Florida anise: Illicium floridanum is the evergreen shrub that has been missing in your garden all this time.
Not only does it exhibit gorgeous foliage, but it also produces the most vibrant red flowers, additionally it has spicy scent will keep all insects at bay. Keep on reading below to learn the best professional tips for growing this plant.
- What Is Florida Anise – Illicium Floridanum?
- Florida Anise Care
What Is Florida Anise – Illicium Floridanum?
Florida Anise – Illicium Floridanum is a medium shrub that smells like burnt anise spice, its aroma is known to keep pests at bay. This is an evergreen shrub native to the US and Mexico. It produces leathery olive-green leaves all year round and bright red star-shaped flowers in the spring.
Florida Anise Care
Both tall and dwarf Florida anise plant needs partial shade and regular water when the topsoil dries. Now, to give the best care for this beautiful plant, you should read below as we have written in this article the necessary requirements in order to grow this plant.
– Light Requirements
Your anise tree likes partial light conditions the most. Direct sunshine, especially during the noon and the afternoon hours, causes sunburn, one of the major Florida sunshine anise problems. Since this plant is grown mostly outdoors, you need to arrange for some kind of shade. An example of this shade is a northern wall or a larger tree with dense overhead foliage.
Some people also keep this plant indoors, so you will have to deal with low light conditions more. To provide optimum light indoors, you need large-sized and brightly lit windows. The southern window receives the best light. You can keep your anise plant in any room or hallway lit by this window.
You would be surprised, but it is possible to grow this plant without any sunshine. Buy and install a few grow lights near this plant, preferably at the top. Go for LED or fluorescent light as per your choice. Keep these lights turned on for 12 to 14 hours a day.
– Water Requirements
A Florida star anise plant is quite drought tolerant. Still, you should water it regularly, especially in the summer when the temperatures are high. In the summertime, you will have to water it every week. However, during wintertime, your watering frequency will decrease naturally.
Make a habit of always checking how dry the soil has become every other day, this is such a great tip to prevent both under and overwatering. The easiest approach is to insert your finger into the soil’s knuckle. The more sophisticated approach is to use a moisture meter instead.
Anise Florida is tolerant of common municipal water, unlike most house plants. However, it is still safer to choose distilled or filtered water. If you collect tapwater in a bucket and leave it exposed overnight, this too makes this water a bit safer before use.
– Soil Requirements
This plant likes slightly alkaline, enriched, and well-draining soil. The ideal pH is around 6.7 to 7.0. Instead of using gardening soil, you must make your own potting mix for an improved Florida anise growth rate.
Mix one part peat, one part perlite, and one part hummus. Add a few teaspoons of lime to increase the pH as needed. Use a litmus test to see how alkaline the soil has become. Perlite is essential for proper water drainage through the loamy soil. Vermiculite is another substance you can use instead to create water channels through the mix.
– Temperature Requirements
This plant grows best in the US hardiness zone seven to 11. This is because its ideal temperature requirements are between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summertime.
It is a rather warm-growing species and blooms during the warmer season. It tends to stop blooming during winter but retains its foliage and reblooms the next spring again. You might want to cover this plant in very cold climates to protect it from frost. If grown in a container, you can even bring this shrub inside.
– Humidity Requirements
Worried about seeing your Florida anise wilting despite good watering and feed? Grab a hygrometer and check the humidity around your plant. Ideal, it should be around 60 to 70 percent.
If it seems to be falling short, there are a lot of methods to increase them easily at home. One method is by misting its leathery leaves lightly three times a week. Mist very lightly and from a distance of five to six inches. If you have planted this shrub in a container, you can simply put a tray filled with water under it, furthermore, you may also use pebbles or other support, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the container.
– Fertilizing Requirements
To get the optimal Florida anise size of around six feet, fertilizing is a must. A standard well-balanced fertilizer will provide this plant with all the essential nutrients. Look for packaging that has an NPK value of 5:5:5 written on it. Fertilization is best carried out monthly from early spring till early fall.
Before use, water the soil of the floridanum plant thoroughly. Then double dilute the fertilizer by adding an equal volume of water to it. These two practices will reduce the risks of the plant getting chemical burns from feeding. Take your time pouring the diluted feed slowly over the soil.
Deep water the soil every second to the third month to eliminate built-up toxins. Deep water is when you allow a large volume of water to pass through the entire soil from top to bottom at least three times. Use a one-inch layer of mulch to cover the surface of the soil. Mulch also acts as an organic fertilizer and also helps with moisture retention.
Pruning is not really necessary for the upkeep of this shrub. Pruning will come in handy if you want to give your shrub a particular shape. Use a knife or pruning shears that have been well-sharpened and disinfected. You can also pinch off yellowing and old leaves by hand if they make the shrub look bad, these leaves will be useful in a compost pile.
Look no further if you want to know how to propagate the Florida anise plant. There are two ways you can propagate it. One is by seeds, and the other is by stem cuttings.
You need a healthy stem that is not suffering from any pest infestation. This stem should not be in bloom; otherwise, the propagation will not take root.
The best instrument for cutting a stem is a secateurs. Rub some bleach or a disinfectant over its blades to clean it. Cut off five to six inches from the growing end of your chosen anise stem. Remove all the leaves on it, sparring only the one at the top.
Wrap the cutting in a paper napkin for a day until it dries. Afterward, the rooting hormone is on the cut end to promote root growth. Prepare an enriched potting mix comprising peat, loam, and perlite. Keep it evenly moist throughout the propagation.
Put this cutting halfway in the soil and take the pot someplace bright, warm, and humid. You can wrap the entire pot in a plastic bag if humidity is lacking. In a few weeks, your cutting will start sprouting new leaves. Keep giving it the best care if you want to see it thriving.
This is probably one of the least problematic plants ever. It produces aromatic compounds that keep most pests away. In rare instances, you might have to deal with fungal mildew, leaf yellowing, or root rot.
– Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew might affect the floridanum plant if its leaves are kept moist for long periods. It is not a particularly fatal infection. However, it weakens the plant and makes it difficult for it to carry out photosynthesis.
Initially, a mildew infection starts with the appearance of countless tiny white spots all over the leaves. These spots eventually merge and form a layer of white fungal mold over the leaves surface. Your plant’s growth will primarily be affected.
You don’t have to use harsh fungicides to eliminate this disease. Neem oil is a natural anti-fungal agent you can use instead. Applying only a few drops of neem oil to each leaf will remove the mold. After then, start a weekly regime of spraying the affected anise plant with neem oil spray.
– Yellowing Leaves
Occasionally your plant might lose its normal green color and turn yellow. This could be mostly due to sun scorching after direct sun exposure. If your plant is under direct light, remove it away from it. Snip off the affected leaves because they will not get better.
Leaf yellowing occurs after overwatering too. In this case, the leaves will be swollen with the extra water. If you touch them, they will feel spongy and squishy. Improving your watering habit will help the leaves revert back to green.
Underwatering is the third reason why floridanum leaves turn yellow. In this case, the leaves will be dehydrated and wrinkly. Start watering the plant properly, and the leaves will turn green again.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a fungal infection when this plant is consistently overwatered. In overwatered runny soil, fungi multiply and attack the rotten roots. Within a few weeks, you will see this plant die in front of your eyes.
It is quite easy to diagnose a plant suffering from root rot. Brown and black rot spots develop on the stem and the leaves. These leaves are moist, often with a yellow halo. The otherwise sweet anise smell turns rotten and bad.
To treat the root, you need the affected roots exposed. Proceed carefully, take the plant out of its container, and then snip off all the most severely blackened parts. Afterward, repot the plant in a sterilized pot and soil. Buy a good anti-fungal spray and start using it weekly as a treatment.
– Is Seed Propagation for Florida Anise Easy?
Yes, seeds propagation looks far easier than stem cuttings. We must warn you, though. The success rate with seeds is actually a bit lower than the former.
You may ask a vendor for the most authentic and fresh anise Florida seeds. It helps to soak the seeds for eight to nine hours in the water right before planting. Take a tray and lay out the loamy potting mixture on it. Moisten it lightly and even out its surface with a spatula.
Place the swollen seeds one by one into the mixture within the tray. Cover this tray with a transparent plastic wrap or bag. This will create a DIY greenhouse effect within the plastic. Your tray should be placed in a bright and warm spot. Every few days, take the tray out to remoisten the potting soil.
You may end up waiting up to six to eight weeks for your seeds to germinate. Even after germination, wait three to four weeks before transplanting each germinated plant into its own container.
Before concluding, let us revise the most important points regarding floridanum shrubs.
- It is a garden shrub that produces flowers, you may grow this shrub in a rich and loamy soil mixture.
- Keep it out of reach of direct sunlight as its leaves are sensitive to intense light.
- During winter, decrease the frequency of watering because the soil dries slowly.
- You may propagate it through stem cutting or even seed propagation.
- Please try to keep the temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, although this plant is a little frost tolerant. Keep humidity around 60 to 70 percent for this shrub.
Illicium floridanum is a garden shrub that produces the best-looking flowers. The best part is that its scent keeps all garden variety pests away.
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