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Tag Archives: Mike Malloy

Oleanders for a Spring, Summer and Fall Show of Color

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By Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Oleanders (Nerium oleander) an evergreen shrub that makes a great specimen plant when planted in the garden but also makes a great hedge or container plant. However you decide to use this plant shrub, hedge or standard (tree), it will always be a very colorful and showy plant. Oleanders bloom from spring to fall, coming in colors of orange, pink, red, white and yellow. Some have single flowers and there are others with a double bloom. Flowers are usually in clusters at the end of branches. Oleanders can grow up to 12 feet and are almost ... Read More »

The Angels Have Arrived

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Plant Talk Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com One of late spring and summer show stopping plants that is showing its face all around South Florida is the Angels Trumpet or (Brugmansia spp.) Also blooms in the fall. You would have to be blind folded driving around Naples and Marco not to see these landscape gems. This plant is in the Solanaceae family, native to tropical South America and has been naturalized her in North America. Large flowers are fragrant but more intense at night to attract moths for pollinating. Angels Trumpet is the common name referring to the large pendulous flowers it ... Read More »

Small Trees but Big Show

Jatropha Peregrina

Plant Talk By Mike Malloy For all of us who want to have one of the showiest trees in town in our gardens (Royal Poinciana) and just don’t have the room because of their size, here are some of my favorite small trees that can be grown in courtyards, containers and small yards here in southwest Florida that can also be as special as the big boys. Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinina pulcherrima) is the little brother to the Royal Poinciana but a much smaller size. This evergreen shrub that can be pruned and trained into a specimen small tree, usually about ... Read More »

Bromeliads in the South Florida Landscape

Concentrica

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 most ... Read More »

Gardening for Bees

Sweet Almond

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Honeybees are more important than most people realize. Hundreds of crops that we have come to love and also dislike rely on the honey bee for pollination. It’s estimated that the sum of approximately fifteen billion dollars annually, is the value of the honey bees work in the United States agriculture industry. About one third of all food consumed in the United States is pollinated by bees. Inadequate pollination will reduce the size and quality of crops. The demise of the honey bee is a complex issue. Since 2006 bee keepers have lost about one third ... Read More »

Courtyard Gardens

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 ... Read More »

More Holiday Ornaments in the Winter Garden

Christmas Flower (Euphorbia leucocephala)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Last time I gave you names of some plants that become beautiful holiday ornaments in our gardens during the holiday season here in South Florida. Now that Thanksgiving is over, I think! And Christmas is coming, or is it the over? Or are they all on the same day? This year they seemed to be celebrated at the same time! I would like to continue with others that will bring joy to our hearts and souls during this festive time of the year. Creating joy and happiness in the eyes of any gardener, beginner or old ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Splendes (Glory Bower)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 them ... Read More »

What to do With Holiday Plants After the Holidays

Pointsetta

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) The poinsettia is probably the best known and most popular holiday plant. It has been hybridized into many different colors, but I believe red is still the most popular. It’s festive and epitomizes the holiday season. It’s unfortunate that because the price of poinsettias has become so reasonable, most of them end up in the garbage after the holidays, and because I hate to see any plant suffer that terrible fate, here is what you need to do to ensure that your poinsettia, along with several other popular holiday plants, will re-bloom next ... Read More »

Tropical Ornaments Abound

Black Bat (Tacca chantrieri)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com The holidays are here again. Soon, we’ll be unpacking colorful ornaments and decorating our trees. Wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy festive decorations year round? Well, here in Naples, we can. The tropical jewels that bloom in our gardens are as beautiful as any or-nament you can buy at the store. The Dombeya, for example, every home in Naples should have at least one of these beauties. The Dombeya, also known as tropical hydrangea, starts bloom-ing in the fall and usually continues blooming until summer. It’s hands-down the most spectacular winter-blooming plant. Dombeya ... Read More »

Fall Color in the Florida Landscape

Alata cassia Candlelabra Cassia

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Summer heat is beginning to subside. and we actually have temperatures in the mornings in the 50s and 60s. The first thing to do is open all the windows and doors. The next step is to start enjoying all the cassias, or sennas, that begin to bloom this time of the year. Cassias are generally known for their fast growth. Let me get this over with now before we all get confused: Cassias and sennas are the same group of plants, but some people with too much time on their hands decided to change the name ... Read More »

More Notable South Florida Butterflies

Buckeye Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There are other notable butterflies we have here in South Florida, and I would like to tell you about one of my favorites — the Buckeye butterfly. A medium-size Florida butterfly, the Buckeye has several eye spots on both fore and hind wings of this very colorful butterfly. These are usually large round spots on the wings that make the butterfly seem much larger than it really is to scare away predators. The Buckeye has a tendency to stay low to the ground and perch in the sun for hours on end, watching for any ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida: The Heliconia Trio

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com This is the second installment in my 10-part series on Butterfly Gardening in Florida. This time we’re going to focus on the Heliconia genus of butterflies, which includes the Zebra Longwing (Zebra), Florida’s state butterfly; the Julia; and the Gulf Fritillary. Let’s begin with the Zebra butterfly, also known as the social butterfly. It travels great distances during the day for néctar, but always returns to the same place at night to roost. Zebras commonly roost together in large numbers, which is why they’re nicknamed social butterflies. While hanging motionless, they are vulnerable. To discourage ... Read More »

Hummingbirds Return in the Winter

Firebush – number two nectar plant. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Years ago when I began my quest to attract butterflies to my garden, little did I know that butterfly gardening came with a bonus? After years of removing turf grass from my yard and replacing it with colorful flowering plants to attract wildlife— particularly butterflies — I no longer have any grass left to mow. During the past couple of fall seasons, I’ve been seeing numerous hummingbirds competing for nectar with our year-round friends, the butterflies. This is such a great thrill! It started a few years ago, with one or two hummingbirds arriving every ... Read More »

Florida’s Swallowtail Butterflies

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 »