S & J Nurserys Guide to Growing
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii
in the Northeast Florida Jacksonville
| St. Augustine area Landscape
(Ligustrum Japonicum “Howardii”)
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Origins:
– Ligustrum Japonicum is not Native to North America but has been evaluated using the IFAS Assessment of the status of non native plants in Florida’s natural areas and found to be Florida friendly landscape plant. Howardii Ligustrum is a variegated selection of Ligustrum japonicum chosen for its bright yellow new growth that adds much needed color to our green North Florida landscapes.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Preferred Exposure:
– Ligustrum will tolerate full sun to partial shade situations in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine areas gardens.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Foliage:
-Large evergreen foliage makes Ligustrum Japonicum a showy landscape accent any time of the year. Its large leaves emerge a bright yellow and first turn to a green leaf with a yellow rim then mature to a deep dark glossy green glossy green. The showy new growth adds color to the landscape.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Ligustrum Japonicum 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.
– 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.
– Ligustrum Japonicum has a moderate salt tolerance and can be planted near coastal properties but should not com into direct contact with salt spray.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Size Variance:
– Although classified as a shrub Ligustrum Japonicum can reach sizes of 8-10’+ feet High | 6-8+ feet Wide
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Growth Habit:
– Ligustrum shrubs will need to be clipped and shaped to keep them as a squared hedge for privacy screens and foundation planting, but when lower branches are removed and it is allowed to grow as a tree a nice round head will develop.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Growth Rate:
– Fast growing shrub quickly establishes itself into the landscape.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Bloom:
– Large very fragrant, clusters of attractive white flowers cover the plant each spring followed by small purplish black berries that attract birds.
Variegated Ligustrum Howardii Water Requirements:
– Ligustrum Japonicum 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:
– Berries that follow the spring bloom persist on the tree through summer and are bird attracting.
Best Uses For Variegated Ligustrum Howardii:
– Variegated Ligustrum Howardii 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. Also a good choice for an ornamental tree where overhead power lines restrict the use of larger growing selections or for smaller yards and gardens.
– 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.