Garden

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Persimmon

Hernando Sun Staff

PERSIMMON, Diospyrus virginiana

Be on the look out for these delicious fruits. Persimmons ripen from late Summer to late Autumn. The persimmon tree usually grows in dry fields or pinelands.

You can pick the half inch to three and a half inch fruit when they are yellow, but don't eat them until they are orange and very soft to the touch as they are very sour unripened. It is rumored that they need a frost to sweeten, but that is untrue according to Florida's Incredible Wild Edibles.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Tea Olive

Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Tea Olive

Tea Olive, Osmanthus Frangrans is an underused shrub that should receive more attention as a landscape plant. This non-native grows well in horticultural zones 8b – 9. Hernando County is in zone 9a. This shrub will grow slowly, but eventually reach 15-30 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. It likes dry soil, but has a medium drought tolerance. It does well in full to partial sun. It has little to no salt tolerance. This shrub produces small white flowers. This is a background shrub that won’t attract a lot of visual attention, but its wonderful sweet fragrance will certainly get noticed.

New Officers for Spring Hill Garden Club

New officers Spring Hill Garden Club

The new officers of the Spring Hill Garden Club were installed at the May 2016 meeting held at Buffet City in Brooksville.

The new officers, pictured above, are from left to right: Directors, Mary Wuest and Jeannie Erickson; Secretary, Joan Shaw; Treasurer, Janice Zacharkan; 1st Vice President, Angela Benschneider; 2nd Vice President, Doris Morrice; and President, Kathryn Pierson.

The next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, September 28 at 1 pm, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd, Spring Hill.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Peacock Ginger, Kaempferia spp.

by Lilly Browning, Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Peacock Ginger, Kaempferia spp. Is a wonderful plant for those who miss their hostas up north. It has a “hosta look” to it, with its wide leaves and intricate foliage patterns. It is not a native Floridian plant, but it does well in horticultural zones 8-10. Hernando County is in Zone 9a. This nice ground cover grows about 2 feet tall and 1-4 feet wide. It likes dry to partially moist soil and it is a wonderful plant for those party sunny to shady areas in your landscape. It has little to no salt tolerance. It will shoot up small, four petaled purple flowers.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Yaupon Holly

Lilly Browning is the Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria, is a great native plant that can be used as a shrub or as a small, specimen tree. They have tiny leaves and produce white, spring through summer flowers. The red fruit provides food for wildlife in the late fall and into the winter. It will grow 15-30 feet tall and 6-20 feet wide. They prefer wet or partially moist soil. They enjoy a sunny to partial sunny location in the landscape. They have a high salt tolerance, so it is a plant to think about if you live on the coast.

Master Gardeners Needed

UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County

What is a Master Gardener? What do they do? Is the program for everyone? All good questions. Here we will try to provide the answers. Master Gardener programs exist in all fifty states and in Canada. The program goals are to provide instruction and science-based information to individuals who will, in turn, volunteer in the community to share that knowledge with the public. Requirements to participate vary from state to state. Florida’s Master Gardener program is part of the Extension Service of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

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