Pruning Plumbago
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The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
August 26, 2021
Upcoming Events  |   Creating Privacy  |   New Arrivals   |   Jobs at Kerby's
Pruning Plumbago
by Joey Bokor

Do you have a plant that brings a memory to mind just by hearing the name? In my family it is Plumbago. A few weeks ago, we posted a picture of Blue Plumbago on our social media feeds and the first person to comment on it was my brother. He said, 'By far, my favorite'. A sarcastic comment if you knew the backstory . . .

I grew up over in Town-n-Country in a subdivision called Pat Acres, where, you guessed it, each lot was an acre. Nice and big to support all manner of gardening, sports, and fun. But you've got to have privacy too, and with only a short chain link fence around the backyard, we needed a bush that could screen, but that was also pretty and tough. Enter Blue Plumbago. It's tough as nails, can take any soil condition, flowers a bunch and when you need to trim it, you can just hack it to the ground and it will come back better than ever.

Sounds easy, right? But trimming 200+ feet of plumbago is no small feat. And that's where my brother comes in. I'm not saying he got in trouble a lot, but, well, let's just say he was often gifted the task of trimming the plumbago. I mean it's so much fun trimming bushes, isn't it? We had these old, red-handled, manual hedge trimmers that were a fixture on the carport, and on a pretty regular basis, David had to get the trimmers and head out to the plumbago.

So, if you are in the presence of my family and you mention plumbago in any way, all we think of is my brother, trimming away (probably with a little attitude). And I have to admit, he wasn't the only one tasked with trimming the plumbago, it definitely went my way from time to time . . . but that's another story.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Creating Privacy

You like your neighbors, but you don't want to see everything that they do. And you probably don't want them watching you all the time either. And that's why there are privacy hedges! Tons of options to allow what you do in your yard to stay in your yard. I know my neighbors don't want to listen to all the hooting and hollering that goes on in our yard. From the girls belting out show tunes, to the way they leave everything we own all over the ground, we'd rather keep it to ourselves. Below are some of our favorite privacy hedges.

Sweet Viburnum - I know what you are going to say. Boring. But you know what, a tried and true shrub that can take severe prunes every few years and will even survive a new septic drain-field dug right along its roots is our kind of plant. Tough as nails for any conditions Florida throws at it.

Podocarpus - For those with more refined tastes, the slender foliage of Podocarpus adds a touch of class. It is slower growing than Sweet Viburnum, so it is a great option if you want to do less trimming, but you'll have to have some patience as you wait for it to grow to its full potential.

Hibiscus - On every tropical island, you will find hibiscus. The big colorful blooms can't be beat. Most hibiscus varieties grow between 4 and 8 feet tall, depending on how you prune them, giving you great privacy and turning your backyard into a little slice of paradise. Other flowering options are Plumbago, Thryallis, and Texas Sage.

For Shade - Sometimes, you need privacy in a shady area. The above options prefer sun, but there are great plants for shade such as Dwarf Variegated Schefflera or Viburnum Suspensum. The Dwarf Schefflera is delightfully variegated and will slowly grow up to around six feet tall. Viburnum Suspensum is the slow-growing cousin of Sweet Viburnum and while it can tolerate sun, it also stays nice and full in shady areas. Other potential privacy plants for shade that also happen to be lush and tropical include Travelers Palms, White Bird of Paradise, and Areca Palms

Native - If you want to go native, then try Simpson's Stopper or Beauty Berry. Wildlife magnets, with privacy to boot that know how to take Florida weather without missing a beat.

Vines - If all you have is a very-narrow area, then consider vines. They will climb a fence or trellis for privacy in a compact space. A few options are Star Jasmine Vine, Mandevilla and Passion Flower are fast growing, full-covering options.

Bamboo - I know what you are thinking, I don't want bamboo going everywhere in my yard, but that only happens with running bamboo. All of the varieties that we carry are clumping bamboo, and while over time the clumps can get large, especially on big varieties like Giant Timber, many maintain a smaller profile.

New Arrivals
Fiesta Hibiscus

A Gorgeous Privacy Hedge
10" Pot - $19.99
Vanilla Orchid

Grow Your Own Vanilla Beans
4" Pot - $37.00

Pink Princess Philodendron

Supplies Limited
6" Pot - $127.00

Send a living gift to your favorite plant person anywhere in the lower 48 states from the Kerby's online houseplant shop. New plants added every Thursday at noon.


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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
11am - 4pm