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The Master Gardening BenchThe Manatee County Master Gardener NewsletterJune 2017 - Volume 16 – Issue 6BOTANICAL GARDENSText and Photographs by Joy Derksen, Master Gardener 2004Are you familiar with the many botanical parks in this area of Florida?Why do we visit botanical gardens? Each one has an individual styleand often a unique collection of labeled plants that give us an idea ofwhat grows well in the area and what might work in our own yards.Botanical gardens instill in visitors an appreciation of the role of plantsin the environment. Some focus on native plants, some on tropicalplants, and some on specialty plants like palms, orchids, andsucculents. Most offer interesting classes about plants and topics thatconcern plants for adults and children. Almost all of them have giftshops with plants that you have seen in the garden and plant books.Special events are held at the gardens: plant sales, concerts, and artexhibits. And best of all, botanical gardens provide us with a relaxingand peaceful green area to get away from urban pressures.The best-known botanical garden in our area is Selby Gardens, whichwas opened to the public in July 1975. William and Marie Selby ownedthe original property, which Marie donated to the community as abotanical garden “for the enjoyment of the general public.”A board of directors was appointed and after consultation with theNew York Botanical Garden and the University of Florida, it wasdecided that the garden should specialize in epiphytic plants, making itunique among the more than 200 botanical gardens in the country.Since then, Selby Gardens has become well known worldwide for itscollection and study of orchids, gesnariads, and bromeliads. Bloomingorchids and other rare plants are on display throughout the year in itsTropical Conservatory.Besides the orchids, the 15 acres of garden have well-manicured pathsand a mangrove board walk along Sarasota Bay under shady trees.There are two butterfly gardens, a peaceful koi pond, a succulentgarden, a bromeliad garden, a bamboo section, and a children's rainforest play area next to a grassy lawn shaded by an enormous banyan.One of my favorite parts of the garden is along the sidewalk leading upto the front door where a display of constantly blooming vines andsidewalk plantings give me new ideas. There is a gift shop with a goodsupply of plant books and a nursery filled with orchids, bromeliads, andother epiphytes for sale. You do not need to pay an admission to visitthe gift shop. Free parking is available across the street from the mainentrance. There are places inside to buy food (although you can bringyour own picnic and drinks).Information about the Selby Gardens admission and opening times isavailable at their website.

Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service1303 17th Street West - Palmetto, FL 34221Telephone: (941) 722-4524http://manatee.ifas.ufl.eduMaster Gardeners Amy Stripe & Joy Derksen, Co-editorsContents reviewed & edited by Lisa Hickey, Extension AgentSend a photo or gardening problem via e-mail to the Master Gardenersat or visit them at the County Extension OfficeMonday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; closed on WednesdayHUHUUHUHASK AMASTER GARDENERQ: Dear MG:This lovely shade tree is in my sister's new yard inOkeechobee, Florida (zone 9b). It is deciduous (orsemi-deciduous), has bark and leaves that resembleGumbo limbo somewhat, but the fruits (which are onnow, perhaps leftover from last year?) are smallperfectly round black berries (viewable in the secondphoto attached.) We have been told by neighborsthat they make a mess on cars parked underneath.The bark does not peel like G. limbo. Any ideas?Thanks in advance.A.S., PalmettoA: Hello A.S:This is the camphor tree, Cinnamonum camphora, adense shade tree that has aromatic leaves. Its leaflitter and fruit are quite messy. It is not really suitablefor urban landscapes as it grows quickly and canbecome quite large. Older trees sometimes have largesurface roots. This tree has escaped cultivation insome areas of Florida and is considered invasive. Ihave included a link to a publication about this pdfMaster Gardener Karen Holleran answers your emailquestions at Or visit ourPlant Diagnostic Clinic, Monday through Friday (closedWednesdays) from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. at the NWcorner of the Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1303 17thStreet West in Palmetto; or call us with questions at941.722.4524 and ask for a Master Gardener.2

Reminder about Nitrogen FertilizerBanannually or one pound per application.Many Manatee County residents have gotten themessage of our county's fertilizer ban that prohibitsthe application of nitrogen fertilizer from June 1stthrough September 30th. But it does bearrepeating. The ban is to protect our waterwaysfrom nutrient runoff during our rainy summermonths. Here are the main provisions of ourfertilizer ordinance:Fertilizer blackout: From June 1 to September 30,no fertilizer containing nitrogen (N) shall be appliedto turf or landscape plants in Manatee County.This does not mean your garden will suffer; you canapply: Potassium (K) - the third number in fertilizerformulations - plays a key role in manygrowth related processes in plants. Micronutrients, such as magnesium (MG)and manganese (MN). Iron (FE), which is particularly useful forkeeping lawns green. Compost-based products, such as chicken orcow manures, earthworm castings, orcomposts.Limits on nitrogen: From October 1st through May31st, nitrogen fertilizers must contain at least 50%slow release nitrogen. Look for the terms time‐release, slow release or controlled release on theproduct label. In addition, nitrogen applicationcannot exceed four pounds per 1,000 square feetPhosphorus ban: No phosphorus (P) can be appliedat any time throughout the year without a soilanalysis showing a phosphorus deficiency filed withthe county administrator. (The filing process can beprotracted, so it's not as easy as it sounds.)Weather advisories: If the National WeatherService issues a watch or warning anywhere in thecounty for severe thunderstorms, hurricanes,tropical storms, flooding, or rainfall of two inches ormore in a 24-hour period, no fertilizers can beapplied while the advisory is in effect.Exempted plants: Potted or otherwisecontainerized indoor and outdoor plants are notsubject to the fertilizer restrictions, nor are homevegetable gardens.A list of fertilizers that comply with the ordinance isavailable at or (simpler) by googlingManatee County Fertilizer Ordinance.A last bit of advice from Master Gardeners: don't doyour fertilizer applications on or near the START andSTOP dates of the ban, as this will defeat thepurpose. If every person in the county appliesfertilizer on May 31st (just ahead of the ban) andOctober 1st (just after the ban) imagine the runoffpotential! Use common sense.3

Doodle, doodle, doodle Doodle, doodle, doodle. . .Hop up bug! Doodle, doodle, doodle. . .Hop up bug!That doodle jump up and look all around and doodle back in the ground.(Originally performed by the Georgia Yellowhammers "Doodlebug" or "Song of the Doodlebug," (U.S., 1928.) Echoing thechildren's rhymes of American antlion folklore, the lyrics of this song claim that a doodlebug can be enticed out of itshole by putting one's mouth near its pit and singing.)By Nancy Porter, Master Gardener 2014Little did I know 58 years ago, that I would bewriting an article about a “doodlebug”,Glenurus gratus. At that age, all we (kids)thought about these critters was trying to getthem to come to the surface of their sandcones. Often, you could see our little bottomssticking up in the air and find our nosesextremely close to the ground, while wesang the doodlebug song and gently blewinto the sand. For our efforts, we wererewarded with a tiny and quite ugly little bugwriggling around trying to rebury itself: voilá,the doodlebug.At some point in time, I learned that it was anantlion, a small insect that could be found inmultiple places around our yard, if you knewwhat you were looking for. Now, I havelearned that Florida has bragging rights to therichest antlion population in the easternUnited States. Although present in sevenother states, Florida alone has 22 species,with four of them endemic or solely found inthe Florida Keys.The next revelation is that the doodlebug isthe antlion larva. The larval stage can last upto three years. As the picture shows, thelarvae have mandibles and maxillae that forma pair of sucking tubes, armed with manysharp hollow projections. If viewed under amagnifying glass, these insects are quitefierce looking; enlarged images of them havebeen used in some movie and, e.g., "Star Wars" and "Star Trek,"to depict creatures found on alien planets.When the antlion’s prey falls into its pit, theyare first poisoned, then injected withdigestive enzymes that breakdown theinternal tissues, allowing the antlion to suckthe juices out. (Yum!) Once the juices havebeen consumed, the lifeless shell is flickedout of the hole. If the sand divot is damagedfrom the life-and-death struggle, the antliondoes a good repair job and then lies in waitfor its next unsuspecting victim.The antlion larva eventually creates acocoon in the shape of a round ball. It doescontinued on page 54

Doodle continued from page 4this by forcing out silken threads that form ahollow sphere. This is held in place by thesurrounding sand. Inside this cocoon theantlion morphs into a pupa. The pupationperiod lasts about a month, then a small adultemerges, making its way to the surface. Afterabout 20 minutes, after its wings have hadtime to harden, the adult flies off in search ofa mate and the cycle repeats itself. This is nota leisurely activity, as the adults live only 2025 days, so they have to work fast.So, if you’d like to recapture a bit of your youth,grab a kid and take them out into your yard. (Ofcourse, you can do this on your own if you’dlike!) Begin your search for one of those littlecones in the sand. When you find one, getdown on your hands and knees, sing the song,and gently blow into the pit. Perhaps you’ll belucky enough to capture your very own antlioncontinued on page 5(a.k.a. doodlebug!)An Antlion, Glenurus gratus (Say) (Insecta:Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) adult is commonly named green lacewing(family: Chrysopidae) not brown lacewing,which is in a different family, Hemerobiidae.We love to have green lacewings in our gardensbecause they are biological controls; they eatpest insects like aphids, scale, whiteflies, andthrips to name a few of its prey.What are the positive effects these smallinsects provide besides entertaining the smallfry for an afternoon? They do eat aphids, aswell as ants. If they grow large enough, theywill also consume caterpillars, red ants, smallspiders, and the larvae of other insects.Antlion trails. Odd winding, spiraling trails the doodlebugleaves in the sand while looking for a good location to build itstrap. These trails look as if someone has “doodled” in the sand.In my research, I came across a delightfulwebsite designed for teachers and This site offers videos,explanation about the life cycle of antlions,and antlion kits. The site provides childrenwith all the knowledge they need to start theirown antlion “farm.” The founder even offersto purchase antlions from anyone industriousenough to go out and collect them!Photo credit: en.wikipedia.orgThe female lays about 20 eggs in differentsandy spots. The adult antlion resembles asmall dragonfly or damselfly, except it folds itswings back while resting. They are usuallyactive at night and their diets consist of pollenand nectar.5So, if you’d like to recapture a bit of your youth,Antlion pits in dry, sandy area.

KalanchoePhoto credit: http://hort.ifas.ufl.eduAn Abundant, Abounding Beauty(But, how do you pronounce it?)By Jim Haupt and Rob Hinz, Master Gardeners 2015Kalanchoe spp. is relatively easy plant to find andmaintain. On the other hand, like cotoneaster, chamomile,and Achillea, Kalanchoe is a common plant that is difficultto pronounce, or that you have heard pronounced in manydifferent ways. (I’ve heard it pronounced "KA-luhn-KO-e,""kuh-LANG-ko-e," "KAL-uhn-cho" and "Kal-AHN-cho." Tosimplify matters, Edward F. Gilman, retired professor ofEnvironmental Horticulture at University of Florida, refersto this beauty as kal-lan-KOE-ee, defining it as a “darkgreen succulent perennial with scalloped-edged leaves andlarge umbels of flower clusters held above the foliage.”There are about 150 to 200 different varieties ofKalanchoe with flowers that originally were red andorange, but now are available in yellow, orange, pink, red,purple, and salmon. Devil’s backbone, mother-of-millions,mother-of -thousands, chandelier plant, and ChristmasKalanchoe are common names for some of the more wellknown varieties. This beauty is used as a houseplant,but can certainly be used outside as a groundcover,border plant, or potted up in containers. Kalanchoe alsoattracts hummingbirds!However, Kalanchoe is a loner and prefers its own space. Itwill crowd out other plants, so placing it in containers or inits own bed may be an option. It prefers 60- to 85-degreetemperatures and does not like the cold. Propagation can beaccomplished from seeds, leaf cuttings, stems, or tipcuttings. Kalanchoe is susceptible to leaf spotting disease inhumid conditions.Caterpillars and mealy bugs may become a problem ifplanted outdoors. Gardeners should be cautioned that allparts of this plant are toxic and should be kept away fromsmall children and pests.Another caution: Kalanchoe pinnata (Cathedral bells) is aninvasive plant. It can be found in central and southernFlorida along edges of woodlands and conservation areas.The eye-catching flowers are attractive, but the plant isvery invasive and also toxic if ingested.Examples of Kalanchoe for the home landscape include: Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri or Palm beachbells,produces greenish flowers and plantlets at the tipsof leaves. Kalanchoe laciniata or Christmas tree Kalanchoe,originating in Africa and Asia, produces yellow flowers. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or Madagascar widow’s-thrill,can grow in partial shade and sandy soil. It producesreddish-orange flowers. Kalanchoe x houghtonii is also known as mother ofmillions or devil’s backbone. Leaves are arched and boatshaped with plantlets growing from leaf margins. Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi or lavender scallops have bluegreen, oblong leaves with conspicuous teeth aroundthe margins. Kalanchoe beharensis, or elephant ear, is a slow-growingtreelike shrub capable of reaching 12 feet in height.For more information visit,

Go Spot a Kite!By Kathy Oliver, Program Assistant, Urban HorticultureSpringtime in Florida marks the return ofthe swallow-tailed kite (Elanoidesforficatus), one of our most graceful andeasily identified raptors. This gliding birdswoops low to the ground or just abovethe treetops, giving us good looks at itsblack and white plumage, long narrowwings, and deeply forked tail. Its prey istypically flying insects, so it lacks theferocious talons and beak of otherraptors such as hawks and eagles. It issuper-aerobatic turning sharply with atwist of the tail or flipping backwards topursue grasshoppers and dragonflies.The kite may also pluck reptiles,amphibians, and nestling birds from thebranches of trees.Photo: Andy Morffew/Flickr Creative CommonsPhoto: www.peregrinefund.orgThe swallow-tailed kite is a master of theair, staying aloft with few wing beats andrarely alighting except to roost or nest. Itdrinks water by skimming the surface ofponds. Mating pairs construct nests intrees of lowland swamps and pine forestsand line the insides with Spanish mossand lichen. Several pairs may nestnearby, choosing the tallest trees in thearea. Here is a fun fact: they often carrywhole wasp nests to their own nestwhere the larvae are consumed or fed toyoung birds.Although the kites range into othersoutheastern states, Florida is the bestplace to see them. In late summer orearly fall, the birds migrate to SouthAmerica for the winter months.Protection of bottomland hardwood andnatural pine forests is essential to theconservation of this magnificent species.7

JuneCALENDAROFEVENTSDateTime1st Saturday10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.ndEventth2 &4Saturday10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.2nd Saturday10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.SaturdayJune 39:30-11:30 a.m.SaturdayJune 1010:00 a.m.-NoonWednesdayJune 1410:00-11:00 a.m.SaturdayJune 179:30 -11:00 a.m.SaturdayJune 17Noon-1:30 p.m.TuesdayJune 2010:00 a.m.August 9Gardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.Ask a Master Gardener – Rocky Bluff Library – 6750 US Highway 301 N., Ellenton. Visit the Extension MasterGardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.Ask a Master Gardener – South Manatee Library – 6081 26th Street West, Bradenton. Visit the Extension MasterGardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.Is Your Turf Troubling You? – Learn the cultural requirements for Bahia, St. Augustine, and Zoysia grasses anddiscuss the common summer diseases and insect problems for each. 5.00 fee covers materials on each type ofturfgrass. Register online at or call the Extension Master Gardeners at (941)722-4524.Landscaping to Attract Wildlife - Would you like to learn more about how to turn your backyard into a refugefor wildlife? This workshop provides you with tips for creating a habitat for Florida’s birds and beasts. Class is freebut if interested in “Doing Something Wild” in your backyard and applying to have your yard recognized in thefuture as a Backyard Habitat, complete the online application for a 5 fee to cover the cost of shipping andmaterials. Register online at or call the Extension Master Gardeners at (941)722-4524.What is the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program? A Meet and Greet - What does it take tobecome a Master Gardener? It takes a special gardener who want to expand their gardening knowledge andshare it with the community. Come and learn about this University of Florida volunteer program to extendhorticulture outreach into our community. Open to Manatee County residents only. Register online at or call the Extension Master Gardeners at (941) 722-4524.Tillandsia “Make and Take” – Learn about these lovely epiphytes that only require air and water to live. Thisis a “make and take” workshop where you will create a wreath using Tillandsia plants. Bring wire cutters andpliers. 35 advance payment for materials due by June 9. Check or cash only – make checks payable to Friends ofExtension. Register online at or call the Extension Master Gardeners at (941)722-4524.Growing Staghorn Ferns –Have you always loved the look of staghorn ferns but never knew how to care forthem? In this workshop, you will learn how to mount a staghorn on wood and take home your own plant. Space isLimited! 20 advance payment for plant and mounting materials due by June 9 (cash or check only, payable toFriends of Extension). Register online at or call the Extension Master Gardeners at(941) 722-4524.Monthly Guided Tours of the Master Gardener Educational Gardens - Join us for a guided tour lastingabout one hour. The gardens illustrate a variety of garden styles and techniques, demonstrate Florida-FriendlyLandscaping principles, educate residents about plants that perform well in Florida landscapes, and inspiregarden visitors to follow recommended gardening practices at home. Register by calling the Extension MasterGardener Plant Diagnostic Clinic (941) 722-4524.We’ve Got A Good Thing Growing!StartingWednesdayAsk a Master Gardener – Island Library – 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Visit the Extension Master8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.Become a Master Gardener and “get a good thing growing!” We are accepting applications for the ManateeCounty Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program. This is a 14-week course that will meet weekly onWednesdays. The 200 fee covers all textbooks and program materials. Call Cindy Mozeleski (941) 722-4524 tohave an application mailed to you or download an application today! Visit: and garden/master-gardener/index.shtml.University of Florida IFAS Extension - Manatee County1303 17th St. W., Palmetto, FL 34221 Telephone: (941) 722-4524Web site: E-mail: ManateeMG@gmail.comThe Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with nondiscrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations.

Special events are held at the gardens: plant sales, concerts, and art exhibits. And best of all, botanical gardens provide us with a relaxing and peaceful green area to get away from urban pressures. The best-known botanical garden in our area is Selby Gardens, which was opened to the public in July 1975. William and Marie Selby owned

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