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John Myers is a Master Gardener, class of 2008. He spoke about hummingbirds, native plants, and the importance of soil testing before planting.
Of the 300+ species of hummingbirds in the world, 3 species live in Florida. Some of the plants that hummingbirds like are: bottle brush, butterfly bush, wild azalea, trump vine, honeysuckle, jasmine, and morning glories to name a few. Hummingbirds are migratory. They migrate to Mexico and Central/South America in winter. They nest and hatch their young in Florida. For additional information on hummingbirds you can go to the following website: http://howtoenjoyhummingbirds.com/.
The question was asked, how long do they live? After some research, it was learned that while many die in their first year, most experts believe it's "3-4 years" in natural conditions. But with artificial feeding, a hummingbird may live as long as 10 years.
It’s important to use native plants in your landscape to conserve water, reduce the need and cost for fertilizers and other chemicals, and keep invasive plants from taking over the environment.
Before you plant something, whether it’s grass, flowers, tree, shrubs, etc., make sure you get a soil test done because soil pH will ultimately affect the growth and quality of your landscape plants. Florida soils can vary widely in pH and we've found between 4.0 to 8.2 in Levy County. Soil pH tests can be completed by sending a soil sample to a reputable lab such as the University of Florida Extension Soil Testing Laboratory. Contact your local Extension Office (in Levy County - Bronson at 352-486-5131) or you can stop by for a test kit and information about how to properly take a soil sample. View online at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss494. The cost of a complete test report is only $7.00.
The decisions you make in your yard may have a positive influence on the health of Florida's natural waterways. Visit http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/ for information on Florida-Friendly landscaping. See how local homeowners are being more Florida-Friendly at www.ncmgfl.org.