Caladium Workshop

Caladium Workshop – July 8th

The Hotter the Better!

Learn how to apply tropical colors to your summer garden!

White Queen Caladium

White Queen Caladium

Caladium Workshop, Sat. July 8 , 9:30 am – 11:00 am
$10 for Heathcote members
$15 for non-members
Presented by Merry Savoy

Caladiums, grown for their colorful foliage, are tropical plants that originated in the Amazon basin of South America. Caladiums are grown from tubers, commonly referred to as bulbs and are widely used in landscapes and home gardens in the south where the hot growing conditions are very favorable.
You will see numerous varieties of Caladium when you visit Heathcote such as: White Queen, Florida Moonlight, White Christmas, Fannie Munson, Miss Muffet and Cranberry Star to name a few.
Come join us and learn the history and horticulture of these spectacular heat-loving tuberous plants. Participants will plant and take home a container and additional bulbs will be for sale.

 


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Reservations: 772-464-4672

Heathcote Botanical Gardens
210 Savannah Road, Fort Pierce

Citrus Psyllid Research Garden

Did You Know…

There’s a new research garden at Heathcote!

Ladybug at Heathcote

Ladybug at Heathcote

Insect predators like the lady beetle don’t just eat pest insects; they eat a lot of nectar and pollen, too. The nutrients from pollen and nectar help them when prey insects are scarce, for reproduction, and while moving between habitats.

Joe Patt, an entomologist from the USDA Agricultural Research Service is conducting a study at Heathcote to determine if certain plants, like wild poinsettia, can be used to attract and nourish the natural enemies (like ladybugs) of the Asian citrus psyllid (pronounced ‘sil-id’). The psyllid is a tiny insect that transmits the bacterium (HLB) that causes citrus greening disease. HLB is fatal and killing citrus trees across Florida and Texas.

By itself the psyllid is not too harmful but it can carry a bacterial organism that causes huanglongbing or HLB disease and that can kill citrus trees.UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Entomologist
Beth Grafton-Cardwell
citrus psyllid

citrus psyllid

If you have citrus trees and are curious to see if psyllid are present, Grafton-Cardwell says tree owners can take a magnifying glass outside and look at new growth for small yellow eggs, sesame-seed sized yellow bugs, white curly tubules or aphid-like adults that perch with their hind legs up in the air.

The economic damage HLB has caused in Florida alone is alarming. According to University of Florida research, the disease cost the State more than $4.5 billion in lost citrus production. It led to more than 8,200 lost jobs in the 2006/07 – 2010/11 production seasons.

USDA research garden

USDA research garden at Heathcote

A number of USDA-ARS scientists among the three research units at the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, are conducting research in search of solutions to the huanglongbing problem. Let’s hope this research produces some encouraging results.

Fresh For Kids

Fresh For Kids! – 2nd Saturdays

Our new Fresh For Kids program is designed to engage multiple generations in Heathcote Botanical Garden’s mission of education and the conservation of green space. These classes are the perfect opportunity for kids to have a creative experience in the garden and are held the second Saturday of every month.

pineapple

Class #1: Growing Your Own Pineapples!

Robert Pike

Robert Pike

Our first class is lead by Heathcote member, volunteer and retired science teacher Robert H. Pike. You and your kids will be inspired and educated in the cultivation of pineapples at your own home.

Of all the fruits and vegetables Robert has grown, pineapples have been the easiest and most rewarding for him. He’s grown tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and many annuals and perennials. He’s had Mango, Orange, and Key Lime trees on his property, and has grown many herbs; but nothing has been easier than the pineapple. He says they don’t need much water or attention but they do need patience – they take 18 months to two years or more to come to fruit.

Come and learn about the interesting history of South Florida Pineapples and “plant” your own pineapple on Saturday, June 10th at 10:00am.

pineapple top

Pineapple top

The class is $5.00 for members and $10 for non-members.
Pots and soil are included.

Please note: One adult is required for every three children in the class.
Registration is required.

Grow you own pineapple!

Grow your own pineapple!

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing you need to bring is the top of a pineapple and the desire to have some fun with the family!

Amarylus

I Spy…In the Garden

What Might You See Around the Garden this Month?

Here’s a collection of interesting plants, artists, gardeners, flowers and critters that you may spot when you visit the gardens at Heathcote.

Heliconia

Heliconia at Heathcote

What’s blooming in our rainforest today?

Heliconia Humilis Illustration

Heliconia humilis (Jacquin, 1804)

Heliconias, also popularly known as lobster-claw, wild plantain or false bird-of-paradise, are an unusual looking tropical plant with banana-like leaves and beautiful, long lasting inflorescences composed of showy bracts which contain the true flowers.

They are native primarily in the American tropics from the Tropic of Cancer in Central Mexico to the Tropic of Capricorn in South America, including the Caribbean to tropical South America, as well as the Pacific Ocean Islands west to Indonesia. There are between 100 and 200 species in the genus.

These plants are not necessarily a good choice for every yard. They will need an area where they can spread 3 feet or more. If you have the room, let them naturalize an area for a very unique and tropical look.

On average, Heliconia can grow to about 3 or 4 feet tall, though some varieties can get much larger. The “Lobster Claw,” with its unique claw-like flowers, can grow 6 feet tall, and other types as much as 15 feet.

Heliconia is named after Mount Helicon, the seat of the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts and sciences in Greek mythology.

Come visit our rainforest to see the heliconia in person.

Surinam Cherry Bonsai detail

The Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree

Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree

The Surinam Cherry bonsai is a sub-tropical evergreen with dark green ovate leaves formed in pairs and thin, tan-colored, peeling bark. In the spring it bears small white flowers which are followed by red edible fruit. It is a popular landscape tree in the southern part of the United States and is highly recommended for those wanting an outdoor tropical bonsai as it has a long life and is relatively easy to grow.

Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree

Surinam cherries, also known as the Pitanga, are small, red, ribbed berries that look very similar to a cherry. Their taste, however, is very different. Some say they are tart and acidic with a taste much like a green bell pepper, others say it tastes like a mango. The fruit is also rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. The tropical Surinam cherry is related to the guava, clove, allspice and eucalyptus plants. The name is deceptive since it’s actually not related to sweet or sour cherries.

The Surinam cherry is named for the northern country in South America where it is believed to have originated. It naturally grows in neighboring French Guiana and Guyana and can be found as far south as Uruguay and Argentina.

The leaves of the Surinam cherry contain various essential oils such as turpentine in the form of polyterpenes and sequiterpenes; citronella which is known to repel insects.

 

Come and visit the James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery here at Heathcote and see this beautiful bonsai for yourself.

 

Peace Lily

Blooming in White

Here are some of the white flowers currently blooming in Heathcote’s gardens.

The Queen Emma Lily (named for the consort of King Kamehameha IV) is a type of crinum lily, or spider lily.

The White Geiger Texas Olive tree is native to Mexico and Texas and commonly called the Texas Wild Olive. In Southern Florida it is referred to as “White Geiger.”

The Peace Lily is named for its flamboyant white blooms, which resemble flags of peace.

Delphiniums are perennials grown for their showy spikes of colorful summer flowers in gorgeous shades of blue, pink, white, and purple. Very young delphinium plants and delphinium seeds are poisonous. If ingested, they can cause nausea, twitching muscles, paralysis, and even death.

Water Jasmine is the common name for Wrightia Religiosa, the variety we use for bonsai. One of the reasons this tropical bonsai is popular throughout the world is due to its beautiful flowers which smell “as sweet as jasmine.”

Come visit these beautiful white blooming flowers and much more. We are open Tuesday – Sunday. View our hours, admission prices and pet policy here.

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