Create your own indoor garden, using houseplants

A popular trend from Victorian times is making a comeback: Growing houseplants. If you look online at image-sharing websites, apps, and boards and you’ll find that indoor plants are very popular. In fact, a new term called “jungalow style” incorporates the use of plants inside homes and offices. Jungalow style brings the beauty and life of plants indoors by integrating them in living … [Read more...]

Replanting and restoring trees following Hurricane Irma

Some of Hurricane Irma’s most affected inhabitants of Florida were trees. Some trees were snapped. Some twisted out of the ground. Some were left leaning with exposed roots, or were stripped of large limbs and foliage. The good news is that not all of the damaged trees must be removed. The test is whether they are a structural hazard or if they have sustained too much damage. It’s … [Read more...]

Multiply the plants in your garden, by dividing them

One of the easiest and most dependable ways to grow new plants is through division. In case you’ve never heard of it, division is a method of vegetative or asexual reproduction. Many common Florida plants are great candidates for dividing. Can you think of some? The UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, along with many other county Extension offices, have teaching and demonstration gardens … [Read more...]

Conserving water, reducing storm water runoff

When it rains, it pours. Or, so it seems in Florida. Central Florida landscapes can easily get 2 inches to 3 inches of rain in a typical afternoon rainstorm. And, all of this storm water washes over our roads, roofs, gutters, driveways, lawns and landscapes — carrying plant debris, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants into our waterways. Even oil from cars, trash and pest … [Read more...]

Cuttings offer an excellent way to propagate plants

Plants can be successfully grown from cuttings – a method that saves you money and provides you — or your friends — more plants. Another plus? You don’t need any special equipment. A cutting is a method of asexual reproduction. The new plant will have the same characteristics of the parent plant. One popular method of propagation is stem cuttings. Tender new growth forms at the tip … [Read more...]

We’re on the lookout for water-wise landscapes

The Pasco County Extension Office and Tampa Bay Water are looking for attractive landscapes with irrigation systems or techniques that minimize water waste and represent the best in Florida-Friendly Landscaping. We would love to present your outdoor oasis for relaxation and a haven for wildlife as a powerful environmentally friendly example of Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM. Florida-Friendly … [Read more...]

Back to the basics in plant propagation: Saving seeds

Seeds help us save money because saving seed is cheaper than buying seeds. We can grow different types of plants, adding more interest to our garden, and we can share plants grown by seed with others. You can save seeds from many common plants, such as marigolds, salvias, herbs and vegetables. Save seeds of the plants and vegetables you like and that do well in your garden. Many native … [Read more...]

There’s an art to the proper pruning of palms

How do you know if you’ve properly pruned your palms? There are some telltale signs. A properly pruned, and healthy palm, should have a round canopy and green leaves from the top of the canopy down to the crown. Unfortunately, too often palms are pruned too much — making them unattractive, unhealthy and weaker than a properly pruned palm. Palms are not supposed to look like a flat rake … [Read more...]

Have you ever eaten a flower?

Gardeners and foodies alike enjoy the culinary benefits of edible flowers. Edible flowers bring another element to the garden -- not only because they impart flavor and add interest to meals, but because they add beauty and color, too. By emphasizing plate presentation, you can savor flavors and eat with your eyes. Did you know flowers have specific flavors? Tastes that flowers can … [Read more...]

Coping with seasonal drought in the landscape

If you were to take a map of the globe and draw a parallel line to the east and to the west of Florida — worldwide — what would you discover? You would note that Florida is roughly positioned along the same latitude as Mediterranean-type climates where dry, arid conditions prevail. Logic implies then that our weather should be more like that of Southern California or parts of the Mediterranean; … [Read more...]