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Category: Horticulture

Planting Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterflies are endangered due to habitat loss across their range. Not just in their forested overwintering grounds in Mexico, but also where they migrate and reproduce here in North America including the Jacksonville area. One of the most important things we can do to combat monarch habitat loss in North America is to increase the presence of a type of plant commonly known as milkweed.  Milkweed is the only plant on which monarchs lay their eggs and the only plant their caterpi... Read More
at 8/25/22

~Leaf~ Southern Live Oaks Alone

Nothing can compete with the Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) for beauty, shade and wildlife habitat. In spring, however, this giant of the southern landscape presents a challenge: leaf litter! As annoying as this may be, some understanding might be helpful. Live Oaks are truly deciduous trees. The term “live” refers to the tree staying green year-round. Unlike other species, these oaks shed leaves in early spring rather than fall, and new leaf buds appear at the same time, having t... Read More
at 3/17/22

The Rare Butterfly Amaryllis is in Bloom

Fellow gardeners, horticulturists and plant nerds love to grow new plants! And we also enjoy showing them and telling people about them. One such new plant for us has just bloomed in our greenhouse. Unfortunately for you, we do not have this plant in a garden for you to drool over. Someday though. But for now, I can share a photo from the greenhouse and tell you about this really cool plant. This is the butterfly amaryllis, also commonly known as Papilio amaryllis an... Read More
at 2/21/22

How to Plant a Tree in Florida

Providing shade, wildlife habitat and aesthetics; trees are an important part of any landscape. Having a basic knowledge of tree selection, planting and care are important to keep your trees healthy and vigorous. Generally, the winter months in Florida are a great time to plant a tree, though really any time of year works too! Trees should be chosen carefully to avoid having specimens that will one day be too large for their chosen location. Often trees are planted too close to hom... Read More
at 1/11/22

Beautifying the Parking Lot

In November, our horticulture team began planting trees in our newly renovated parking lot. The City of Jacksonville Tree Commission awarded us with a Tree Planting Program Grant in October, and our plan includes 246 trees representing 13 species. Of the 13 species, 12 are native to north Florida and one is a non-native Florida Friendly species.    As of December, we have planted 56 cabbage palms, 12 sand live oaks, 12 yaupon hollies and 12 vitex.  Trees st... Read More
at 12/21/21

A Plant that Can Lose 97 Percent of its Moisture?

The resurrection fern is one of my favorite plants.  It frequently looks like dead moss coating the upper side of trees, such as live oaks. A few hours after a nice rain, it turns into a lush verdant green coat growing on those same trees. Resurrection ferns do no harm to trees and are not parasitic. They provide their own nutrients from the air and moisture on tree branches. Currently, they are even under scientific investigation for various medicinal and cosmetic benefits. Resurrecti... Read More
Posted by Emily Long at 11/23/21

Gardener's Corner: How to Help Pollinators

Did you know that pollinators facilitate 90% of the world’s flowering plant production? And one in three bites of food are directly from pollinators?   Pollinators consist of bats, birds, bees, butterflies and beetles. Throughout Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, you can normally spot our pollinators moving around in the morning from garden to garden, with Riverview Garden being one of the more active areas. It has a multitude of plant species that pollinators tend to go to collect ne... Read More
at 8/25/21