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Picks for sun or shade

August 3, 2018
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

One easy sun plant and one easy shade plant. The plants will do well in yard or on the Florida lanai. One has beautiful sweet fruit, the other a beautiful white lily-like flower spathe.

The sweet fruit plant is the popular pineapple, Family Bromeliacea. This low herbaceous perennial will really produce tasty little pineapples. The fruit will be setting in the middle of protective spine-edged, long strappy leaves.

I have only grown this plant with variegated leaves. It makes a beautiful interesting plant for a sunny garden or full sun lanai.

It likes a kind of gritty soil that drains well. No special watering needs and a multi-use fertilizer is all I ever used, about twice a year - planting time and then again as fruit starts to appear.

It will be about 4 feet tall but you need to remember those spine edges sprawling leaves will be a nuisance planted too close to people or other plants you need to care for in near areas.

There are some mealy bugs and mites appearing, I always just use hose spray as soon as they appear. In the soil they may attract nematodes. I never had any trouble and other family members never were bothered with the troublesome nematodes, however keep watch of plant's health when you see the cute little pineapple tart to appear, setting on its little rosette throne it is such fun.

Best started in early spring and takes a few weeks to get started. Usually easy to find in big box stores.

While clearing out summer gardens and gearing up for fall, remember to leave some space. Or maybe buy a wooden barrel on sale to use later, they are always good places to store things until needed.

The light shade plant is the Peace lily, Spathiphyllum. Family is Araceae. My plant is over 10 ears old, yes, really, the only plant in a pot I have had for 10 years! Light shade, no sun.

It is a Clevelandii hybrid and grows about 30 inches when in full bloom and healthy. I say healthy because it has had a few hard dry spells where it kind of thins out. However, when one keeps it watered frequently, as one should, it is nice and full of green, kind of narrow dark almost shiny leaves. Plant flowers off and on, mostly in the spring and summer. Several grouped in a shady garden are nice.

There is a dwarf type, with matte green wider leaves that will tolerate more light. Still needs frequent watering, and both do well with fertilizing every 2 months. Not a bloom fertilizer.

The brilliant white spathe is beautiful, sometimes they appear to be a light green shade, at their discretion.

This is a nice gift plant. I received mine after the loss of a family member, and a peace plant was just the right thing. Thanks potpourri friends.

Still hot, and more green sludge is coming down the pike this week. Such a mess for everyone.

Use sunscreen, stay in shade and maybe a green clothespin for some.

Till we meet again.

H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.

 
 
 

 

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