October 2018 What to Plant? | Agave Century Plants

What to Plant

Now is the BEST time to plant trees. Root growth does occur during our mild winters to begin establishment for spring flush. When selecting a tree for your home landscape always follow these simple guidelines; 1) How BIG do want this tree to be at MATURITY? Things grow fast in Florida. 2) What do want the tree for? Shade, flowering, screening or accent? 3) Do you want an evergreen or a deciduous tree? Sometimes it’s nice to have an energy saving deciduous tree whose leaves shade in the summer and when dormant in winter, lets the sun through for warmth. Crape Myrtles are the perfect deciduous trees. 4) Evaluate your site! Is it sun or shade, will the tree you select have adequate room, is it well drained or does it tend to stay wet, and lastly – always look UP for power lines, house eaves etc..

Some of the best choices for trees in our area are Live Oaks, Florida Maples, Chinese Elms, Bald Cypress, Hollies (various varieties), Cherry Laurel, Bottlebrush, and Magnolias as well as others. Once you have made your decisions as to what type of tree you want and the purpose, stop by the Garden Center to get further insight from the sales staff and check out some varieties.

Many, many shrubs can be planted now that withstand any cold weather that may arrive. Viburnums, Ligustrums, Hollies, Junipers, Indian Hawthorne, Azaleas, Roses and too many to list. Same with trees, know your planting site conditions when selecting shrubs to get the ‘right plant in the right place’ for greater success. Unfortunately, in many cases, homeowners have been saddled with plants under windows that grow endlessly and need to be trimmed constantly. Ready for a change? Stop by and we will show you some options.

Agave or Century Plants

Agave is a wonderful plant for a garden and it comes in numerous varieties however, in this part of the world the two most common varieties we see are Agave Americana- which is a bluish color and Agave Variegata which is a green with yellow stripe. You may even see some agave growing right on the dunes down at the beach.

If you are considering an agave, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:

One, they grow quite large- up to 4’-5’ high and wide. They are also very sharp so planting near a walkway is not a good idea.

Secondly, all century plants produce offspring or pups underneath them. There are often a considerable number of them. These “pups” can be removed and replanted elsewhere if desired, or discarded. However, at least one or two should remain and be allowed to grow because when the main plant blooms (which can happen in a 5-10 year span or even earlier), the main plant dies. If this is not something you would like to see in your future, you should reconsider your plant choice.

Pruning

In early fall finish pruning and grooming trees and perennials. Pruning time for azaleas, camellias, bougainvillea, gardenias and poinsettias has past.

Pollinators and Habitat

As many people know, pollinators are under stress-especially bees and we need to do our part to assist with the problem. The first thing we can do is to stop spraying pesticides for unnecessary reasons. A few chewed leaves are not a big issue- however, if you must use a product stick with less toxic products which we recommend here at Verdego- such as Horticultural Oil.

Secondly, plant plants for Florida Pollinators especially Nectar plants that provide pollen, nectar, and sometimes berries for pollinators. Bees and Butterflies benefit from open faced flowers like the natives Gaillardia, dune sunflowers, or coreopsis. Large butterflies or hummingbirds like tubular or trumpet shaped frlowers like coral honeysuckle for example. Some plants like Golden Dewdrop Duranta and Hollies provide both flower nectar and berries for multiple pollinators. Other great options would Blue Porterweed, Tecoma Stans, Texas Sage, Pentas and Firebush.

Next Section: Plants of the Month: Fall Color Plants