Florida Native Plants: The Florida Privet

Florida privet or Forestiera segregata is a wildlife attracting superstar.

So Florida privet can grow about 10 to 15 feet tall and eight to 10 feet wide, will grow in full sun to part shade and is salt and drought tolerant. It flowers all year round with a peak in late winter or early spring and is a great attractor for pollinators. These flowers are followed by a dark blue Berry that provide for a whole bunch of different wildlife, especially birds. So if you’re out in the wild, there’s a few different ways that you can identify the Florida privet.

One of them is the  leaf shape. It’s got a nice shiny green, it’s a oblong and a on the underside. It’s got this kind of paleish green color and they are arranged in an opposite pattern, meaning that a leaf will come off on the same points, the same growth node as all of the others. So you can see that they come out to here. Right now they’re actually almost through flowering and the berry production is actually starting. So you can see these little tiny clusters here are all going to turn into bigger Blackish berries. And then the other thing that Florida privet is known for is that it has a very irregular growth habit.

 So you can see all of the branches kind of crisscrossing and jutting out and growing different ways. This kind of adds to that dense growth habit that so many different types of wildlife expect from the privet. So this plan is really easy to incorporate into a landscape. It responds well to hedging and pruning can be trained into a small tree and if left a growth has maintenance can lend itself to a more natural landscape. So thanks for watching another one of our videos, guys. If you enjoyed it, be sure to hit the like button. We love getting your feedback. So leave us a comment down below and we’ll see you guys next time.

Common Misconceptions about Florida Native Plants

Hey everyone, welcome back to the nursery. I wanted to do a quick little video today because we hear a lot of things in the nursery, a lot of questions we get asked, but there’s a couple of things that come up quite a bit, a lot of misconceptions about native plants. So, uh, let’s talk

So the first misconception we need to talk about is native plants don’t eat water. That’s not true. Uh, during this establishment period, right? When you come in and you buy a plant, you need to give it just as much water as it might be getting here in the nursery to make sure that it gets established. Uh, these things get water every day. They get watered every single day, and to make sure that these plants will adapt to the environment that you’re trying to put them in, you know, into your landscape. You want to make sure that they get just as much water as they would here until they acclimate, right? So we usually give a period of a couple of weeks to a few months depending on the size of the plant to ensure that it’s established, to make sure that when it’s left to its own devices, it’s going to adapt and be, uh, you know, as healthy as it wants to be.

The other thing that I hear a lot of is that people want no maintenance plants. They want something that they can put into a landscape and never really have to maintain. And there’s a lot of misconception around our native plants that, you know, they’re one of them, their plants blanketly that can be put into a landscape and not touched and still expected to perform. You know, whichever way that the, that the homeowner might think. That’s something that you really have to think about is understanding your plants, you know, knowing how they’re going to perform in a landscape with or without that maintenance. So the other thing that’s a little bit less of a misconception, more of just a plus of creating a native plant garden is that you don’t have to fertilize as much as, you know, using exotics. These are plants that have grown and adapted to the conditions for years and years and years.

So when you put them in a garden that’s, you know, very similar or is exactly what our Florida soil is, you know, you can cut out all of that fertilizer use that we, um, that we implement on a lot of our exotic gardens. The other thing is thinking about the kind of garden you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking for a while, Florida natural garden, then you’re looking for something that you won’t have to maintain quite as much. You don’t want all those neat shapes. You want things to be free-flowing flowers to be blooming all over the place, but you want everything to be as it would in nature. So naturally you’re not going to have as much maintenance to do, not a lot of pruning, but if you’re looking for more of a maintain look with your Florida native plants, you will have to put in a little bit more effort.

So I think the biggest takeaway from this is that you definitely want to understand exactly what your plant wants to do, specifically in a landscape setting. You want to understand how these plants grow, what they need to establish and, and grow vigorously. You know, and that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to inform and educate and, um, you know, explain how these plants work so that you can create a sustainable and functional native garden. So, thank you guys again for watching another one of our videos. If you liked it, go ahead and subscribe. Hit the like button, hit that bell. So the next time we upload one of these, you guys know right away and we’ll see you next time.

Florida Native Plant Profile: Climbing Aster

Presented by: Davis Byrkit

Hey guys, welcome back to Wilcox Nursery.

So today we’re going to talk about one of our most prolific fall-blooming wildflowers. This stuff is called Climbing Aster. It’s Symphyotrichum carolinianum. This one is a mounding wildflower, so it will either grow kind of on itself, kind of mound a little bit, or look for something to crawl on.

Here in this bog garden, we’ve got it planted right behind one of our big rock fountains there. So it’s got a little bit of structure to pull from. But as it’s planted in here, it wants a wet soil, wants a moist soil. So it does want sun to keep up this propensity of blooms, but it does want a moisture soil to really thrive.

So this is fantastic for all of your different native pollinators. We’ve got stuff like sweat bees and bumblebees and, and all the other ones that’ll come and pollinate these guys.

But you can just see the crazy amount of blooms that this thing produces. It’s absolutely breathtaking in the fall. It’s one of the best ones that we can have towards this part of the year when a lot of things are going dormant. So it’s definitely one of the ones that we like to promote now. It’s very easy to grow, granted you’ve got the right spot.

Even putting on like an arbor, you can get it to grow kind of over a canopy, a seating area, something like that, whatever you’ve got to support it,  it does fantastic. Or if you’ve got an area that’s close to the water, kind of the edges of a pond or something, they’ll do fantastic there. So yeah, just giving you a little bit of insight. This is one that’ll help keep some color a unique shape towards the back end of the year.

So thank you guys again for watching one of our plant profiles. Be sure to hit that subscribe button, the like button, leave a comment down below.

 Let us know any plants that you guys want us to talk about in the future. And we’ll see you guys next time.

Florida Native Plant Profile: Blazing Star

Here is the debut of our YouTube channel! We have our first Native Plant Profile (below), as well as a short intro video about Wilcox Nursery. Go check it out and subscribe, so you don’t miss our new videos!

Florida Native Plant Profile: Blazing Star Transcript

Presented by: Davis Byrkit

Hey guys, welcome back to Wilcox Nursery. One of the things, when people come in, they get overwhelmed really quickly at the diversity of all the different native species that we have.

So one of the things we like to do is we like to take those out of the nursery and put those into a landscape setting.

So we will go and we’ll plant them all throughout the nursery landscape so that as you browse and you go and you look at these different plants, you can see what they all look like two, three, four years down the line. You know, all of our wildflowers are shrubs, trees, and palms, just so that you can get an idea of the characteristics and the personality of each plant. So today what we’re going to do is we’re going to take one of our most popular fall-blooming wildflowers and show you how you can incorporate it into your pollinator garden.

Here we’ve got Liatris tenufolia. It’s one of our many species of Blazing Star. But this one is a little bit more acclimated to a landscape scenario. It doesn’t get nearly as tall as some of the other species that can push, you know, six, seven feet. And it does have a little bit of a grassy head of foliage, so it’s a little bit more attractive as opposed to just a big spike.

It’s a beautiful fall bloomer towards the end of the year. It will give you some nice purple colors. You know, a backdrop to maybe Bahama cassia, some yellows, a couple of other plants when we have a lot blooming in the spring and the summer. It’s something that can add that pollinator interest, get some bees and butterflies into your yard towards the end of the year.

So here, taking a closer look we’ve got that grassy head of foliage like I said it won’t exceed maybe, you know, a foot a couple of inches, just depending on how established it is. And then once we go up here, we’ve got these beautiful spikes that’ll push three to four feet tall of those little tiny purple flowers.

And you can see a couple of bees buzzing around. I mean, they’re wonderful, wonderful nectar plants for these pollinators. So hopefully you guys liked the little plant intro we did.

We’re going to be doing a lot more of these in the future. Just trying to show you, a couple of the plants that we really like to promote here in the nursery.

And, hopefully, you guys subscribe, and, we’ll see you next time.