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SEE NATIVE LANDSCAPE PHOTOS IN THE MODELS SECTION OR THE LANDSCAPES DESIGNS PAGE

CURRENT FEATURE
Recovery of plants after being under tenting for termites (and other disasters).

This feature was prompted by a client's request to try to save his plants that would be enclosed in the termite tenting. Fortunately most of them were Coontie and Beautyberry. The Coontie is of course a prehistoric plant and is still around due to the ability it evolved to be burned to the ground in forest fires and spring back to life almost immediately thereafter.

The Beautyberry is a tender shrub with minty leaves that is native from Florida all the way up to Virginia. Needless to say, beyond North Florida, it usually will freeze to the ground in the cold winters. It then proceeds to re-grow to its previous full size in the Spring and Summer there. So though these were already 13 years old, I was fairly confident that the best way to protect them from the tenting for termites was to simply cut the whole plant to the ground.

Photos below will attest to the success of this practice. There is also an example of radical defoliation to rid a plant of persistent pest infestations, and one showing the surprising results of saving a stump!

In fact, I always instruct clients new to the 'will to survive' of native plants to not rush to judgment when a flood or freeze turns a plant brown. Best is to just leave it be for 4 to 6 months. If you absolutely can't stand to look at the brown and/or leafless bush, then scratch the stems at ever lower positions until you find green inside. Then you can trim of the upper parts that are really dead. Even if it appears to be totally dead, cut it to the ground, but leave the stump. You might be surprised after a while when new foliage springs out of the ground.

Beautyberry Cut to ground

Here mature Beautyberry plants have been cut to the ground.

Beautyberry's new sprouts

4 weeks later they are already putting out new shoots.

Beautyberry fully recovered

4 months later they have recovered their original fullness and 3/4 of their original height.

Coontie plant Cut to ground

Here a 13 year old Coontie has been cut to the ground to be within the termite tenting..

Coontie fully recovered

4 months later the Coontie has recovered to its full original size.

Fiddlewood plant recovered from white fly

After planting this Fiddlewood, it suffered repeated devestating infestations of white fly. So, finally I gave it one more chance, and stripped all of its foliage from it, sealed the infested leaves in a plastic bag for removal. I haven't seen a whitefly on it in over 12 years now.

Coontie fully recovered

Long ago someone cut a large Florida Red Cedar down to the ground but left the stump there. The Cedar fully recovered, this time with multiple trunks

Coontie fully recovered

With a low fence hiding the base, it now looks like a sizable stand of Cedar trees.

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