January Garden Tips

· We still can enjoy some months of color if annuals are installed as soon as possible. Try ageratum, calendula, begonia, petunia, candytuft, alyssum, dianthus, celosia, salvia, vinca, marigold, nasturtiums, cosmos, gloriosa daisy portulaca and impatiens now. Vegetable choices are also abundant, including radish, tomato, onions, beets, cabbage, broccoli, peas, potato, turnips, lettuce, celery, mustard, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, beans, squash, spinach, corn, collards, parsley, eggplant, pepper, cucumber and kohlrabi. Many bulbs can also be planted, such as tuberose, dahlia, eucharis, canna, caladium, gloriosa, agapanthus, zephyranthes, calla, crinum, allium, ginger, montbretia, watsonia, lily and daylily. You can plant most woody shrubs and trees if there is a good water supply handy. The reliable rains will not be back until June.
· Irrigate all new plants daily for the first two weeks after installation and then about twice a week if there is no rain. Water deeply when you irrigate and in the morning only to avoid fungal problems.

· January is a relatively quiet time for most insects. Thrips and spider mites are active on avocado, crotons, mango, copperleaf and other large-leaf plants. Blast water under the leaves or use a soap spray on them. Do not plant under the eaves where these insects can really proliferate with no rain to wash them off. Annuals can be chewed off at ground level by cutworms. Fungal root rot can attack impatiens, begonia and vinca in wet areas.

· Eliminate the usual dead wood, crossing branches and stems from plants such as bougainvillea and silverthorn. Remove all suckers and water sprouts from fruit and shade trees. Prune roses back by no more than one-third.

Green Thoughts: It is always interesting that so many plants we think of as weeds have been given more respect by the English. For example, native plants such as goldenrod and beebalm were collected by early English horticulturists and sent back to the motherland to be bred and hybridized. Now we are getting improved versions of our American weeds and paying premium prices for them. Funny how an old weed suddenly jumps in social stature after obtaining British cachet. 

yesterday, today and tomorrow (Brunfelsia grandiflora)

(Brunfelsia grandiflora)
Although this large shrub is a bit demanding, all your efforts will be rewarded when it blooms from November to May. The flowers open as purple, change to pale blue the second day and are white on the third day. Blooms can literally cover the branches when conditions are ideal. During this blooming season, the foliage will thin out.

Native to Bolivia to Venezuela, this is best suited to morning sun and some afternoon shade away from concrete. It likes a somewhat moist location and will wilt quickly in a dry spot. Expect a height of 8-10 feet if left unpruned.

  • Origin Brazil
  • Foliage A simple green leaf shaped like a lance
  • Nutritional requirements Happiest in acid soil, it appreciates an acid fertilizer suitable for ixoras and gardenias in March, June and October.
  • Salt tolerance Medium
  • Drought tolerance Medium
  • Light requirement High
  • Growth rate Medium
  • Propagation By seed or cuttings
  • Major problem None
  • Environmental problems None


All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation  of any part of this work beyond that permitted by Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 without the permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. [Section 107 allows use of the copyrighted work for the purposes of teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, research, criticism, comment, or news reporting.] Written requests for permission  should be addressed to DePalma Enterprises,  Inc., 2117 NE 17th Terrace, Wilton Manors, FL. 33305