Magnolia Trees

Magnolias are well known for their showy flowers and forms. They prefer to be planted in full sun to partial shade. In extreme heat climates, you may want to plant in an area shaded from the afternoon sun. Magnolias do well in most soils and can adapt to clay, but it's likely if the area is poorly drained your magnolia won't do well. Once established, they can tolerate slight drought conditions. Magnolias in new landscapes will need to be watered 2-3 times per week for the first 3-6 months, obviously rainfall amounts will have to factor in. Rule of thumb is 2-3 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter. Improper irrigation is the reason most newly planted trees die. Scale is a common insect on Magnolias and can be treated w...

Heat And Drought Stress

Heat stress is a problem when a lawn isn't prepared to handle the shift in temperature. As heat lingers, the effects of drought stress begin to take over. Just as people feel the effects of heat stress, so does grass, plants, and tress. Heat causes soil to dry out, so you must pay attention to rainfall amounts and water as needed. Look for indicators such as gaps in the lawn. Heat causes water to evaporate quickly which causes soil to become compacted, causing damage in the lawn. Heat stress and drought can promote excess weeds, and also insects and disease due to its weakend state. Grass, plants, and tress will show stress when the amount of water lost in transpiration is greater than the amount of water available for the...


Loropetalum is an evergreen shrub that looks good in just about any Florida landscape. It can grow 6-15 feet tall but it is usually pruned small and kept as a shrub. Overall it has burgundy foliage and produces a dark pink flower, usually in spring, so you will want to do any pruning before that. With its moderate growth rate, it works well as a screening plant, hedge, or border. Loropetalum is basically pest free but occasional invaders may need to be treated, along with regular fertilization. It prefers full sun for best blooming results, but it will also grow in partial shade and likes slightly acidic well drained soils.


Key Thatch Palm

A Florida native palm that prefers coastal and warmer areas of south Florida. Common along coastal highways, but they do make great landscape specimens. Mostly found as single trunk, they are also grown as multi trunk as well. Slow growing and great for privacy screening. The trunk is thin and narrow which makes it great for tight spaces. It tops out at about 15-20 feet with weeping fan leaves. Sun or shade locations are fine, the more shade, the slower it grows. It is cold sensitive, so protection is needed in areas of possible frost. Most soil types will accommodate this palm, but don't plant in wet areas where soil is thick, remember, most palms natural habitats are sandy soils. Fertilize on a regular basis. Insects...

Roebelinii Palm

The pygmy date palm is one of the most popular palms in small landscapes. It grows about 12 feet high with a canopy spread of about 6-8 feet. Pygmy date palms can be planted in just about any soil type and are cold hardy to 30 degrees or so. They are notorious for Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese deficiencies, so a good fertilizer program is a must. A couple diseases to watch for are butt rot which has no cure, and leaf spot which if not treated can be fatal to the palm. Mites can be an issue along with scale, so treatments with insect control and fungicides are a good idea. Newer leaflets have a whitish material on it that is often mistaken for an insect infestation, but this is just normal and comes off as the leaf ages...

You Might Have A Mite Problem

Mites usually attack the lower leave surface first, and as their population increases they move to the top. Injured leaves can appear gray, form yellow spots, become completely yellow, turn brown, growth will distort, and the leaf will eventually drop. Some mistake this for chemical damage due to the fact the symptoms can be similar meaning the distorted growth. Mites are thought to have a chemical in their salavary secreations that work as a growth regulator. When they feed, this chemical is injected into the plant killing plant cells by the minute, changing the plant cells behavior. Mites induce plant galls that develop from the injected growth regulator. This usually will not kill an entire plant or tree, normally it wi...

Growth Regulators For lawns And Landscapes

Growth regulators have been around a long time and can be very beneficial when used in a lawn and shrub care program. Growth regulators do not interfere with plant respiration, photosynthesis, or any other internal functions. Growth regulators are designed to mimic a plant hormone, slow down, or change the plant growth. They can be used on lawns to slow down growth and reduce mowing, used along edges to reduce line trimming, and used to help a lawn save it's energy during stressful periods of environmental stresses. When used on plants, it can help slow down growth to help keep their shape and reduce excessive hedging. It helps fill in lateral growth on plants to allow gaps to fill in for a fuller shrub. Blooms will last lon...

Root Rot

When a lawn starts to develop dead brown areas, the first thing people want to do is add more water. Sometimes this is the case, but not always. Grass roots rot due to too much water and this leads to fungal disease. When grass grows poorly, or has bleached or yellowing patches, it could be a sign of root rot. With high humidity and recent heavy rains, this is an all too common problem in St Augustine lawns. Take All Root Rot starts out with yellowing areas, leaf tissue may curl, and eventually areas may die. Pythium Root Rot starts like poor grass growth, but grass roots turn dark brown, and or black, and again areas may die out. Proper watering, not overwatering is very important to help control these diseases along w...

Summer Pests

Cockroaches can cause allergic reactions and also trigger asthma attacks among other things. Some cockroaches can produce up to eight generations a year. Insect controls, insect growth regulators, and baits are all means of controlling home invaders. Not all cockroaches feed on the same bait, or have the same appetite. Males forage for food leaving many harborage points, while females are less active and usually stay close to harborage areas. Being less active means less food and water which means less chance of them taking the bait. Knowing the stages and type of cockroach will greatly help in controlling them. McGuire's Beautiful Outdoors offers a quarterly pest control program to help keep all insects on the outside where t...

Sod Webworm Facts

It's tough, practically impossible to prevent the webworm moths from laying eggs in your lawn. Second generation worms overwinter in the soil, or they go deep underground in the soil to hibernate, only to return to the turf to feed and develop into moths in spring. Properly maintaining your lawn allows for a better withstanding and or better recovery from Sod Webworm damage. Once again, overfertilizing a lawn does more harm than good, it allows for excesscive growth which attracts Sod Webworms among many other insects along with diseases. Overwatering is also not good for preventing insects and diseases. Both of these factors will also create excessive thatch build up, and although Sod webworms don't necessarily feed on thatch...