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Tag Archives: Mike Malloy

Florida’s Swallowtail Butterflies

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] My “Butterfly Gardening in Florida” series rolls on with this third installment in which I will focus on swallowtail butterflies. Florida is home to 10 swallowtail butterflies — more than any other state. They are very easy to identify due to their strikingly large size and their ability to glide long distances between wing flaps. Much larger than other Florida butterflies, most swallowtails have distinctive tails on their hind wings. I remember the first time I saw one. Actually, there were two, and they were mating. I’ll never forget it! I still thoroughly enjoy watching ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida

Monarch butterflies. photoS BY MIKE MALLOY

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] It’s summer in Florida. It’s hot, and the butterflies are in full swing. Florida has a year-round butterfly season because of the usually warm weather, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here in Southwest Florida. Some migrate in the winter like Sulfurs (yellow butterflies) and monarchs, but many stay here and flourish. I am going to write a six-part series on the butterflies of Florida. Starting with the Monarchs — probably the most recognized butterfly in the country. Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers, all are in the Danas genius, and their ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Clerodendrum is a beautiful, flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

Butterfly Time of the Year

Zebra longwing Florida state butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] July is here. What does that mean? It’s summer in Florida? Yes, but it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida, we have a year round butterfly season. While numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here. In spring, summer and fall, the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm just like they like it ... Read More »

Home Remedies, Myths or Facts?

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy [email protected] There is a saying that insects will inherit the earth. Well, in Florida they already have so we better just get over it. You aren’t the only one looking forward to harvest time in your flower and vegetable gardens, so are your neighbors. I’m referring to insects, of course. And, you don’t want to be hosting a veggie buffet for all the bugs in your neighborhood. Sure, there are effective pesticides that will quickly rid your garden of these hungry invaders, but before resorting to harsh chemicals, why not give some of these popular home remedies ... Read More »

The Magnificent Trees of Spring

Golden Chain Tree Flower

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Those of us who have a large piece of property and want some shade need to take these three trees into consideration. All you need to do is take a ride around any of the older neighbors in town and you will fall in love. Try 6th Street — right off of 5th Avenue in Naples — and also 4th Avenue, you’ll be happy you did. First is the royal poinciana (Delonix regia), also known as the flamboyant tree from Madagascar, and once you have seen, it you will know why. I think it is ... Read More »

Plumeria in Florida

PHOTOS BY MIKE MALLOY

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Like a beautiful butterfly emerging from a plain brown chrysalis, magnificent blossoms sprout from seemingly lifeless branches every spring. Plumeria, also known as Frangipani, are colorful tropical shrubs or small trees native to Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. They are readily available in pink, red, yellow, white and every combination in between. Plumeria are extremely popular in Hawaii, where they grow in abundance. Leis, the famous flower necklaces given to tourists upon their arrival, are made from Plumeria blossoms. Fun fact: In many Polynesian countries, women wear a blossom behind their ear ... Read More »

On the Shady Side

Shade

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] When most of the flowering plants and shrubs are struggling to thrive in the hot summer sun and waiting for the “cooling” afternoon showers, there is a group of plants that might be a little bit smarter. They thrive in the shade. Not only are these shade plants doing just fine, they are blooming. In Florida, shade takes on a different meaning than the shade “up north.” I don’t think we have the same deep shade areas in Florida as they do up north because the sun is so intense here. It’s lower in the ... Read More »

Mosquito Repellent Plants

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] With the snow birds leaving, the temperatures rising and the rains on the way, it is a sure sign summer is fast approaching. This all means the year-round residents of South Florida begin to retake paradise. To help us enjoy the outdoors more, we can plant certain plants that help repel mosquitos from our outdoor living spaces. Most insect–repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances that come from the oils in the leaves and flowers. Be sure to plant them in containers on patios or by the front and back door. The plants I ... Read More »

Mussaendas in Bloom

Mussaenda 'Queen Sirikit'

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Sightings of the Tropical Mussaendas are becoming more frequent in South Florida gardens. Making them colorful standouts amongst the mainly green Florida landscapes. There are over 150 varieties with only a handful seen here in South Florida landscapes. They are native Africa to Asia and are members of the coffee family (Rubiaceae). This plant also is commonly known as Tropical Dogwood. The names of the different Mussaendas were derived from the names of the First Ladies of Philippine Presidents. Mussaendas are attractive shrubs that can reach the height of 12-15 feet, but can easily keep ... Read More »

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia species)

Queen crape myrtle. PHOTOS BY MIKE MALLOY

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] I’d like to introduce you to one of South Florida’s most magnificent landscape plants…Crape Myrtle. Originally grown in Japan, China and parts of Southeast Asia, it’s the supermodel of the plant world. It’s beautiful and a real head turner, of course, but crape myrtle is versatile too. You can have it in either shrub or tree form and in a myriad of colors, including purple, white, pink, red or a combination of colors. Even the bark on this plant is attractive! The lovely crape myrtle blooms all summer long and into the fall, with long-lasting, ... Read More »

Copperleaf: A Rainbow of Colors in the Garden

Copperleaf plants vary in color from pink, red, green and white…

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Native to Fiji in the South Pacific, the Acalypha — better known as Copperleaf — group of plants has the most colorful foliage I’ve ever seen. They can turn your garden into a spectacular, unending kaleidoscope of color. Under perfect conditions, they will grow to 10 feet and just as wide, but they can be kept to any desired height with just a little trimming. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, mostly hidden by the colorful foliage. Copperleaf comes in a large variety of leaf shapes, ranging from large and oblong to round and fringed to ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Dicentra
(aka Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Clerodendrum is a beautiful flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

Butterfly Time of the Year

CBN_A12-6

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] July is underway; what does that mean? It’s summer in Florida? Yes, but it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida we have a year-round butterfly season, while numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here. In spring, summer and fall the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm just like they like it, and ... Read More »

The Angels have arrived

CBN_A28-6

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] From late spring until early winter, we are blessed with a dazzling tropical plant known as Angel’s Trumpet or Brugmansia spp. A member of the Solanaceae family and originally native to tropical South America, Angel’s Trumpet has since become naturalized in North America. Its name refers to the giant pendulous flowers that this plant produces. Its large, lavish flowers are very fragrant, even more so at night in order to attract moths for pollinating. One variety in particular, the Super Nova, is so big it can be worn as a hat. Angel’s Trumpet are available ... Read More »

Butterfly Time of the Year

CBN_B15_feature

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] May is here and what does that mean? Summer time in Florida is upon us. But it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida we have a year-round butterfly season, while numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here. In spring, summer and fall the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm – just like ... Read More »

Courtyard Gardens

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In Florida, there are many homes that are built around small courtyards having a view of the courtyard from all rooms in the house. Small areas, which can be a challenge to landscape, can be the true focal point of your home – if done right. Keeping plants neat and organized and watching their size will ensure the area will not be overwhelming. Creating your own tropical paradise can be fun and rewarding even if you live in a condo with a small lanai. PLANTS AND TREES Planting a small tree in your courtyard can really bring the outdoors in. ... Read More »

Flames in the Florida Winter Landscape

CBN_B3-4feature

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] South Florida gardens are ablaze with color during winter months by two particularly spectacular vines. First, the Florida flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta) which is native to Brazil. This vine is well known in Naples for its brilliant show of color in the winter months along about a one mile stretch of Goodlette Frank Road in front of the Wilderness community just north of Golden Gate Parkway. To have a vine known by so many people, not so much by its name but by put its presence along the road, speaks to its showiness. The Florida ... Read More »

Bromeliads in the South Florida landscape

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Bromeliads are finally getting the attention they deserve. Until recently, they were only popular with a small segment of house-plant enthusiasts. Today, bromeliads are prized tropical treasures in many Southwest Florida landscapes and public and private gardens. Featuring a wide range of color, leaf shapes and textures, bromeliads are as beautiful as they are hardy. If you’re looking for beautiful, exotic-looking tropical plants that are easy to care for and drought tolerant, look no further than bromeliads. Bromeliads are in the Bromeliaceae family, which is native to the tropical Americas. The pineapple plant is the ... Read More »

Vertical gardening

PLANT TALK  Mike Malloy  [email protected]  Leave it up to the mad gardener to find new ways and places to display more of his collection of plants. This is the ultimate in my horticulture addiction. In the past years, like most people with a plant “problem,” I have run out of room to plant one more plant in my garden. Most of us live in communities where the building lots are not that big (or they can never be big enough). I have been finding less and less open ground to install new plants I find on expeditions to the east ... Read More »