhere in any condition.



Purple Passionflower & Purple Passion Vine

Passiflora incarnate purple passion flower south florida botanical garden Passion Fruit Vine For Butterflies and HumansPurple passion-flower, also known as the Passiflora incarnate, is an herbaceous vine that can climb and sprawl up to 25 ft. Local wildlife such as butterflies, moths, bees and more love this plant…

BONUS: This passion flower plant produces a delicious edible fruit.



Cassia Trees

Desert cassia Senna polyphylla south florida gardening

Dessert Cassia is a Great Garden Center Piece. Awing your friends and pleasing your butterfly followers.

Cassia trees are known for their bright yellow insect attracting display. These trees come in several varieties and sizes: Desert cassia, Cassia surattensis (“Scrambled Egg Tree”) and Cassia fistula (“Golden Shower Tree”). All three varieties are incredibly beautiful in full bloom and they make perfect small-space trees.

Desert Cassia

Desert cassia (Senna polyphylla) grows only to 10 feet tall with spring and fall flowers. This little giant is salt-tolerant, evergreen and an ideal centerpiece for your butterfly garden.

 Cassia Surattensis 

Cassia surattensis grows between 12 to 15 feet high. It is another butterfly attractor that blooms twice – in spring and fall. It stays green with thick foliage year round. This tree is very happy in South Florida.

Cassia Fistula

Cassia fistula blooms in summer and occasionally blooms in the fall. It produces incredible cascading flower clusters that sometimes are so prolific you can barely see the green leaves through the flowers.

Fistula can grow to heights of 30 feet, but can be easily maintained at 20 feet in home landscapes. They’re salt-tolerant and fast growers.

Pagoda Flower

Pagoda flower Clerodendrum paniculatum butterflies love this plant

Pagoda Flower Clerodendrum Paniculatum, Butterflies Love This Plant

The Pagoda flower also known as the Clerodendrum paniculatum is an erect, open semi-woody shrub with large evergreen leaves and huge clusters of orange-red or scarlet flowers. It is a bush with multiple stems and grows between 3 and 5 ft, spreading 2-3 ft across. The leaves have heart shaped bases and the individual flowers are only about 0.5 in long but are arranged in massive panicles up to 1 ft or more in height. The pyramid shaped flowers are somewhat like that of a Japanese pagoda. The flower blooms from summer through autumn with additional sporadic flowering throughout the year in warmer environments like south Florida..




Lantana-Bandana-Red Butterfly gardens in south florida

Lantana-Bandana-Red Butterfly Gardens in South florida

Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants The genus includes both herbaceous plants and shrubs growing between 1.6 and 6.6 ft tall. Their common names are shrub verbenas or lantanas or also called the Viburnum lantana.

Lantana’s aromatic flower clusters called umbels are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets.

Lantanas are useful as honey plants for nectar seeking insects and are excellent for butterfly gardening. Butterflies which are attracted to lantana flowers are most notably Papilioninae (swallowtail and birdwing utterflies). Hesperiidae (skippers) and certain brush-footed butterflies (namely Danainae and Heliconiinae), as well as some Pieridae (e.g. cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae) and Lycaenidae (e.g. the aforementioned lantana scrub-hairstreak), also like to visit the plants’ flowers.

Plumbago Auriculata

Plumbago auriculata leadwort plumbago and skyflower for butterfly gardens

Chose Skyflower for Big Beautiful Butterfly Gardens

Plumbago auriculata is called by several common names, leadwort, plumbago and skyflower, it is an evergreen shrub with semi-woody stems that grow between 3 and 10 ft height. Plumbago can be pruned to grow like a vine, pruned to become more compact like a shrub, or left to sprawl with its long, gracefully arching branches. It produces 2 in light yellowish green leaves and a sky blue flower that is about 1 in long with 5 petals spreading about 1 in across. In South Florida and Miami this beauty blooms all year long.

A white flowered variety (P. auriculata var. alba) is available. The cultivar, ‘Royal Cape’ has intense cobalt blue flowers.

A favorite of butterflies, plumbago also is one of the most popular flowering shrubs in Central and South Florida gardens. It is very fast-growing, has few problems and is almost always smiling.

Plumbago does best in light, sandy soils with good drainage. Do not add lime to the soil; plumbago likes a slightly acidic pH..


Coontie Palm - Florida Native Plant - Alta Butterfly Habitat

This Florida Native Coontie Pleases The Rare and Once Thought Extinct Alta Butterfly

As a south Florida gardener you should take the time to discover the Florida coontie. It is a Florida native plant that is well adapted to the south Florida heat. Its recent increased use in landscapes has encouraged the presence of the rare Atala butterfly, which uses coontie as a larval host plant.

The coontie, an unusual Florida native, is a cycad—a “living fossil.” These primitive plants were a dominant form of plant life during the dinosaur age.

Coontie Species. Some botanists report only a single coontie species in Florida (Zamia floridana), while others feel the coontie has several species such as Z. integrifolia, Z. pumila, and Z. umbrosaZ. pumilais

This herbaceous plant looks like a small fern or palm. Typically they are 1–3 ft. high. The coontie has stiff, featherlike leaves, up to 3 ft. in length


Atala Butterfly

Alta Butterfly For a Full Butterfly Garden

Alta Butterfly For a Full Butterfly Garden

The coontie serves as the sole host plant for larvae of the rare Atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala), once thought to be extinct in Florida. The hungry larvae are able to withstand the coonties’ natural toxins and, in turn, incorporate them into their tissues, rendering the larvae and adults unpalatable to various predators, particularly birds.








Corky Stem Passion Vine

Corky Stem Passion Vine with Zebra Longwing ButterflyThe Passiflora suberosa is commonly known as the Corky Stem Passion Vine. It gets tiny green flowers that are about the size of an adult fingertip. Planting this passion vine is one of the easiest ways to make your yard a butterfly habitat for some of the following major butterflies; Zebra Heliconian, Gulf Fritillary and Julia Dryas.






So there you have it folks! A highlight of the Best Plants for Attracting Butterflies To Your Miami Garden – The 16 Best Butterfly Attracting Plants For South Florida. No matter what county or city in south Florida you may live (Broward County, Dade County, Miami, Coral Gables, Davie, Ft Lauderdale or anything in-between) these plants will surely attract dozens if not hundreds of beautiful and colorful butterflies to your home or office garden.

Want a Butterfly Garden at your home but don’t have the time? Give us a call. We love butterflies and will perform a professional install in no time at all…

Habitat Restoration ~ Giving Back to Wildlife in Miami, FL

Habitat Restoration ~ Giving Back to Wildlife in Miami, FL

Why is habitat restoration important for Miami and South Florida?


Habitat restoration by definition is an activity conducted to return a project site, to the maximum extent practicable, to the ecological condition that existed prior to the loss or degradation.  At Knoll Landscape Design, we’re working toward teaching about and implementing environmentally sustainable design principles.  We like to talk about landscapes, gardens, and natural areas with special attention to how our actions affect people, wildlife, and the existing habitat around us.  To us, habitat restoration is a vital aspect of landscape design.


habitat restoration anole lizard on fence in Miami Florida

An anole at home in the garden


Our natural environment supplies us with everything we need and call home.  We’re born into the world relying on our parents, social groups, and our physical environment to meet all our requirements to thrive and succeed.  Observation of the natural world shows us as we mature that there is a cyclic, circular pattern to life, one of birth, growth, peak, decline, death, and recycling of energy to birth once more.  In this, we are taught the borrowed nature, the “give and take” of life.  And there’s a fantastic environmental/economic lesson to be learned from this, that of receiving in one hand and giving back with the other, allowing the natural cycle of life to flow unimpeded.  But what does that have to do with habitat restoration?


habitat restoration for baby bird in bamboo in Miami Florida

A baby sparrow ventures from it’s nest in the bamboo.


In our modern industrial world, we’re used to seeing power and processing plants sprawling in dusty, barren terrains, huge condos and office buildings going up around us, fields disappearing to make way for new residential communities, endless acres of land tilled over and over again to be planted with crops that are sprayed with chemicals to survive to produce food for our tables, and so on.  Looking around, it’s more than easy to see how we’re using our environment to meet our needs.  We do it shamelessly and without question, and in many ways, that’s ok.  It’s necessary that our environment meets our needs.  We expect that, as we should.  But is there more to the picture?


habitat restoration for zebra butterfly on firebush plant Miami landscape

A zebra butterfly nectars on firebush.


If we close our eyes and visualize the way things were before highways came through, buildings went up, forests were felled, and lands were tilled under, bulldozed, and destroyed, we can “see” a much different picture from what exists now.  Imagine for a moment the relative stillness… only broken by a chirping bird, a buzzing bee, the wind rustling in the grass and the branches of trees.  You can almost smell the wildflowers, the sweet scent of rich soil, and crisp fresh, oxygen-rich air.  The land was ALIVE, in perfect homeostasis, created delicately by time and evolution to be it’s own version of “perfection”, host to countless beings, big and small, and every bit beautiful and useful in it’s own way.  Opening our eyes, we see the difference of what exists now, which is quite a harsh reality.


habitat restoration for beautiful forest and colorful shrubs by pond

Nature, left to herself, is balanced, beautiful, and giving.


Our industrial evolution is necessary, a healthy part of a our growth as a species.  We have developed in so many ways because of it, increasing quality of life, health, education, international connections, and much else.  Nature has stood quietly by as we’ve mined and bulldozed, poked and prodded, manipulated and sometimes destroyed her riches.  Like a good parent, she has given us her best, trusting in the idea that when we are mature, we too will learn to be givers, to return the favor, to remember to compensate those whom we owe.  She puts faith in our goodness, our wisdom, our innate understanding of the cyclic nature of life.  As any good parent gives to their child freely, such a parent will also expect their child to give back when it is their turn to do so.  At this stage in our technological advancement, our great scientific understanding, and our economic power, many industrial countries and peoples are beginning to see their collective impact on their environment, learn what good changes (like habitat restoration) need to be made to become environmentally sustainable, and start to set aside the means and develop the courage to act on that knowledge.  We have taken for our growth.  We have grown.  Now we weigh the cost against the gain and reevaluate our position to guide our next step.


habitat restoration for tree frog on bamboo sheath

This tree frog uses a bamboo sheath as perfect camouflage.


As we consider our next move toward habitat restoration, we need to be conscious of one very important cost which has been paid by our environment during our evolution.  When habitat is lost to “progress”, flora and fauna often become endangered, and sometimes go completely extinct.  Each time this happens, our planet loses a living treasure, a point of diversity, a link in the chain of life on earth.  The billions and millions of years of development that resulted in that one glorious flower or butterfly are gone forever in one moment.  We now have even greater problems approaching, like the bee crisis, plunges in the bat and bird populations, and a general loss in global biodiversity, directly linked to our behavior.  There is no limit to reading up on these issues, and in doing so, it becomes obvious quickly the dangers of these problems AND our connection to them.  This existing damage needs to be deeply acknowledged in moving forward.


habitat restoration queen butterfly nectars on lantana flowers Miami Florida

A beautiful Queen butterfly nectars on native Lantana.


Being thankful for what Mother Nature has given us and at the same time acknowledging the price which she has paid, what should be considered as we move forward?  We see several things.  The first is to truly assess the state of species of flora and fauna in our local area.  Are there any protected or endangered species?  If so, what can be done towards habitat restoration for these species?  We can evaluate plants and features which can be replaced in order to restore homeostasis to our local area.  The next step is to replant any areas possible with plants which are either native or at least noninvasive, those which provide habitat for local wildlife.  Once restoration is complete, our third task is to be more conscious with future projects.  Before we embark on building or renovation, mining, harvesting, or farming, we need to look into the future and ask what impact our actions will have.  As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  We can never recreate lost biodiversity, but we CAN prevent future loss by acting consciously.


habitat restoration butterfly on spanish needle in Miami landscape design

Planting a garden creates living artistic beauty.


If you are considering a habitat restoration planting project and need more information or guidance, we are happy to help.  We love to create designs which are mindful of their impact on our environment.  A sustainable future will be built on a foundation of mindful decisions made by forward thinking individuals.  Let us be part of your effort toward a healthy future.  Check out our reviews on Houzz or just give Brent a call at 305.496.5155.


Also, if you are interested in ways to volunteer in our local community when it comes to habitat restoration and conservation, check out this link for opportunities.








Tropical Garden Design Miami

Tropical Garden Design Miami

Tropical Garden Design-South Florida Style


South Florida sits  25° 46′ 26″ N / 80° 11′ 38″ W.  That’s tropics baby. Hot and humid during the summer, breezy and temperate during the fall/winter. A tropical climate that’s perfect for sun bathing, swimming and ohhh yes, gardening. Miami is a mecca for growing exotic flowering trees, tropical fruit trees, fragrant shrubbery, orchids, vegetables and hummingbird and butterfly flora. If you like to garden like me, South Florida is a Tropical Garden Designers Paradise!

The sun is always shining in South Florida, which makes for accelerated growth. Landscapes mature quickly in the Sunshine State providing homeowners with instant satisfaction. No need to wait 40 years for a mature tree, we can grow it in half the time. That privacy hedge you long for can be had in just a couple years. Butterfly flora always blooming. Such an perfect climate for a Tropical Garden Design.

Here’s Landscape Designer Brent Knoll’s top 10 Tropical Garden Design ideas for South Florida.


1. Pergola- If you’ve got the space for it, then you need a pergola for an exotic flowering vine like a Jade flower or New Guinea trumpet vine. Majestic structure with a stunning flower!

tropical garden design

Jade vine


2. Trumpet Tree- The trumpets are sounding! This is what I always tell my clients when I plant this exotic flowering bush from the tropics of South America. The foot long bell shaped flowers are sweetly scented, with a variety of colors ranging from purple to coral. An amazing plant for any Tropical Garden Design.

Tropical garden design

Sweetly scented trumpet flowers


3. Want to cover up an old fence with something stunning and easy to grow? New Guinea trumpet vine is one of my favorite flowering vines. Vine grows quickly, treating you with hundreds of tubular hot pink flowers that will make your jaw drop in wonder.

tropical garden design

New Guinea trumpet vine


4. Privacy hedge- Bamboo is my favorite impact plant and makes a wonderful privacy hedge. Fast growing, non invasive clumping bamboo comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Plant some butterfly and hummingbird flora around your bamboo and you’ve got my favorite tropical garden design of them all, Tropical Butterfly Zen.

tropical garden design

Bamboo hedge


5. Hummingbirds- You would think that we would have more hummingbirds in Tropical Florida than we do, but we’re only graced with their presence from November to the 1st of April. Don’t bother with the hummingbird feeders, you’ll attract ants and wasps. Instead plant turks cap, ruby red pentas, firespike and firebush. You’ll be gauranteed to have hummingbirds visit your Tropical Garden in no time.

tropical garden design

Hummingbird nectaring on hibiscus


6. Koi pond- Tropical Zen Gardens wouldn’t be complete without a Koi pond. Imagine the Zen feel of colorful Koi swimming in a pond surrounded by papyrus, water lilies, and iris.

tropical garden design



7. Tropical fruit trees- No tropical garden design would be complete without tropical fruit trees like mango, papaya, banana, avocado and mulberry. Rejuvenate your soil with organic material and plant away!

tropical garden design

Jak fruit tastes like juicy fruit bubble gum


8. Butterfly gardens- As a landscape designer in Miami for over 20 years, I’ve become very fond of the numerous native butterflies we have in South Florida. I’ve also become a specialist in attracting these beautiful creatures to my gardens. By planting flowers like ruby red penta, lantanta, milkweed, corkystem and porterweed, your Tropical Garden design will become a Sanctuary overnight.

tropical garden design

Monarch nectaring on a daisy


9. Tropical flowering trees- As a member of the tropical flowering tree society, I get to exchange horticulture information with tropical flowering tree collectors from around the world. As a designer, one of my favorite trees to plant for my clients is the Joy Perfume tree. Loaded with jasmine scented white blooms, this tree is a focal point of any Tropical Garden Design.

tropical garden design

My favorite flowering tree, the Joy Perfume tree


10. Exotic flowers- No tropical garden design would be complete without exotic flowers like monkey brush, passion flower and the bat plant. The bat plant flower from Thailand is over 20″ long from the top of the hood to the base of it’s whiskers.

tropical garden design

Bat flower


Need help getting started?

Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design has been creating Tropical Garden Designs in Miami and South Florida for over 20 years. His knowledge of the soil, plant selection and maintenance, makes him a specialist in this field. Brent provides in person consultations as well as garden design and installation. Not sure what to do first? Call Brent at 3054965155 and speak to to him personally. It’s time to get the direction you need to beautify your landscape and get the Tropical Garden you’ve always dreamed of. Call Brent Knoll today!


tropical garden design

Brent Knoll with clients Ana and Jorge Fors


Landscape ideas for your South Florida front yard

Landscape ideas for your South Florida front yard

10 Landscape Ideas for your South Florida front yard

1. Mediterranean Garden

landscape ideas

Mediterranean Garden Design

Meandering brick paths accented with juniper, topiary balls, Italian cypress and Greek statues.

2. Tropical Paradise

landscape ideas

Tropical Landscape Design


Beautiful fuschia colored bougainvillea, foxtail palms and decorative pots atop keystone columns.

3. Gaurdian Cats

landscape ideas

Tropical Garden

 Pialeah ferns line this brick walkway along with walking iris, imperialis bromeliads and black bamboo.

4. Exotic waterfall

landscape ideas


Exotic flowering plants like giant shrimp, congo roho and water ferns flank this gorgeous waterfall.

5. Eclectic and colorful

landscape ideas

Look at those wild colors

Firey crotons, flaming bromeliads and cairn markers spark interest at this South Florida home.

6. Incredibly edible

landscape ideas

Incredibly edible

 Tropical bamboo and butterfly flora surround these raised bed gardens.

6. French formal with sensual curves

landscape ideas

French formal garden

Sculpted paisley hedges of Ilex and Gold Mound, mondo grass and Japanese blueberry.

7. Bamboo garden

landscape ideas

Tropical bamboo

 Baby blue bamboo with pink Belinda’s dream roses, purple ruellia and red pentas

8. Tropical joy

landscape ideas

Joy perfume tree and black bamboo

Joy perfume tree, black bamboo, podacarpus hedge and gold mound

9. Sanctuary garden

landscape ideas

Sanctuary garden

Exotic black and blue bamboo with pinwheel jasmine, fragrant stemmadenia trees and gold mound

10. Hummingbird and butterfly haven

landscape ideas

Beautiful butterfly garden

Orange chrysanthis, bean pole tipi, red and pink pentas

Need help organizing your landscape ideas?

We don’t always have the right ideas to beautify our properties and if we do, sometimes were not sure how to organize them. Landscape designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design has been beautifying Miami for over 20 years. Our reviews on Houzz and Yelp reflect our commitment to good customer service and excellent quality of work. Call Brent at 3054965155 to schedule a professional one-on-one consultation and get the beautiful landscape design you’ve always wanted. 

Garden ideas for the fall

Garden ideas for the fall

Garden ideas for the fall

It’s that time of year again. The time of year us South Floridians cherish the most, the Fall/Winter. With temps consistently in the 90’s and humidity at 100%, I personally roasted this summer.  The mosquitos alone will drive a person batty! But hope is just around the corner, and with that we return to the outdoors to enjoy nature.

The fall/winter weather in South Florida is some of the finest in the world. While the rest of the states are freezing and under drifts of snow, we’re enjoying day time temps in the mid 80’s. That’s pretty sweet! During this time, it’s no wonder South Florida is hot spot for snow birds and vacationers.

garden ideas

Vacationing in South Florida during the fall

Not sure what to do with this super fine weather? Why not spend it sprucing up that front yard or putting in that organic garden you’ve always wanted. Ya know, it’s the perfect time of the year to plant a fruit tree or two. Whatever your aspirations might be, you might need a few garden ideas to help  with the transformation. Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design has a few garden ideas to share. With over 20 years experience beautifying South Florida, he’s seen it all.

Without further ado, here’s Brent’s Top Ten Garden Ideas for the fall.

1. Get organized- one of the main reasons the majority of South Florida landscapes look bad is because there messy. Get a couple big garbage bags and gather up all those dead palm fronds. Any broken pots laying around? Throw em out! Spring cleaning in the fall I always say. You’ll be surprised how much better things look when the yard is cleaned up.

garden ideas

Time to clean up that yard

2. Butterfly gardens– South Florida weather is perfect for attracting butterflies and no better time to enjoy them than in the fall. Get those gardening gloves on, grab your shovel and plant some milkweed for the monarchs, corky stem passion vine for the zebras and a citrus tree for the giant swallowtail. Soon you’ll be chilling in your hammock, surrounded by your fluttering friends.

garden ideas

Monarch resting on kale leaf

3. Fruit trees- another great garden idea for the fall is to plant some fruit trees. Fruit trees like mango, avocado, lime and jak fruit thrive in our temperate climate, producing quickly and providing wonderful shade when the temps creep up. Fruit trees are beautiful and delicious!

Garden ideas

Mango tree

4. Organic garden– for us gardeners, there’s no better time in the year to plant your herbs and veggies than in the fall. Crisp lettuce, tender broccoli and juicy tomatoes thrive in the cooler fall/winter weather. Garden ideas for organic gardening include bean pole tipi’s for your beans and cucumbers. Let those vines climb, which means less bending over.

garden ideas

Fresh organic vegetables from your garden

5. Hang a hammock- got a couple coco palms that are close together? Get yourself a hammock and tie it up. Mid day temps in the 70’s, butterflies fluttering about, a little Bob Marley music, a pina colada…You get the idea.

garden ideas

Time to relax

6. Bougainvillea for color- is there anything prettier than a bougainvillea bush in full bloom!? Breath taking aren’t they. With over 100 colors to choose from, these tropical bushes have graced Florida landscapes for years. Choose a nice sunny spot, dig a hole, add compost and plant your favorite color. Mine is fuscia!

garden ideas

Bougainvillea colors number in the 100’s

7. Fragrance- After a long day at work, there’s no better feeling than being welcomed home by fragrant flowers in your front yard. Fragrant flowers for the fall would include almond bush, roses, and gardenias. All easy to maintain and thrive in the cooler drier climate of our fall/winter months.

garden ideas

Fragrance is ideal for any garden

8. Hummingbirds- Another great idea for your fall garden is to attract hummingbirds. The hummingbirds migrate through South Florida from November to April and love to nectar on sweet flowers like firebush, firespike and ruby red penta.

garden ideas

Hummingbird nectaring on salvia

9. Bird bath- One of my favorite past times is to sit and watch birds taking turns at a bird bath. Position the bird bath near a small tree as the birds need to feel sheltered. Remember, the fall/winter months in South Florida are dry, so be sure to keep your bird bath clean and full of water.

garden ideas

Sparrow taking a bird bath

10. Entertain- enjoy the fruits of your labor and entertain your family and friends. The weather is so divine from December through March, take advantage of it. Sit around a campfire eating smores and telling stories or invite your friends to a garden brunch. You’ve worked hard to make your garden beautiful, enjoy it!!!

garden ideas

South Florida weather is perfect for entertaining


Need help with your Landscape Design?

Sometimes we have all the garden ideas in the world but just need a little help organizing them. Folks, Landscape Designer Brent Knoll from Knoll Landscape Design is here to help you get back on track. Brent has been beautifying South Florida for over 20 years and knows what works and what doesn’t in our tropical climate. Give him a call today at 3054965155 to schedule your one-on-one consultation and get your garden looking beautiful once again.

garden ideas

Landscape Designer Brent Knoll





How to choose a Top Landscape Designer in Miami

How to choose a Top Landscape Designer in Miami

Top Landscape Designer ~ How should you choose your designer?

When looking to design your landscape, begin with the right designer.

Landscape design greatly increases both the beauty and the value of your home.  Far from an extra, a gorgeous landscape is the FIRST impression visitors, potential buyers, and neighbors get about you and your home. It showcases your style and taste and shows your community the level at which you are concerned with keeping an aesthetically pleasing, nature friendly, and generally inviting neighborhood.  Landscape design is also an investment, and with every good investment, it’s important to do your research to make sure that you invest soundly and properly.  Your decision to design a fresh or new landscape begins with choosing your designer.

top landscape designer

Brent Knoll happy with his garden tour

Landscape Designer ~ What should I look for?


The first thing you need to look for in a top landscape designer is experience in the area in which you live.  Every region and climate has particulars which will come into play in your design.  Your designer must understand the soil quality, prevailing environmental conditions, plant materials that work for your zone and location, and many other factors in order to make recommendations which are realistic and which will truly give you the results you’re looking for.  

Artistic Talent 

We all know that categorizing art as “good” or “bad” can be a relative thing.  Different people enjoy different types of artistic expression.  But let’s be honest.  Two people may carry out the same artistic task, and one may do it in a way which is voted more pleasing by general concensus.  We tend to classify those broadly approved of artists as “talented” or “good” at what they do.  When it comes to choosing a top landscape designer, look for their portfolio on their website or ask to see images of their work.  Their pictures will showcase their ability to carry out a truly aesthetically pleasing design.  Find a designer whose work resonates with your own artistic taste, and you will find a match that you should be able to work well with.

Broad Range of Design Styles

Many landscape designers specialize in one or two types of designs, and while the argument may be made that they are specialists in those areas, they may not offer the artistic flexibility required to give you the particular style you are looking for.  Versatility regarding style is essential because each design client is unique, ecclectic, or purist in their own way and needs to be able to be fully heard and understood as they express their aspirations for their garden space.  Find a top landscape designer who seems “style flexible” enough for you to comfortably offer all your ideas, knowing they will all be considered workable for the designer.  If you can, view their website and peruse their list of styles offered to get a feel for their adaptability.

Reviews and References

Finding a top landscape designer who is professional and easy to work with will be greatly reflected in the reviews available and references offered by the designer.  Research web sources such as Yelp, Houzz, and Angie’s List to read reviews which will give you first hand insight from past clients regarding the reliability and competence of your potential designer.  Sources like Houzz also offer colleague reviews so you can see what other professionals think of your designer as well.  Contact your potential landscape designer and ask for references and samples of their work as well to get a well-rounded feel for what they offer.

top landscape designer

My happy clients, the Fors

A Designer Who Offers Installation and Other Follow Up

Knowing how to use AutoCAD or a design program to create a paper design and truly knowing from hands-on experience how the design will work out in the real world are very separate things.  A design and an installation can be at complete odds in moving from paper to planting.  Meeting a landscape designer who strongly encourages you to use his/her company for the installation process means that you have met a designer who is confident in the full extent of their design abilities.  This designer is one who will go to great lengths to create your design as a personal artistic expression, often going so far as to hand-pick every plant which goes into their design.  This designer will also offer follow up visits to track the progress and upkeep of their designs, often suggesting tried-and-true fertilization programs and other amenities. Again, view your landscape designer’s website, check out client reviews and references to see to what extent your potential designer will walk with you through the landscape design process.

top landscape designer

landscape plans

Community Involvement

We all know community involvement is important.  How present we are with our friends, families, neighbors, and communities is a measure of our investment in these areas.  All relationships require constant care, and a good landscape designer is also a good member of their neighborhood.  Has your designer been known to organize community events, educate by offering workshops or lectures, or participate in community service?  Don’t be afraid to ask about this important personal aspect of public outreach.  

top landscape designer

Brent Knoll and Sarah Reimer with the kids


Last, but certainly not least is communication.  The landscape design and installation process are just that, a process which takes time, thought, and calculated orderly moves to execute.  Your landscape design process may take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to several months, and during this time, rest assured adjustments will be made, opinions about plant materials and placement may be reevaluated etc, and you will need a landscape designer who will be available to communicate with you on a multimedia level.  A top landscape designer will be available to you via phone calls, consultations, texts, videos, emails, and possibly through social media.  They will make every venue of communication accesible for you so that you can feel comfortable with the entire design process.  Feel free once more to locate their business reviews and ask their references about their ability to communicate during the design process.

What mistakes should you avoid when seeking a landscape designer?

Now that we have discussed some key pointers in finding the top landscape designer for you, let’s go over some don’ts that can be serious road blocks to having a smooth and painless landscape design process.

DON’T use an inexperienced designer.

An inexperienced or beginner designer may seem appealing on several levels.  Maybe they’re offering you a “good deal” or you want to help the beginner out, but a smart beginner will apprentice under a master designer first in order to give quality service to their clients.  You’ll be better off finding someone with some experience, and the more experience, the better.

DON’T use a “Landscape Service” over a Landscape Designer.

Landscape service companies are best known for offering landscape maintenance like lawn care and fertilization, but they may try to offer you design and installation as well.  While some of these companies may have a good designer working for them, many of them don’t and you may be the recipient of a generic and unsatifying “design” and an underpar installation.  Generally, the employees of these companies are not soil experts, plant experts, or designers and therefore may know little when it comes to giving you a landscape which is worth your time and money.  Leave the maintenence to these companies, and the design to the seasoned landscape designers.

DON’T use a designer who doesn’t get your style.

Again, landscape design is art.  Choose an artist who resonates with your personal style and taste.  Schedule a consultation with your potential designer, and tell them your ideas.  See how they resonate and collaborate with you on the project.  Do they understand your personal flair?  Do they seem to have experience with what you are looking for?  Can they readily make plant and material recommendations that seem to perfectly fit your ideas?  For a pain free way to get some of this info on your designer, look again at their website portfolio and design styles offered to see if you may be a good match to work with each other.

DON’T use a designer who has no web presence or references.

The web is the modern easy access way we find much of what we’re looking for.  And web presence is more than just having a great website.  It’s about social media, interacting with your audience, and participation on review-based websites like Yelp, Houzz, and Angie’s List, making your info and your references readily available to potential clients.  Not providing these things to clients may mean shady business, lack of innovation, or laziness.  While this isn’t always true (many old businesses which are very established in their communities haven’t caught up to the available technology), it’s certainly an angle to consider.

DON’T look for fast-food service.

Let’s face it.  We live in a fast-paced world.  We’ve learned to want what we want and want it now, and while that’s good for creating efficiency, it can hamper quality.  Expect your designer to give you a window of at least 2-4 weeks to complete your design.  Remember, a busy designer is a GOOD designer!  DO expect them to stay in great communication with you throughout your process, but realize that a great design takes time.  From the consultation, to picture-taking, constructing your design, researching plant material, compiling price lists and proposals, giving presentations, okaying material with you, making plan adjustments, scheduling installation, etc, there is a lot going on!  Be prepared to set aside the time needed to allow the landscape design process to flow naturally.  The beauty which will surround you will give you years and years of enjoyment as a reward for your patience.

It’s time to find your landscape designer!

Knoll Landscape Design is a versatile and sustainability-focused company which has been serving the Miami, South Florida area for over 20 years.  Landscape Designer Brent Knoll knows the soil, the plants, and the climate of South Florida with the deep awareness that comes from continued hands-on experience and personal attention to every aspect of his client’s designs.  He knows what works in our rocky, sandy soil, and can guide you into a design that will look fantastic AND thrive.  Brent has the aesthetic eye of an artist and knows a broad range of landscape design styles.  He offers installation and all the follow up you need to make sure your project flourishes.  He is a excellent communicator, a fan of social media, and is excited to share his reviews and references with his clients.  In his spare time, he has created several community gardens, hosted many workshops and lectures, and participated my many enjoyable community service projects.  If you are in the Miami-South Florida area, and are looking for a designer for your project, give Brent Knoll a call at 305.496.5155.

top landscape designer teaching group about organic gardening

Brent giving a garden tour

Grow Herbs in South Florida, Miami? Yes!!!

Grow Herbs in South Florida, Miami? Yes!!!

It’s easy to grow herbs in South Florida


Growing Herbs is Easy!

Wanting to grow herbs in Miami, South Florida? We’ll it’s easy, super easy. Unlike most of America, Miami has a year long growing season, meaning we can grow herbs all year long! Wow, imagine a garden full of Italian Basil, Mint, Parsley, Dill and Rosemary. These are just a few of the herbs that grow in South Florida. At the bottom of this artical is an impressive list of seasonal herbs that are easy and fun to grow. Want to know more about how to grow herbs? Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design has offered some of his proven organic gardening tips. Brent is always talking soil, so let’s start there.

What is the best soil to grow herbs in? 

If you’ve ever tried to grow herbs in our South Florida soil, you’ve probably found that it’s pretty rocky. South Florida, especially Miami is one big Coral Rock and or construction fill.  Digging in Coral isn’t fun, trust me, I know. I’ve been designing and installing gardens for over 20 years in the Sunshine State and my best friend for digging is a pick and a jack hammer. Crazy but true. Besides being extremely difficult to dig in, Coral Rock is low in organic matter and very alkaline. Construction fill consists of crushed lime rock and whatever is left from the development of the site, like chunks of concrete, bottles, plastic, tires…u get the picture, pretty toxic stuff.   Herbs tend to grow best in a more acidic environment with a ph of around 6 to 7. So you have a couple options, you can either amend your soil with organic matter or build up. Raised Bed Gardens are our most popular method for growing herbs. Inothese Raised Bed Gardens, the soil is built up and contained in frames made of 2″ pine, cedar or cypress, or cut lime stone rock. What’s the best soil to grow herbs in? Brent’s Super Soil of course or compost. We make our own organic soil and use it for all of our organic garden installations. The ph is a perfect 6.5, it’s full life giving minerals and rich in microbial life. If you’re soil isn’t right, your plants will grow weakly or not at all. Gardening always starts with the soil!

grow herbs coral rock

South Florida coral rock


How much sun is needed to grow herbs?


How much water is needed to grow herbs?

When it comes to watering your herbs, the general rule of thumb is to keep the soil moist. Make sure you’re organic garden, container gardens or raised bed garden has good drainage. Herbs don’t like to live in soggy soil. Remember to water your herbs first thing in the morning, spot watering in the afternoon if needed. Lay down hay or compost to help preserve moisture and keep the soil cool. 

grow herbs kid watering

Watering the garden is my favorite job

How much fertilizer and maintenance is required to grow herbs?

Not much! As far as fertilizer needed to grow herbs, I fertilize my raised bed garden installations once per month with a organic fertilizer that I purchase from a local nursery or from compost that we make at our nursery. Both work very well and are loaded with micronutrients! Remember to take care of your soil and it will take care of you! Do herbs need much maintenance? Not really, most herbs are bug free. The oils in the leaves and fragrance tends to keep bugs at bay. I love to mix herbs in with vegetables and fruits as companion plants. 

Harvesting your herbs

How and when to harvest your herbs? Know the growth habit of your herbs. Allow your herb plants to become established before harvesting. Watch some tutorials on youtube. We have our own youtube channel loaded with information on organic gardening. Here’s the link for that Knoll Landscape Design’s Youtube

grow herbs harvesting basil

Harvesting fresh basil

What herbs grow best in Miami? 

Most!! With our temperate tropical climate it’s so easy to grow herbs in Miami, it really is. Note that every herb has a season, for instance Italian Basil loves the summer sun, cilantro likes winter months, mint and rosemary grow round. Here’s an impressive herb list our friends at Easy Edible Landscapes has put together. Here’s the list you’ve been waiting for: What herbs grow in South Florida,  Miami

Want to grow herbs but need help?

We create a variety of landscapes at Knoll Landscape Design and some are quite delicious.  Edible Forests, Edible Landscaping and Raised Bed Gardens are a great way to grow herbs seasonally or all year long. Call Brent Knoll at 3054965155 to schedule an in person consultation to discuss the possibilities for growing your own food. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Best Landscape Design for Miami, South Florida?

Best Landscape Design for Miami, South Florida?

Let’s talk about the best landscape design options for you. 

Choosing the best landscape design for your Miami, South Florida home sometimes can be tricky. There are many design elements and variables to sort through, it’s easy to see why a person can be confused when trying to decide what the best landscape design is. You want a landscape that’s not only beautiful, but fits your personal needs as well, for example having a tree that provides great shade and fruit, like a mango or avocado tree. You can’t decide whether to go with a Mediterranean look or Tropical Design? You have many design choices with numerous landscape elements to consider.  You’re design should flow with the architecture of your home, inside and out.

Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design is here to help. Brent has over 20 years of designing gardens in South Florida and has put together his top ten landscape designs for beautifying your outdoor space. In this article he’ll discuss the best landscape design for Miami and the elemental factors that make them work. So what is the best landscape design for your Miami, South Florida home? Here’s Brent’s top ten landscape designs for Miami:

1. Mediterranean Landscape Design Mediterranean gardens are best known for their casual elegance. The inspiration for these gardens comes from the coastal areas of Spain, Italy and France, this landscape style combines relaxed materials and plants with formal accents and designs. Imagine spiral topiaries, lavender, cypress trees and ornamentals combined with terra cotta pots, tiered fountains, roman columns and greek statues. That’s a pretty picture! 

miami mediterranean landscape with flowering trees and sculpted hedges

Mediterranean Landscape Design

2. Tropical Landscape Design– Tropical Landscapes in Miami are a slam dunk as South Florida is…Tropical. Imagaine a Tropical Landscape full of hummingbirds and butterflies, exotic flowering bat plants whose whiskery flowers are 20″ long, fragrant trumpet flowers perfuming the night air and the creaking sound of bamboo as it sways in the wind. Small waterfalls flowing in to ponds filled with papyrus, lotus flowers and koi fish. The icing on the cake is lying in a hammock between two coconuts as you sip cold ginger tea and listen to the birds sing. That’s paradise….Tropical is the best landscape design in Miami and South Florida when it comes to lushness, rapid growth, and plant variety. 

best landscape design

Tropical Landscape Miami

3. Edible Landscape Design– Edible landscaping is an infusion of herbs, fruits and vegetable plants combined with hummingbird and butterfly flora, ornamentals, nectar plants to attract pollinators, fruit trees and shrubs. The object of an edible landscape design is to create a beautiful, yet practical organic garden, one that provides for your basic needs of aesthetics, privacy and shade, but can be eaten from as well. This is a great way to say good by to all that lawn grass and expensive upkeep by planting lot’s of crisp lettuce, fresh herbs and vegetables. Your shade tree becomes a delcious mango tree. Privacy hedge a passion flowering vine on fence giving you fruit all year long. In my opinion, Edible Landscapes are great way to become empowered about growing your own food and setting an example for the community. Are Edible Landscapes the best landscape design for being sustainable, growing food and making the most of your taxable property…Yes! For more information on edible landscaping in Miami, visit our friends Easy Edible Landscapes at

best landscape design


4. Certified Wildlife Habitat– These gardens hold a special place in my heart as they’re all about connecting with Nature. With the continued development of Metropolitan properties, more of the natural environment is removed including the soil, to be replaced with huge homes, concrete and small lawns. In my line of work as Landscape Designer, I’m digging all day long in construction fill, bottles, concrete and whatever is left over from the site. The first step for creating balance is to take care of the soil by rejuvenating it with organic material. Then we plant the prettiest of native trees, shrubs, flowering vines, butterfly and bird attracting plants, grasses and ground covers. The result is a outdoor space full of song birds, butterflies fluttering about, frogs singing at night and a place for all to find solace, a natural sanctuary. This is the best landscape design hands down for attracting wildlife to your Miami home. 

best landscape design

Certified Wildlife Habitat

5. Butterfly and Hummingbird Haven– the name says it all! The one consistant element in all my gardens are the butterflies. I can’t help it, they’re so much fun to be around. Always fluttering, chasing and nectaring, so tranquil and elegant. It’s easy to attract butterflies in our temperate climate. In one Miami garden alone, I attracted over 30 of native species. It was butterflies gone wild!!! Great thing about butterfly plants, they also bring in the hummingbirds. Plants like ruby red penta, firebush and firespike are great for nectaring, while corkystem passion vine, milkweed and cassia serve as the larval plants. Combine those elements and you’ve got buffet line for our little friends and entertainment for hours. For attracting butterflies, the butterfly and hummingbird haven is the best landscape design for this purpose. 

best landscape design

Zebra butterfly nectaring on firebush

6. Healing Garden Design– If there’s a garden I’d prefer to install the most, it would be the Healing Garden. In our fast-pacing, chaotic world, it’s easy to feel the effects of stress and become unbalanced or even ill. If you’re looking for an incredible way to bring healing and meditative calm to your space, then you’ve met your future garden. With restoration of the body, mind, and spirit at its heart, it is infused with many divine and delightful elements. We use things like sacred geometry, scent, color, sound therapy, water features, herbal and medicinal plants, meditation and prayer niches, edibles, and various wildlife attractants among others. Imagine being greeted with the fragrance of a joy perfume tree each time you come home from work or relaxing on a bench near a fountain listening to song birds. Butterflies always in chase, hummingbirds nectaring on native flowers. If you want a Sanctuary, a place of solace, Healing Gardens are the best landscape design in Miami for finding balance and peace of mind. 

best landscape design

Healing Garden

7. Sacred Sanctuary Design and Labryths– With our days typically filled with work, home life, social life, hobbies, etc., we can lose sight of the sacred. And yet this part of our life is (for many of us) the most crucial and central need we have. Imagine having a garden truly set apart as a holy place for meditation, prayer, and worship, and as a reminder of all that is divine in your life. We encourage the use of things like sacred geometry, crystals, prayer flags, meditation benches and other sacred symbols as templates for these designs. Wildlife attracting plants like firebush for the butterflies and surnam cherry for the birds will bring balance to any space, ecouraging sanctuary and peace for all. 

best landscape design

Sacred Geometry Design

8. Raised Bed Gardening– Imagine having an organic marketplace in your own back yard! The Raised Bed Garden is a classic approach to growing herbs and vegetables. Raised Bed Gardens are neatly contained and easy to work, this simple design offers everything you need to begin growing the healthy herbs, fruits and vegetables you and your family deserve. Raised bed garden frames can be made with wood, metal, stone or plastic. The wood raised bed frames are build with 2″ pine, cedar, cypress or teak, are normally 2′ to 4′ wide, 4′ to 10′ long, and are 10″ deep, filled with organic soil, seasonally planted with seeds and starter plants and fertilized organically. These little raised garden beds are the best landscape design approach for beginners to grow their own food. 

best landscape design

Raised Bed Garden

9. Bamboo Retreat– Adding bamboo to your landscape can be perfect for many situations. Let’s say you’ve got a building next to your property that you don’t want to see anymore or don’t want your neighbor to see you skinny dipping in your pool, bamboo as a privacy hedge is ideal due to it’s fast growing nature and non invasiveness. (we only install clumping, non running bamboo at Knoll Landscape Design)  The Bamboo Retreat Designs we create are lush, tropical, exotic and elegant, each unique in presentation and impact. Imagine a small bamboo forest surrounding a clear water limestone pool with koi fish, water lillies, orchids and flowering bromeliads, a true vacation getaway in your back yard! 

best landscape design

Bamboo retreat

10. Edible Forest Design– If your tired of throwing money away for costly yard upkeep and want to make the most of your property by growing your own food, then the Edible Forest is the landscape design for you. This sustainable “green” design combines concepts like permaculture and companion planting. This self-sustaining microclimate involves the layering of plants and fruit trees according to height, sun tolerance, and growth habits, creating tiny forests that mimic nature and work in beautiful harmony to produce a constant yield of fresh organic deliciousness! Replace your lawn grass with crisp lettuce, fresh herbs, nutritious vegetables and fruits. Tear out that whitefly destroyed ficus hedge and grow a super sweet surnam cherry hedge. Remove that invasive schefflera tree and plant a mango tree, surrounded by papayas and sweet potatoes. With this new style of landscaping you’ll grow enough food for your family and have enough to give to friends. Edible Forests are the best landscape design for making the most of your organic gardening space. 

best landscape design

Edible Forest Garden

Need a consulation or design?

Whether it’s a mediterranean style landscape with tiered Italian fountains, a Tropical Paradise with exotic orchids and waterfalls, or just showing off your prize lemon tree in your Edible Forest, you have many choices for landscaping your South Florida property. Need direction for where to start first? Maybe a consulation will shed light on what style of landscape best suits your architecture? Have the ideas and just need a landscape design? Knoll Landscape Design is ready to help you get started. With over 20 year designing and installing gorgeous landscapes, Landscape Designer Brent Knoll knows the best landscape design for your property and is just a phone call away at 3054965155. Call today and get your property looking great!

Ficus hedge dying?  Top ten privacy hedges for Miami, South Florida.

Ficus hedge dying? Top ten privacy hedges for Miami, South Florida.

Is your Ficus Hedge Dying? The following article will shed light on the whitefly problems of Miami Dade County and privacy hedge plant options to choose from. 


Whitefly have become a serious problem here in South Florida over the last 5 to 10 years. We all know what whitefly is by now right? It’s that cute little, little, little white fly looking thing that attaches itself to the back of plant leaves like ficus hedges and palms. Whitefly has a white fuzzy appearance, when the leaves are shaken, there becomes a cloud of dust, then you see little bugs flying all over. Is your ficus hedge dying? If so, it’s probably whitefly.

In Miami, some species of whiteflies can become serious pests of certain vegetable crops, hedges, greenhouse plants or ornamental plants. Two of the most important species are the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, and the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. In colder climates, whiteflies die outdoors, but in warmer climates, as well as indoors and in greenhouses, they can reproduce throughout the year with several overlapping generations. 


Adult whiteflies are about 1⁄10 to 1⁄16 inch long and look like tiny moths (Figure 1). They have four broad, delicate wings that are held rooflike over the body and covered with a white powdery wax. Adult females usually lay between 200 and 400 eggs. Sometimes the eggs are deposited in a circular pattern in groups of 30 to 40 because the female will often keep her mouthparts in the plant to feed while moving her abdomen in a circle.

Within about a week, the eggs hatch into flattened nymphs, called crawlers, that wander about the plant, usually our prize ficus hedge. Soon, they insert their mouthparts into the plant and begin to feed. After their first molt, the nymphs lose their legs and antennae. They attach themselves to the undersides of ficus leaves with several waxlike rods coming from their bodies, giving them the appearance of small white oval scale. The nymphs remain fixed to the plant and feed for about four weeks. After a pupa stage, the adults emerge and live for about one month. Within a population, all life stages are present, and generations often overlap.

Adult whiteflyFigure 1

An adult whitefly.



Ficus Hedge Dying? Whitefly kill ficus by sucking out plant juices. Because large amounts of sap can be removed, primarily by the developing nymphs, heavily infested plants can be seriously weakened and grow poorly. Leaves often turn yellow, appear dry and drop prematurely. (Figure 2).

Also, whiteflies suck out more plant juice than they can digest, and they excrete the excess as a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew. The honeydew covers leaf surfaces and acts as a growth medium for a black, sooty mold. Both the removal of plant juices and the presence of the black, sooty mold growing on the honeydew can interfere with photosynthesis.

In some parts of the country, some species of whitefly can transmit several plant viruses.

Whiteflies suck out plant juicesFigure 2

Whiteflies suck out plant juices. This seriously weakens the plant.


Solutions for dealing with whitefly?  Treating ficus hedges with toxic chemicals each month gets very expensive. The toll on the environment is significant as it poisons our water and soil.  In my opinion, it’s easier to work with landscape plants that aren’t susceptible to whitefly than to spray harmful chemicals in an attempt to control them.Hedge material is a great place to start when it comes to dealing with whitefly. Here’s my top ten hedges for South Florida and Miami that are pretty resistant to whitefly. 


Is your ficus hedge dying? If so, choose from the list below for hardy shrubs that can stand up to whitefly.

1. Cherry Hedge- 

The shrub or tree, to 25 ft (7.5 m) high, has slender, spreading branches and resinously aromatic foliage. The opposite leaves, bronze when young, are deep-green and glossy when mature; turn red in cold, dry winter weather. They are ovate to ovate-lanceolate, blunt- to sharp-pointed, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 in (4-6.25 cm) long. Long-stalked flowers, borne singly or as many as 4 together in the leaf axils, have 4 delicate, recurved, white petals d a tuft of 50 to 60 prominent white stamens with pale-yellow anthers. The 7- to 8-ribbed fruit, oblate, 3/4 to 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) wide, turns from green to orange as it develops and, when mature, bright-red to deep-scarlet or dark, purplish maroon (“black”) when fully ripe. The skin is thin, the flesh orange-red, melting and very juicy; acid to sweet, with a touch of resin and slight bitterness. There may be 1 fairly large, round seed or 2 or 3 smaller seeds each with a flattened side, more or less attached to the flesh by a few slender fibers. Full sun


2. Bamboo- textilis gracilis



3. Stopper- 

Native stoppers (small trees/large shrubs in the Myrtaceae) are excellent choices as low- maintenance, salt-tolerant, medium to tall privacy hedges, accepting full sun or partial shade (growth denser in full sun).  Growth is slow to moderate, but patience will be rewarded as they mature into  definite landscape assets.  Stoppers have little to no problems with whitefly and are fairly bug resistant all together. All have striking foliage, new growth often tinged red to pink, and (if not heavily pruned) produce colorful fruit (attracts birds). Full sun. 


4. Firebush

Firebush is a showy, fast-growing, semi-woody evergreen shrub that can get up to 15 ft (4.6 m) tall under ideal conditions, but usually stays much smaller. It has whorled leaves, usually with three but occasionally as many as seven at each node. The leaves are elliptic to oval, about 6 in (15 cm) long, and gray-pubescent underneath with reddish veins and petioles. They are reflexed upward from the midvein. Throughout the year, firebush produces showy terminal clusters (cymes) of bright reddish-orange or scarlet tubular flowers, each about 0.75 in (1.9 cm), long. Even the flower stems are red. The clusters of fruit also are showy. Each fruit is a juicy berry with many small seeds, ripening from green to yellow to red and finally to black. Do to it’s fast growing and dense foliage, firebush makes for an ideal privacy hedge as well as a nectaring plant for butterflies and hummingbirds. A firebush plant usually has flowers and fruit in various stages. Loves full sun. Knoll Landscape Design highly recommends this material for a long lasting hedge. 



5. Cocoplum- 

Rounded, shiny green leaves are set off by red-tipped new growth on this most commonly sold variety. The plant produces small white flowers, followed by fruit that’s often made into jelly…or as an attraction in a wildlife garden. The plum is pink and ripens to purple with a fairly bland flavor, and the almond-flavored seeds can be roasted and eaten or crushed for use in cooking. Terrific as hedge shrubs or privacy plants, these native Florida plants can grow to about 15 feet if you let them – though most of the time they’re kept trimmed to around 4 feet. This is an easy-care plant that can be kept more manicured for a formal look or left to grow in its naturally pretty rounded shape in a casual landscape style. There is a “horizontal” cultivar which can be grown as more of a groundcover shrub and is more salt tolerant than “Red Tip” cocoplum.

6. Jamaican Caper- 

This 6- to 20-foot-tall, native shrub is an upright to spreading plant that is related to plant producing edible capers. The evergreen leaves of the Jamaica Caper are lightgreen above, with fine brown scales below. These glossy, oval leaves are folded together when they first emerge and give the plant’s new growth a bronze appearance. The leaves also have a notched tip. Twigs are brownish gray and pubescent. Jamaica Caper flowers have very showy, two-inch-long, purple stamens and white anthers and white petals. The inflorescence is comprised of terminal clusters consisting of 3 to 10 individual flowers. The fruits are 3- to 8-inch-long cylindrical pods containing small brown seeds that are embedded in a scarlet pulp. This is a fabulous privacy hedge and is whitefly resistant. 

7. Jasmine- 

Orange Jessamine is a small, tropical, evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 7 m tall. The plant flowers throughout the year and makes a fabulous hedge no and has little to no problems with whitefly.  Its leaves are glabrous and glossy, occurring in 3-7 oddly pinnate leaflets which are elliptic to cuneate-obovate to rhombic. Flowers are terminal, corymbose,  few-flowered, dense and fragrant. Petals are 12–18 mm long, recurved and white (or fading cream). The fruit of Murraya paniculata is fleshy, oblong-ovoid, coloured red to orange, and grows up to 1 inch in length. This is a full sun hedge and Knoll Landscape Designs favorite! 


8. Areca Palm-

The Areca Palm, scientific name Dypsis lutescens (synonym: Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens) is a beautiful palm tree from Madagascar. This plant is also known as Butterfly Palm, Yellow Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Madagascar palm and Areca Lutescens and is a superior hedge material. It is a common ornamental in subtropical and tropical regions around the world. Probably it is the most cultivated nursery palm tree. However, it is  endangered and very rare in its natural habitat Madagascar.

The Areca palm is a low maintenance plant and a fast grower. You can grow this exotic plant as a house plant. It will bring a tropical touch into your home and purify the air. The Areca is consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins.

The graceful Areca Palm tends to grow in clumps. The adult plant looks like a large bush that can reach 20 feet or more in height with a spread of 5-10 feet making it a great hedge plant for privacy.  As a houseplant it is usually grown much smaller. Landscape designers love this plant for it’s simplicity and grace. Full sun to part shade.

9. Buttonwood

Green buttonwood Conocrpus erectus (and the silver leaf form) is another Florida native sometimes grown as a hedge.  Buttonwood hedges often loose density at the base due to insufficient light (more so the silver leaf form) and misplaced sprinklers.  This detracts from what can otherwise be an attractive hedge, and an especially good choice for coastal properties.  Buttonwood experiences a prolonged period of winter dormancy during which there is little leaf renewal at which time the hedge may lose some density.  If installing green buttonwood as a hedge, look for ‘Momba’ a more compact growing cultivar.  These are full sun and make wonderful hedges in Miami. 



10. Fishtail Palms

Need a privacy hedge but don’t want to do the work!?

Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design is there for you. Brent has over 20 years of landscape design experience in Miami and South Florida and is ready to help you. Call Brent at 30549651555 to schedule a consultation and get the privacy you need today!!!


Banana Fun Facts for Edible Landscaping

Banana Fun Facts for Edible Landscaping

Banana Fun Facts for Edible Landscaping

1. A banana is an edible fruit produced by several kinds of large herbaceous florwering plantsi in the genus Musa.  

2. The majority of the bananas grown these days are a clone of one another originating in Southeast Asia which could lead to problems with fungus and soil born diseases. 

3. Musa species are native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. 

4. The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant in the world. That’s one big herb!!!

5. Bananas are one of the easiest edible landscape fruits to grow producing huge clumps of bananas all year long. Usually over 100 bananas in each clump!

6. The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers (called “hands”), with up to 20 fruit to a tier. Each individual banana is called a finger. 

7. Bananas are naturally slightly radioactive, more so than most other fruits, because of their potassium content and the small amounts of the isotope potassium-40 found in naturally occurring potassium.

8. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese colonists started banana plantations in the Atlantic Islands, Brazil, and western Africa. Today we consume over 100,000,000,000 annually making them the 4th largest agricultural product in the world. 

9. Bananas like rich organic soil, like composted horse manure. Make your own organic soil with composted vegetable scraps!

10. Edible landscaping with bananas creates microclimates great for growing herbs, vegetables and berries all year long. 

11. Want a great garden idea for growing bananas in your space? Try growing bananas in an edible forest, an edible landscape or in pots in your patio garden. 

12. There are around 1,000 different types of bananas but most are not edible. The banana grown mostly for commercial food is the cavendish. 

13. Ever wonder why organic bananas taste better? Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. Gross!!!

14. Ever had fried plantains? Delcious! Plantains or fried bananans constitute a major staple food crop for millions of people in developing countries. In most tropical countries, green (unripe) bananas used for cooking represent the main cultivars. 

15. Easy to grow and fruits all year long in Miami and South Florida, making it my favorite edible landscape plant of all time! 

Go to for the latest and greatest garden ideas regarding edible landscaping in South Florida. 
Call 3054965155 to have your edible landscape installed today!!!