Your Monthly Grow-zine

May 2019

Things to do in the garden this month...

Gomphrena 'Truffula Pink'

Plant summer annuals! Visit your locally-owned nursery for favorites such as Zinnia, Gazania Daisy or Begonia - or look for new and different varieties such as the Gomphrena pictured above. This pretty plant grows about 2 feet tall in full to part sun, and the little blossoms make long-lasting cut flowers.

Water twice a week (if no rain) - if temperatures are very warm.

Fertilize! Get your 'summer" fertilization done this month before the fertilizer blackout starts. The blackout - June 1st through September 30th - affects many counties in your county extension office for regulations where you live.


This hardy succulent works as a groundcover, front-of-the-border plant, or swirling around rocks - or grow it in a container and let it "waterfall" over the sides.

Sedum is rich in foliage texture - and then in late summer many varieties actually bloom, with flowers in yellow, white, or rose that attract butterflies.

The foliage colors can vary in shades of bright green, gray, chartreuse, maroon, and variegated.

Sea Urchin

Some varieties prefer sun, others do best in part sun or even part shade. Ask at the nursery when you buy.

Chinese Sedum grows in sun or shade but in shade it will green up and look its best.

Lemon Coral

There are so many varieties of Sedum it's hard to pick just one. Interplanting different ones can give a unique look to the planting bed.

These plants are drought tolerant once established, and they must be planted in a well-drained area...especially important in South Florida's rainy season.

Chinese Sedum

Want to take it easy this summer?

Keep things small...with a growth regulator

Hibiscus 'Jamaica Red'

Sometimes you see "Dwarf Hibiscus" for sale.

But these are actually full-size hibiscus that have been treated with a dwarfing hormone - AKA growth regulator.

In several months they will grow into full-size plants.

Unless... continue to treat them with a growth regulator to keep them small.

Nurseries and growers sometimes use this type of product to keep a plant more compact and full, with greener leaves and lots of flowers. It's often used in the art of bonsai, as well.

But homeowners generally have no idea this is something they can do so there's less trimming needed for shrubs. 

Before applying, trim the shrub back to the approximate size you'd like to keep it.

I have to tell - you this stuff is astonishing! I cut back my huge Lakeview Jasmine (which hardly ever blooms) less than two weeks ago, applied a growth regulator, and today every branch has new growth and is covered in buds and flowers!

How long the dwarfing agent lasts depends on the strength of the dosage used. Continued use doesn't harm the plant.

However...these products are EXPENSIVE. Be sure to read labels before you purchase. There are some available on Amazon and you might find a local nursery that sells them. If the nursery grows their own plants they may agree to sell you a small amount to try.

For more info, check out this article

What's new at

I added this photo of the leaf detail to the Plant Page on one of my favorite plants - green arboricola.

Why is it a favorite? It's so versatile...sun or shade, hedge or accent or privacy plant, tough, cold hardy, pest resistant, tropical good looks - what's not to like?

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Are you a Snowbird?

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.

Now available as an ebook! Find out more...

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

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A visitor asks...

Yesterday Today & Tomorrow

"Can you tell me which garden plants are considered toxic, because I see that the Brunfelsia pauciflora is considered toxic and yet it is being sold by many nurseries and on-line shops. "

Many plants (including Yesterday Today and Tomorrow whch you mentioned) contain toxins - even common ones like crotons.

For the most part, if you ingest leaves of a plant with toxins it will give you a tummy ache, though some will send you to the hospital. I've tried to mention on each of the Plant Pages which ones contain toxins.

I also have written an article called "Which Plants in Your Yard are Poisonous?" It's available in one of my ebooks, The Gardener's Collection.

I sometimes think people overreact to the fact that there are toxins in plants, because if you have kids or pets that play in the yard, do they actually eat the plants? For the most part, the answer is no.

But if it's a concern for you then by all means avoid planting anything with toxins.

There are actually poisonous things everywhere - did you know apple seeds contain cyanide? Yet we give our kids apples to eat without a thought. (Of course, you'd have to crush the seeds and eat a whole lot of them to have an effect.)

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Take a break!

cover Lazy Gardener's Guide

The ultimate guide to low-maintenance plants
and landscaping!

An ebook by
Chase Landre

author of

Learn more!