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Tag Archives: Mike Malloy

Gardens Summer Survivors

Plumbago (Leadwort).

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Summer is here and it came quickly! One of the most frequently asked questions I get is what will grow and flower here in Naples and South Florida during the summer months? Summer in Florida is one of the most trying times, not just for us human beings who are bombarded with constant panic weather forecasts about fires turning the State of Florida into a large charcoal briquette, and upcoming storms which are going to sweep our children and pets into another world, but for our flowers and shrubs as well. It’s a wonder we go ... Read More »

Curcuma: Tropical Flower or Medical Miracle

Curcuma alismatifolia 9Dwarf chaingmai pink

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Curcuma although tropical in origins, mostly from (Southeast Asia, India and Malaysia, does not like to be in sun all day. A filtered morning or afternoon sun is best, like most plants in southwest Florida the summer sun is deadly. The plants in the curcuma family are often called gingers but are really Zingiber and the Curcuma longa species is solely used for the harvest of the spice turmeric. The rhizomes are ground into a dried power which is turmeric. Not only is this one of the most tropical oriental looking flowers I have ever seen ... Read More »

Unique Florida Butterflies

Julia HR

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com The butterfly season here in Florida is a long one, actually all year. June begins an all-out attract of all types of Florida butterflies on the host plants (plants butterflies lay their eggs on and sustain their caterpillars on their way to butterfly hood). In the butterfly gardens all over south Florida people are calling, emailing and texting do you have milkweed, dill, and parsley and passion vines on and on? The summer season is off with a bang, not only are people looking for host plants to feed these hungry little critters but in the ... Read More »

Great Southern Whites

Zebra longwing, Florida state butterfly.

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com No, this is not another article on sharks on the west coast of Florida, which seems to have dominated the news since the summer started. Funny, “Jaws” was one of my favorite movies. Anyway, it’s about a couple of South Florida’s beautiful butterflies. Well this is another great year butterfly gardening in South Florida. It seems every year has a new surprise. This year the white butterflies in South Florida are more abundant then I have seen. Actually, I have seen more great southern whites, Florida whites and cabbage whites this year then I have seen ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy We are lucky here in South Florida. Our butterfly population flourishes during the summer months due to our hot, tropical weather. And because it stays relatively warm, even during the winter months, we have a healthy year-round butterfly population. There are, however, a few butterflies that still migrate during the winter season. The Monarch is one of them. This is the first article in a six-part series featuring the butterflies of Florida. I’m going to begin with the Monarch, of course, which is probably the most recognized butterfly in the world. Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers are members ... Read More »

Bamboo in Florida Landscapes

Black Bamboo

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There are many uses for bamboo in the Florida garden. It can be used as a hedge, as a container plant, or even a specimen plant- either in a pot or in a natural garden setting. There are two main types of bamboo: One is clumping bamboo and the other is running bamboo. When we hear bamboo, most of us think of huge massive culms of bamboo that can grow a foot a day, growing to 60 feet tall in a short period of time. This is why so many people tremble in fear when they ... Read More »

Gardenias

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By Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Along with the yellow Tabebuia trees that are blooming all around town in early spring, the gardenias begin blooming. My gardenia facing east started blooming two months ago, and is still going strong. Remember when people ask when gardenias are supposed to bloom to tell them spring to early summer is usually the time, but I always say, plants bloom whenever they feel like it. That is probably the best answer because you can only give an estimate of when things bloom because so much can change with the weather here in South Florida. But when ... Read More »

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 »