Why Florida Pitch Apple Is Sarasota’s “Signature” Plant

Sarasota Pitch Apple shrubs in oasis setting
A row of Florida Pitch Apple shrubs surrounds this cozy Sarasota oasis.

Sarasota homeowners sign off on Florida Pitch Apple for its hardy good looks and versatility of being grown as a shrub, hedge or tree. But did you know you can actually “sign” its leathery leaves?

Yes, you can throw a memorable autograph party in your backyard and invite guests to sign your “Autograph Plant,” the fun nickname for Pitch Apple. Just hand your friends a toothpick or wooden skewer and ask them to etch their names on the leathery leaves. Eventually their signature will lighten and make your Pitch Apple a keepsake plant of sorts. And your guests will love coming back to see if their names are still there.

Florida Pitch Apple
Write on: A small wooden skewer makes the perfect writing instrument.

Autograph please!

After signing the Pitch Apple “Autograph Plant,” your name will eventually turn lighter. A great conversation starter for Sarasota outdoor parties.

Hedge or tree: It’s your choice.

But that’s just one interesting feature of Florida Pitch Apple. You can grow your Pitch Apple as a dense hedge or train it as a tree with a strong single trunk. It’s a drought-tolerant evergreen that’s highly resistant to disease and insects. And coastal homeowners love it for its salt-resistant nature.

Florida Pitch Apple hedge serves as excellent privacy screen for Sarasota residences.
This Florida Pitch Apple hedge serves as an excellent privacy screen.

Either way, branches are impressive, spreading wide from 15 to 25 feet and reaching 25 to 20 feet. Make sure you plant in well-drained soil (clay, sand, loam, alkaline, acidic). It thrives in full sun to partial shade and will require pruning to achieve your desired height and shape.

Florida Pitch Apple Tree in Sarasota
You can purchase Pitch Apple trained as trees at select Florida nurseries.
Florida Pitch Apple Hedge

A Sarasota natural

These Pitch Apple shrubs are paired with a Bottlebrush tree. For a hardy evergreen with tropical flair, consider low-maintenance Pitch Apple – beautiful as either an ornamental tree or privacy screen for homes in sunny Sarasota and surrounding locales.

ArtisTree Landscape

Contact ArtisTree

Need help getting your landscape project off the ground? Browse ArtisTree’s portfolio and then call Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897 to meet with one of our award-winning designers.

ArtisTree also provides complete landscape maintenance services for HOA communities throughout Southwest Florida. Contact Michael Casper at 941.488.8897 for your custom proposal.  

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