S & J Nurserys Guide to Growing
in the Northeast Florida Jacksonville
| St. Augustine area Landscape
(Ligustrum sinense “Sunshine”)
Sunshine Ligustrum Origins:
– Ligustrum sinense is native to China, Vietnam and Lous. It is considered an invasive species in Florida and planting should be avoided. Sunshine Ligustrum is a STERILE SELECTION of ligustrum sinense that is a Florida Friendly landscape plant selection and can safely be planted in our Northeast Florida Landscapes with out fear of it invading our forested areas. It was a naturally occuring sport or mutation of ligustrum sinense with a compact growth habit, bright lime green or cheurtreuse foliage that does not produce blooms and fruits.
See more about its origins in the patent information here
Preferred Exposure of the Sunshine Ligustrum Plant in Northeast Florida Landscapes:
– Ligustrum will tolerate full sun to partial shade situations in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine areas gardens. Sunshine Ligustrum will have its best coloration in full all day sun or morning shade with afternoon sunshine.
Foliage of the Sunshine Ligustrum:
–Small brightly colored foliage with a scalloped edge that adds some texture to the foliage in the landscape. New growth emerges a bright golden yellow and ages to a medium yellow green. Will be darker colored in the shade.
Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of Sunshine Ligustrum Plants:
– Ligustrum will prefer well drained soils but is not particular about the makeup or content of that soil. It tolerates clay, sand, loam acidic or alkaline conditions equally well as long as they do not hold water after heavy rains.
– Not recommended for use in poorly drained areas that will stay wet during our heavy rain season. If you just must plant Ligustrum into a moist area raise it 3-6 inches above the existing soil level to help its roots get up out of the water after a rain.
– Not salt tolerant
Size Variance of Sunshine Ligustrum:
– Ligustrum sinense ‘ Sunshine ‘ can reach sizes of 3-6 feet High | 3-4 feet Wide
Growth Habit o the Ligustrum Sunshine:
– Upright rounded
Growth Rate of Sunshine Ligustrum:
– Fast growing shrub quickly establishes itself into the landscape. Expect 6-10 inches of growth in a year and the plant to reach maturity in its second or third year in the landscape when planted from a three gallon container.
Blooms / Fruits of the Sunshine Ligustrum :
– STERILE CULTIVAR THAT DOES NOT PRODUCE BLOOMS AND FRUITS
Water Requirements of Sunshine Ligustrum:
– Ligustrum sinense is drought tolerant once established into the landscape. Good choice for low water areas as they will continue to grow well once supplemental irrigation is reduced.
– Will not tolerate wet soils even for short periods.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– This one is a little confusing because the Southern Living page as of today 1/28/21 lists it as butterfly and bird attracting but it is sterile with no blooms and no fruits unless the birds particularly like it for shelter or twigs and there is a butterfly that is capable of using it as a larval food then that is not actually possible. Maybe one of you could shine a light on this for me, as I know of no such butterfly or bird use or possibly it is an oversight on the part of the patent holder on their marketing web page? I just don’t know.
Best Uses For Sunshine Ligustrum:
– Sunshine Ligustrum is a great choice for a fast growing shrub or small tree. Their dense foliage and bushy characteristics make for an excellent landscape plant.
-Use them as the backdrop to the perennial border or as a hedge screen that is just perfect for a fairly quick privacy fence.
–Excellent choice for a small landscape specimen tree as its root system is not invasive it can be planted close to the foundation of a home or sidewalk etc. with no damage.
– These fast growing plants flush new growth within a few weeks after a pruning so if attempting to keep them as a foundation plant remember to prune down 4-6 inches beneath where you would like to see their growth be to give yourself some time before the next pruning is needed.
– Few pest or disease problems can trouble ligustrums in the North Florida
Care of S & J Nursery’s North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine Shrubs:
– Shrubs can be planted in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St.Augustine area at any time during the year. In normal and well draining soils dig the hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. Plant the top of the root ball level or slightly higher than the surrounding soils. When
planting in poorly drained soils make sure to plant your shrubs a minimum of 3 inches ABOVE the surrounding soil level.
– Water every day during the establishment period. For most 3 gallon size shrubs in the North Florida landscape in average soil, that is neither heavy clay that holds water or really sandy that will take 2-3 weeks of daily watering to ensure that your newly planted shrub will begin to put out new roots and grow into its new home happily. After the first few weeks begin tapering back your watering to every other day then every third day and so on until your newly planted items are flourishing without your assistance.
– If planting larger shrubs you may need to extend the initial care a bit longer to protect your investment and get your shrubs off to the best start possible.
– IMPORTANT: If planting shrubs in heavy clay soils that hold allot of water after a rain or irrigating, remember to check the soil for moisture by sticking your fingers into the soil near the root ball of the newly planted shrub down to 2-3 inches. If it remains wet from the previous watering wait for the top 2-3 inches to dry out before watering again.
– IMPORTANT: When planting shrubs into poor sandy soils be sure to amend the planting hole by mixing compost or cow manure etc. with the native soil that will go back in the hole around the new plants root ball when installing your shrub material, this will not only give your new shrubs good soil to grow its new roots into but help it hold water.
– When planting shrubs from containers be sure to loosen the roots as much as possible pulling loose roots away from the root ball before installing your new plants, if the roots are to
tight to easily loosen with your hands use a knife to cut a few slits into the root ball being careful to go all the way from the top to the bottom and making the cut at least an inch deep. This will ensure that your plant
will immediately begin to form new roots into its new surrounding soil.
– Mulch newly planted shrubs whenever possible.
– Fertilize each spring with a mixture of milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.
– Prune as needed to shape each spring and or summer.