University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener – February

Happy Gardening!

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Flowers for Valentine's Day

Bouquet of rosesFresh flowers are a popular gift on holidays, with good reason—92% of American women can remember the last time they were given flowers, and fresh flowers have an immediate positive impact on happiness. Learn how to extend the life of your bouquet.

Saving Water Using Smart Controllers

UF researchers have been investigating irrigation water savings with the use of smart controllers. Smart controllers reduce outdoor water use by monitoring and using information about site conditions and applying the right amount of water based on those factors.  You can help save water in your landscape by installing a smart controller.  More

Plant of the Month: Taiwan Cherry

Taiwan cherry flowersIn late winter, this small Florida-Friendly tree produces one-inch, bright pink flowers on its naked branches. Taiwan cherry's dark green leaves provide shade all summer, turning a bronze-red in fall. Best suited for North and Central Florida, Taiwan cherry prefers full sun, but will tolerate some shade. A hybrid version, ‘Okame’ cherry is commonly available and has lighter pink flowers. More

February in Your Garden

Roses should be pruned this month to reduce and improve the overall form. After pruning, fertilize and apply a fresh layer of mulch. Blooming will begin eight to nine weeks after pruning. Many bulbs can be planted now. Divide large crowded clumps. Provide adequate water to establish. Some to try are Amazon lily, crinum, and agapanthus.

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

Friend or Foe? Foe: Burmese Python

Burmese pythonRecently, Burmese pythons have become a very big problem in South Florida. Although it's now illegal to do so, these snakes were commonly sold as pets. Some owners released these giant snakes into the wild (also illegal), and now active breeding populations are found in several areas of South Florida. Burmese pythons can grow up to 20 feet and weigh 200 pounds. They're known to feed on more than 30 species of native wildlife, including several endangered or threatened species. You can help by learning how to identify and report invasive reptiles.  More

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Chinese fringe bush flower

Success Stories

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