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Three Tricks to Growing Healthy Cycads

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald Cycads are among the oldest plants on earth, often called "living fossils." Living in almost any condition, these plants are extremely hardy. If they were tough enough to survive the conditions that ended the dinosaur dynasty, they can live through almost anything. Yet today, habitat destruction threatens the survival of these sturdy plants. Despite their toughness, many cycad collections are suffering in cultivation. Incorrect gardening habits foster...

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Many Choices Now for Your Back Yard Mango Tree

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

 South Florida is one of the few mainland areas of the United States in which the delicious and fragrant mango can be properly grown. For years they have been of great value in South Florida. Grown with pride in the garden, they are eaten as fruit when ripe and as a vegetable when green. Nothing compares to the delicacy of a fresh Cogshall or Rosigold mango harvested directly from the tree. Today we are privileged to have mango varieties with superior ...

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Fixing Tree Damage After A Hurricane

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, with the fiercest storms doing their damage from August to October. They often wreak terrible damage on South Florida trees and landscapes. The wreckage may make you feel helpless, but there are steps you can take to minimize the damage. Trees that have been uprooted and toppled should be your first priority. First, determine whether it is worth the time, effort and money to rescue the downed tree. If yes, then the tree should ...

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Helping Your Garden Look Its Best

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald Summer in South Florida means an explosion of growth in our gardens caused by high humidity, warm temperatures and abundant rains. Plants thrive this time of year and use the rains and warm weather to produce most of their growth for the year. Because this is such a good time for growth, here are several actions you can take in your garden to make sure it is getting what it needs. Fertilize Because plants are growing so rapidly during the summer, they may ...

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Never Mind the Heat, Summer is the Best Time to Garden

Monday, August 6, 2012

As Published in the Miami Herald It's not the heat, it's the humidity - a common lament of South Floridians who complain that walking from the office to the car may result in an involuntary five-minute sauna. The heat can be brutal this time of year, but when compared with the triple-digit temperatures of many other parts of the United States, I will take our wet, humid summers to their record-setting drought, oven-set-to-broil temperatures every time. While others may find...

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Mimosa as a groundcover

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mimosa strigillosa's puffball flower. Just before the rain Friday morning, few butterflies were on the wing in the butterfly garden, but the gray skies evened out the light so the flowers looked wonderful. The small Mimosa strigillosa flowers were perfectly beautiful. This is a mat-forming legume that is a great groundcover candidate, and it may be a host for the Little Yellow butterfly, Eurema lisa. I've planted some in a sunny part of our yard, with the hope that it will creep across ...

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Fairchild's Bird Festival

Monday, August 20, 2012

Join us October 6 and 7, 2012 for a weekend of bird filled fun at Fairchild's Bird Festival! Lifelong "birders" and bird novices alike are invited to celebrate the incredible variety of birds that visit the South Florida region. The weekend's events include guided bird walks with an expert "birder," and bird-related lectures and presentations, as well as an array of bird attracting plants for your backyard, kid's activities and much more! A highlight of...

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Tropical Garden Summer 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

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FIU-Fairchild Faculty Join Conference in Jamaica

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Between August 20 and 24, the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) organized a conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's Independence. The conference aimed to discuss challenges in science, education and development. Two of the FIU-Fairchild faculty (Dr. Eric Von Wettberg and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega) were invited to this conference as part of an initiative to enhance academic links between FIU,...

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Whew!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Beautiful big leaves of the white elephant palm. One of the attractions of Kerriodoxa elegans, the white elephant palm, is its huge round leaves. They are green above and whitish-silver below and can stretch across several feet. They are held up on dark brown/black petioles that arise straight from the ground. Originating in the understory of Thai rainforests in and near Phuket, this palm loves shade and protection from wind. My anxiety over hurricanes increases at this time every year, and ...

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ASHS Annual Conference

Friday, August 31, 2012

The 109th Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science was recently held July 31-August 3 at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, Florida, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden helped host the venerable event. The ASHS Conference provides attendees a wonderful opportunity to share science and education, network with colleagues, and to reinforce the future of horticultural science. This year's meeting was a huge success and more than one thousand researchers came...

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