The Florida Sunshine Illicium, also known as the Yellow Anise tree, is an eye-catching evergreen shrub that brings a warm and vibrant feeling into your garden. Mature plants reach an average size of 4 – 5 ft in height and 3 feet in width and has a dense growth habit which is unique to this cultivar as the others are much larger in size. There are no flowers with this shrub, but the beautiful foliage and stems that develop deep red hue will provide you with year-round interest! Florida Illicium is a wonderful foundation hedge or a privacy screen and even does well when grown in containers.
Florida Sunshine is hardy from USDA Zones 7-9 and prefers full shade to part shade locations. The leaves of the Illicium scorch easily scorched so it is best to avoid full sun at all costs. Additionally, this is NOT a drought tolerant plant therefore it requires moist, rich soil.
During the first growing season water your Illicium 2-3 times per week. After your shrub has been established, provide supplemental watering 1-2 times a week.
Although it is not a necessity you may want to consider pruning your shrub. Whether you are wanting a certain shape, size or you are just looking to promote healthy growth pruning will help you achieve any of the above. When pruning, do so in the late fall after blooming has come to an end. As with all pruning start with the removal of dead limbs cutting them back to their origin and then move on to cutting back any unsightly shoots that disrupt the natural shape of the plant or shrub.
If desired, Florida Sunshine can even be pruned into tree form. We recommend waiting until it has reached 5 feet tall or higher before doing so, but by removing the lower branches. Remove a branch, step back to access and continue to do so until you are satisfied with the results achieved.
Fertilize yearly in the spring with a balanced, acidic plant fertilizer. For more rapid growth, reapply fertilizer every few months during the growing season.
Plant your Florida Sunshine 2-3 feet apart for a seamless planting, Otherwise, space them 5+ feet apart for gaps between plants. Below you will find a video of Jim Putnam discussing a number of tips, tricks and some general information about the Florida Anise!