The Neighborhood Gardener – November

Muhly grass

Happy gardening!

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Florida "Cranberries"

Roselle calyx photo by Ray Cui, Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0Wouldn't it be great if your Thanksgiving cranberry sauce could come from ingredients grown in your own back yard? Ever heard of Florida cranberries? Well if you haven't, the first thing you should know is they aren't really cranberries at all. But don't let that turn you off roselle, the plant that could provide you with the main ingredient to make your own tangy red, locally sourced holiday dressing. More

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy Wilber"That plant is invasive," a gardener friend recently said to me. I asked her to be more specific, because I knew the plant she was referring to was a Florida native. "It just takes over everything!" She was right about the plant growing aggressively, but wrong in her use of the word "invasive." More

New Master Gardener Website

Map of southeastern US showing El Nino rainy patternWe are happy to announce that the new Master Gardener website went live at the beginning of this month. The new site features beautiful and larger photos, easier navigation, and an updated design that may remind you a bit of the Gardening Solutions website.

Plant of the Month: Saltbush

Yellow mumsSaltbush, also called groundsel tree or sea myrtle, looks like a cloud of white flowers where you least expect it, hovering about 8 feet off the ground. Currently in bloom, you may have seen these often-overlooked shrubs blooming along roadsides and in ditches. While not commonly used in home landscapes, this native woody shrub is perfectly suited to Florida gardens. More

November in Your Garden

Strawflower photo by Tony Rodd (BY-NC-SA)With a rainier winter than average predicted this year, be on the lookout for plant disease and fungal problems in your landscape. For fall color, try some cool season annuals. North and Central Florida gardeners should try pansies and violas, while those further south should try strawflower and cape daisies. (Photo of strawflower by Tony Rodd, some rights reserved.)

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.

Friend or Foe? Friend: Monarch Butterfly

A monarch butterflyThe Monarch migration is underway! En route to Mexico, the Monarch butterflies take a quick pause in the panhandle, particularly in the St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge in October and November.

Many gardeners have heard by now that planting milkweed in their landscape is important to helping the Monarch butterflies survive, but many aren't aware that the particular species you plant matters, as not all are Monarch host plants.

For example, scarlet milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is most often found in stores, but it is tropical and not native to Florida. Some scientists worry that its longer growing season encourages the butterflies to breed in Florida longer, putting them at risk to freezing in our cool winters. Instead, look for native Florida milkweed varieties, like butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), or aquatic milkweed (A. perennis).

Do You Have a Success Story?

We're looking for inspiring, Florida-Friendly success stories from your county. Submit yours today to Emily Eubanks.

What's Going On?

If your Master Gardener program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.