Q: I saw a picture of a plant called acuba in a landscape book. I like the look of the plant. Will it grow here?
A: Acuba can be grown in North Florida. It will grow best in partial shade or an area with morning shade. They have an upright growth habit so they can frame an entry or be used in an urn. There are variegated and plain types.
Q: I have some potted acubas at my front door. There is white stuff on the leaf backs. What should be done for this?
A: Mealybugs seem to favor acubas. They can be wiped off with a cotton ball that has been saturated in rubbing alcohol.
Q: I have a persimmon tree that is about three years old. It has yet to bear. This year it had about eight fruit but all have fallen. What can be done to have it bear mature fruit?
A: Persimmons can take up to seven years to become mature. The problem you are experiencing is normal. It will hold its fruit better as it matures.
Q: When is the best time to prune back persimmon and fig trees?
A: Since both go dormant in the winter, you should prune them back in late January or February. Figs can be pruned back generously to keep them in bounds.
Q: Can plums be grown here? I like to see them in bloom in the spring.
A: Try Excelsior and Mariposa.
Q: I saw a plum at the nursery that has purple leaves. Does this variety also get fruit?
A: The ornamental plums do not tend to set fruit. Plant them to enjoy their colorfed leaves.