A terrarium is a collection of small plants growing in a clear, usually enclosed, container. This three-page fact sheet walks you through the process of creating your own terrarium. Written by Amy Vu and Sydney Park Brown, and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.
This eight-page fact sheet contains forms for horticulture Extension agents and staff to use during walk-in consultations and/or on-site consultations related to plant identification, problem diagnosis, and cultural advice. The forms are available as fillable PDFs. Written by Amanda D. Ali, Laura A. Warner, Sydney Park Brown, Susan Haddock, and Laurie Albrecht and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
Not sure what to plant and when? Confused about how to care for your lawn differently during the winter or summer? Consult the Florida Gardening Calendar for your region (North, South, and Central). The calendars give instructions for planting ornamentals, fruits, and vegetables; lawn care and management; and irrigation and pest control for each month of the year. Split into sections about “What to Plant” and “What to Do,” these calendars are handy for any type of home garden. Written by Sydney Park Brown, and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.
Central Florida Gardening Calendar: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep450
North Florida Gardening Calendar: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep451
South Florida Gardening Calendar: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep452
Homeowners who are computer literate and want to improve their landscapes often consider purchasing software so that they can create the design themselves and save money. To help you select a program from the dozens that are available, each with different levels of cost and difficulty, UF/IFAS scientists tested seven popular do-it-yourself programs, compared them to a professional landscape design software program, and rated them for quality of features and ease-of-use. This 9-page fact sheet written by Gail Hansen, Smith Watkins, and Sydney Park Brown and published by the Department of Environmental Horticulture will help you estimate costs, ensure compatibility with your Windows-based or Apple-based operating system, and compare reviews from consumer websites so that you can choose the software that best fits your needs.
Vegetable gardening offers fresh air, sunshine, exercise, enjoyment, mental therapy, nutritious fresh vegetables, and economic savings, as well as many other benefits. With some attention to planning and planting, vegetables can be grown year-round in Florida. This 11-page guide provides recommendations primarily for traditional home gardens, including planning your garden and choosing crops, soil preparation and maintenance, fertilization, irrigation, pest management, and other gardening know-how. Includes a planting guide, table of suggested varieties, and table of products labeled for insect and mite management in home vegetable gardens. Written by Sydney Park Brown, Danielle Treadwell, J. M. Stephens, and Susan Webb, and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.
Annuals offer an almost infinite variety of flower color and plant form. They brighten landscape beds and add a splash of color to a porch, deck, or patio when placed in containers. Some also make good cut flowers. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Sydney Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, August 2014.
UF/IFAS Extension supports a network of demonstration gardens throughout the state. These gardens showcase plants and practices appropriate for their locations and are open to the community free of charge. Learning opportunities abound for home gardeners and landscape professionals on design, planting, and maintenance procedures. The gardens typically have interpretative materials available, including signs, brochures, and self-guided tours. Many are sites for gardening festivals, workshops, and plant sales. This 27-page directory was written by Sydney Park Brown, Kim Taylor, and Emily Eubanks, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, March 2014.
This publication describes “natural” pesticides: alternatives that are usually less toxic to non-target organisms and the environment and that, when used correctly, can be effective substitutes for synthetic products. In this publication, natural substances used for pest management in landscapes and gardens are grouped into oils, plant extracts, insecticidal soaps, mineral insecticides, microbial insecticides, and products that control diseases. Certain products contain combinations of these groups (e.g., soap and oil). This 8-page fact sheet was written by Eileen A. Buss and Sydney G. Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, April 2014.
Dried and preserved plant materials are popular for home decor. Dried arrangements can preserve the graceful lines, textures, and colors of flowers and foliage with a subtle and gently aged appearance. This 14-page fact sheet was written by Sydney Park Brown, Patricia White, Benny Tjia, Marion R. Sheehan, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, November 2013.
The right vegetable varieties can make a big difference in the success of a home vegetable garden. Although a huge selection of seeds and transplants are available through garden centers, seed catalogs, and the internet, choosing what to buy can be confusing. Some of the best varieties for Florida gardens and seed suppliers that currently sell them are listed in this 6-page fact sheet written by Ed Thralls, Sydney Park Brown, and Ed Paulson, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, November 2013.
Epiphytes are “air” plants that survive on moisture and nutrients in the atmosphere. Several epiphytic plants, like Spanish moss, ball moss, and lichen, are common to the Florida landscape and southeast United States. People unfamiliar with epiphytes sometimes worry that they may cause injuries to the plants they perch in. Epiphytes do attach themselves to plants, but they do not harm the plants, unlike mistletoe, a plant parasite. Without soil as a source of nutrients, epiphytic plants have evolved the capacity to obtain minerals dissolved in water that flows across leaves and down branches. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Joe Sewards and Sydney Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, September 2013.
This 16-page fact sheet is meant to be a companion to the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide. It is intended for the home gardener who prefers to use natural and organic materials as well as methods that are compatible with the philosophy of organic gardening. was written by Danielle D. Treadwell, Sydney Park Brown, James Stephens, and Susan Webb, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, June 2013.
Native to Asia, the first camellia plants were brought to America in 1797 and grown in New England greenhouses. Over the last 200 years, they have proven to be dependable additions to the southern landscape, where they grow and bloom with minimal care in most inland areas of North and Central Florida. Camellias are long lived and function well as foundation plantings, screens, accent plants, background groupings, and hedges. Camellias flower in the fall and winter when few other plants are blooming. For the remainder of the year, their glossy, evergreen foliage, interesting forms and textures, relatively slow growth, and low maintenance make camellias excellent landscape plants worthy of more use. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Sydney Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2012.
Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees in January to improve form. In March, plant warm-season vegetables, such as sweet corn, cucumber, watermelon, and pepper, for late spring harvest. If bahiagrass lawns are yellowing in May, iron may correct the problem. Butterfly lily and gladiolus are bulbs that can be planted during the middle of summer. Plant gladiolus every 2 weeks in September to stagger blooming. This 11-page fact sheet tells what to plant and what to do in your south Florida garden, year-round. Written by Sydney Park Brown and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2012.
Give cold-damaged palms proper care to encourage their recovery in February. In April, monitor landscape plants weekly for aphids on tender new growth. Annuals that can take full sun during hot summer months include celosia, portulaca, vinca, and some coleus. In September, plant cool-season vegetable crops, such as radish, carrot, cabbage, and lettuce. This 10-page fact sheet tells what to plant and what to do in your north Florida garden year-round. Written by Sydney Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2012.
Apply horticultural oils in January. Plant caladium bulbs in March. Watch for thrips, scale, and mites in May. Plant palms in June and July. Calibrate your sprinklers in September. This 10-page fact sheet tells what to plant and what to do in your central Florida garden in each month of the year. Written by Sydney Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, April 2012.
Florida parks and woodlands are favorite places for many people who enjoy outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the native plants poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and poisonwood can make these outings a miserable experience. All four contain urushiol, a plant oil that can cause a severe skin rash (dermatitis) when any part of the plant is contacted. Allergic reaction can occur directly by touching the plant or indirectly by coming into contact with the oil on animals, tools, clothes, shoes, or other items. Even the smoke from burning plants contains oil particles that can be inhaled and cause lung irritation. This 6-page fact sheet helps individuals learn to identify these plants in order to avoid contact with them. Children should be taught to recognize these plants, particularly poison ivy, as it is by far the most common. Written by Sydney Park Brown and Patricia Grace, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, March 2012.
Hollies are reliable, low-maintenance plants for Florida landscapes. Diverse sizes, forms, and textures exist, ranging from large trees to dwarf shrubs. Some hollies can be used as informal or formal hedges or as foundation plants, while others make beautiful accent or specimen plants. Many are valued for their colorful berries, which provide food for birds and brighten the fall and winter seasons. Several hollies are native to Florida. This 5-page fact sheet includes a list of dozens of popular hollies sold in Florida. Written by Sydney Park Brown, Dewayne L. Ingram, and William E. Barrick, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, March 2012.
Trees and the shade they cast provide welcome relief from Florida’s intense sun and heat, but gardening in shade can be challenging. This 7-page fact sheet has some pointers for meeting these challenges, and lists of shade-tolerant plants. Written by Sydney Park Brown, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, February 2012.
Spectacular flowers and shade tolerance are among the reasons for the azalea’s popularity as a landscape plant in North and Central Florida. They enhance the home landscape as foundation or mass plantings and as background or foreground plants, depending on their size. They are also sometimes pruned into single-trunked standards that serve as specimen plants. Generally, their open, relaxed growth habit is more suited to informal landscape designs. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Sydney Park Brown, Dewayne L. Ingram, and James T. Midcap, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, January 2012.