The meaning of plants in Florida

The Orange Tree

Orange trees symbolize eternal love, fruitfulness, and marriage.

After reading the new book, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, I started looking at my landscaping in a new way. The book speaks about the meaning of plants (flowers, herbs, and trees included) and the way they are used in our life. For example, the main character brings a wayward couple back together by presenting them with jonquil, a flower similar to the daffodil. According to the Victorian meaning, the jonquil means “love me” or “affection returned.” If you’ll pardon the pun, the marriage blossoms as a result. [Read more…]

5 cost cutting measures for property managers

Florida Property Managers Cost Cutting Measures For Landscaping

Cost Cutting Measures For Landscaping

Property managers have a thankless job. It can be incredibly difficult to oversee all details, whether of a luxury 18 hole golf course or a small community managed by a board of volunteers. Residents and customers expect well kept lawns, maintained trees, and blooming flowers year round but don’t want to pay through the nose together it.

Why is landscaping so important?
Ninety-three percent of real estate agents recommended landscaping as a top five home improvement recommendation responding that at an average cost of $540 a homeowner can expect a $1,932 price increase on their home for a 258% return on investment.*

It is also clear that having access to green spaces is important to many people.  The Husqvarana Global Garden Report 2012 showed that “63% of respondents reported being willing to pay more for an apartment or house if it was located in an area with good green spaces, compared with, for instance, 34% willing to pay more for an area with good shopping and 33% for good cultural venues.”

Landscaping can also lower heating and cooling costs, reduce noise, reduce dangerous chemical usage, and stem flooding. But it can be costly, especially if you are not experienced. In 2001 homeowners spent $37.7 billion caring for their property, according to the National Gardening Association.

So, we’ve come up with five ways to help those beleaguered individuals, and perhaps this will help you too.

1. Research
Using plants that are native and resilient to your particular context – are you considering a high traffic area or an area with other plants for example – will cut your costs immensely. Obviously native plants are cheaper to purchase as there are no additional transportation costs and they are more likely to survive, but without the correct care and maintenance, even the natives can suffer. Doing your research, knowing which plants are best for your landscape and how much maintenance they require will help.

2. Watch the Water
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 50% of water used for landscaping is wasted. Oftentimes watering is done a the wrong time, too much or too little; sprinklers are often damaged or moved unexpectedly. Now, you are spending money on water unnecessarily and your plants may suffer as a result. So, keeping up with the correct water schedule, ensuring any sprinklers are working correctly and your timers are set correctly will save money now and in the future. Of course, doing research will allow you to have a handle on the amount that plants need to be watered and can ensure you don’t plant a low watering plant next to a high watering plant.

3. Involve community
Many people claim to enjoy landscaping but don’t want to spend all day working on it. Many hands make light work. If you can pull together as a community, you can maintain the property together, or perhaps build a garden together. According to the Municipal Research and Service Center, a communal garden will “strengthen community bonds, provide food, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for a community. They can also promote environmental awareness and provide community education.”

4. Use flowers sparingly
Flowers can beautify a neighborhood faster than nothing else, but after the flowers are gone, the beds are a terrible eyesore. The constant replacing of certain flowers is costly both in plants and maintenance. The easiest way to keep your community looking beautiful year round is to avoid most flowers. Instead, try flowering bushes that look good even after the flowers drop. Crotons are always a great investment as well. They are hardy, colorful, and able to spread with minimum maintenance required. As you consider bushes with flowers, you may consider bougainvillea or hydrangea. Take care to do your research, flowers that are constantly dropping on cars and in driveways can annoy residents and plants that attract cats or rodents or are poisonous to pets or children should be avoided in communities.

5. Hire PALM.
The final cost cutting measure is an easy one! The problem with researching the plants, maintaining the landscape, keeping the flowers blooming, managing the water use and keeping the sprinkler heads in order, the lawn cut, the trees trimmed, etc is that all of this takes time. And time is money. If you hire PALM, you will never have to worry; you’ll save money through water usage, flower replacement, sprinkler system maintenance, your trees will be cared for by an internationally certified arborist, pest control will be taken care of… everything managed by one company, All that will be left for you to do is stop the residents picking the flowers for their vase!

Contact us for more information: (954) 938-1999 or




Don’t prune your own palm trees! Here’s why

The Florida Palm Tree is a Gorgeous Sight!

The Florida Palm Tree is a Gorgeous Sight! Image courtesy of Dru Bloomfield (click image for more)

The palm tree is the beloved symbol of Florida. It conjures up jealousy in everybody outside of our gorgeous sunny state, but caring for a palm tree is trickier than it may look.

[Read more…]

PALM has joined the Sunshine State Bio Mass Cooperative

Sunshine State Bio Mass Cooperative logo
We are so excited to announce that PALM has been accepted into
The Sunshine State Bio Mass Cooperative!

Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms.[1] As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel.

The cooperative is a group of like-minded organizations throughout Florida that are coming together to dispose of landscape waste materials in an ecologically and fiscally responsible way. Put very simply, the cooperative is a group of companies that are working together to put waste disposal materials to use, rather than throwing away a valuable resource and polluting our environment (and our other vital resources such as the Everglades) at the same time. [Read more…]

Full Service: Lauderdale Residence

  1. The Finished Project! Lauderdale Residence: Landscape installation and maintenance by PALM
  2. Before: Front View.
  3. After: Front View.
  4. Before: Front bed. Before: Front bed. Lauderdale Residence: Landscape installation and maintenance by PALM
  5. After: Front bed.
  6. Before: West View.
  7. Before: East View.
  8. After: East View.
  9. Before: Driveway.
  10. After: Driveway.

Dixie Diver Arbor Services

  1. Dixie Diver CompleteDixie Diver hired PALM to install palm trees at their new store. The palms needed to flank the store, giving it a great appearance for traffic, but not ruining visibility.
  2. Dixie Diver1Dixie Diver hired PALM to install palm trees at their new store. The difficulty of the installation was the proximity to US1, one of the county\'s busiest roads. PALM had to avoid blocking traffic.
  3. Arbor Services Dixie Diver part 3Dixie Diver hired PALM to install palm trees at their new store. PALM was hired for their expertise and of course lived up to their reputation by completing the installation within the time frame and budget allotted.

Dixie Diver needed arbor services at their new store and turned to PALM for help. The job was difficult due to the location and need to NOT interrupt traffic, but PALM completed the job within the allotted time frame and budget.

5 ways to hurricane ready your yard

5 ways to prepare your yard for a hurricane // // #landscape

Hurricane season has been in full swing for a little while now, but as the ninth tropical depression heads our way, there is no more putting off your preparations. Here are five things you can do today to prepare your yard.

Downed tree after hurricane1. Trim your trees.

I can’t state this enough, it’s so important to prune your trees regularly. It not only promotes healthy growth, it can also protect your property, and your neighborhood from flying debris should a hurricane hit. Branches that touch or come close to power lines are especially dangerous and should be removed before the threat of a tropical depression becomes the reality of a hurricane.
Call PALM to make an appointment for tree trimming, as Certified International Arborists, we know the best way to trim the many different species of trees found in South Florida.


Courtesy of Flickr @BarkBud2. Remove all potential projectiles.

Birdhouses, kid’s toys, plant pots, and rocks are some ideas of projectiles. Little things like rocks can cause major damage if they break a window. Luckily most pots, toys, and things like bird houses can be left until the last minute when you can pull them inside, or even drop them in your pool during the storm. Rocks are more difficult and for this reason may not be the best choice for your landscaping, so if you’re looking for a redesign, now is the best time!
Call PALM for landscape design and installation services.


Courtesy of Flickr user @pyxopotamus3. Clear loose and damaged rain gutters.

Rain gutters will be put to the test during a hurricane, so you need to ensure they are clear and secure enough to withstand a deluge.




Storm Surge4. Understand your own storm surge risk.

Many people think they’re far enough from the beach to be safe, but you also need to consider levees, dams, and other water. Unfortunately, we are largely surrounded.

South Florida Water Management District’s site can provide you with more info.



Trees block road after storm5. Have the disaster recovery and restoration number handy.

Once the storm passes, there are often downed trees, sometimes laying in the way of you getting out. PALM is experienced in removing these trees and having the number on hand will put you at the front of the line. Keep our number handy: (954) 938-1999 and call as soon as you know you need help.

Pool Landscape Design Ideas

Pool Landscaping IdeasIn South Florida, swimming pools are part of the landscape. While many pools are attractive in their own right, beautifying your property if you’re a pool owner is about accenting your pool – the centerpiece of your hardscape – with well-designed landscape elements.

Few things enhance the beauty of a swimming pool like an innovative landscape design. The right plants, lighting, hardscape and other accessories around your pool can be the difference between a mere watering hole and a breathtaking oasis.

Use Landscaping to Set the Stage

The right landscaping design can provide the perfect backdrop for your swimming pool. Want a tropical setting? Choose brightly colored flowers with lush greenery for a distinctly Caribbean feel. Lush palms grow well in South Florida and enhance that tropical feel. Add natural or artificial rocks as accents and to give the impression your pool is part of the natural environment. Consider adding a waterfall to introduce soothing sound and movement to your pool.

Here’s a tip: Choose plants that deter pests. Nothing spoils sunbathing like mosquitoes. Consider mosquito-repelling plants like catnip, rosemary and lemon balm.

Add Lighting to Enjoy Your Pool Day and Night

Landscape lights can turn your back yard into a serene and romantic nighttime sanctuary. Pool lighting can give your swimming pool a mesmerizing twinkle, while spotlights accentuate eye-catching flowers and landscape features. Consider versatile options like fiber optic lighting for your lighting design.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen or Bar to Add Sizzle to Your Splash

A built-in bar is the perfect way to attract guests and entertain friends. Mojitos and margaritas by the pool? This is South Florida, after all. The best back yard cooking area combines style and function. Consider how you’ll use the space, how much room you need, aesthetics and more.

Give Your Pool Character with the Right Interior Pool Finish

Your pool’s finish sets the mood. Prefer a crystal blue sparkling water? Select a light-colored pool liner to create a turquoise appeal. Want a mellower look? A dark-colored finish will give your pool a cool, relaxing tint. Ask your pool builder which finish materials and brands they work with and choose a pool finish that suits your mood.

Enjoy the Night – Install an Outdoor Fireplace

Even in South Florida, a fireplace is a perfect way to imbue your outdoor oasis with a warm, inviting ambience. You and your guests will enjoy evenings by the pool amid the crackle of firewood and the soft glow of firelight. Choose a fireplace design that reflects your yard’s style and suits your family’s needs. Whether it’s for warmth, open-air cooking, or ambience, an outdoor fireplace is an addition that will enhance your outdoor enjoyment.

Use Fencing to Enhance Safety and Privacy

A fence can help reduce the risk of children, animals and uninvited guests wandering into your pool. A good fence also creates a buffer so you can enjoy your pool in privacy. A well-designed fence also serves as a canvas against which your landscaper can design your yard.

 This post is a guest post from our friends at Hohne Pools. Gary Hohne is president of Hohne Pools, a residential and commercial pool builder specializing in inground pool installation and pool repair.

Landscaping to do list: August edition

Rum and coconut water could help to cool your lungs! Read on for recipes

August is around the corner and here in Zone 9-10 we’re gearing up for the dog days of summer, where the pool feels as warm as the air and hurricanes are the only thing that seem to move. But, the bougainvillea is flowering and the hibiscus is too, so we’ll enjoy the view as we follow these tips to get ready for August.

  • Wear your sunscreen, don’t leave your pets outside, and drink plenty!
  • Prune your trees. I know, we say it all the time, but it’s good for the trees, it’s good for your roof (flying debris is never good during hurricane season) and the neighbors will love you for it.
  • “Direct sow seeds of cucumber, onion, pepper, southern peas, pumpkin, turnips, and watermelon. Select varieties that mature early in order to produce before the temperature gets too cool. Watch for pests and provide water when needed.”¹
  • Check your citrus trees. Remove any ripe fruit and feed your trees with fertilizer (don’t let fallen fruit sit, you’ll encourage rats, raccoons and all kinds of other wildlife.)
  • Consider investing in a rain barrel. Rainy season is here and it will save you money in the long run.
  • Check your coconut trees. Remove any ripe ones. Ripe really depends on how you like them, but for the water, take one off and shake it. If there’s a sloshing, open it (slice the top with a machete). If it’s good, get the others down too. Stick a straw in them and enjoy or pour out the water for a rum concoction.

Our favorite recipe?

Coconut water, rum, and mint over crushed ice.

Other choices?

Coco water, rum, and lime over ice.

Coco water and rum over ice.

Coco water cialis prix and rum, lemon and fresh muddled basil over ice.






The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly (fka The Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly)

Spiraling Whitefly

Image courtesy of UF IFAS extension

Hold on to your hats Florida – we have another bug to fight: The Rugose Limbo Spiraling Whitefly!

Sadly, this is a new kind of whitefly and should not be confused with the Ficus Whitefly that has been causing havoc with ficus in South Florida. This new Spiraling Whitefly appears to be less particular, feasting on everything from palm trees to fruits. There has not been much biology collected on this little pest as it was seen for the first time in March 2009 (from gumbo limbo, hence its former name), but University of Florida’s IFAS Extension is monitoring the spread and will hopefully have more information as time goes by.


Larger than other whiteflies, this species is slower too. They congregate on the underside of leaves and lay eggs in spiral patterns. The whitefly leaves an “abundance of the white, waxy material covering the leaves and also excessive sooty mold. Like other similar insects, these whiteflies will produce honeydew, a sugary substance, which causes the growth of sooty mold.” (UF IFAS extension). PALM has seen this mold on palm leaves overhanging pools, and causing damage to the pool. UF mentions that it has also been seen to cause damage to cars should it fall on the roof.


There are two ways to manage this pest: insecticides and biologically-based management, i.e. other bugs (parasitoid) that will attack the fly. It is important to balance both methods carefully as the parasitoid cannot attack the whitefly fast enough to save your plants, but insecticides could kill the parasitoid, which will make your life harder in the long run.

The first step is to monitor your plants. The fly will propagate quickly, so finding the symptoms before you have a full-blown infestation will help to overcome the issue. Nearby trees and plants should also be carefully assessed for damage and signs of the fly.

If you suspect the fly has found its way on to one of your plants, insecticidal soap can be enough to rid you of the fly. But you need to be sure to soak the plant well and wipe off all of the leaves. Obviously, this method is only effective before the fly has spread to more than one plant.

If you see the whitefly in more than one spot, use one of the insecticides listed below. We recommend a good dousing of the insecticide, but should you find it necessary to spray more than once, we recommend you switch to a different class of insecticide for the second spraying. Any kind of insecticide can be detrimental to your environment, as well as the environment at large, so hopefully one good spraying will be sufficient.

If you have the whitefly and can’t rid yourself of it, or don’t know where to start, you know who does? That’s right – Palm Atlantic Landscape Maintenance! Give us a call or drop us an email: (954) 938-1999 or

Whitefly insecticides

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