Skip to Content

What to Plant in February in Florida: 35+ Vegetables to Maximize Your Garden

Gardening in Florida offers unique opportunities and challenges, especially when it comes to planning what to plant throughout the year. February is a pivotal month for Florida gardeners, as it bridges the cool winters and the warming spring months. It is important to protect plants from freezing temperatures, especially in North and Central Florida. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting your horticultural journey, knowing what to plant in February can significantly impact your garden’s productivity and success.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore over 35 vegetables that are perfect for planting in Florida this February. From leafy greens that thrive in cooler temperatures to root vegetables and warm-season crops ready to get a head start, this article will provide you with the insights and tips needed to maximize your garden’s potential. Get ready to transform your garden into a flourishing oasis of fresh, nutritious produce that will delight your senses and nourish your family. Let’s dig in!

Understanding Your Region

Gardening in Florida means adapting to various micro-climates and soil types across the state, including north and central Florida. Here’s what you need to know about each region to make informed planting decisions in February:

Affiliate Disclosure
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Clicking on the link will not cost you anything extra.

North Florida

  • Climate: This region experiences cooler temperatures compared to the rest of the state, with potential frost days. February might still have cold snaps that can affect sensitive plants.

  • Soil Type: Typically sandy with pockets of clay and loam, which can vary greatly in nutrient content and water retention. Amending soil with compost or other organic matter is often necessary.

  • Planting Considerations:

    • Start cool-season crops early in the month to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.

    • Prepare for frost by having covers ready for tender plants.

    • Ideal for root vegetables and leafy greens that can withstand light frosts and survive freezing temperatures.

Central Florida

  • Climate: Milder than North but can still experience brief cool periods. It serves as a transitional zone with a longer planting window for both cool and warm-season crops.

  • Soil Type: Varied, from sandy soils in coastal areas to richer loam inland. Regular soil testing and amendments are recommended to address deficiencies.

  • Planting Considerations:

    • A great region for extending the growing season of vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, which can be started in late February.

    • Use mulch to regulate soil temperature and moisture, crucial for young plants during dry spells.

    • Start herbs that thrive in transitional weather, such as parsley and dill.

South Florida

  • Climate: The warmest part of the state with a subtropical climate. Rarely experiences cold weather, which allows for a year-round growing season.

  • Soil Type: Primarily sandy and well-draining. Adding organic material is essential to improve nutrient content and moisture retention.

  • Planting Considerations:

    • Focus on tropical and subtropical plants that thrive in warm temperatures, such as citrus, mangoes, and avocados.

    • Begin planting warm-season crops early, and consider heat-tolerant varieties of vegetables and herbs.

    • Implement regular watering and consider shade options for midday heat to prevent scorching.

Understanding the unique conditions of your specific region in Florida is key to successful gardening. February offers a range of planting opportunities, from cool-season crops in the north to almost summery conditions in the south. Each area requires different strategies for soil management, frost protection, and crop selection, tailored to local environmental conditions.

What to Plant in North Florida in February

February is a productive month for gardeners in North Florida, offering a diverse range of vegetables that can be either directly seeded or transplanted. Here’s a detailed guide based on the attached chart:

It’s important to select plants that can withstand freezing temperatures in North Florida.

Transplant Easily

  • Arugula: Fast-growing, prefers cooler temperatures.

  • Beets: Rich in nutrients, beets and their greens can be harvested.

  • Broccoli: Prefers cooler weather, plant early in the month.

  • Brussels Sprouts: Requires a longer growing season, benefits from cooler weather.

  • Cabbage: Includes both traditional and Chinese varieties, which are frost tolerant.

  • Cauliflower: Needs consistent temperatures to develop heads.

  • Collards: Very cold-hardy, can handle frost.

  • Eggplant: Start indoors or in a protected area if cold snaps are expected.

  • Endive: A bitter leafy green, excellent for cool weather.

  • Kale: Extremely hardy, with flavor improving after a frost.

  • Kohlrabi: Grows quickly in cool weather; both the bulb and leaves are edible.

  • Lettuce: Wide variety of types, all favor cool temperatures.

  • Peppers: Start in a protected area; needs warmth to germinate.

  • Swiss Chard: Colorful and nutritious, tolerates poor weather.

  • Tomatillo: Related to the tomato, prefers warmer weather to set fruit.

  • Tomatoes: Start in a protected area; sensitive to frost.

Transplant Carefully

  • Celery: Requires consistent moisture and nutrient-rich soil.

  • Mustard: Spicy green, grows quickly in cool conditions.

  • Potatoes: Plant early in the month; ensure frost protection.

  • Spinach: Fast-growing and frost-tolerant; ensure ample light.

Use Seeds

  • Cantaloupe: Start indoors if there’s a risk of frost.

  • Carrots: Direct seed into loose, well-drained soil.

  • Corn: Requires warm soil; plant late in the month if weather permits.

  • Cucumbers: Start indoors; they need warm temperatures to thrive.

  • Onions (bunching): Prefer cooler start temperatures.

  • Peas (English): Plant early as they thrive in cool weather.

  • Radish: Quick harvest cycle, very frost tolerant.

  • Squash: Start indoors; sensitive to frost.

  • Turnip: Hardy root vegetable, grows quickly.

  • Watermelon: Start indoors in cooler regions; requires warm soil.

When planning your garden in North Florida this February, consider the specific needs of each plant, especially regarding temperature and frost tolerance. Starting some heat-loving plants indoors or in a protected area can give them a head start for transplanting when the weather warms up slightly in March.

What to Plant in Central Florida in February

Central Florida’s mild climate in February provides an ideal opportunity for gardeners to start both cool and warm-season crops. Here’s what you can plant based on the recommendations in the attached chart:

Vegetables like arugula, broccoli, and beets can be planted in September and grown throughout the winter into early spring in north and central Florida, highlighting their adaptability to the climate of these regions.

Transplant Easily

  • Arugula: Tolerates cool weather well, perfect for early spring salads.

  • Beets: Excellent for both their roots and greens.

  • Bonito: Similar to sweet potatoes, suitable for warmer days of late February.

  • Broccoli: Can mature before the heat intensifies.

  • Brussels Sprouts: Best grown through the cooler months.

  • Cabbage: Includes traditional varieties and Chinese cabbage, robust in cooler weather.

  • Cauliflower: Needs stable temperatures to develop heads.

  • Collards: Very frost-resistant, thrives in cooler temperatures.

  • Eggplant: Should be started in protected areas if colder nights are expected.

  • Endive: Adds a crisp, bitter flavor to dishes, enjoys the cooler weather.

  • Ginger: Can be started in pots to protect from cooler nights.

  • Kale: Hardy and nutritious, improves in flavor after a frost.

  • Kohlrabi: Fast-growing and can handle cooler weather.

  • Lettuce: Wide range of types, quick to harvest.

  • Peppers: Start indoors or in a greenhouse to protect from any late frosts.

  • Swiss Chard: Colorful leaves that can tolerate light frosts.

  • Sugarcane: Can be planted now for later harvest.

  • Tomatillo and Tomatoes: Require warmth; consider starting indoors and transplanting after the risk of frost passes.

Transplant Carefully

  • Celery: Needs plenty of water and rich soil.

  • Mustard: Grows quickly, adds spice to salads and dishes.

  • Pineapple: For more adventurous gardeners, start in a warm, sunny spot.

  • Potatoes: Plant early in the month to ensure they establish before heat sets in.

  • Spinach: Thrives in cool weather, ensure it gets enough light.

  • Sweet Potatoes: Start slips now to get a head start on the growing season.

Use Seeds

  • Beans: Includes bush, pole, and lima varieties.

  • Cantaloupes: Start indoors if still cool; transplant when stable warmth is guaranteed.

  • Carrots: Direct sow into loose, deep, and well-drained soil.

  • Corn: Needs warm soil; plant towards the end of the month if temperatures permit.

  • Cucumbers: Start indoors and transplant after last frost for early yields.

  • Okra: Requires warm temperatures; start indoors if needed.

  • Onions (Bunching): Can be started now to take advantage of the cool weather.

  • Peas (English, Southern): Thrive in cooler temperatures, ideal for early sowing.

  • Radish: Quick growing and adds crispness to salads.

  • Squash: Start indoors if it’s still cool; needs warmth to thrive.

  • Watermelon: Start seeds indoors in pots to transplant after frost danger has passed.

By selecting the right plants for February and preparing them according to their needs, Central Florida gardeners can ensure a productive start to the spring gardening season. Remember to monitor weather forecasts as unexpected cold snaps or unusually warm spells can necessitate adjustments in plant care and protection strategies.

What to Plant in South Florida in February

South Florida’s warm climate in February allows for a wide variety of both tropical and subtropical plants. Here are detailed recommendations based on the attached chart for gardeners in this region:

Transplant Easily

  • Arugula: Thrives in the mild winter, perfect for quick harvest.

  • Chinese Cabbage: Enjoys the cooler nights of South Florida winters.

  • Eggplant: Can be started as transplants and will continue into spring.

  • Endive: Offers a crisp texture and bitter flavor, suitable for cool weather.

  • Kohlrabi: Fast-growing and can be harvested within weeks.

  • Lettuce: Various types can be planted, taking advantage of the mild weather.

  • Peppers: Begin with transplants to get a head start on the growing season.

  • Swiss Chard: Colorful and nutritious, handles mild cold well.

  • Tomatoes: Start with transplants; choose varieties that resist humidity and pests.

Transplant Carefully

  • Amaranth: Tolerant of heat; can be used as a leaf vegetable or grain.

  • Calabaza: A type of squash that does well in warm climates.

  • Celery: Requires consistent moisture and nutrients.

  • Long Squash: Thrives in warm weather and can be grown vertically to save space.

  • Luffa: Grown primarily for its fibrous fruit, which is used as a sponge.

  • Papaya: Start as transplants; needs full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Passionfruit: Can be trained on trellises; flowers and fruits in warm conditions.

  • Pineapple: Requires a sunny spot and can take two years to bear fruit.

  • Seminole Pumpkin: Native variety that’s disease and pest resistant.

  • Spinach: Opt for heat-tolerant varieties due to the warm climate.

  • Sweet Potatoes: Start slips now for a summer harvest.

Use Seeds

  • Beans: Including bush, lima, and pole varieties; start early to avoid summer heat.

  • Cantaloupes: Needs space and warm soil; start in a sunny location.

  • Carrots: Prefer cooler soil but can be grown with some shade.

  • Corn: Requires full sun and good soil moisture.

  • Chayote: A vine that produces squash-like fruit, needs a trellis.

  • Cucumbers: Plant in a spot that receives ample sunlight.

  • Okra: Loves heat; sow directly in a full sun area.

  • Onions (Bunching): Ideal for continuous harvest.

  • Peas (English, Southern): Start early before the heat sets in.

  • Radish: Quick growing and can be harvested in just a few weeks.

  • Squash: Both summer and winter varieties can be started now.

  • Watermelon: Requires a lot of space and full sun for best growth.

Gardeners in South Florida benefit from the region’s ability to support a broad range of crops due to its generally warm climate throughout the year. February is an excellent time to start many vegetables and fruits that will mature as the weather warms. As always, paying attention to the specific needs of each plant in terms of sunlight, water, and soil will help ensure successful gardening.

Final Thoughts

February is an exciting month for gardeners in Florida, presenting a wealth of opportunities to plant and prepare for a fruitful growing season. Whether you are in the cooler regions of North Florida, the mild climate of Central Florida, or the warm subtropical environment of South Florida, there are numerous vegetables, herbs, and flowers ready to be sown or transplanted.

By understanding your region’s specific climate and soil conditions, you can make informed decisions about which crops to plant and how to care for them. Proper garden preparation, including soil amendment, choosing the right location, and equipping yourself with essential tools, sets the stage for success.

Embrace the vibrant gardening season in February with confidence and enthusiasm. By following these tips and techniques, you can cultivate a diverse and bountiful garden that provides fresh, nutritious, and delicious produce for you and your family. Happy gardening!