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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - February 22, 2016

From: Naples, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Lists, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Rabbit-proof Plants for Florida Swimming Pool Area
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I plan on planting white star jasmine and purple bocouilla plants around a south-facing swimming pool in Naples, Florida. I was told rabbits might eat them which we do have. Should I be concerned, and if so what type of similar colorful plants would you recommend?

ANSWER:

Liz Baessler on the Gardening Know How website says that Star Jasmine, also called Confederate jasmine, star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a vine that produces highly fragrant, white blossoms that attract bees. Native to China and Japan, it does very well in California and the southern U.S., where it provides excellent ground cover and climbing decoration.

A search on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre Native Plant Database and the internet did not turn up any information on purple bocouilla so I am not able to comment on the suitability of that plant. The Native Plant Database will give you some alternative native plants. Search for Florida and your light and soil types. 

Kevin Hughes, Owner of Kevin Hughes Plants says "Plants can get scale or woolly aphid, especially when grown against a wall. Voles and rabbits can be a problem in rural areas because they like to nibble through the young stems. But Trachelospermum will come back from the roots quite well."

For a list of rabbit resistant plants, take a look at the Williams Magical Garden Center & Landscape website. They are located in Naples, Florida and could be a good local resource of gardening information.

 

 

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