September Newsletter: Trees & Palms

Trees & Palms

Fall is a great time to plant trees such as Oaks, Crape Myrtles, Elms, Magnolias and Hollies. The heat isn’t as bad and rain fall is normally good this month for rooting and establishment. Even though top growth may not occur during the fall and winter months, roots will grow and when spring arrives, trees planted in the fall will already have a good head start and grow much faster and produce more flowers at bloom time.

Crape Myrtle – Tuscarora

Keep areas around trees and palms free of grass and weeds. Grass not only competes for moisture and nutrition but trimmers can cause damage.

Trees and palms need to be fertilized in the next month or so. This last fertilization of the year for in ground plants is one of the MOST IMPORTANT to get your plants strong and healthy as they go into the winter season. Plants need about 3 months to take up the fertilizer and harden off before the cold weather arrives. We recommend Nurserymen SureGro 8-4-12 for palms, trees and basic landscape shrubs. Some trees may be starting to defoliate right now. Trees like sweet gum or bald cypress will be starting to defoliate somewhat due to the time of the year-it is normal.

Pruning Palms

When it comes to pruning palms, less is better.  You never want to over prune your palms by subjecting them to what is called “hurricane pruning”- where all but a few fronds are cut off.

Palms are naturally able to withstand high winds so removing fronds is not necessary.  (IFAS Solutions for Florida Friendly Gardening). With tropical weather season upon us, you may have businesses coming to your door-insisting you need to do this! Don’t!

Potted Plants

It is time to evaluate your potted plants – indoor and patio.  If they are root bound repot in larger containers.  Use fresh potting soil and fertilize with a liquid fertilizer or a granular.  If you plan on bringing plants inside, spray them with soapy water or Horticultural Oil to get rid of any insects before bringing them inside.


October is the last month to plant tropicals like Allamanda, Ti plants, Crotons, Bougainvillea, and Helichonia. Planted by the end of the month, they have adequate time to establish a good root system to re-emerge from, if they receive freeze damage this coming winter. Fertilize your flowering tropicals with Nurserymen SureGro Bloomer 6-8-10 to keep them flowering through the fall.


Many customers come in complaining about their bougainvillea – will not bloom or losing leaves etc.  Bougainvillea requires full sun and drier conditions to thrive.  It is generally a low maintenance plant and it is not uncommon, after a particularly lush blooming period, for the plant to lose leaves.  This usually happens right before a growth spurt which will again, produce new flowers.

The leaves of your Plumeria may start to fall as we move farther into the fall as well.  Bridal Bouquet does not usually defoliate but it is common with other varieties.  Fungus from the summer is usually the cause but not to worry- it will not hurt the plant.  It will leaf out again in the spring.

The best advice we can give all our new customers and all our existing customers- ask a lot of questions and plan at the outset of any new garden and you will be successful!  We at VerdeGo will be happy to answer your questions honestly and correctly.


“Gardening is a way of showing you believe in tomorrow!”

Happy Planting!