October 2013 newsletter
Welcome to Donn and
Florida gardener's almanac
monthly timetable of gardening chores:
Fertilize using a winterizer fertilizer
with plenty of potash which will help increase winter hardiness just
about all shrubs and trees, especially tropicals that might be at the
limit of their range.
Feed and water Bougainvilleas now for the
last time until May in order to encourage summer blooming.
The fertilizer should be one that is high in potash and very low in
nitrogen. If your plant becomes a host for leaf roller
caterpillars, spray the plants thoroughly with liquid Sevin late in the
day, as these caterpillars are night feeders.
Start Cool-Weather Flowers from seed for
Asters, Bachelor's Buttons, Balsam, Calendulas, Lobelias, Lupines,
Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Salvias, Scabiosa, Snapdragons,
Statice, Stock, Strawflowers, Sweetpeas, Verbenas, and Zinnias.
Plant Bulbs Now for Spring Color:
African Lily, Amaryllis,
Anemone, Aztec Lily, Blackberry Lily, Calla, Cestrum, Crinum,
Crocosmia, Elephant Ears, Gladiolus, Kaffir Lily, Lapeirousia,
Louisiana Iris, Moraea, Narcissus, Pineapple Lily, Shell Ginger, Spider
Lily, Watsonia, Walking Iris
prevent black spot and powdery mildew disease.
Watch for lacebug infestations.
These pests tend to become a problem once the weather cools.
Check lawns for insect pests
especially sod webworms.
Set strawberry plants.
Plant strawberries in a prepared bed. Bare-root plants should be
set in moist, but well-drained soil. Don't cover the crown or
leave roots exposed. Water daily until established.
Varieties for Florida are Sweet Charlie, Oso Felcher, Camarosa, Rosa
Linda, and Selva.
Prepare Christmas cactus for holiday bloom.
Six to nine weeks of cool night temperatures and 12 to 15 hours of
uninterrupted darkness are needed to set buds. Set plants outdoors away
from exterior light and protect from freezes.
Plant winter ryegrass.
Fine-textured winter ryegrass will provide a beautiful, bright-green
winter lawn, but it also requires watering, mowing and fertilizing.
Broadcast 10 to 20 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet.
Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths are now available for sale. These do
not do well if planted at this time of year. Instead, they should be
placed in a refrigerator (not freezer) and held until December or
January when they can then be planted. These bulbs should be regarded
as an annual crop. They seldom perform well after the first year.
Watch for twig girdlers. These
insects lay eggs from the branches and then prune them from the tree.
The infested branches rest on the ground through the winter and the
young twig girdlers hatch in spring. Control next year's crop by
picking up and destroying fallen branches.
Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month
further interest to
1825 4th Street N, St Pete.
County Extension Service calendar
for lots more gardening
in St. Petersburg
Kopsick Palm Arboretum
in St. Petersburg
meetings at Moccasin
Park Trail Ln., Clearwater:
Monday, October – May, 7:00-9:00pm.
Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
Wednesday of month, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
will be on Sunday, October 20th at 1pm. This month we will be
exploring an entirely new neighborhood. Okay, it's an old
neighborhood, but one we have never ventured into - Historic Roser Park
in South St. Petersburg. Join Ron Motyka - Historian of the
Roser Park neighborhood - for a meeting in his garden and a tour of
some of his Roser Park neighbors's gardens. We are
back to our Winter hours so pay attention to the earlier start time.
there is a pot-luck, so bring something delicious to share, bring
a chair to sit on - just in case, and bring something for the plant
to Members page
like to help the
club by being responsible for the coolers or tables or anything else,
please contact Bud so he
can fill you in on what is needed. In the meantime, check
the hosts about seating arrangements. It may be necessary for
to bring your own chair.
of the month by Bryan
As Jim is passionate about passiflora, so I am passionate about the
hedychium family of gingers, also known as butterfly ginger.
gingers grow from rhizomes - thick root systems planted just below the
surface of earth. The rhizomes send up leafy shoots above the
ground, while spreading prolifically across the bed. Hedychium
have symmetrical sets of leaves on a thick stalk, growing straight up
for an average of 3 – 5 feet, ending in a flower
spike. In this way they are similar to most varieties
of lily, hence they are often called ginger lilies. Hedychium
have a poor reputation in Central America since they have been known to
clog the streams of rainforests, like water hyacinths can here, so they
are treated as weeds.
The most common hedychium is the white butterfly ginger (hedychium
coronarium). This is a small variety, growing in full clusters
about 3 feet tall. The bud appears on the top of each stalk,
shaped like a pinecone, which sends out stark white butterfly shaped
flowers. Usually 2-6 flowers appear from the cone at a time,
which lasts for a day or two. The flowers continue to appear for
several weeks from the same cones. White butterfly ginger is
highly perfumed, giving off a sweet smell reminiscent of gardenias.
Hedychium flavum is a yellow variation of the white butterfly, which
grows on taller, much thicker stalks. It can reach heights of 5
feet, with flower stalks of up to a foot long. The individual flowers
are 3”- 4” in diameter. The flower stalk looks a
little different from the white version since it opens into a spiked
Kahili gingers are so named because they tend to bloom all at once, in
a cluster reminiscent of the feathered Kahili standards used in tribal
celebrations in Hawaii and Polynesia. The flowers are smaller,
only 1” – 2” in diameter, and produce more blooms at
one time in a tight cluster. Kahili gingers tend to be less
fragrant than the white butterfly, but continue to send out fresh
blossoms every other day to replace wilting ones. The flower
stalk continues to bloom for about 2 weeks. These varieties have
been hybridized to get greater variety of color and fragrance, as well
as more hardy plants. The color range is from yellow, to orange,
pink and now red, with such exotic names as hedychium Elizabeth and
hedychium Kahili Ann.
Gingers like wet feet and full sun. They are fast growers, and
the stalks die once they have bloomed. I cut mine back at the end
of November, and they start sending up fresh shoots in January.
Gingers will not bloom from last year’s foliage, so it is
necessary to cut back any that have not bloomed once the blooming has
ceased. They are hardy throughout the US, and have been
known to grow throughout the Pacific NW, since they are dormant through
I seem to be constantly apologizing lately
for either not attending meetings or for not getting the newsletter
done in a timely manner. This time it is for both. This
past month's meeting was at Jesse and Donn's lovely home in Sarasota on
Lido Key. Due to car problems and the weather, I didn't venture
over the Skyway. Unfortunately many of you didn't either.
Well, shame on us all!
As it turned out, the foul weather was just north of the bridge
and it was a beautiful day at Jesse and Donn's! The meeting went
on without the majority of us, but was enjoyed by the intimate few who
attended. I have been told that Jesse gave a wonderful tour of
his garden with all of his exotic plants and trees - did I mention
before that he has the Chanel tree (ylang-ylang).
Jesse also gave a
presentation on butterflies since he and Donn have installed a lovely
and active butterfly garden . Jesse has researched so much
information on butterflies and is very eager to share with the rest of
us and happily so.
- Ron's in Roser Park, St. Pete
- Lake Walsingham/Florida Botanical Gardens
December - Holiday party - location TBA
you want to host a
meeting or event, or make a presentation, please contact one of our
- Bud Gunter
- President - Barry Campbell
- Ken Nichols
- Gary Raush
- Joe Kosmal and Bob Conner
Coordinator - Jim Nevers
Chair/Club Outings - Mike Gray
Special Projects -
- Bryan Hopper
Here is a photo from several months ago.