Florida State flower beds edging up for winter weather
FLORIDA STATE FLOWERS DRAWING UP FOR WINTER.
The blossoms and foliage of Florida State’s flowers and shrubs are poised to bloom during the first months of fall.
But as temperatures cool, it’s going to be tough for the flowers to keep up with the heat, said David G. O’Neill, the university’s principal flower scientist.
The state has a growing backlog of more than 700 plants for the season, and the university is seeking more than 500 new plants to keep pace with demand, O’Malley said.
The plants will be used to keep plants fresh and to encourage the growth of new ones.
O’Malley and his colleagues are looking for the following plants: the new, highly coveted and sought-after Burt’s Vineyard, the new Tully’s Vine, the old Tully Vine, a few in the back yard and some on the farm.
We are working with a few garden centers to try to find new ones, he said.
But they are getting ready to close and plant all of the old plants.
For some of the plants, like the Tully, the University of Florida has offered to donate some of their produce to growers, which is an easy way to help, he added.
I think that is a great idea, said Joe C. Miller, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services plant scientist.
We are looking to get them all back on the vine and into the greenhouse.
In the past few years, the state has made strides to keep its trees and flowers healthy and beautiful.
State officials have made efforts to protect the state’s most prized flower, the jasmine, from being damaged by the high heat.
The university is doing the same, said John R. Furlong, the chief garden scientist for the state Department of Natural Resources.
“This is a critical plant for Florida, a very special flower that is very unique,” he said in an interview.
Gardeners in Florida are planting some of Florida’s most valuable and beloved shrubs and flowers.
They can now plant those plants with help from the state.
The state is providing $1 million for the first half of the season to plant a new set of bougainvillea plants, and $1.5 million for flowering and nursery plants, said Jim O. Smith, the department’s plant ecologist.
Some of the state plant scientists are hoping to get a few more plants, including the old Burt and Tully vine, on the way this spring, he noted.
Florida is one of a few states that has planted a total of 3,600 flowering plants in the past two years.
The University of Alabama planted a second set of flowering plants for its spring crop, and a third set of plants are slated for planting in April.
On the farm, the UAB plant ecologists are also working to get the new bougains and jasmines to bloom.
The department is working with growers to help them plant the new plants.