The Best Plant for Container Gardening

Purslane is the winner! In S. Florida, the container plants wilt each day after noon...but not the purslane.

The sweet potato vines need water every day during our zone 9B summer heat...but not the purslane.

The bougainvillea needs to be trained, pruned, and tied up...but not the purslane.

The morning glory blooms only for a few hours each morning...but not the purslane.

The bougainvillea only blooms sporadically on new growth...but not the purslane.

Ode to But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton.
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Grapette Ground Orchid (Spathoglottis Grapette)

This dwarf grapette ground orchid is a very popular plant around my area. Before I divided mine into 11 baby plants, it bloomed for 5 months straight. Now, another 5 months later, it's blooming again. I can't wait for the other 10 baby plants to begin flowering!

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Extreme Eco-Friendly Gardening

In S. Florida, the queen palm flowers and sets fruit in summer. Long pods grow from the top center of the tree, then open up to reveal the flowers. They are common yard waste and often collect water if left in the yard.

If they can hold water, I figured they could hold dirt and some herbs. Here, you can see a baby Staghorn Fern I'm nursing to health. You can also see some coleus and mint cuttings I planted.


A palm tree deficiency called Frizzle Top

Back in October '07, we noticed the queen palm has a manganese deficiency called Frizzle Top. Over the past 9 months, I've been treating the tree. It's finally showing signs of new healthy growth.
photo: new growth at top center of tree appears to be healthy

Frizzle Top manifests itself as deformed growth on the emerging fronds. The new growth will appear stunted and crinkled (courtesy Palm Tree Doctor)

Photo taken Nov 07. You can see the stunted emerging frond at the top center.


Then I grew an arm...

So what does a Nopal cactus stem do before it dies? Well of course...it grows an arm.

I don't know if this stem (cladode in cactus speak) is really going to die, but it isn't looking good. This is the cactus that I was unsure about and I've still got my eye on him. He's beginning to resemble Nick Nolte...the mug shot look.
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Stunted Growth of Hibiscus

The hibicsus plants are finally recovering from aphid and mealybug infestations.
This double hibiscus bloom was affected by the mealybugs. The bloom is supposed to look like this.

The white hibiscus below was infested by both mealybugs and aphids (with of course the herding black ants). You can see the mealybugs all over this stem. I don't know if they were the new "pink hibiscus mealybugs" or just regular ones.

Here's the white hibuscus that was in the previous photo. It's doing well for having been chopped in half down to bare foliage-less twigs.

Common S. Florida Flowering trees

It's so easy to get those flowering trees mixed up. Same with all those yellow ones. Here's my attempt to document a few of the commonly confused flowering trees that are popular in my town in South Florida.

Delonix regia (courtesy Danielle)
Aka: Royal Poinciana, Flamboyant Tree
Native: Madagascar
Foliage: compound leaves

Spathodea campanulata (courtesy wikimedia)
Aka: African Tulip
Native: Kenya
Foliage: odd pinnately compound

Cassia fistula (courtesy Lan Nghiem-Phu)
Aka: Golden Shower Tree, Canafistula, Aragvadha, Golden Shower Cassia
Native: Asia
Foliage: pinnate leaflets

Jacaranda mimosifolia (courtesy Stanford.edu)
Aka: Blue Jacaranda, Black Poui, Fern Tree, Jacaranda acutifolia
Native: South America
Foliage: Compound leaf
Tabebuia caraiba (courtesy DragonFly Garden.com)
Aka: Yellow Tab, Yellow Trumpet
Native: South America
Foliage: palmately compound

Tabebuia chrysotricha (courtesy DavesGarden.com)
Aka: Golden Trumpet Tree
Native: South America
Foliage: palmately compound


Every Plant in My Garden

Installment #3 in my quest to document and name each plant in my garden. I need a little help from my friends on this one.

We can all spot the Veitchia merrillii (Christmas Palms).

We can also identify the Crotons, but are they exotica? (update: it's called Mamey)

The bright green vine near the bottom right is an Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato vine).

The short bush with purple flowers is a Plectranthus 'Plepalila' (Mona Lavender Swedish Ivy)

Now, here's the hard one...what type of caladium is that? (update: it's called Aaron)

Here's a link to the IFAS Extension Office document about Caladiums for Florida. Is it a White Christmas?...a Candidum?...an Aaron?

I'm headed over to GardenWeb to ask a few Floridians their opinion. I always read all comments, and I can't wait to find out about the croton and caladium. Thanks!

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