So you’ve got butt rot….what do you plant next?

Everyone is talking about butt rott — Ganoderma butt rott that is! Lately I’ve had more phone calls than ever from homeowners seeking to identify the strange fungus growing out of their palm trees and wondering what to do next.

All palm trees in Florida are susceptible to Ganoderma butt rott, a disease caused by the fungus Ganoderma zonatum and that is characterized by wilting and general decline.  If your palm tree exhibits a hard, shelf-like fungal conk, this is a tell-tale sign that it is infected with G. zonatum.

Ganoderma conks on an Areca Palm that was acting as a privacy screen. What should the homeowner replace this with? (Photo by H.Cohen)

Because this fungal spreads through spores, palm owners will want to remove conks as soon as they see them appear. The entire palm will also have to be removed as soon as possible because it eventually die and become a safety hazard.

Recently I’ve had several inquiries from homeowners — they’ve had several palms decimated by this fungus and they’ve taken the appropriate action of removing the palm and it’s roots.  Because the fungus lives in the soil, they know they cannot replant with palms. People want to know — what are some planting options? This is what I always get asked – what to plant, what to plant, what to plant!!!

When selecting an ornamental replacement, the number one principle is to select the right place for the right place. Do you want a tall, upright structure? A large wide shrub? Do you need privacy? What aesthetics are important to you…for example, does the plant need to flower? Do you want a native plant? And what will your location allow — what are the soil, drainage, and light conditions? With some many considerations to ponder, it’s no wonder so many folks are calling in to ask what they should plant!

In this post I’ve gathered a roundup of a few of my favorite plants. This is a highlight of some plants I enjoy, I’ve love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!

 

So you want a small to moderate sized, flowering tree….

Geiger Tree: drought and salt tolerant, native, gorgeous orange or white blooms that are a favorite of hummingbirds.

Powderpuff: Lovely delicate pink puffs that appear on and off all year, this tree is excellent as a single specimen in a yard or as an accent adjacent to a home or driveway. Grows quickly!

Jatropha: Stunning scarlet flowers with year-round blooms. Can be grown as a bush or trained into a small tree.

 

So you want a moderate to large, flowering tree….

The flowers of an orange geiger tree, a native plant

Hong Kong Orchid Tree: Purple flowers bloom for ~120 days in the winter attract butterflies and birds, this is a fast-growing tree that can be shaped to your liking.

Desert Cassia: Salt tolerant, butterfly attractant with showy yellow blooms. Prefers sunny locations.

So you need a privacy screen…..

Check out this ultimate guide to hedges and screens by Lee County agent Stephen Brown! Sea grape and silver buttonwood are two of my favorites!

So you want some tropical and smaller accents…

Say you’ve already got some nice trees and want to fill in the space with some colorful blooms and shrubs. Here are some choices for you….

Bromeliads: A rainbow of color options and low maintenance, they are also a favorite breeding ground for mosquitos — nature is full of tradeoffs!

Ginger: a handsome plant for a shaded area, fills in corners or can surround trees or palms

Beautyberry: outlandish purple berries on this shrub provide food for our native birds

Wild Coffee: A fast growing, evergreen native shrub. Versatile and can be used as a shrub, hedge, or accent. The flowers attract pollinators and the berries help the birds.

Lantana: Select a native species, Lantana involucrata and Lantana depressa, which are more charming than their invasive counterpart, Lantana camara. These native plants are tolerant to salty air, hurricane winds, and attract birds and bees

And there you have it! While Ganoderma butt rot is a stinker, it might just present a unique opportunity to add floral diversity to your landscape!

For more recommendations, check out the following resources.

South Florida Plant Guide

Florida-friendly garden design from University of Florida IFAS

UF/IFAS Plant Guide

 

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Posted: February 25, 2022


Category: Agriculture, Horticulture, Pests & Disease
Tags: Collier County, Ganoderma, Hamutahl Cohen, Horticulture, Plant Selection


Comments:

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Jessica M. Ryals

March 30, 2022

Yes, there is. All information can be found here: https://www.collieredo.org/culinary-accelerator

Hamutahl Cohen

March 11, 2022

Great comment! I have read that sago palm is susceptible to ganoderma sadly...

Yvonne Florian
February 28, 2022

When folks who have lost a palm to ganoderma here, they usually want something that looks like a palm. Here in Indian River County, I suggest 3 plants which sort-of resemble palms: Sago Palm, which is a cycad but really resembles a plam Ponytail palm, which is not a plam nor a cycad and Pandanus, or "Screw Pine", which is neither a palm nor a pine but a very interesting tropical plant with a very large, interesting round cone-type seed pod when mature and spiraling leaf arrangement.

cmd.exe
January 23, 2022

I admire your blog , it has of lot of information. You just got one perennial visitor of this blog!

Tom
August 11, 2021

Very, very expensive

Michael Sipos

June 24, 2021

That's a tricky one as slippers/bulldozers are not as targeted by commercial divers and I don't believe many slippers get caught in regular spiny lobster traps. I would reach out to some local seafood houses to see if they get them in occasionally, request them from a distributor or if they get some of their product by divers, ask if you could make a request or be contacted when they come in. I know a few Tampa area commercial divers and I believe they sell their speared fish to Shelly's Seafood and would check with them https://www.shellysseafood.com/. Good luck!

JANIE NEWMAN
June 24, 2021

I am looking to buy 20 lb of slipper lobster bulldozer lobster spiny lobster and looking for some place in Tampa area to purchase them

Enan
June 1, 2021

I want to give thanks to you for sharing such good information

Enan
June 1, 2021

pretty good informative

Manuel
April 20, 2021

Is there a membership for this program?

Michael Sipos

March 29, 2021

Hi Earl, I would be happy to take a look at a picture, my email address is sipos624@ufl.edu. Cane toads and other invasive species are usually/can be more common in urban and disturbed areas where the native critters are pushed out leaving an open ecological niche. I did a search of the Everglades Conservation Area 2 A and looks like it backs up to some urban areas on the East side. The FWC promotes reporting sightings of invasive species as the best form of management is early detection and rapid response before the species become established. You could report the sighting on the I've Got One app or on this website (url below), you can also see where some invasive critters have been spotted/reported as well https://www.eddmaps.org/distribution/ . For cane toads they may not mobilize a response as they have been established but researchers could find the information useful and interesting if they are moving more towards rural undisturbed areas. -Mike

Earl Mallory
March 27, 2021

I got this last night in Everglades Conservation Area 2A. miles from anything dry. It looks like a cane toad and is the size of a bullfrog. secretions from the glands behind the head. if it is a cane toad, and they are reproducing, bad news for natvive glades frogs. i cant figure out how to attach photos but glad to email to you.

Ken Robertson
January 8, 2021

Great video on sheepshead feeding. Thanks for posting this.

Judith Bergauer
October 30, 2020

Our HOA is requiring residents to hire a tree trimming company to remove the royal palm seed pods ($55 per tree). Do you have any written materials to support nature's "self pruning" of royal palms? The royal palms on our property have never been pruned but the new HOA is determined to excessively prune these palms. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Doug Caldwell "Dr. Dougbug"

October 1, 2020

I just watched NBC2 news with Twyla Leigh and the Vanilla Bean vine plant. My friend, Dr. Henry Herman, Professor at FSW in Fort Myers, gave me a cutting of his plant and it was amazing how healthy it was and grew to flower. I had moved from that home, but would love to have samples to grow at my home in South Fort Myers. I am a master gardener and would love to help produce more Vanilla Bean Orchid plants. Please contact Twyla Leigh at twlaleigh@ufl.edu

Suzy Callanan
September 24, 2020

I just watched NBC2 news with Twyla Leigh and the Vanilla Bean vine plant. My friend, Dr. Henry Herman, Professor at FSW in Fort Myers, gave me a cutting of his plant and it was amazing how healthy it was and grew to flower. I had moved from that home, but would love to have samples to grow at my home in South Fort Myers. I am a master gardener and would love to help produce more Vanilla Bean Orchid plants.

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Michael Sipos

September 22, 2020

Hi Albrey, The pictures are great! I believe there is a huge value of having real fish pictures for identification. I'm beginning to stockpile photos of distinguishing characteristics for all the species I now catch/do a segment on. I'm trying to do a species profile/fillet video a week on edible fish found in Florida on our Collier County Sea Grant Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CollierSeaGrant

Albrey Arrington
September 22, 2020

Nice to see you using the helpful species identification clues provided in Fish Rules App. Swipe pics in Fish Rules App to see additional images and identification clues.

suba suba
June 11, 2020

the internet. You actually know how to bring a problem to light

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Michael Sipos

June 8, 2020

Thank you for your kind words! If there are any invasive species you're interested in particular, I would be happy to answer your questions or put you in contact with an expert within the University of Florida network. Feel free to reach out with any requests or ideas for future programming. Have a good one!

Murphy Mary
June 5, 2020

This short article was such a good read that will I will definitely recommend it to the friends! The last moment I’ve read some thing as professionally composed was with at https://www.onlinetutorforme.com/portuguese-tutor/. Thank a person for the professionalism and a watch regarding details. Is going to be pleased to read a lot more of your respective writing!

Gaylene Vasaturo
May 11, 2020

Thanks for your info--i didn't realize this was the problem with my porterweed until the plants were quite infected with the caterpillars. I've cut the stems as you suggest...but continually find many I've missed. The infestation is pretty established. What's the best course of action? I've cut back the porterweed substantially, but probably the moths are around and will continue to infect. If I remove the porterweed completely...and start over, must I continually (almost daily) check the plants for infestation? I've had the plants for a few years before the problem occurred.

Gaylene Vasaturo
May 3, 2020

i have a big infestation of this on my native porter weed. Didn't really notice it until it has really devasted my plants an is spreading. It is overwhelming the plants. The caterpiller appears to burrow down inside the stem and then the branch dies. It may be too late for me to control it by just cutting the infected stems out. How do I get these insects under control. Do I need to remove all the porter weed and let the ground remain dormant for a while? I have the infestation in my backyard, but have porterweed in the front also, and I observed early signs of infestation in the front. Would appreciate your advice. So glad you've identified my problem.

Angel Raudner
January 21, 2020

Thank you so much! Wish so many of my "natives" and Florida friendly, like Wild Coffee, were a bit more cold sensitive. Not sure how I'll have time and ability to protect my 100' hedge row, but we'll give it a valiant try.

Rancho Cordova Tree
January 9, 2020

You're very right about that! We completely agree!

North Shore
December 27, 2019

I want to give thanks to you for sharing such good information!! North Shore Tree Services

Tree Surgeon Hastings
September 23, 2019

Great Share! Hastings Tree Surgeon

YG
August 22, 2019

Cool stuff. Tree Service

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Jessica M. Ryals

December 3, 2018

George, let's set up a time to talk! Give the Extension Office a ring: 239-252-4800 - Jessica

George
September 21, 2018

Who do I need too talk to the bosses on location??? Am a great talented Chef wanting my own business truck.And knowing dealing Bosses but you. Z And to put healthy great food for the tourists. I leave here for 5years and know know proveries and fisherman.. Gradauted CIAn 2005, like to know permits and costs before I get a food truck please let me know. Best Regards, George Vassilev

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Jessica M. Ryals

September 4, 2018

Hi Seth, the event has already passed. Feel free to call our Collier County Extension Office at 239-252-4800.

Seth Trombley
August 31, 2018

Hi I want to buy 2 tickets to the Collier county tropical fruit road tour please give me a number to contact someone the link is not working for me. thank you

Doug Caldwell "Dr. Dougbug"

August 28, 2018

For the royal poinciana caterpillar, carbaryl or a pyrethroid (bifenthrin) should work. Remember just to spray the bole of the tree from the ground up to 3 or 4 feet. No need to spray the canopy as explained in the posted FSHS article.

Drew Ellison
August 28, 2018

So what do we use to kill them? Seven?

Annette Brody
July 18, 2018

Love the pics!!!!

joyce berkoski
March 15, 2018

Can't seem to be able to sign up for the ag tour. Would like to go, are there any available seats left. Thanks, Joyce Berkoski 239 732 5847

Kathy O’Connor, Driftwood Landscape
December 8, 2017

I want to compliment Jill for being the Naples face of American Farms. She is innovative knowledgeable and personable. You have a true Gem!

Dr. Steve Hardiman, Ed. D
December 6, 2017

We in Iowa followed the hurricane devastation in Naples and its impact on American Farms. Kudos to Alex and the employees for their efforts to rebuild.

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