Condo Owner

Spring 2017

Condo Owner publishes information vital to the business and pleasure of resort condominium ownership. Topics covered relate to real estate market trends, community association matters, rental management issues, tax and insurance updates and more.

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condo owner • S P R I N G 2 0 1 7 www.condo-owner.com 26 cover To begin with, native plants fit in better with their natural surroundings that non-native plants, Jones said. "Native plant landscapes truly look more 'beachy' than non-natives, offering a sense of place, while landscapes such as turf-grass lawns look out of place in a beach environment," she said. She added that properly-selected native plants are also well-adapted to the harsh beach condi- tions of salt, wind, and nutrient-poor sand, which means they require less fertilizer, water, replace- ment and maintenance once they are established. Caring for Native Plants Jones cautioned that nearly all landscape plants require initial watering to develop roots and get established. Harrison said his experience is that native plants usually have to be watered daily for the first seven days and then watering should be reduced to every other day, then every three days and so forth until the plants begin thriving without extra water than provided by nature. He warned that these plants, like any plants, should not be overwatered or they might be attacked by a fungus. He advised keeping an eye on the plants throughout the first year to make sure they are thriving. Both Harrison and Jones said that native plants tend to be a bit more costly to purchase and are often a bit slower-growing than their exotic counterparts. Harrison said there are not a lot of growers that have native plants available in large quantities. Also, most natives are grown from cuttings rather than seeds, which tends to be a longer, more expensive process, he said. Benefits Of Natives Once established, native plants usually thrive in their native habitats, Jones said. They also help attract beneficial wildlife, including butterflies, birds and bees, according to FNPS. Harrison said that natives are also able to repopulate on their own by reseeding and spread- ing from the roots. "It might take them a few years to get established, but once they do, they form a nice, colorful landscape that is easy to maintain," he said. "For example, dune sunflow- ers – or beach daisies – usually need to reseed about twice before they really start spreading to form an attractive groundcover." He cautioned against cutting or tearing out low-lying native plants during the winter dormant season. "They may look dead, but they will come back," he said, adding that non-native plants can be mixed with the natives to add more color. gallardia (blanket flower) Muhly grass

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