Gardening In The Panhandle

Continuing the Eye-catching Azalea Bloom

You could certainly argue that the azalea bloom is the symbol of the southeast during spring time. This time of year, yards across the panhandle explode with vibrant colors of this unmistakable flower bloom. Even though Florida’s azalea plants put on a spectacular flowery show, most of us pay very little attention to their management …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/28/continuing-the-eye-catching-azalea-bloom/

Don’t Think You Have a Green Thumb? Try Container Gardening!

Banana pepper in container. Photo by Molly Jameson. Interested in having a garden, but have limited space? Maybe you live in an apartment, have poor soil quality, or you just don’t have many areas that get enough sunlight. Maybe you’ve tried gardening, but given up, labeling yourself as one of those who “just doesn’t have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/27/dont-think-you-have-a-green-thumb-try-container-gardening/

Don’t Be Duped By Plant Tags!

People are, by nature, skeptical. Humans are and have always been questioners of the world around them and that’s a good thing! For instance, when one reads a sensational article on Facebook or watches an infomercial selling a too-good-to-be-true product he/she is immediately dubious of the veracity of the claim. Given this innate sense, why …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/27/dont-be-duped-by-plant-tags/

Ashe Magnolia, Rare Beauty of the Florida Panhandle

The huge flowers and leaves of Ashe magnolia make it one of my favorite native flowering trees. Individual flowers may be 6 – 12 inches in diameter and are white with purple blotches at the bases of the 3 inner petal-like tepals. When in flower, as they are now in April, the huge white blooms …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/21/ashe-magnolia-rare-beauty-of-the-florida-panhandle/

Experience the Mountains in Northwest Florida

Mountain laurel. Photo credit: Sheila Dunning, UF/IFAS Extension. If you are lucky enough to live on the southern Alabama edge of northwest Florida, you may want to see if you can find mountain laurel blooming now near the wooded creeks.  Its native range stretches from southern Maine south to northern Florida, just dipping into our …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/21/experience-the-mountains-in-northwest-florida/

What’s Wrong with My Camellia Leaves?

Recently, a home gardener brought in some strange looking new leaves on his camellia. The youngest leaves were thick and fleshy and looked more characteristic of a succulent type plant than a camellia. What’s wrong with these leaves? Camellia leaf gall infection resulting in fleshy light green and pink leaves. Note the contrast with a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/21/whats-wrong-with-my-camellia-leaves/

Keep It Covered with Mulch

Do you have a bare spot that you would like to see go away? How about a problem getting something to grow in a particular area? I’m not talking about that receding hairline or bald spot, I’m talking about your lawns and gardens. Many residents have these problems, whether it is too much shade under …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/14/keep-it-covered-with-mulch/

Discover the Beauty and Role of Native Aquatic Plants – in Your Own Pond

A stand of purple flowers called “False Dragon-Heads (Physostegia spp.) growing along the St. Marks River. They are behind a stand of pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) that has not yet bloomed.  Photo by Judy Biss This is the time of year when gardens burst forth with lush green growth and colorful flowers.  With a little planning …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/14/discover-the-beauty-and-role-of-native-aquatic-plants-in-your-own-pond-2/

Tipping the Scales

Scales on a Chinese Elm. Scales on a Chinese Elm.                     Last week as I was basking in the shade of the Chinese Elms (Ulmus parvifolia) in my yard, I noticed some strange lumps on the twigs.  Upon further investigation, I realized the “lumps” were scales. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/14/tipping-the-scales/

Stop and Take Notice of Beneficial Insects

This spring, most garden plants are putting on lots of tender new growth. The lush foliage is like a free lunch to aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs and thrips. Before broad spectrum insecticides are used to control these pests, consider the impact on beneficial insects. Insecticides that don’t measurably harm predatory beneficial insects include insecticidal soaps and all season horticultural …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/07/stop-and-take-notice-of-beneficial-insects/

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