Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Century Plant May 'Re-Bloom'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Century Plant May 'Re-Bloom'

Article excerpt

Byline: ELLEN DUDEK

Q: My century plant recently bloomed. Can I remove the bloom stalk? Will it bloom again?

Your century plant belongs to an incredibly diverse group of rosette-forming perennials in the genus Agave. The name agave is derived from the Greek language meaning "noble" referring to their tall flower stalk. Some of the larger agaves have flower stalks up to 40 feet tall. The rosette, or base, of the plant may live many years before flowering. The common name, century plant, is based on the belief that the plants grow for 100 years before blooming. However, some of the smaller agaves will bloom after 3 years, but the larger of the species may require 40 to 50 years before blooming. Each rosette will flower only once and then die, so removing the stalk will not harm the plant. Many agaves send off "baby plants," along the base of the original plant, that will bloom in time giving the appearance of re-bloom.

Q: I planted an avocado seed. The tree is 5 feet tall. When will it begin to bear fruit?

Most avocado varieties do not come true from seed, so commercial trees are propagated vegetatively. The seed you planted may or may not bear fruit but will make a nice decorative plant. Grafted trees begin to produce after three to four years. Avocado trees are a medium (30 feet) to large tree (65 feet) and are sensitive to the cold temperatures in North Florida, so they need winter protection. Some of the more cold-tolerant varieties are "Brogdon," "Gainesville," "Mexicola," and "Winter Mexican." However, it may be difficult to locate trees of these varieties.

Q: An area of my property is being invaded by a plant identified as coralberry. I tried pulling the bushes but they are too tough. What can I do?

The plant you have growing is also known as coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata). It is a small (2 to 6 feet tall) evergreen shrub native to a range from Japan to northern India used as a landscape ornamental. …

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