Coastal and Tropical South

October, 2010
Regional Report

Web Finds

Alabama Cooperative Extension
Those who cultivate wildflowers or simply appreciate them find plenty to love in autumn. Our awareness of native plants grows each year, thankfully, since current research indicates that one-fifth of the world's plants face the threat of extinction. Science Daily reports on a global analysis of these risks conducted by the Royal Botanic Gardens, London, and the IUCN indicating that plants are as threatened as mammals. The axiom "think globally, act locally" can be put to work in your own backyard, growing the native wildflowers from our regions, particularly those that are threatened by loss of habitat. This article at Alabama Cooperative Extension Service is a great place to start. The explanations of different sorts of wildflower gardens are clear and concise, and many of the plants cited are also native across the Southern Coasts, including the list of endangered species of Alabama.

Favorite or New Plant

Moonlight Philodendron
After I did a recent television segment on WLOX Biloxi, several people wrote to me asking about the 'Moonlight' philodendron I repotted on the program. Its charms are many! Moonlight's new leaves are creamy pale yellow and age through several shades as new ones replace them. The result is a tower of spade-shaped leaves in every shade, and it is lovely. Like other philodendrons, Moonlight thrives in moderate light conditions and needs only average amounts of water and fertilizer. Pot philodendrons in organic, fertile potting mix, preferably in a plastic pot to prevent drying out. Water thoroughly, but not until the soil feels dry to the touch. Add soluble fertilizer once a month. Add one to your indoor plant collection; philodendrons are superior air cleaners, too.

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