Four inch buds a defining trait of the musical note plant

The Musical Note Plant (Rotheca microphylla) is a wonderful Florida plant to add to your landscape. Like all Florida plants, this plant is low maintenance when planted in the right place.

Part of the Clerodendrum group of plants, this plant is native to Madagascar. Doing well in both full sun and partial shade, you will have a location that would be perfect for this plant! Put it in a container, or in the ground. This plant is doing well in both places. Growing between 3 and 4 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide, this plant is classified as a small shrub.

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What is really striking about this plant are the flower buds. The four-inch-long wide buds emerge resembling musical notes. If you have ever sung or played a musical instrument, this plant will find a special place in your heart. The bud splits open to show an equally beautiful flower. Although the flowers are short-lived and fragrance-free, the plant produces plenty of them throughout the year, creating a visual dance to be enjoyed between February and November.

How to maintain this plant? Choose a sunny to partial shade location in moist but well-drained soil. Do not prune during flowering. The leaves fall off in the fall, making it a deciduous plant. Ideal planting areas are 9-11, leaving Lake County at the northern end of the planting area. If you spend the summer in the north, you can still grow it, but it needs to be grown in pots so that you can bring it inside during the winter.

This plant is one of 3,000 plants that Lake County Master Gardeners have grown for the 2021 Fall Plant Sale. The sale is on October 23 from 8 am to 12 noon. Cash, check (driver’s license required) and credit cards will be accepted. The sale takes place in Discovery Gardens located right next to the Extension Office at 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, FL 32778.

Extension programs are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, age, disability, religion or national origin.

Jamie Daugherty is the Residential Horticultural Officer for the UF / IFAS Lake County Extension Office. Email him at [email protected]