The Neighborhood Gardener – June

Oakleaf hydrangea with cone-shaped panicle partially covered with simple white flowers

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Herbs for Your Pollinator Garden

Bee on flowersDid you know your herb garden can double as a pollinator garden? Many of our favorite herbs make excellent nectar sources if they are allowed to flower. Some are even butterfly host plants! Sharing a garden with pollinators does require a little adjusting, but we love the life it brings to a landscape. This article offers plant suggestions and tips for adding herbs to your pollinator garden.

Passion Flower

Bright purple fringed flowerPassion flower is a perennial, flowering vine. It is native to Florida and easy to grow. In fact, some gardeners say this plant is too easy! It certainly is a hardy, fast-growing native that attracts butterflies like the Gulf fritillary. If you're up for regular pruning, passion flower is a great choice for a pollinator garden. Learn more about the beautiful Passiflora species.

Chilli Thrips

Red foliage showing chilli thrips damage with yellow blotchesChilli thrips are small, winged insects. They feed by piercing plant cells and sucking out the juices. And while many species of thrips are native to Florida, chilli thrips are invasive. Roses, citrus, plumbago, and peppers are just a few of the common hosts. Chilli thrips attack all above-ground growth, but prefer young leaves, buds, and fruits. This article covers the biology, identification, and management of Scirtothrips dorsalis.

Plant of the Month: Necklace Pod

Pale green pear-shaped fruitA charming choice for pollinator-friendly landscapes, necklace pod features graceful foliage and bright yellow blooms that attract butterflies all year long. This native shrub takes its common name from its long, pod-like fruits. It's also a perfect coastal plant — highly salt and drought tolerant. Necklace pod is well suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 9b-11. Learn more about Sophora tomentosa at Gardening Solutions.

Florida MGV Book Club Summer Selection

cover of book features purple orchid flowerIt's not too late to join the club! Next week we start reading journalist Craig Pittman's "The Scent of Scandal." This exciting title is the perfect summer read — orchids, Florida history, and true crime. Take a break from weeding, pour yourself a cold drink, and read along with the Florida MGV Book Club this June, July, and August. Learn more about the book and our book club.

June in Your Garden

The fanlike foliage of saw palmettoFlowering annuals that can take full sun during the increasingly hot summer months include celosia, portulaca, vinca, and pentas. In the vegetable garden, plant tropical species like boniato, calabaza, and chayote. Summer's warm, rainy weather is the perfect time to plant palms. Certain municipalities in Florida prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants June through September; see if such an ordinance exists in your area.

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.

What's Going On?

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