Monday, June 30, 2014

More Plants to Beat the Summer Heat

Are you looking for  plants that do well in through the summer months?  The following plants can withstand high temperatures, frequent rainfall and intense sun.  Use these low-maintenance plants in your landscape this summer.  If you are interested in even more plants, refer to our first article, Ten Plants that Beat the Heat, for additional suggestions.  

Agave geminifolia
This native agave is easy to grow, stays small and can grow in full sun to partial shade.  Remember, the ends of this plant are sharp, so plant accordingly!

Black Eyed Susans
Are you looking for continuously blooming flowers that require no supplemental irrigation? Then the native Black Eyed Susans are the perfect plant.  They will die back in the fall, but will come back in the spring and will need very little care.  

 Sunshine Mimosa
Sunshine Mimosa will grow to cover 6-8 feet in a matter of months.  After establishment it will require no supplemental irrigation and will produce small pink flowers all summer.  

Aloe will grow and spread in the sun or shade.  It requires no pruning or supplemental irrigation after it is established.  It is an easy to grow groundcover. 

Firecracker Plant
A great hummingbird and butterfly shrub, the Firecracker Plant is easy to grow.  It has a draping, sprawling form and needs lots of space to grow.  It grows in the full sun and continuously flowers.  

 Do you want to attract Monarch butterflies? Then plant Milkweed, the Monarch's larval food.  The caterpillars will eat the leaves, so be aware that it can look bad in the summer months.  Milkweed is easy to grow and requires very little care.
 Add color to your summer landscape with Coleus.  The variety of leaf color and texture will add interest to the garden.  Drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant, the Coleus is a good choice.

Adult butterflies enjoy nectar from the Pentas flowers.  Pentas flower all summer in shades of purple, pink and red.  They are easy to grow and easy to care for.  

For more plants and landscape design tips visit our website and download the Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Activity for Families

Are you looking for something to do with your family this summer?  Get outside and explore your yard with our Backyard Scavenger Hunt.  Let us know what you found and how you did!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Florida Friendly Demonstration Garden Tours Start This Fall!

Do you want to learn more about Florida-Friendly Landscaping from a Master Gardener while getting up-close-and-personal with plants?  Join us on a garden tour this fall!  

Tours start on Saturday, September 13, 9:00 a.m. and are held on the second Saturday of each month, thorough December.  

Tours will be held in the gardens at the UF/IFAS Extension at 1702 US Hwy 17/98 South in Bartow and start in front of the Extension Service building by the blue UF/IFAS sign.  

Master Gardeners will lead you in a free tour around the Florida-Friendly Demonstration Gardens.  Get ideas for your own yard by seeing the nine principles up close.  This is a great event for clubs, groups or kids.  The tour will be offered on the second Saturday of each month rain or shine.  Sign up here.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Butterfly Larvae in the Florida-Friendly Demonstration Gardens

The butterfly gardens are thriving in our demonstration gardens.  The milkweed plants are covered with Monarch eggs and larvae devouring the leaves.  The Dutchman's pipevine is also covered with robust caterpillars of the Pipevine Swallowtail.  We are looking forward to seeing the butterflies in our gardens this summer!