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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Springing into April Easter Weekend 2015

At left, our set up at Tropiflora Nursery Spring Plant Sale this past weekend. We had a fabulous time and record sales and are so grateful that so many people came out, as well as thankful to Mother Nature that we did not get a total rainout on Friday !

As well, the guys in the band (ie armstrong nursery), Mitch, Larry & Jeremy ran the Greenfest Show in downtown Tampa and did equally as well.

Pulling off 2 big shows in one weekend is exhausting but we managed to do both and hopefully the scheduling next year with event promoters will not be so challenged with overlap.

It's Hollyhock season and hundreds went home with happy customers. Many have asked for a recap about these beautiful plants and their care:

Tropical Hollyhocks WILL do well in Florida (you can also take them up north, but alas, the "northern" hollyhocks will not do well here).  They love our sun and warmth and can be planted anywhere from full sun to part sun, will take some dapple shade too. They root quickly into the ground, but for many who don't have the space, they will do well in containers too.  Just make sure you have good drainage.  So, what about the blooming timing?  Most of the current stock is in full bud with color already showing. The blooms usually start from the bottom and/or the middle of the plant and go upward.  As the bloom fades, the seed pod forms directly behind the bloom. You can pull off the spent bloom or let it fall.

Now comes the good part:  If you want to get seeds to resow more hocks, you must leave the seed pod on the stem to mellow into a light brown papery shade. You can check for viability by opening one of the seed pods...if it is dark brown/black, then you know it is viable and you can remove to sow the seed into the ground or your pot. Once the whole plant has gone to seed, cut the main plant back about 1/2 way. You should get new growth from the base, and the process starts all over again.

If the plant does completely subside, no worries, cut it off at ground level, it will come back ! We have had customers give us feedback that their Hocks have continue to come back and re-bloom for years ! We will continue to have Hollyhocks through the time of the Green Thumb festival in different colors, Pink, apricot, Purple and dark red. Due to the nature of these being hybrids, the color variation may vary from lighter to darker hues.

So, what's next?  This weekend, Sat. April 4th, we are back at Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete, back on the lot at Al Lang Stadium.  We continue to have glorious Starburst Clerodendron, Perennial Morning Glories, Passion Vines, Herbs, perennials and some especially gorgeous bushes of Variegated Confederate Jasmine who's aromatic blooms are to die for !

Upcoming, the following weekend, we will be at the Wintergarden Spring Plant sale in downtown Wintergarden on Sat & Sun April  11th & 12, and don't forget, Green Thumb Festival here in St. Pete is happening on Sat & Sun April 25 & 26th !

Happy Easter Weekend !

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