ARTISTREE SPOTLIGHT: Joe Mantkowski

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ArtisTree Landscape Designer Joe Mantkowski grew up in Southwest Florida, helping his dad with their growing landscape business. His lifetime of working around the area’s lush landscapes inspired Joe to seek a career in the green industry, and now as a successful landscape designer, he serves many of the region’s most discerning clients and luxury builders. When meeting with clients, Joe quickly gets to the pertinent questions of color and design preferences, then moves on to the Continue Reading

FAN-SHAPED CARANDAY PALM ATTRACTS SARASOTA FANS

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Stand up and give this cold-hardy, rare palm a big hand. The crowd-pleasing Caranday palm (copernicia alba) is perfect for your Sarasota landscape.  Planted as a primary focal point or in a group, we guarantee this gorgeous specimen (which can withstand temperatures below freezing) will not only elicit big oohs and aahs from your neighbors, but also draw you outside to simply just gaze at it. Native to South America, the Caranday palm has a, gray, hardy trunk topped with fan-shaped fronds Continue Reading

CHILL OUT YOUR FLORIDA LANDSCAPE WITH ASIAN SNOW

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Looking for a versatile show-stopper that will freeze you in your tracks? Consider Asian Snow -- a rare tropical shrub boasting delicate, star-shaped blooms all year long. Also known as Snowflake, Arctic Snow and Milky Way, this little beauty is a nice breath of fresh air amidst the usual green tropical plants that Floridians are so accustomed to. Its snowy white flowers are so simple in form, yet so attractive in sheer numbers when planted near dark green foliage. You’ll also be delighted Continue Reading

BEE INFORMED: WHY YOUR SW FLORIDA LANDSCAPE NEEDS POLLINATORS

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Bees can get a bad reputation for their painful sting; however, their presence in your Southwest Florida landscape is extremely important to our eco-system. As Einstein once said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” Well, bees are disappearing, but creating a garden that attracts bees and other pollinators can help. So, how do you attract pollinators to your landscape? ArtisTree has a few tips. •Use plants that require Continue Reading

THE BLOOM IS RARELY OFF THIS ROSE: MEET A FRAGRANT FLORIDA DELIGHT

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Decisions, decisions. Should you keep her trimmed as a hedge or let her grow into a wispy accent shrub? Either way, Panama Rose will grace your Southwest Florida landscape with fragrant and showy blooms while attracting spellbound butterflies with her delectable nectar. Originally from Mexico, Panama Rose (also known as bush pentas) is an evergreen shrub loaded with star-shaped flowers bundled into bright pink clusters. If you plant her in well-drained soil with partial to full sun, she’ll Continue Reading

UNLEASH COLOR IN YOUR LANDSCAPE WITH TROPICAL DOGWOOD

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How many names can one plant have? Well, the Tropical Dogwood (Mussaenda erythrophylla) has many— from Red Velvet, Prophet’s Tears, Virgin Tree to Red Flag Bush and Ashanti Blood among others. A cousin to coffee, gardenia, pentas and ixora, Tropical Dogwoods have a vibrant and showy bract (like bougainvillea) that surrounds the petite flower. Star-like blooms are typically cream or yellow and can reach widths of seven inches when combined with their bracts. Tropical Dogwood is commonly pruned Continue Reading

GOT CHINCH BUGS? DON’T LOSE HEART.

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The first order of business is to determine what’s eating your gorgeous St. Augustine. Chinch bug infestations resemble drought or brown patch, so you just need to throw down some fertilizer and water, right? Nope, that’s not going to work. You’ll need to find someone who uses the best product available and knows how and when to apply it. Could be you or could be a turf expert – the choice is yours! Background: Chinch bugs love excessive nitrogen in fertilizer and areas of drought-stressed Continue Reading

JABOTICABA WILL GET YOU INTO A JAM

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The name may be hard to say, but this fruit tree’s simple pleasures (translate: jams and jellies) make up for it. What is the Jaboticaba? The myrtle family (myrtaceae) is home to the Surinam Cherry, Guava and plants that produce clove and allspice; however, the Jaboticaba tree is one of its most unusual members.  This difficult to pronounce name (try saying it three times in a row) is little known outside its native Brazil but grows quite nicely in Southwest Florida, particularly in areas Continue Reading

MILLIPEDES- THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

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Some of you may have seen them before – those worm-like critters that crawl out of mulch beds or decaying material to search for higher ground. They’re called yellow-banded millipedes and are driven indoors by rain or other weather changes. Millipedes:  What you should know The good news is that millies are harmless. They’re arthropods, not insects, and are considered a beneficial organism, not a plant pest. The bad news is that millies can become an indoor nuisance, climbing up walls Continue Reading

OLD MAN PALM & THE SEA

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Standing tall with a bearded trunk emerging straight from the ground, the Old Man palm is perfect for your seashore residence. Just a heads up, though: This particular Old Man has been known to dominate conversations based on his looks alone. Five-foot spiky flower sprays spring right out of his crown, and widespread fronds – emerald green on top and silvery green on the bottom – jut straight out of his trunk. If you think one Old Man looks good, wait until you see several in a group setting. Continue Reading