University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener – December

Happy holidays! The Poinsettia Field Day was a huge success. Check out photos of the new and popular varieties. Join us for our next big international adventure to Costa Rica. Our previous international trips were a blast and we're really looking forward to visiting this tropical country April 22 through May 3.

Subscribe to the e-Newsletter using the link below so that we can keep you up to date on state happenings. Happy gardening!

--Tom Wichman, State Master Gardener Coordinator and Esen Momol, State FYN Coordinator

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Florida-Friendly Article of the Month

Providing Water to Wildlife

Fresh water that's accessible to wildlife can sometimes be hard to find. You can help and beautify your landscape at the same time. More...

Highlighted Resource

Florida Bird Monitoring Program

Do you enjoy watching birds? You can use the Florida Bird Monitoring Web site to track birds in your yard and community over time. Comparing that data with the results of other participants, you'll discover what birds are occurring in different areas, if certain birds favor one type of property over another and why. More...

Friend or Foe?


Mistletoe in treeMistletoe has been used as a yuletide decoration for centuries, but it's poisonous if eaten and is a danger to its tree hosts. Mistletoe is a parasite that lives in the tops of trees and robs the tree of water and nutrients. More...

Plant of the Month

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus flower'Tis the season for evergreen trees, wreaths, and Christmas cactus. This plant is widely available in garden stores, and provides lovely bright blooms for all to enjoy during the holiday season. More...


Q: How much should I prune my roses? When should I prune?

A: First year plants should be trimmed very lightly, mainly to clean out twiggy, unproductive inside growth. A certain amount of pruning is done all through the year, every time a bloom is cut. Any dead or unhealthy canes should be removed immediately. Clean, sharp clippers are a must. Major pruning of mature rose bushes is done in Central and North Florida from mid-January to mid-February. South Florida follows a different schedule. More rose FAQs

December in Your Garden

Winter shifts the focus from outdoors to indoor plants. Temperature, light, and humidity are key to insuring that indoor plants thrive. One of the most popular indoor holiday plants is poinsettia. With proper care, this colorful plant will give weeks of color.

For more month-by-month gardening tips, check out the Florida Gardening Calendar. Three different editions of the calendar provide specific tips for each of Florida's gardening regions—North, Central, and South. More...

Success Stories

2008 Outstanding Master Gardener Award Winner

Marion County Master Gardener Josephine Leyte-Vidal received the 2008 Outstanding Master Gardener Award at the annual Continued Training Conference in October. "Jo represents the very best that the Master Gardener has to offer Florida," said Tom Wichman, Florida Master Gardener Coordinator. More...

County Corner: Pinellas

"Yard Work" - Pam Brown, Pinellas County Extension

Pam Brown being filmed for Yard Work segment"Yard Work" is a three-minute, usually live, TV segment featuring timely Florida-friendly landscaping information that airs Fridays on the local Pinellas County CBS affiliate, WTSP. More...

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