It's time to start planting winter annuals! Geraniums, petunias, and other favorites for winter color are now available at your local nursery. Veggies and herbs, too!
Water once week if we've had no rain. And if a cold snap is forecast, water early in the day to help plants soak up warmth and make it through a cold night.
Inspect your plants for insect damage. If you see some, take bagged cuttngs to your local nursery for diagnosis and treatment options.
Want an unusual and super tropical look for your landscape?
Try a Red Banana (Musca zebrina 'Rojo') - also known as Blood Banana for the deep red markings on its huge leaves.
This is an ornamental banana so you won't get fruit...but what you will get is a stunning plant.
Growing to about 8 feet, it takes sun or shade BUT prefers (and keeps its best color) in partial shade.
Red Banana does best in Zone 10, but if established in Zone 9B it may die back over winter and come back in spring.
It's also an excellent container plant, perfect for a pool cage or partly shaded patio. These plants don't get as large when grown in pots...about 4 feet tall.
Give the plant regular water - and don't keep it overly wet or let it go completely dry. Fertilize during warm weather.
Not usually available through nurseries, your nursery can order it for you, or look for it at rare plant sales.
,,,when you plant a tree beneath power lines - and the power company trims it!
Instead of trees that can reach power lines, plant standards - shrubs trained to tree form - like hibiscus, jatropha and powderpuff.
They don't reach the height of the lines, and can easily be trimmed nicely - by you!
"I need evergreen fast-growing non-poisonous shade trees for a horse pasture - what do you recommend?"
I didn't know the answer to your question but after some research it looks like pine trees are good fast growing shade trees for horses. Most sources say their horses love munching the fresh needles and that they're rich in nutrients.
Pines are fast growers, and though they don't spread wide like an oak, you could plant a grouping of them to create a wide shady spot.
Slash Pine is the most common pine for South Florida - see our Plant Page on it.
I'd recommend checking with your vet to see if she/he has any other suggestions or ideas.
All the best info and ideas from past issues of our monthly newsletter - The Grow-zine!
Garden Ideas & FAQs
Landscaping Tips & Problem Solvers
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Want to know more about growing a beautiful landscape with only part-time care?
Check out the new, updated edition of my paperback book, Snowbird Gardening.
I've added more plants, more photos and up-to-date info for South Florida Snowbirds.
This new edition features 146 plant varieties - palms, shrubs, trees and flowers - with photos and information about each one.
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When buying a trellised vine or plant, don't bother to try to remove the trellis before you plant.
Plant the whole thing - trellis and all.
The trellis will give the plant vertical support while it's getting established and the plant will eventually grow over and cover the trellis. And the trellis will rot in the future and fall away, making it easy to remove it in pieces.
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