may 2015 newsletter
It's like coming
Florida gardener's almanac
flowers of all tomorrows are the seeds of today.
Dry and Buggy! Like April, May in Florida tends
to be a rather dry
and windy month, but with rising temperatures. On
average, the daily high temperature
rises to about 86º while the
daily low does not usually fall below 68º. Temperatures
will reach the low
90º’s often during this month. Wildfires often persist in flaring up during May and
will do so until the rainy
season begins in June. Strong, steady
winds and lack of rainfall make most of Florida
highly susceptible to
wildfires this month. If your vegetable
and annual plants have survived April, keep an eye on them! Aphids, leafhoppers, grasshoppers and all
other sorts of nasties are on the munch and looking for some tasty
fill their bellies. Continue to watch
for water distress in your garden as the heat, wind and lack of rain
problems and any rain this month will not be enough to sustain your
plants. Mulching them is still highly
the Florida Garden is
the time for Frangipani
(Plumeria) to begin blooming and Gardenias to begin budding and
blooming. You may have noticed that some
of your trees have been dropping leaves. This
is quite normal for Oak, Mahogany,
Black Olive, Poinciana and a few
other species of trees. Many are now or
will be covered soon with bright green foliage and some (such as the
Jacaranda), with an explosion of blooms to welcome in Florida’s
famously hot and humid summer.
also the month to consider heavy pruning of many plants including trees
may be a threat during the upcoming hurricane season. When fertilized
watered, if required, they will come back and produce dense, bushy
during this month despite the pruning.
May is the month
to begin planting trees, shrubs and vines. But
wait until after the first rainy
spell to plant so that the ground
is thoroughly wet. Even then continue to
water as needed in case the rains do not soak your area as expected. If
still hoping to plant a traditional vegetable, herb or annual garden
these are your best bets:
Vegetables : Calabaza,
Cantaloupe, Cassava, Chayote,
Cherry Tomato, Collard Greens,
Cow Peas, Cucumbers, Dasheen, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jicama, Lima Beans,
Spinach, Malanga, Mustard, New Zealand Spinach, Okra, Papayas, Peanuts,
Pumpkins, Snap Beans, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Watermelons and
Borage, Chives, Dill, Sweet Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage,
Begonia, Balsam (Impatiens), Blue Daze, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos,
Gaillardias, Globe Amaranth, Marigolds, Morning Glory, Pentas,
Petunias, Portulacas, Salvia, Sweet Felcher, Strawflowers, Torenia,
Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Asiatic Lilies, Begonias, Blood Lily, Caladiums,
Crinum, Dahlia, Gladioli, Gloriosa Lily and Zephyranthes.
Sources: Florida Home
Gardening Month by Month
Of further interest to
Garden in Sarasota
1825 4th Street N, St Pete.
County Extension Service calendar for lots more gardening
Beautiful Commission in St. Petersburg
Kopsick Palm Arboretum in St. Petersburg
Monthly meetings at Moccasin
2750 Park Trail Ln., Clearwater:
1st Monday, October – May, 7:00-9:00pm.
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
First Wednesday of month, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
3rd Thursday, 7:30-9:30pm
This month's plant is one of my favorites, though I don't have all that
much luck with it. The Snowbush (Breynia disticha 'Roseo Picta'
as I prefer to call it - Snow on the Mountain - is a hardy, woody bush
with ovoid leaves in deep green mottled with white and pink, resembling
a bush that has been dappled with snow. It is of the
family Euphorbiaceae, so it is related to the Copper plant and the
Chenille plant, all equally hardy in our area.
Snowbush is a pretty tropical shrub that is native to the South
Pacific. Its showy foliage offsets the very insignificant green flowers
it produces. New growth appears as pink tinged leaves on red barked
branches. On its own it maintains a somewhat small stature,
clumping into a 3-4 foot tall and 4 foot diameter bush. It
makes a great hedge, as is often seen in professionally landscaped
businesses, and works well as a container plant, perfect on a patio.
Snowbush prefers part sun, although it does well in full sun as
evidenced by my back yard. It also prefers sandy soil that drains
easily. The branches are delicate looking with lush
foliage. They are non-invasive and have no thorns in its smooth
The only drawback I have found with Snow on the Mountain is that it is
not easily tranplantable. I have tried to move mine several
times, and each time I lose the moved plant. I have been told
that it needs a solid rootball to be transplanted - never bare root,
and should be only transplanted with young growth.
future meeting locations
Gary G. in Spring Hill
November - John and Norm in Palm Harbor
I'm afraid my mind is elsewhere, so this isn't a complete and
up-to-date list. I should be more collected by next month, so
please bear with me.
Now is the time to volunteer
your garden for a meeting. We still have a few open months this Summer,
so please consider hosting. Send
your emails to Mike G.