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sunflower tour florida

12 Prettiest Sunflower Fields In Florida

March 18, 2021 //  by  Florida Trippers

Have you always wanted to visit sunflower fields in Florida?! Well, now is your chance to get the scoop on the best locations and what each farm has to offer. Visiting sunflower fields can be a great day trip to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Tons of fun for all ages, sunflower fields offer visitors the opportunity to take in nature’s beauty, pick their own fresh sunflowers, and take some amazing photos too! Join us as we travel around the state of Florida touring the prettiest sunflower fields and give you all of the need-to-know details!

Photo of a large sunflower field on a partly cloudy day.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Sunflower Fields In Florida?

Well, we are lucky enough to get 2 seasons that are ideal for viewing and picking sunflowers! Both Fall and Spring are perfect times to view this stunning, bright yellow blossom.

The temperatures and rainfall during Spring and Fall in Florida are moderate which provides the best environment for these beauties to thrive. Florida is one of the few states that have this opportunity, so it makes it very easy for visitors to plan a trip without having to wait very long!

Tips For Visiting Sunflower Fields In Florida

When planning your trip, you might just think that all you need to do is jump in the car and go, but we are here to help you have the best possible experience with these pro-tips!

Now, you don’t need to do much to prepare for your trip, but following these tips ensures that you have a great time. For starters, please wear and bring sunscreen! A small amount of time in the Florida sun can produce surprisingly painful sunburns.

If you aren’t a big fan of sunscreen lotion, you can try SPF clothing that will help protect your sun as you roam the fields. In addition to sunblock, we highly suggest that you bring a hat and sunglasses.

Closed-toe shoes are a seasoned picker’s top suggestion as they will keep you from getting dirty feet and ant bites. Bring water with you to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to visit during mid-day or the afternoon when the sun is at its peak.

Planning on bringing home some sunflower cuttings or fresh produce? Then, it is highly suggested that you bring a cooler with you to keep your flowers from wilting and your produce from spoiling.

Next, you should pack allergy medications or lotions, especially if you are traveling with someone that has known airborne or insect allergies. Lastly, bring cash with you as most farms can only accommodate cash sales.

Southern Hill Sunflower Field

Southern Hill Sunflower Field is located in Clermont, 22 miles west of Orlando in Central Florida. Southern Hill Sunflower Field prides itself on always having an abundance of gorgeous sunflowers for visitors to enjoy.

If you are interested in bringing some of the sunflowers home, you can pick them yourself for $2 per stem. The farm provides guests with a pair of scissors and bouquet bags for gathering their selections.

Make sure you pack your camera as you will have various opportunities to take some truly breathtaking photos. Guests will love the staged photo area that includes blue velvet couches that really make the sunflowers pop!

In addition to sunflower picking, kids can enjoy the Kids Zone. The Kids Zone includes a rock climbing wall, a giant slide, and wagon rides. The admission fee for the Kids Zone is $10-14.

If you happen to visit during Springtime, you will have the fortune of also experiencing strawberry picking season. Going home with flowers and strawberries sounds pretty great to us!

 Photo of a sunflower bloom up close with farming plots in the background.

HarvestMoon Fun Farm

The HarvestMoon Fun Farm is great for families that want to view sunflower fields in Florida and also partake in other fun outdoor activities. HarvestMoon Fun Farm is located about 50 minutes north of Tampa in Masaryktown.

Activities include a massive jumping pillow, seasonal mazes, a kiddie cow train, a petting zoo, carnival games, and more! Admission is $12.95 for anyone over the age of 3. Admission is free for anyone under 3.

Sweetfields Farm

Now, we travel over to Hernando County to visit Sweetfields Farm. Hernando County is on the West Coast of Florida, just under 2 hours from Orlando and 1 hour North of Tampa.

Not only can you enjoy taking photos and picking sunflowers, but you can also visit their Harvest Barn for fresh produce. The fresh produce includes green beans, chard, fresh basil, butternut squash, and more! Guests are also encouraged to view the farm’s cow, pigs, goats, and chickens.

Sweetfields Farm hosts many events year-round, so be sure to check out what they have going on during your visit. Events include a Spring Sunflower Maze, Fall Corn Maze, a Pumpkin Patch, and more!

Photo of a very large sunflower with a partially seen woman in a white dress standing next to it.

The Pickin’ Patch

The Pickin’ Patch is located in Dunnellon, which is only 20 minutes from Crystal River. If you are looking for a combo trip, Crystal River is one of the 12 Best Places To See Manatees In Florida! You can view wild manatees and then pick sunflowers all in one day!

The cost of admission is $5 per person. Kids 3 and under get in for free. The Pickin’ Patch is more rural, so it is great for those wanting a quiet retreat from the busy city.

A Land Of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery

Located in Plant City, A Land Of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery features amazing sunflower fields, farm animals, citrus trees, u-pick crops, and hands-on classes. Plant City is part of Hillsborough County, just about one hour from Orlando and 40 minutes from Tampa.

Visiting A Land Of Delight will place you about 20 minutes from Lakeland. If you are planning on grabbing a bite to eat after picking sunflowers, then you should check out the 14 Best Restaurants In Lakeland You Must Try!

In addition to sunflowers, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase local honey and farm-fresh eggs. During the farmer’s market on weekends, guests can participate in free classes given on self-sustainability.

Photo of a sunflower blossom up close with a butterfly on the petals.

The Berry Farms

Now, we travel down south to Miami to visit The Berry Farms. The Berry Farms feature spacious sunflower fields, a farmer’s market, strawberry picking, tractor rides, and more!

During weekdays, admission is $5 per person. On the weekends, admission is $7 per adult and $5 per child. Berry Farms prides itself on being one of the few farms that have sunflowers year-round!

Several festivals are held throughout the year and attract visitors from all over Florida. Foodies will be in heaven because The Berry Farms serves some of the most delicious strawberry milkshakes, sundaes, and shortcakes around town.

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm

The Stanley Pond Adventure Farm is one of the best places for viewing sunflowers fields in Florida. The farm is located in Astatula, which is conveniently only 35 minutes Northwest of Orlando.

Visiting the Stanley Pond Adventure Farm would make a great day trip addition to any theme park vacation! If you are looking for a full-day experience, then Stanley Pond Adventure Farm is for you! 23 acres of outdoor activities await you.

The U-Pick sunflowers and zenias are incredibly beautiful and ready to brighten your mood and lift your spirits. In addition to sunflower fields, you will find 2 ponds for fishing, a splash pad, and a jumping pillow.

Admission to the farm is $10 per person and this includes a free vase for your new flowers.

Photo of a large sunflower field with visitors, just like what you might see when visiting sunflower fields in Florida.

Sledd’s U-Pick

Sledd’s U-Pick is located about 45 minutes to 1 hour from Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Cape Canaveral. Sledd’s U-Pick is a local favorite and a hidden gem in Mims, Florida.

Sledd’s is very affordable and a cash-only business. The admission is $5 for anyone over 3 years of age and free for anyone under 3. If you are focused on getting really amazing photos, then this is the spot for you!

The horizon feels endless and the area is rural without any obstructions. The busy and hectic world just melts away and you are left with natural Florida beauty.

Sledd’s is also well-known for their scrumptious strawberries, so don’t forget your cooler to bring home this tasty fruit souvenir!

Hunsader Farms

Now, we bounce back over to the West coast of Florida to visit Hunsader Farms. Located in Bradenton, Hunsader Farms is about 1 hour southeast of Tampa.

Hunsader Farms is one of the rare sunflower fields in Florida that is only open in the Springtime. When picking sunflowers, guests will only pay $1 per stem, which is very reasonable.

In addition to having spectacular sunflowers, Hunsader Farms features a petting zoo, playground, and a farmer’s market. Admission to the petting zoo is $5 per person. All ticket proceeds go directly into buying the animal’s food, vet care, and general upkeep of the grounds.

A wide variety of U-Pick fields rotate throughout the year. The fields include green beans, eggplant, tomatoes, and more! Bring a little extra cash for homemade jams and jellies, as well as local honey.

Photo of an outstretched arm holding freshly cut sunflowers.

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market is located on the east coast of Florida in West Palm Beach. Their sunflower fields are open from November through May.

Tractor rides are available on weekends and make for great family-friendly entertainment. If you are looking for a large fresh market with a vast array of produce and pantry items, then Bedner’s is the perfect spot for you!

Graham Farms

Graham Farms is located in Umatilla, Central Florida. Umatilla is an hour from both Ocala and Orlando. Graham Farms was established all the way back in 1918, but they only just planted their first sunflower field in 2019.

To their surprise, the sunflower field brought many visitors and spread happiness in their community. After seeing how happy the visitors were to see the sunflowers, they started planting many other varieties of colorful flowers.

Prices vary for flowers, so check with the farm for up-to-date information. There is no general admission, so guests only pay for the flowers and produce they pick.

Photo of multiple sunflower blossoms up-close.

Located just 40 minutes from Orlando, Mick Farms is a great location for viewing sunflower fields in Florida because they are community-focused. Mick Farms strives to bring fresh and nutritious vegetables to all.

In addition to encouraging a farm to table lifestyle, they love when visitors come to view their beautiful sunflower fields. Several times throughout the year, visitors are welcome to help with harvesting and further their farming knowledge.

There is currently no fee to enter the farm. Prices for flowers and produce vary depending upon the type and season. We suggest you call them ahead of your visit for more details.

Well, we hope you have enjoyed touring all of these incredible sunflower fields in Florida! As you can see, Florida plenty of locations that allow u-picking, photo opportunities, and great outdoor entertainment. We wish you a wonderful trip and hope you go home with tons of farm-fresh souvenirs.

girl standing at beer can island, one of the best day trips from naples

Florida Vacationers

19 Best Sunflower Fields in Florida You Should Visit

By: Author Florida Vacation Expert

Posted on June 20, 2022

Categories Uncategorized

Home » Uncategorized » 19 Best Sunflower Fields in Florida You Should Visit

19 Best Sunflower Fields in Florida You Should Visit

Looking for the best sunflower fields in Florida?

The sunflower may have you thinking of summer, with its big yellow blossoms reaching for the sunny sky, but their time to shine is actually spring and fall.  These gorgeous floral giants come in many different shapes, sizes and colors

For instance, Moulin Rouge Sunflowers are red as their name suggests, while Strawberry Blonde Sunflowers fade from gold to pink.  On one end of the spectrum you have Teddy Bear Sunflowers standing at a mere two feet and at the other you have American Giants that can grow up to fifteen feet tall.  No matter the size, one thing to be aware of are our friendly neighborhood pollinators.

Bees love sunflowers, and though they generally mind their own business, you definitely want to keep an eye out while you search for the perfect sunflower to take home.  A sting may dampen the day, and so would a sunburn for that matter.  Make sure to pack some sunscreen for your floral adventures.  

Sweetfields Farm     

Sweetfields Farm stands out because it is an organic farm that follows the National Organic Production Standards.  This means they grow their crops without synthetic fertilizers and that the crops have not been genetically modified.  This may mean more work for the farmers, but it also means less chemicals for us and a healthier planet for all. 

Located in Brooksville, Florida Sweetfields Farm is a fairly new farm, as it was only established in 2008 by the Kessels. Beginning in May, Sweetfields constructs a sunflower maze open to the public and offers U-pick sunflowers for purchase.

Inside the maze you can enjoy the beautiful walls made up of vibrant green stalks that turn into yellow sunbursts at the top as you make your way through the twists and turns of the labyrinth created by the farmers.  Outside of sunflowers, the farm offers a corn maze in fall, as well as a sprawling pumpkin patch for Halloween fun.  They also are open for school field trips where the kids can get up close and personal with some farm animals.

Sweetfields Farm

Sweetfields Farm/ Flickr

Southern Hills Farms

Welcome to Southern Hills Farms.  Here there are so many U-pick opportunities, including sunflowers, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and zinnias.  Strawberries are available to pick in the winter, while the rest of the farm’s offerings are available in the spring.  The sunflowers and zinnias are available into fall as well.  

If you decide to make the trip to Clermont, make sure to have your card on hand, as the farm no longer accepts cash.  Unless you have been sunflower picking in the past, you may not know how thick and tough their stalks are.  Even using the hardy pair of scissors provided at the fields, it takes some hacking to sever the stem.  This said, the labor is one of love and well worth it when you get to take your sunflowers home to display. 

After you have harvested your fill of flowers there are two options, take to the food truck and get some fresh baked treats, or head to the kid zone for some family fun.  The kid’s zone has a carousel, rock climbing wall, blow up obstacle course, giant slides, and much more to keep the little ones busy while the parents relax in the shade after a long day in the Florida sun.

Southern Hills Farms

Southern Hills Farms/ Facebook

Graham Farms

If you are ever in Lake County, give Graham Farms a visit.  This farm has been around since 1918, so you can bet they know what they are doing.  Guests are able to pick peaches, blackberries, wildflowers, and of course sunflowers during their respective seasons. 

This farm is gorgeous, with plenty of photo opportunities.  You can snag a picture trapsing through the rows of sunflowers, or in the beautiful peach grove during late winter when the trees are covered in tiny pink blossoms. 

If you really fall in love with the farm, you can reserve it for your wedding.  Farm weddings are making a comeback, and what better backdrop drop than a field of sunflowers in bloom for your special day.  The wedding package comes with use of the chapel, bridal suite, and pavilion for an outdoor reception.

Graham Farms

Graham Farms/ Facebook

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm

Looking for some knee slapping farm fun with a twist?  Well, at Stanley Pond Adventure Farm that is exactly what you will get.  This twenty-three acre estate not only has U-pick sunflowers and zinnias but multiple ponds that are stocked with fish!  Bring your own bait and fishing pole and get to catching. 

Other attractions include a basketball court, tricycle races, a splash pad, and a giant jumping pillow.  The jumping pillow and splash pad are mainly for the kiddos, but the trikes come in adult sizes and anyone can shoot the game winning basket on the court. 

After all the excitement of a day on the farm, you may have worked up an appetite.  Well, fear not because they are slinging barbeque sandwiches for lunch out at Stanley Pond Adventure Farm.  After all is said and done, you will leave with priceless memories and some gorgeous sunflowers to brighten your home.

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm

Stanley Pond Adventure Farm/ Facebook

Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon farm in Ocoee, Florida hosts a Sunflower Festival every year during May.  At the festival, multiple types of sunflowers can be enjoyed and picked to take home.  It should be noted that you should bring your own scissors or shears, as they will not be provided at the farm unless you are planning to purchase a pair.  The minimum flower purchase per person is $10. 

Part of the sunflower festival is Harvest Moon’s petting farm, where you can get up close and personal with goats, ponies, pigs, and even a llama.  Other farm offerings include a horse swing, a whimsical tree house that sports vibrant colors, tricycles made to look like lawn mowers, giant slides, an old school playground complete with tetherball, and much more. 

Though this is not technically an attraction, if you are feeling peckish, grab some of the farm’s homemade kettle corn.  It is hard to beat piping hot popcorn that is both salty and sweet.

Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon/ Facebook

The Pickin’ Patch

Out in Dunnellon, Florida you can find a farm called The Pickin’ Patch.  During the month of October, The Pickin’ Patch is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for U-pick pumpkins, gourds, and of course sunflowers.  During this time, live bands playing Bluegrass are out at the farm to really give visitors that farmstead feel while they harvest their own pumpkins and sunflowers. 

A unique feature of this farm is its little gourd trellis that visitors can walk through with people’s prayers and wishes scribbled on bits of paper and hung on the young gourds.  This may sound odd, but it is actually quite beautiful and almost acts as the farm’s version of a wishing well.  The trellis is covered in gourd vines that grow up and over the trellis to make an outdoor hall where you can get some much needed shade.

The Pickin' Patch

The Pickin’ Patch/ Flickr

A Land of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery

A Land of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery has it all.  They are community conscious and make it their business to not only teach about sustainability but make it easy for visitors to do the same.  They sell aquaponic gardens for household growing and even offer free classes that are open to the public on varying topics.  The love and care they put into their farm really shows through. 

The farm also has a nursey and organic farmer’s market as well as beautiful sunflower fields for guests to enjoy.  The sunflower fields are always a favorite and provide a wonderful backdrop for Instagram worthy photos.  The nursery has a large tree selection and guests can shop knowing that all are non-GMO, which is a big plus for shoppers nowadays.

A Land of Delight Natural Farm and Nursery

A Land of Delight Natural Farm and Nursery/ Facebook

Sledd’s U-Pick Farm

Sledd’s U-Pick Farm is located in Mims, Florida.  This small, little-known town doesn’t have much in the way tourism, but visiting Sledd’s is worth the trip.  The sunflower maze is breath taking, with golden beauties at every turn and the buzz of bees all around.  The farm offers U-pick flowers, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, eggplants, and much more.  Why hit the grocery store when you can pick your own fruits and veggies and really connect with nature, at least for a day?  The staff are very personable and make their guests feel right at home from the minute they set foot on the farm. 

Sledd’s U-Pick Farm

Sledd’s U-Pick Farm/ Facebook

Sykes Family Farms

Sykes Family Farms has been around for over 50 years.  This means they have plenty of experience and know how to please their guests.  They offer a nine-acre corn maze that is not for the faint of heart, hayrides, duck racing, a petting zoo, and now they even allow cow milking.

Milking a cow for fun may sound odd, but it is actually quite popular.  In October the farm allows sunflower picking at just $1 a stem.  The sunflower picking is always a hit and is an easy way to take a piece of the farm back home with you.

Sykes Family Farms

Sykes Family Farms/ Facebook

Coon Hollo may sound like a made-up land from a book or movie, but I assure you, it’s real.  In fact, it is located in a place called Micanopy, Florida.  Every Spring Coon Hollow hosts a Sunflower Festival for all to enjoy May 7 th through May 21 st .  The price of admission is only $8 and that includes two sunflowers, a hayride, and a chance to enjoy all the farm animals.  Of this package, the most unique is the hayride.  Whilst on the wagon, you are able to feed the cows on the farm by hand, they just walk right up to the wagon! 

Nana’s Country Store and Bake Shop is located on site and is perfect for both souvenirs and satisfying any sweet tooth.  As fun as the Sunflower Festival is, it is tame compared to Coon Hollo’s Fall Festival.  In the fall admission is $12.50 and the fun and games are endless.  There is a crop maze, putt putt golf, pig races, a hay fort, pony rides, archery and so much more.

Coon Hollo

Coon Hollo/ Facebook

Hunsader Farms

Hunsader Farms offers more than your average sunflower field experience.  They of course have your standard yellow sunflowers, but they also have varieties that come in red, purple, chocolate, and orange, perfect to spruce up your home for any fall gathering.  Yellow sunflowers are just one dollar per flower, while the colorful blooms are three.  As the colorful sunflowers are harder to come by, they are worth the upcharge. 

After sunflower picking season has come to an end, be sure to visit the farm for their annual Country Christmas.  Admission is $12 and only cash will be accepted, so make a trip to an ATM on your way.  Included in the price of admission is a Santa photo opportunity, hayrides, train rides, light displays, an outdoor movie, snow tubing, and a petting zoo.  If that were not enough, there are pony rides, axe throwing, and s’mores available for purchase.  Basically, there is something for everyone at Hunsader Farms.

Hunsader Farms

Hunsader Farms/ Facebook

The Berry Farms

If you find yourself in Miami in March, The Berry Farms are a must see.  They carve a maze into their sunflower field and offer U-pick options with sunflowers priced at $1 per flower. 

Once you have harvested your fill flowers, head on over to the play area.  In the play area there is a bounce pad, an expansive playground, hay barrel stacks for climbing with tubes running throughout for crawling, a turf field with music and cornhole, and a giant obstacle course that is quite daunting.  The obstacle course is tempting with its zip line, rock wall and monkey bars, but for all those show off dads, be warned that the weight limit is 150lbs. 

The Berry Farms has its own farmer’s market open for guests to purchase farm fresh produce and homemade preserves.  There is also a juice bar, barbeque pit, and taco joint on site to satisfy any craving.

The Berry Farms

The Berry Farms/ Facebook

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is another gorgeous Florida farm where you can find bliss among the towering sunflowers so many of us love.  In the spring, guests can take advantage of the farm’s kid friendly activities like tug-a-war, the playground, and the Ball Zone.

In the fall, there is a jump pad, cow train, Corn Crib, and of course a pumpkin patch where a soon to be perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin can be chosen.  Most of this is self-explanatory, but I may have lost some of you at Corn Crib.

The Corn Crib is basically a giant sand box, but instead of sand, as the name suggests, it is filled with corn.  Whether you are in it for the flowers or the fun and games, you’re sure to have a blast at Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace/ Facebook

Family Farms

Out at Family Farms you can not only enjoy the great outdoors, but all the vendors and local artists that the farm hosts.

Now adays we are on the brink of recession and it is even more important to support local businesses, which is exactly what Family Farms does.  Amongst the farm’s own offerings like their produce and gorgeous sunflowers picked fresh from the fields, vendors offer crafts, caricatures, face painting and more. 

Family Farms is big on family, not shockingly, and bettering their community.  They do this through their summer camps and afterschool programs.  While at the farm, the staff teaches the kids about agriculture and hard work and they have tons of activities to keep their participants active, like yoga and archery.

Atwood Family Farms

Sunflowers are available for picking almost all year round at the Atwood Family Farms.  Whether it is summer, spring, or fall, they have you covered for all of your sunflower needs.

They also have props throughout the farm for photo opportunities at every turn, as if the gorgeous fields alone were not picturesque enough! 

Outside of sunflowers, the farm offers U-pick blueberries and strawberries to their guests. As an extra special treat, at the beginning of April there is an easter egg hunt held at the farm.  This hunt is all day and there are different time slots for different age groups, so all can participate.

There is a hunt for two and under all the way up to eighteen and older.  Beyond the easter egg hunt, Atwood Family Farms offer a plethora of activities including gem mining, an easter bunny available for photos, and a Bubble Barn that is always a hit with the kids.

Atwood Family Farms

Atwood Family Farms/ Facebook

Red, White and Blues Farm

Red, White and Blues Farm is located in Williston, Florida.  They have U-pick strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and sunflowers.  Their sunflower fields span twenty-two acres, so basically these yellow beauties go as far as the eye can see.

Post sunflower harvesting, head over to the kid’s area for some family fun.  Here you can find yard games like cornhole and giant checkers, frisbee golf, a sand pit complete with drivable diggers, tetherball, and not just a tree house, but an entire tree village to explore.

Though these activities are listed as “kid activities” on the Red, White and Blues Farm website, there are plenty of adults who would love some old school tether ball or a friendly corn hole competition.  There is something for everyone at the Red, White and Blues Farm whether you are looking for family fun, a not so cliché date, or a day with friends.

Red, White and Blues Farm

Red, White and Blues Farm/ Facebook

You Farm is an odd name, but fits this farm’s purpose and background perfectly.  Before there was a farm, the Horbonis couple started a hydroponic garden in their garage in 2015.  They wanted to become agriculturally savvy and help others do the same. 

To grow their garden, they purchased some land that has now become an eclectic farm of sorts.  You Farm has rescued animals, bees, U-pick sunflower fields, and most uniquely community gardens.  They work to educate the community on how to grow their own food organically and are pushing for teaching how to grow your own food in schools so the next generation can be agriculturally knowledgeable.   

The U-pick sunflowers at the You Farm are an amazing draw for visitors and are beautiful in their own right, but guests coming for sunflowers may leave with a knowledge and understanding of the earth that they were not expecting.

You Farm

You Farm/ Facebook

Conner’s A-Maizing-Acres

Another farm offering the sought-after golden floral giants we call sunflowers is Conner’s A-Maizing-Acres.  It is located in Hilliard, Florida and offers U-pick sunflowers May 13, 14, 20 & 21.  This is a very short season compared to some other farms, but Conner’s A-Maizing-Acres farm makes up for this in other ways. 

In the fall they have a haunted trail and corn maze for those guests looking for some spooky fun.  During the day there are regular corn maze walk throughs and wagon rides.

On select days there are special activities, like a trick or treat scavenger hunt or Redneck Olympics, which is sure to have everyone laughing.

The farm also offers a rotating array of food trucks so that guests have a variety of quality cuisine to choose from on any given day that the farm is open to the public.

Conner’s A-Maizing-Acres

Conner’s A-Maizing-Acres/ Facebook

Orchard Pond

Orchard Pond is a farm located in Tallahassee , Florida. Their U-pick sunflower season starts in June and is a sight to behold.  Row upon row of giant sunflowers are enough to put a smile on any face, but in the Florida heat, there is a certain point when you just need to take a break and enjoy some nice cool refreshments. 

Luckily, Orchard Pond has just what you need.  They offer specialty sodas, organic juices, tea, locally brewed beer, wine, and of course ice-cold water.

And, if the drinks aren’t cold enough, you can always get some of their ice cream or popsicles.  They offer a variety of other goods for purchase as well, like honey, granola, and farm grown veggies.  There are also U-pick vegetable options if you are looking for the full farm experience.

Orchard Pond

Orchard Pond/ Facebook

Looking for Sunflower Fields near You?

Save this map to your phone to help you find sunflower farms and fields nearby you.

You’ll find the most sunflower fields near Orlando but there are farms near Miami , Jacksonville and Tampa too.

Let us know in the comments below if you think we missed one!

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Sunflowers in Florida: ‘Stunning’ fall scene in Immokalee preserve Oct. 11, 13, 14, 15

By: Author Bonnie Gross

Posted on Last updated: September 25, 2023

Picture vast glorious fields of yellow sunflowers stretching on and on.

Kansas? The Dakotas? No, Florida.

The blossoms of the southeastern sunflower, which grows only in Florida and Georgia, is a sure sign of fall in Florida, and in some places, field after field blazes with yellow each fall.

Sunflowers blooming in fall at Pepper Ranch near Naples, Florida. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

But if you want to gaze on the golden fields of southeastern sunflower, you can’t put it off, because the flowers stay in bloom for just two or three weeks.

A good place to see southeastern sunflowers is a relatively new and little-known preserve near Immokalee called Pepper Ranch Preserve, which opens the gates for sunflower viewing. You must reserve a spot, but it’s free.

This year, a “Sunset Photo View” session has been added — Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 6-8 p.m. It is designed for photographers who want that “golden hour” lighting and a sunset in the background.

Then, the preserve is open Friday, Oct. 13 to Sunday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last entry time at 2 p.m.).

Last year, all the free, reserved tickets were gone weeks before the event.

Pepper Preserve’s sunflowers are truly something to see, according to Alexandra Sulecki, coordinator of the Conservation Collier Program.”There are fields and fields of them,” she said. “It’s just a stunning display.”

To see the sunflowers, you drive through the preserve and stop along the way to take photos and see the flowers up close. (At this time of year the trails are too wet and the preserve doesn’t open for hiking until early November.)

Southeastern sunflower. Photo by Dan Culbert, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

The preserve is not open at this time of the year except for the sunflower-viewing event, for which you musts register in advance.

Here are details:

Sunflowers at Pepper Ranch 6315 Pepper Road, Immokalee Friday, Oct. 11, 13, 14, 15 , 2023 Registration information is at this website. Bathrooms are available at the visitor center and port-o-potties will be placed at the viewing fields. No food or drink will be available at the preserve, so plan ahead to bring your own and pack out any trash. As you travel to the sunflower fields, you may spot deer, turkey, hawks, sandhill cranes and members of the resident cattle herd that call Pepper Ranch Preserve home.

Conservation Collier, the event sponsor says: “Visitors will travel along an unpaved wildlife drive through the preserve to reach the access points for viewing the best fields with blooms. Guests will have the opportunity to park and photograph the blooms alongside the drive.”

Southeastern sunflowers are native to Florida and Georgia. These were photographed at Pepper Ranch near Naples. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

The native southeastern sunflower is an annual herb with the scientific name Helianthus agrestis. Dozens of the small daisy-like flowers blossom on a branched plant that can grow 9 feet tall and can spread to cover open marshes, particularly following a fire.

They’re quite common in Florida, so be on the lookout for them on roadsides throughout Florida in coming weeks.

Wildlife commonly observed at Pepper Ranch includes wild turkey, caracara, hog, deer, alligator, and sandhill cranes. We spotted these deer on our sunflower visit. (Photo: David Blasco)

History of Pepper Ranch Preserve

When you visit Pepper Ranch Preserve, you will be exploring a historic slice of Old Florida. The ranch was founded by Frank Jefferson Pepper, who was born in Cherry Creek, Nevada, in 1880, to a ranching family. (His father knew Jesse James and Wyatt Earp among other colorful frontier characters.)

The Peppers farmed and ranched the land, eventually selling oil rights to sections where there are still active oil wells. The land was acquired by Collier County in 2009 because of its critical role in the environment, which includes prime habitat for endangered species, including the Florida panther, as well as pristine cypress swamps and marshes.

A hunting lodge built by the Peppers in the 1950s serves as the visitor center for the preserve, which is open only on weekends from October through May (excluding holidays and weekends when hunting is offered.)

A sea of bright yellow: Sunflowers at Pepper Ranch near Immokalee. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Pepper Ranch Preserve

  • Admission to the preserve is free. Visitors must check in at the visitors’ center to receive a daily permit and gate entrance code that will allow them to drive the scenic ranch road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the sunflower weekends.
  • Directions to Pepper Ranch Preserve, 6315 Pepper Road: From Immokalee, take SR 29/Main Street north to Lake Trafford Road. Turn left and travel 2.9 miles to Pepper Road. Turn right and travel 0.9 miles to Pepper Ranch Preserve. Entrance is on the left.
  • If you visit Pepper Ranch Preserve, be sure to walk out to the overlook at Lake Trafford, a surprisingly large (1500 acres) lake that is a popular fishing spot. The overlook is just beyond the visitor center.
  • A map of Pepper Ranch Preserve with trails indicated. (All trails are muddy/underwater in early fall.)
  • Once the preserve opens in November, there are several miles of hiking trails. Mountain biking and tent camping are also available on weekends.

Other places to see Florida’s wild sunflowers

  • Lake Jessup Conservation Area near Orlando and Sanford . Here’s a photographer’s description of finding this spot.
  • Naples’ Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Quite near Pepper Ranch Preserve, this Audubon preserve also has fields of sunflowers. A small display is viewable from the boardwalk, but there are larger fields that are not accessible.

This article is original, produced exclusively for our readers and protected by U.S. Copyright law. Any use or re-publication without written permission is against the law.

Bonnie Gross

The author, Bonnie Gross, travels with her husband David Blasco, discovering off-the-beaten path places to hike, kayak, bike, swim and explore. Florida Rambler was founded in 2010 by Bonnie and fellow journalist Bob Rountree, two long-time Florida residents who have spent decades exploring the Florida outdoors. Their articles have been published in the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, The Guardian and Visit Florida.

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15 Gorgeous Wildflower + Sunflower Fields in Central Florida for Photos and Cut-Your-Own-Flowers

Sunflower Farms Lakeland

Sunflower picking tips:

  • Be respectful and stay on the trails and off the flowers. Remember that the family farms you are visiting are the product of someone else’s hard work, and they are sharing so visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of flowers.
  • Take your own scissors or cutters and a cup to put your flower bouquets in {some farms provide the cups}
  • Some farms charge an admission fee and include other activities, tractor rides, farm fun, live music, etc. Others charge per flower stem.
  • Be sure to check in when you arrive and follow the instructions for how to cut each flower stem, how many flowers you can cut, etc.
  • Dress comfortably for the outdoors with closed-toe shoes. You WILL be walking in dirt and you may get dirty!
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen – fields are in the sun. Light colored clothing is best.
  • Pick early in the morning when it is still cool.
  • Take CASH!! Many fields only accept cash, others only accept credit.
  • Leave your pets at home – most farms do not allow dogs or other pets.
  • If you’re planning to take professional photographs, be sure to check with the farm before you go – many require a special photography pass to use the sunflower patches for photos.
  • Keep in mind these are working farms, so there will be ants, bees, etc. If you or your children have allergies, take precautions.
  • Don’t leave your flowers in a hot car. You may want to bring your own bucket of water to keep your fresh cut flowers hydrated on the drive home.
  • Snap plenty of amazing sunflower photos to share on Instagram and Facebook!

Sunflower Fields Near You: Lakeland + Plant City

Lakeland sunflower field fancy farms market.

Sunflower Field Near Me Wildflowers

Plant City Sunflower Field A Land of Delight Natural Farm & Nursery

Plant city sunflower field – 5k farms, plant city sunflower field – berry sweet acres, plant city sun flower field – three son farms, plant city sunflower field – fox squirrel corn maze, sunflower fields near tampa, spring hill sunflower farm – jimmy mc’s farm, bradenton sunflower field – hunsader farms, brooksville sunflower field – sweetfields farm, spring hill sunflower maze – harvestmoon fun farm.

Sunflower Fields Near Me

Sunflower Fields near Orlando

St. cloud sunflower and pumpkin farm – mick farms, clermont sunflower field – southern hill farms, umatilla sunflower field – graham farms, u-pick sunflowers near mount dora – stanley pond adventure farm, u-pick sunflowers near mount dora – amber brooke farms, titusville sunflower field – sledd’s u-pick, dunnellon sunflower field and pumpkin farm – the pickin’ patch, map – find a sunflower field near you.

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Inaugural Sunflower Bicycle Tour crosses Florida from Coast-to-Coast

  • Inaugural Sunflower Bicycle Tour crosses…

The inaugural Sunflower Tour, a four-day bicycle ride across Florida, started in Titusville on March 31 and ended in downtown St. Petersburg on April 3 with nearly all the miles ridden on the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail.    Julie Bond and Vanessa Wheeler were instrumental in creating, planning, and riding in the tour organized by Bike Florida and Bike/Walk Tampa Bay.  Julie participated as one of 32 women riding over 200 miles during the tour. Vanessa helped orchestrate rest stops and addressed the evolving needs of participants as the event progressed. The tour welcomed women of all ages and riding experience.  Former CUTR student graduate assistants Dajana Gibson and Dayna Lazarus also completed the tour.

  According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, “The Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail (C2C)  was conceived as an ambitious effort to create a continuous paved multi-use trail across the state of Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, the first state trail of its kind in the United States.”  For more information on the Coast to Coast Trail visit:  Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail | Florida Department of Environmental Protection

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Florida's 2024 Strawberry Festival reveals star-studded lineup: Here's who's performing

Posted: November 14, 2023 | Last updated: November 14, 2023

PLANT CITY, Fla. – Over the decades, the Florida Strawberry Festival has become renowned for bringing in some of the biggest names in rock, southern rock and country.

But in more recent years, the acts have become more sonically diverse.

On Monday, Strawberry Festival organizers officially announced the music lineup for the 2024 festival, running from Feb. 29 to March 10, with an array of musical stylings and sounds.

Strawberry Festival performers include Black-Eyed Peas, Kirk Franklin, Flo Rida and ZZ Top

Festival officials are calling the lineup at the 89th festival "out of this world." The big-name musical artists appearing on the Wish Farms Soundstage include blues and southern rock icons ZZ Top; country singer-songwriter Riley Green; hip-hop and R&B group the Black-Eyed Peas; classic rock band Foreigner; Christian hip-hop and soul gospel singer and rapper Kirk Franklin; singer-songwriter Jordan Davis; and rapper and southern hip-hop artist Flo Rida.

Florida Strawberry Festival President Kyle Robinson said although the process for selecting and securing noted acts to perform is a long and detailed process, the result is a slate of musical artists that are varied in their sounds. The festival has kept a steady lineup of classic country acts such as Gene Watson, but the administration worked hard to bring in newer country artists such as Green and Jordan Davis, Robinson said.

The festival president said he was particularly happy to get the Black Eyed Peas onstage after years trying to secure them, and the act was flying from out of the U.S. just to attend the Strawberry Festival.

"Historically, the Strawberry Festival has centered around country music. Over the past few years, we’ve worked really hard to ensure we have entertainment for all of our guest," said Robinson in his second year as president.

And in a written statement, Robinson said months of effort go into putting the annual festival concerts together.

"The directors on our entertainment committee worked diligently in planning and preparing for this highly anticipated announcement. The research, negotiations, and coordinating that must take place for us to secure our headline entertainment is such a unique process," he wrote. "I know how much care and consideration has gone into making these selections, and I can promise you this lineup will not disappoint. It's 'Out of This World'!"

Strawberry Festival 2024 full lineup

The music lineup for the 2024 Strawberry Festival:

  • Feb. 29, 10:30 a.m. Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra (free with admission); 3:30 p.m., The Oak Ridge Boys’ farewell “American Made Farewell Tour” ($35);  7:30 p.m. Oliver Anthony “Out of The Woods” ($35).
  • March 1, 3:30 p.m. The Beach Boys ($45); 7:30 p.m., Jordan Davis ($55).
  • March 2, 7:30 p.m. Black Eyed Peas (without Fergie, $65).
  • March 3, 7:30 p.m. Parker McCollum ($65).
  • March 4, 3:30 p.m. The Bellamy Brothers ($25); 7:30 p.m., ZZ Top ($55).
  • March 5, 3:30 p.m. Mark Lowry ($30); 7:30 p.m. Zach Williams ($40).
  • March 6, 3:30 p.m. Craig Morgan ($35); 7:30 p.m. Riley Green ($50).
  • March 7, 10:30 a.m. Bill Haley Jr. & The Comets (free with admission); 3:30 p.m. Gene Watson ($25); 7:30 p.m. Kirk Franklin ($45).
  • March 8, 3:30 p.m. The Commodores ($35); 7:30 p.m. Foreigner ($55).
  • March 9, 3:30 p.m. Jo Dee Messina ($30); 7:30 p.m. Flo Rida ($50).
  • March 10, 7:30 p.m. act will be announced Nov. 27.

With the exception of the March 9 concert featuring Jo Dee Messina, there will be no Saturday or Sunday afternoon shows.

Strawberry Festival 2024 tickets

Advance tickets for admission and for headline entertainment shows go on sale at 8 a.m. Dec. 7. They can be purchased online at www.flstrawberryfestival.com , at the Amscot Main Ticket Office, 2209 W. Oak Ave., Plant City, Florida, and by phone at 813-754-1996.

For information and tickets, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com , call 813-754-1996 or visit in person at the Amscot Main Ticket Office.

The Florida Strawberry Festival 11-day festival draws more than 600,000 people annually with exhibits, youth livestock shows, a variety of strawberry-themed and strawberry-made dishes and desserts and treats and live music acts.

This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Florida's 2024 Strawberry Festival reveals star-studded lineup: Here's who's performing

Oliver Anthony, of Rich Men North of Richmond, fame will play the headlining spot on the opening night of the Strawberry Festival on Feb. 29.

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Nicki Minaj breaks the internet with 'Pink Friday 2 Tour' announcement; first Florida show in nearly a decade

MIAMI, Fla. - Nicki Minaj is going on tour – and Florida will get to experience her upcoming new album Pink Friday 2 in person in 2024!

The "Starships" icon is scheduled to take over Miami in 2024. The date is still unknown, as Nicki said she's only releasing "approximate dates" at this time. The official dates will be announced at a later date, along with presale information.

The "Pink Friday 2 Tour" marks the rapper's first tour date in Florida since July 2015 when she performed in Miami on "The Pinkprint Tour."

Moments after the Queen of Rap announced the dates for her upcoming tour, her website crashed.

"Barbz, there’s no need to panic. There were lots of ppl waiting on the site. About 30K ppl," she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Once they sign up, they’ll come off & you’ll be able to. Pls breathe. Also, obviously these aren’t the only countries I’m going to. Just sign up. I’m holding the line open for you."

FOX 35 News was able to access the rough tour schedule briefly, and a list of cities can be found below.

‘Pink Friday 2 Tour’ tickets and presale

Minaj has spent the last few days updating her fans about the presale ticket process for her show. She said she would announce the approximate dates for the cities on her tour.

Barbz will be allowed to sign up for access to presale tickets – and that includes not just this tour, but others, too, she said.

Minaj said she encourages fans to sign up for the presale even if their city isn't on the list because she plans to add more cities if there's enough demand.

The presale and general sale will happen at a later date.

Nicki Minaj tour 2024 locations

Here's the full list of cities, as seen on Nicki Minaj's website in alphabetical order:

Atlanta, GA

Brooklyn, NY

Charlotte, NC

Chicago, IL

Columbus, OH

Detroit, MI

Hartford, CT

Houston, TX

Las Vegas, NV

Los Angeles, CA

Milwaukee, WI

Minneapolis, MN

Montreal, QC

Nashville, TN

New Orleans, LA

New York, NY

Oakland, CA

Oklahoma City, OK

Philadelphia, PA

Phoenix, AZ

Portland, OR

Raleigh, NC

Salt Lake City, UT

Seattle, WA

Toronto, ON

Vancouver, BC

Washington, DC

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Cologne, Germany

London, United Kingdom

Manchester, United Kingdom

Paris, France

Nicki Minaj's fifth studio album Pink Friday 2 is set to drop on Dec. 8.


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Subscriber only, things to do | how to get tickets (with a few passwords) for south florida shows by drake, alanis morissette, tina fey and amy poehler & more.

Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler are coming to Hard Rock Live in Hollywood on Jan. 21. (Universal Pictures)

Just as the neighbor’s ridiculously early display of lights has reminded me of my holiday gift-giving responsibilities, tickets go on sale this week for a ho-ho-whole bunch (sorry) of recently announced concert tours and comedy shows coming to South Florida in 2024. Who says there are no coincidences? Here’s a look at a dozen of the biggest shows  — from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at Hard Rock Live to Drake in Sunrise and Alanis Morissette in West Palm Beach — and how to get tickets.

Tina Fey / Amy Poehler

The multitalented “SNL” and “Sisters” sisters are coming to Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on Sunday, Jan. 21. A venue presale will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday via the Hard Rock Facebook , Instagram and X (pronounced “twitter”) accounts. The password: PARKS. Seats then go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com . 

The metal hell-raisers will open a new leg of their 2024 North American tour, joined by Lamb of God, at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise on Saturday, Feb. 3. Presale tickets are available now (passcode: LEGACY), with the general on-sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Visit Pantera.com . 

Bryan Adams

The singer-songwriter has added dates to his So Happy It Hurts Tour in 2024, including a stop at Amerant Bank Arena on Wednesday, March 6. Also performing will be Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook. An artist presale and other advance tickets are available ahead of the general on-sale at 10 a.m. Friday at BryanAdams.com .

Enrique Iglesias / Ricky Martin / Pitbull

The global Latin-music stars will continue The Trilogy Tour — the arena party that was a recent sellout in Miami — into 2024 with 18 new shows, including a performance at Amerant Bank Arena on Friday, March 8. Tickets go on sale at noon Friday at SeatGeek.com .

Lynyrd Skynyrd / ZZ Top

The iconic rock bands will bring their co-headlining Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour to Hard Rock Live on Sunday, March 10. Fan-club and venue presales are ongoing this week in advance of the general on-sale at 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com . 

A South Florida favorite, the comedian will return to Hard Rock Live on Sunday, March 17, with a social-media presale (password: BAIL) beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday through the Hard Rock Facebook , Instagram and X accounts , before seats go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com . 

The platinum-selling rap star will hit Broward County on a 2024 leg of his It’s All a Blur Tour, with a performance at Amerant Bank Arena on Saturday, March 23. Tickets will be available via presale at 11 a.m. Wednesday, then go on sale to the general public at 11 a.m. Friday. Details at DrakeRelated.com . Drake performed two shows on this tour at Miami’s Kaseya Center in September and released his eighth studio album, “For All the Dogs,” on Oct. 6. 

In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs onstage in Toronto. The rapper has been named Spotify's most-streamed artist of the decade.

Kevin James

The comedian and actor will perform at Hard Rock Live on Saturday, April 6. A venue presale will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday via the Hard Rock Facebook , Instagram and X accounts (password: HOME). Seats then go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at MyHRL.com . 

Alanis Morissette

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will bring The Triple Moon Tour to iTHINK FInancial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Thursday, June 20, with special guests Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. There will be a presale for fans who sign up for Morissette’s mailing list by Wednesday, with other presales taking place throughout the week in advance of the general on-sale that begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Alanis.com . 

Sammy Hagar 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will return to the road next summer with The Best of All Worlds Tour, accompanied by a supergroup featuring guitar god Joe Satriani, bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Jason Bonham. The tour will kick off at iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre on Saturday, July 13. Loverboy will open. Ticket presales begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, with the general on-sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Details at RedRocker.com .

Earth, Wind & Fire / Chicago

Two essential contributors to the soundtrack of the 1970s and ’80s will rekindle their co-headlining Heart & Soul Tour in 2024, including a stop at iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre on Saturday, Aug. 17. Presale tickets are on sale all week in advance of the general on-sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Visit EarthWindAndFire.com and ChicagoTheBand.com .

Thirty Seconds to Mars

Led by Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto, the band’s Seasons 2024 World Tour — with stops across Latin America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand — includes a concert at iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre on Friday, Aug. 23. Tickets are available now in a series of presales in advance of the general on-sale at 10 a.m. Friday at ThirtySecondsToMars.com .

Staff writer Ben Crandell can be reached at  [email protected] . Follow on  Instagram @BenCrandell  and  Twitter @BenCrandell .

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Other highlights include the opening of North Italia in Flagler Village, comedian Anthony Jeselnik at Hard Rock Live, Marc Anthony at the Kaseya Center

Things To Do | Weekend things to do (updated): Italian eats in Fort Lauderdale, Vegan Street Fair, shopping Delray, line dancing at Flamingo Flea

The casual French-style, brunch-all-day restaurant will open on an exclusive stretch of waterfront in the heart of the city, but there's not a yacht in sight.

Restaurants, Food and Drink | The most hidden of hidden gems in Fort Lauderdale: How to find Café Bastille when it opens Tuesday

The Boca Raton Museum of Art's new "Smoke and Mirrors" blockbuster show, opening Nov. 18, features 30 contemporary artists tackling the confusion of magic, supernatural illusions, belief and reality with tongue-in-cheek spirit.

Things To Do | ‘Don’t be so gullible’: The art of fake news, lies & hoaxes in new ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ exhibit

Who does Oakland Park think it is, Fort Lauderdale? The city is growing up — literally — with a wave of new buildings that will add restaurants, cafes, art murals, parks and nightlife to North Federal and North Dixie highways.

Restaurants, Food and Drink | Oakland Park the next Fort Lauderdale? New towers morphing city’s skyline with art, restaurants, nightlife

Orlando Sentinel

Home and Garden | The Plant Doctor: Fresh seeds key to good…

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Home and garden, subscriber only, home and garden | the plant doctor: fresh seeds key to good sunflower growth.

Sunflower in bloom. (Courtesy Tom MacCubbin)

Question. Everyone seems to grow sunflowers but I planted two packets of seed and got nothing. How deep do you plant the seeds, and will birds eat them?

Answer. Birds, squirrels and other critters love sunflower seed but you should see signs of digging to obtain their food.  Make sure the seed obtained is fresh and has been stored in an air-conditioned room prior to purchase. Some stores have been observed with seed racks outdoors where the seed can deteriorate in the heat and humidity. You must try again with fresh seeds, but this time plant one seed in each small container filled with potting soil. Plant the seeds about a half inch deep and keep them moist. Locate the sown containers in a sunny but critter-free area. When the seedlings are about a foot tall, transplant them to the garden site to grow the flowers.

Q. My tibouchina has grown quite tall but is flowering. Can I prune it now?

A. Why not enjoy the blooms a bit longer, even though the plants may be tall and somewhat out of bounds?  You can remove a few of the longer shoots if you wish, but leave most to flower. Tibouchina, also called princess flower, is cold-sensitive and could be affected during the winter. Delay major pruning until mid-to-late February when plant size can be reduced and cold damage removed.

Loquat in bloom. (Courtesy Tom MacCubbin)

Q. I planted a seedling found under a fruit-bearing loquat that has grown to 30 feet tall but has not produced fruits. Is there such a thing as a male loquat tree?

A. Loquat trees have male and female flowers on the same tree, but they may take their time coming into bloom. Fall through early winter is flowering time, so trees that are going to produce fruits this year are already in bloom. Seeding trees are quite variable and may need more time than named varieties to come into production. All eventually flower and produce fruit.

Q. Our bird of paradise starts to form flowers, but the buds never fully open. What can I do to get better blooms?

A. Blooms that don’t fully open may have a pest problem or need a little more cultural care. Start by looking for mealybugs or similar insects within the buds. If present, apply an insecticide label for the pest noted. You may have to remove all buds hiding in insects and protect new, unopened buds with the insecticide. Next, make sure the soil is moist. Watering once or twice a week is normally adequate during the dry times. Also, apply a slow-release fertilizer with minor nutrients in March, May and early October. It may take until spring to start reviving your bird of paradise, but you should eventually get the flowers you remember.

November in the garden

Q. We have a Meyer lemon that has produced good fruit in the past, but this year there are only a few, and the leaves are crinkled. Some have a black coating. What is needed?

A. It sounds like there are going to be slim pickings this year as the Meyer lemon crop should be ripening over the next few months, and then trees flower again in spring. Let’s give your tree a slight overhaul to get it back to good production. It appears the symptoms noted are caused by insects. Most likely, leaf miners and scale insects are at fault. Start the new care program with a horticultural oil spray for citrus to control most insects and help remove the black sooty mold coating. Then, when new growth is noted, apply a natural insecticide containing spinosad. This later insecticide is found in Bonide, Fertilome and Southern Ag products. Also, don’t forget that fertilizer applications are needed in March, May, August and early October. Follow all label instructions with these products.

Q. This year, my plumeria did not get the rust as we applied a control, but it has white cottony-like stuff along the upper stems and on the back of the leaves. What is it, and what should I do for the plant?

A. You have solved one common plumeria pest problem, and now there is one left to control. An included email photo made it clear mealy bugs are dining on your plant.  As noted, most activity was on the back of the leaves and upper stems in the bud areas. Try a horticultural oil spray that is directed at the insects to obtain control. Be sure to hit the stems where the insects can live when the leaves drop during late fall and winter.  Remove the leaves from the ground and discard.  If needed, some systemic sprays to apply to the foliage, stems or to the ground are available. Follow label instructions for proper use of the product selected.

Q. Now that the weather is turning cooler, when is the time to sow my annual ryegrass seed?

A. There is often a chill in the evening and morning air, but it’s still quite hot during the day. Wait until the days are consistently in the 70s to lower 80s to make the ryegrass sowing. When the weather is hot and the turf becomes moist, a disease often called cottony blight can cause the young ryegrass to decline. This temporary turf loves the cold but not the hotter weather. Late November to early December would likely be a good time to make the sowing.

Q. I would like to plant the spring flowering bulbs in Florida. Do I refrigerate tulips and crocus before planting?

A. It’s a bit of a chore, but most northern spring flowering bulbs need a cold treatment in the refrigerator to bloom locally. Some gardeners simply set the bagged bulbs in the refrigerator for about 12 weeks. Others prefer to plant the bulbs in containers where they appear to make some growth while receiving the cold treatment. If in containers, they do need to be kept moist. Here is a bit of a complication. There cannot be flowers, fruits or vegetables in the refrigerator at the same time. These give off a gas that can cause the maturing flower buds to abort.  After the cold treatment, loose bulbs are planted in the ground, and containers of bulbs are set in areas where they are to bloom.

Tom MacCubbin is an urban horticulturist emeritus with the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Write him: Orlando Sentinel, P.O. Box 2833, Orlando, FL. 32802. Email:  [email protected]

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Cucumber with pickleworm. (Courtesy Tom McCubbin)

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To get a handle on the holidays, sit down with your favorite hot beverage, write up your holiday to-do list and make getting organized part of the plan. (Courtesy Julia Sudnitskaya forDreamstime.com)

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Calendar's etc. listings for the week of Nov. 17-23 include "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" as the feature in Maitland's Movie in the Park series and the Asian Lantern Festival at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Sanford.

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Chair rails, wainscoting, ceilings and baseboards don't have to be white, says Joa Studholme, co-author of a new book on clever and courageous ways to add color to your home. In a move away from grey, this eating area features Farrow & Ball Selvedge on the walls, Hopper Head on the paneling, and Shadow White around the window. (Courtesy Farrow & Ball)

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Pop star Pink to give away 2,000 banned books at Florida concerts. Here's what and where

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Book banners in Florida have a new enemy: Multi-Grammy winner, singer-songwriter P!nk .

The global megastar announced Monday in an Instagram Live post (and while wearing an "I READ BANNED BOOKS" t-shirt) that she is teaming up with PEN America and Florida bookseller Books & Books to give away 2,000 banned books at two upcoming concerts in Florida to highlight the surge in book bans in Florida and across the country.

“Books have held a special joy for me from the time I was a child, and that’s why I am unwilling to stand by and watch while books are banned by schools,” Pink said in a press release.

In the Instagram Live announcement, she said, "I can't imagine my own parents telling my kids what they can and can't read, let alone someone else's parents, let alone someone else who doesn't even have children."

After reading a short list of some of the books removed from Florida school shelves, she said, 'I would say to anyone out there listening, any book you hear is being banned, please run out as fast as you can and get your hands on these books because they're amazing books."

The war against books: PEN America reports book bans in Florida and U.S. grow by the thousands. What we know

Florida book bans and challenges surge in recent years

In PEN America's latest report, " Banned in the USA: The Mounting Pressure to Censor ," there are  more books bans here than in any other state , by a wide margin. The number of public school bans in the U.S. under PEN America's definition increased 33% in the 2022-23 school year compared to the previous year, the report said, and over 40% of those happened in Florida.

Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate hopeful Ron DeSantis has made parental rights a keystone of his gubernatorial career. In 2022 he  signed the Parental Rights in Education Bill , dubbed "Don’t Say Gay” by opponents, which barred discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grades, later  expanded  through K-12. This year  DeSantis signed HB 1069 , which restricts books that include “sexual conduct” from grades that are not age-suitable. In August the state released a compiled list of books that had been challenged in Florida school districts, which some have feared will  increase the chances of schools peremptorily removing books  without a formal challenge.

PEN America and other advocates claim that the growing book-banning movement is meant to  erase narratives by and about LGBTQ people  and people of color while whitewashing American history. Proponents say the  restrictions are meant to protect children  from sexually graphic and explicit stories and provide parents with control over what their children see.

"This is a wave that is taking over our counties, our schools, our libraries, they're going after books about children of color, stories about LGBTQ families, books about babies, about animals," CEO of PEN America Suzanne Nossel said in the Instagram announcement with Pink. "This is censorship in its purest form. It is meant to suppress narratives that we need here in a pluralistic society, and so we have to push back.

"This is not a country that accepts book bans," she said.

Voters in multiple states dealt a blow to conservative activists backed by groups such as Moms for Liberty in last week's elections, voting in moderate or liberal school board candidates instead.

Banned Books: How to read challenged books, ebooks for free, even in Florida

What banned books is Pink giving out in Florida?

At her shows in Miami on Nov. 14 and in Sunrise on Nov. 15 for her 2023 Trustfall Tour , the pop star will be handing out copies of four books that regularly pop up on banned books lists: "The Family Book,” by Todd Parr, “The Hill We Climb,” by Amanda Gorman , “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, and a book from “Girls Who Code,” founded by Reshma Saujani.

“It’s especially hateful to see authorities take aim at books about race and racism and against LGBTQ authors and those of color," Pink, who described herself as a "voracious reader," said. "We have made so many strides toward equality in this country and no one should want to see this progress reversed. This is why I am supporting PEN America in its work and why I agree with them: no more banned books.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary Jeremy Redfern reposted Pink's list on X (formerly Twitter) and said "someone confused Florida for California," pointing out that "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Anne Frank are on Florida's best standards list.

"To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee, was sent for review in Palm Beach County and removed from classrooms until the district ultimately reinstated it. A graphic adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" was pulled from schools and appears on the state's banned books list.

DeSantis and the state of Florida define "banned" as officially prohibited for distribution by the Board of Education, while activists and groups such as PEN America often the word to define any book that students aren't allowed to see because it has been removed from classrooms or libraries, even if it is pending review or removed out of caution regarding the new laws, whether it has officially been banned by the state or not.

Are removed books the same as banned? Gov. DeSantis bristles at 'book banning hoax,' fights 'myths' with 'facts.' Which ones are myths?

Where will Pink be performing in Florida?

Tickets are still available for:

  • Nov. 14: Kaseya Center , Miami, 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 15: Amerant Bank Arena , Sunrise, 7:30 p.m.

Who is P!nk?

Alecia Beth Moore Hart, 44, who performs as Pink (usually written as P!nk), debuted her solo album in 2000, "Can't Take Me Home," which went double-platinum. Since then she has released nine studio albums and one greatest hits album which have sold over 60 million albums or equivalents worldwide.

Pink, known for her high-energy concerts including her own aerial acrobatics while singing, has 15 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (four at No. 1) and has sold out arenas and stadiums all over the world. She has won three Grammy Awards (21 nominations), one Daytime Emmy Award, seven MTV Video Music Awards, including the 2017 Vanguard Award recipient, two MTV Europe Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2013 and received The Brits Outstanding Contribution To Music Award in 2019 (the first international artist to receive this honor).

In 2019, Pink received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Most recently, in 2021, she was named Billboard Music Awards’ Icon Recipient, and iHeartRadio announced she was their Music Awards’ Icon Recipient in 2023.

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Pink performs in New York City on 5 November.

Pink to distribute banned books at Florida tour dates

Singer to give out 2,000 free copies of books in state that is center of hotbed of challenges to free speech

Pink is well known for her powerful voice and acrobatic stage shows, but on her Trustfall tour in Florida this week the pop star will distinguish herself for a different reason: by handing out banned books.

The singer and three-time Grammy winner is planning to distribute 2,000 free copies of books that have fallen foul of bans as a protest against a tide of censorship sweeping the US. Fans will benefit at tour stops in Miami and Sunrise, Florida – a state that has become the center of the banned book epidemic .

Describing herself as a voracious reader, Pink explained her thinking in an Instagram livestream. “I can’t imagine my own parents telling me what my kids can and cannot read, let alone someone else’s parents, let alone someone else that doesn’t even have children that are deciding what my children can read,” she said.

Pink’s banned book has been conceived together with the national free speech group PEN America . They have chosen four titles to give away – Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Todd Parr’s The Family Book, Stacia Deutsch’s Girls Who Code and the poem recited by the poet Amanda Gorman at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration in January 2021, The Hill We Climb.

PEN America’s database of censored books recorded 3,362 book bans in US public schools in the 2022-23 school year, involving 1,557 unique titles. Of those, more than 40% – or 1,406 book ban cases – occurred in Florida school districts.

Under Republican governor Ron DeSantis, Florida has become a hotbed of challenges to free speech. The bill he signed into law last year, The Parental Rights in Education Act – commonly known as the Don’t Say Gay law – prohibits elementary schools from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity.

Morrison’s 1987 Beloved, a portrait of a formerly enslaved family, has been removed from libraries and classrooms in eight Florida school districts, according to PEN. In all, five of Morrison’s books have been pulled off shelves in 30 Florida districts.

Gorman’s soaring poem, The Hill We Climb, was written in the wake of the 2020 presidential election when she was just 22. She became the youngest inaugural poet at Biden’s inauguration, earning widespread critical acclaim.

The book of the poem was banned from an elementary school in Miami-Dade county in May following a complaint by just one parent. In her complaint the parent, Daily Salinas, misidentified Gorman as Oprah Winfrey.

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Salinas was later revealed to be aligned with Moms for Liberty, the hard-right activist group that devotes itself to removing books from schools that deal with sex education, LGBTQ+ rights and racism.

“Books have held a special joy for me from the time I was a child,” Pink said in comments before her Florida tour. “That’s why I am unwilling to stand by and watch while books are banned by schools.”

  • US book bans

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Did you win in Thursday Florida Lottery drawings? Tonight's Mega Millions at $267 million

sunflower tour florida

Sorry, folks. There were no winners in the drawings held Thursday in the Florida Lottery, excluding Cash Pop.

However, if you have a Fantasy 5 ticket from May 25, you might want to dig it out and check the numbers. The Florida Lottery announced that there was an unclaimed prize of $43,783.47 purchased from the Winn-Dixie at 9101 Little Road in New Port Richey. You've got till Tuesday, Nov. 21 to claim it.

Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot is an estimated $267 million after rolling over Tuesday.

Games played Thursday included: Cash4Life , Cash Pop and Fantasy 5.

Here are Thursday's results:

Cash4Life winning numbers from Thursday, Nov. 16 drawing

  • Winning numbers: 1-9-24-56-60 Cashball: 1
  • Jackpot, $1,000 a day for life: No winners
  • Jackpot, $1,000 a week for life: No winners
  • Next jackpot draw date: Nov. 17

Cash4Life  is a regional multi-state game that offers two lifetime prizes and great odds. For $2, players try to match five white balls (1-60) and the Cash Ball (1-4) to win the top prize $1,000 a day for life.

If you match only the five white balls you win the second prize of $1,000 a week for life.

What to know about Florida Lottery: Ultimate guide to the Florida Lottery, Powerball and Mega Millions

Earn millions with scratch-off games: Florida Lottery scratch-off games offer prizes in the millions

Fantasy 5 winning numbers for midday drawing Thursday, Nov. 16

  • Winning numbers for midday drawing: 12-15-20-23-28
  • Jackpot: Rolldown
  • Winning tickets: No winning tickets sold

Fantasy 5 is a daily draw game with a top prize of approximately $100,000 if won by a single winner. If there is no top-prize winner, the top prize rolls down to the 4-of-5 and 3-of-5 prize levels. Tickets cost $1 per play.

Fantasy 5 winning numbers for evening drawing Thursday, Nov. 16

  • Winning numbers evening drawing: 2-13-21-25-33

If there is no top prize winner, the money in the top prize pool rolls down and is shared equally among winners who picked four out of the five numbers, with a maximum prize of $555 per winner.

Cash Pop winners from Thursday, Nov. 16 drawing

  • Morning: 8 winners
  • Matinee: 9 winners
  • Afternoon: 12 winners
  • Evening: 3 winners
  • Late night: 13 winners

Cash Pop gives players a chance to win prizes up to $1,250 by matching just one number. Select a number from 1 to 15 or select up to 15 numbers. Then select the amount you want to play per number: $1, $2, or $5. The dollar amount played determines the cash prize you could win. Lastly, select how many consecutive draws you want to play; you can select up to 10 consecutive draws.

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3 advisories in effect for 5 regions in the area

Check your tickets winning fantasy 5 ticket purchased in florida about to expire.

Ryan Mackey , Digital Journalist

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – A winning Fantasy 5 ticket worth $43,783.47 that was purchased in Florida remains unclaimed and is about to expire, the Florida Lottery announced this week.

The deadline to claim the top prize is Tuesday, November 21 at midnight.

The winning Fantasy 5 numbers for the May 25 drawing were: 14 - 19 - 29 - 33 - 34.

According to Lottery officials, the winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased at a Winn Dixie in New Port Richie.

Players who may have purchased a Fantasy 5 ticket from Publix are encouraged to check their tickets from the May 25 drawing.

“While any Florida Lottery retailer can validate the winning ticket, the FANTASY 5 top prize must be claimed at a Florida Lottery District Office,” a news release from the Florida Lottery stated. “Players can obtain additional information by calling the Lottery’s Customer Service Department at (850) 487-7787 or visiting the Florida Lottery’s website at www.flalottery.com .”

Players can also download the Lottery’s mobile app to scan a ticket barcode to see if it’s a winner.

“FANTASY 5 is a pari-mutuel game in which players win the top prize by matching 5-of-5 winning numbers drawn in any order,” the news release stated. “Additionally, players win cash prizes or a free Quick Pick ticket by matching two, three, or four of the numbers drawn in the official drawing for the date played. If there is no top prize winner, the money in the top prize pool rolls down and is shared among players who match 4-of-5 or 3-of-5 winning numbers.”

Copyright 2023 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.

About the Author:

Ryan mackey.

Ryan Mackey is a Digital Journalist at WPLG. He was born in Long Island, New York, and has lived in Sunrise, Florida since 1994.


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