“Know Your Environment before you Plant”

Many of us try to create a tropical look in our yards. We plant thryallis, cassia, allamanda, and philodendrons (native to tropical America); pygmy date palms, crotons, hibiscus, and ixora (native to tropical Asia); plumbago and pentas (native to tropical Africa); arboricolas and bottle brush (native to tropical Australia); and shell ginger (native to the south sea islands).   Unfortunately, species that are native to tropical areas (especially the lowlands) are generally susceptible to chilling injury (which can include slow growth, lesions on the leaves, and wilting), and this injury can occur at temperatures above 32°F. http://gardens.usf.edu/data/landscapeguide.pdf

“Right Plant Right Place”

Have you ever bought a plant at a nursery only to have it die once you planted it or become plagued with disease, requiring constant attention? Putting plants in the right place is the key to ensuring they survive and remain healthy in your landscape. You can reduce the need for water, fertilizer, pesticides and pruning if you plant Florida-friendly plants and follow these tips. http://floridayards.org/landscape/FYN-Handbook.pdf

“Plan Your Maintenance”

  • Water Efficiently – Don’t Overwater – Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy Florida yard and conservation of limited resources. http://floridayards.org/landscape/FYN-Handbook.pdf
  • Fertilize Appropriately – Look for slow-release fertilizers – Don’t over fertilize – When too much fertilizer is applied to landscapes, it seeps past the root zone of the grass, plants or trees and into the aquifer or runs off into water bodies. Plants, animals and people depend on clean water for survival. . http://floridayards.org/landscape/FYN-Handbook.pdf
  • Know How & When To Prune – Pruning is an essential gardening skill. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering (in the case of flowering plants), as well as good looks. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002901/00001
  • Mulch, Mulch, MulchMaintaining a 3-inch layer of mulch will help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.   http://floridayards.org/landscape/FYN-Handbook.pdf
  • Manage Yard Pests ResponsiblyKnow The ABCs of IPM – Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment. http://floridayards.org/landscape/FYN-Handbook.pdf