Your Monthly Grow-zine

March 2020

Things to do in the garden this month...

Enjoy the sights - and scents! - of spring. Confederate Jasmine (pictured above) and Gardenia are two favorites for sweet-smelling spring flowers.

Prune plants after March 15th. You can do a minor trim anytime but hard pruning should be done only during warm weather.

Because we've had a warm winter, we might have a cold spring...this has happened before. So you don't want your plants stressed by cold after they've been cut way back - better to wait till mid-March (or later).

Fertilize this month. Give plants a spring feeding now, then again at the end of May. If there's a summer fertilizer blackout in your county, it usually runs between June 1st and September 30th, so plan your fertilizing to get two feedings in before June. (Check with your local county extension office to see what the regulations are in your area.)

Water once a week if it hasn't rained.

Watch out for pest damage. Take bagged cuttings to your local nursery for diagnosis and treatment options.


Marnier's Kalanchoe

(Kalanchoe marnieriana, Bryophyllum marnierianum)

Perfect in a succulent garden or spilling out over the sides of a pot, Marnier's Kalanchoe is a texture-rich plant with blue-green leaves and rosy-tipped flowers.

The blooms are clusters of elongated "bells" on upright stems - when planted in the ground the flowers dangle above the plants' foliage for a charming effect.

This kalanchoe seems happiest in part sun to part shade, and in fact tolerates shade better than other varieties. In more sun, the leaves become edged with pinkish-red.

This can happen, too, from cold weather in winter. And the flowers look their prettiest in combination with the pink-tipped leaves.

Marnier's Kalanchoe grows about 12" - 18" tall and about 2 feet wide. It's fine anywhere in South Florida - Zone 9B through Zone 10 - and flowers on and off throughout the year.

This plant is nicely drought-tolerant. Water well and then let it dry out before you water again. Never plant in wet areas.

It's extremely easy to propagate...each stem is lined with rootlets (you can see some in the top picture), so you can just cut or break off a piece, lay it on the ground and water it in.

This kalanchoe is suitable for a groundcover, especially pretty planted around landscape boulders.

It's also stellar as a "spiller" plant for containers, fine indoors or out, a great lanai plant.

I've read that this plant contains toxins, the most in the flowers.

You may have to do some detective work to find this kalanchoe, but your nursery may be able to order it - or look for it at succulent plant sales. If a friend has one, ask for cuttings.



What's new at South-Florida-Plant-Guide.com

As I've been going through each page of the website and replacing photos with larger ones, I also couldn't resist adding a few (including the jasmine at the top of the page).


One, for instance, is this one of the showy red winter berries of Burfordii Holly.



Another is this one of a pretty little Bottle Palm.



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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.

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Thanks for subscribing to the Grow-zine!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about what you'd like to see included in the Grow-zine - or the website - please let me know!

Chase Landre


NOTE: If you didn't receive your Grow-zine last month, it may have been because you have a Yahoo email account.

The Yahoo Mail Delivery service may be rejecting messages due to a backlog. (Some other email services do this as well.)


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Call first?

Heading out to your favorite nursery? If it's starting to rain - or if a downpour is predicted - call first.

Some nurseries that are mostly outdoor close up shop when it rains for long periods.

This is not just because business might be slow...lightning strikes are possible, and nursery owners want to protect customers and staff.



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Want more honeybees?

One of the best honeybee attractors I've ever planted is Mexican Heather.

Once the bees are in your flower garden, they'll pollinate as they sample other flowers for nectar.

They say bees don't see the color red, but I've found them on bottlebrush and red powderpuff...but heather is apparently one of their favorite plants.



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