Follow our blog for the latest specials, new plant arrivals, and tips for landscape care.
Source: UF/IFAS 2023
Did you know that nobody knew what kind of worm was in mezcal? Recently, UF entomologists chased the worm all the way to the agave farms making mezcal in Mexico.
Mezcal is a growing industry, and while it has been consumed for hundreds of years, the lingering worm at the bottom of the bottle was added in the 1940s. This mostly niche, small batch craft product continues to increase in popularity as craft cocktails remain a craze. That worm though, we need a lot more of them!
Known as gusanos de maguey, aka worms of agave, UF scientists realized the actual species of insect responsible for the larval stage “worm” was unknown. The researchers suspected that the mezcal worms must be a variety of different species. Were different farmers putting different worms in their bottles? Did everyone use the same species while it remained unknown to science? Could any worm work?
All 18 farms in the study used the same caterpillar from the same moth species, Comadia redtenbacheri, commonly known as the agave redworm moth. This caterpillar larvae burrows deep into agave plants, so with the increase in popularity of mezcal, the wild harvested worms are in short supply. Plus, harvesting the larvae often kills the agave. Farmers may actually start farming agaves for THE WORMS!
While most caterpillars receiving a lot of attention in...
Source: UF/IFAS 2023
Agave is generally tolerant of Florida’s climate with its succulent leaves showcasing different shades of greens and blues. The shape of the plant generates interest, and it makes a great statement in the landscape. A plant can and should resemble so much more. Plants and gardens weave the stories of human experience.
Mezcal represents a fantastic group of spirits distilled from roasted and crushed agaves from specific regions of Mexico. While not as ancient as wine, mezcal has likely been distilled and consumed since the Spanish brought techniques to the New World in the 1500s. Prior to that, the indigenous preferred hallucinogenic excursions, truly spiritual, using mescaline containing cacti among other powerful local herbs (read One River by Wade Davis to learn more). The similarity of terminology, mezcal and mescaline, is likely to blame for people incorrectly assuming “mezcal” has hallucinogenic effects–it does not–it just takes you from sippy, to tipsy, to drunk like many other alcoholic distillates predictably do.
More like wine, different types of mezcal come from different species of agave struggling in different climates developing unique complex flavors! Furthermore, those different species of agave grow in different regions and soil types; some are more rare, others take decades to mature. Then, there is the...
To get everything you need for your gardening projects, you have a variety of options. There are countless box stores on every Orlando-area street, but they leave a lot to be desired with their mass-produced supplies and withering plants.
We recommend shopping at a local garden center. This way, you can gain access to several benefits including experienced staff and robust native plants. Our garden center, located in Gotha, FL, is convenient to areas such asThe Villages, Clermont, Winter Garden, Windermere, and more.
Retail stores are often staffed with underpaid employees with no proper horticulture experience. By visiting a local plant nursery, you are gaining access to passionate and knowledgable team members who want to help you find the best plants for your particular landscape.
Our staff at Royal Landscape Nursery is familiar with the Orlando and The Villages regions and what plants perform best in our climate. We offer a level of service that exceeds what you'll find in a big box establishment.
We enthusiastically answer questions you have and offer suggestions to gardening issues you may be experiencing. Our team has been in business for more than 20 years, so we can educate you on gardening information like:
Thanks to our year-round warm and mild climate, many Floridians enjoy planting and caring for fruit trees around their property. Fruit trees offer many benefits, from added visual beauty, fruit production, and wildlife sustainability. One of the most common questions prospective fruit growers ask is when is the best time to plant fruit trees.
The best planting times for fruit trees vary according to your climate, the type of tree you are planting, and how the tree has been prepared for planting. In this article, we’ll cover the best time to plant fruit trees in Orlando, The Villages, Clermont, and nearby central Florida areas
Bareroot trees are trees that have been dug up from the ground when they’re dormant. These trees are usually uprooted in the fall and their roots are shaken free of all soil. Generally, bareroot trees establish themselves quicker and grow more vigorously than other transplants.
Because bareroot trees are dug up while dormant, they must be planted while they are still dormant, usually in late winter or early spring at the latest. January is the best time to plant deciduous fruit trees as this gives the roots time to establish themselves before the hotter months. When choosing deciduous trees for your central Florida property, it’s important to pick ones that have a low chill requirement as they fare better in our mild, somewhat warm winters.