Itemized Plant Card Explanation

COMMON NAME The common local name for the plant.
BOTANICAL NAME The latin name for the plant. This name is universally understood.
HEIGHT DO NOT plant a tree that will reach 30′ tall next to power lines or alongside the wall of a one story house! Take in to consideration the dangers this plant may possess in years to come (Example: 30′ Silver Bismark Palm Tree could have expended palm fronds fall and drop, potentially severely injuring or killing someone if they are hit by it!)
WIDTH The key to plant spacing is to plant according to your desired look while not being too close or too far apart. For spaced plants, plant 70% to 100% of the plant’s maximum width. (Example: A plant with 10′ width to grow spaced apart should be planted 7′ to 10′ apart.) For plants forming a dense hedge, plant to 20% to 30% of the plant’s maximum width (100) 1.5 (50) .75 (25) .25 (083) If you plant too closely, your plants will look wonderful for the first few years, though as plants grow taller and roots go deeper, the demand for nutrient content will be higher and plants will begin to struggle. If spaced too far apart, either it will take some time for plants to grow close enough to for a hedge, (this is how you should do it, though this requires patience and understanding!) or if too far, they will never touch branches with each other!
MONOECIOUS OR DIOECIOUS If your plant is monoecious (has both female and male flowers), then it will be capable of self pollination. If your plant is dioecious (separate male and female flowers), you will need one of each sex for pollination. That is, of course, unless your neighbor has a nearby tree of the opposite sex! The odds are slim.
DECIDUOUS OR EVERGREEN Deciduous trees lose their leaves during the cold season, while evergreen trees keep their foliage. Deciduous trees will have fallen leaves all around them, which may require some raking or leaf blowing. Deciduous trees aren’t desirable to plant around unscreened outdoor pools. Evergreens ARE messy sometimes though, so if you want a clean driveway or pool, do your research before you plant! A crape myrtle with beautiful blooms will drop it’s flowers all over the ground below once flowers are depleted. An elegant Pygmy Date Palm produces a lovely cream-white pollen that can litter your pool, so be mindful!
LIFESPAN The longevity of the plant, or how many years it lives for. Of course, the better one cares for a plant, the longer lived the plant is!
ANNUAL OR PERENNIAL Another classification of the plant’s lifespan. Annuals live for one growing season and then die afterwards. Biennials live between 2 to 4 years. Perennials have a lifespan from 2 years to indefinetely (and can sometimes live for hundreds of years!).
COLD TOLERANCE The coldest temperature tolerated by the plant. Some plants have a low cold tolerance though are sensitive to frost. One should cover cold sensitive and frost sensitive plants with frost cloth or blankets the night before a frost warning or when temperatures are forecasted at 32° F or colder. Keep covered for the few days that we Floridians have freezing temperatures, and remove once conditions have warmed to 33° F thereafter.
SOIL TYPE Plant preference for substrate can vary from dry to immersed in water; From sandy to loamy clay. One can amend soil with organic matter such as compost, farm manure, or shredded leaves to help enrich and increase drainage. Perlite, vermiculite, compost, and mulch are also good soil additives to mix in to soil to help with drainage. The pH of soil is another important factor one should know. Azaleas, camellias, blueberry bushes, and strawberry plants prefer acidity, while plants such as watercress, peach trees, and black currant bushes prefer alkaline.
WATER REQUIREMENTS Overwatering and underwatering are both bad. You should have plant with similar watering requirements under irrigation, or in the case of xeriscaping, without irrigation. During the hottest and dryest months of the year it is good to supplement plants with water, even if they are drought tolerant! Some plants are capable of going in to a drought-dormancy when left without water for long enough, such as with turf grass, though this can be avoided with ample irrigation. Some plants, such as cactus, will do just fine without any additional water during the hottest and dryest months! For dry areas without irrigation, material such as Terra-Sorb, a non-toxic hydrogel, can be mixed in to absorb 150 times it’s weight in water and slowly release the water back in to dry soils for roots. Overwatering can cause root rot, fungal growth, disease formation, and a myriad of other problems. Watering salt intolerant plants with a source that contains salt can also damage plants. Salty irrigation can have accumulated salt in the expanse of land affected by the irrigation if the area has poor drainage and/or lack of rainfall.
DROUGHT Does the plant’s description indicate tolerance for drought? This is not in effect until the roots have grown further down, accessing the water that is deep underground, which will take some time. Some plants grow very fast, some grow slowly; Some plants have shallow roots, others have deep roots. Keep in mind that having roots removed from it’s pot is slightly stressful to the plant. Being planted in a new environment introduces altered factors such as slightly different pH, minerals and nutrients, water intake, etc. Be mindful that TOLERANT does not mean UNAFFECTED, your plants will still appreciate some water during the hottest, dryest months!
SALT Salt tolerance can differ with a plant’s roots and it’s foliage. (Example: Amaryllis plant can moderately take salt spray on foliage, though does NOT tolerate in the soil!). Have you had your irrigation/well water tested for salt? You can have this done for free instantly at your local pool store. Salt in soil can accumulate from irrigation water containing salt over time in areas with poor drainage and/or lack of rainfall.
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS Some plants can only live in full sun or in full shade, while others can sometimes live in either or. Plants need sunlight to synthesize food from carbon dioxide and water. Too much sun might burn certain plants or newly emerged, sensitive growth. Plants that specifically require full sun that are in full shade will not have enough light to chemically create the food it needs. When acclimating an indoor plant to the outdoors, it is better to ‘wean’ the plant off the house and in to the elements. At first, place your indoor plant on/under for at least 2 months. Over the next several months to 2 years, gradually move your plant to it’s final desired outdoor location that fulfills proper light requirements. This will help your plant slowly get used it’s new environment.
FERTILIZING Mineral and nutrient content is essential for the health of a plant. There are fertilizers that are produced for specific plant types, like Azalea and Camellia fertilizer (slightly more acidic) and Citrus and Avocado fertilizer (Usually higher nitrogen content than the phosphorus or potassium.) Fertilizers have different N:P:K ratios (Nitrogen:Phosphorus:Potassium) Nitrogen is necessary for strong stems and healthy foliage. Phosphorus helps roots grow, and encourages flower and seed development. Potassium (also know as potash) is good for general plant health, and increases disease resistance. It is better to be sparing with fertilizer than to be overly generous. Follow packaging directions or plant nursery instructions for proper application.
COLOR OR FLOWER The delightful hues that we so love are depicted here.
MONTH OF COLOR This is where the time(s) of year colors of foliage or flowers are flourishing are listed.
FRUIT Description of the seeds and fruits, and whether they’re edible!
ALLERGENS, TOXICITY AND ANIMALS If we have information about the toxicity of a plant, we will list any details in this row. Allergens and other health related concerns can also be located here.
COMMENTS Here is where we list additional information about the plants, such as descriptive details, origination, suggested use in a landscape, etc.
PRICE Self explanatory!