The Neighborhood Gardener – June

Hot pink simple-petaled periwinkle flowers

safesubscribe logo

Hurricane Landscaping

Man far up in a tree with safety gearNOAA National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center have predicted above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal season. One thing you can do now to protect your family and home is to prepare your landscape for a storm. Here are some tips to help you get started.


A small mostly black firefly on a leaf with a glow emitting from its hindquartersFor many, fireflies are forever linked with summer evenings in childhood memory. They are not flies or bugs, but are actually beetles (order Coleoptera). And there are many firefly species, including 56 species found in Florida. Also called lightning bugs, fireflies come out at dusk or nightfall in woods or wetlands during the summer. Learn more about the Photinus species, including tips on how to attract them to your yard.

Brazilian Peppertree

Mint plants with green arrow shaped leavesImported in the 1940s and admired for its bright red berries, invasive Brazilian peppertree quickly spread into natural areas, taking over native Florida forest communities. Today, it's against the law to sell or purposefully plant Brazilian peppertrees. Luckily, suitable substitutes include several Florida native hollies, and all produce green leaves and red berries. Learn more about this invasive plant once called "Florida holly."

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy Wilber"If you build it, they will come." This is a misquote from the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams." The actual quote is, “If you build it, he will come,” but either way, it is a solid metaphor for attracting what you want. I like to paraphrase the quote to be “If you plant it, they will come.” Do I hear a voice whispering in my ear as I stroll the rows of the nurseries and plant shops? It isn’t a real voice, but I do remember that Principle 5 of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is to attract wildlife. Wendy has suggestions for making your landscape wildlife friendly.

Plant of the Month: Coral Honeysuckle

A white tropical hibiscus flower with a red center and single long stamenNeed to jazz up a fence or trellis? Try coral honeysuckle. Also called trumpet honeysuckle, this native vine features tubular, reddish-orange flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies for months before maturing into berries that draw songbirds in late summer and fall. Drought tolerant once established, coral honeysuckle will grow in partial shade, but blooms best in full sun. Read more about this Florida-Friendly vine.

June in Your Garden

Magenta pink periwinkle flowersTemperatures are climbing high in June.  Be sure to take the necessary precautions when working outside. Flowering annuals that can take full sun during the hot summer include celosia, periwinkles (pictured), pentas, and portulaca. Plant tropical vegetables like boniato, calabaza, and chayote. 

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.