Rosie Lerner

Rosie Lerner's website
Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist
Purdue University
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
625 Agriculture Mall Drive
West Lafayette IN 47907-2010

Voice: 765-494-1296
Fax: 765-494-0391

725 articles by this author

Article List

July Garden Calendar


HOME (Houseplants and indoor activities) Closely watch houseplants that have been set outdoors. They need more water than they did indoors. They can dry out rapidly in hot, summer breezes. Propagate houseplants by taking cuttings from vigorously growing plants. Place the cut end in rooting media (such as perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss soil mix). Enclose in plastic and keep out of direct sunlight. YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals, and fruits) Keep newly established plants watered […]


Watering the Garden Just Right


Although recent rains have relieved some gardeners from their watering chores, the respite is sure to be temporary. Seasonal thunderstorms may deluge some gardens with water while other areas, even those close by, may stay fairly dry. Most garden plants will need 1-1.5 inches of water per week to maintain healthy leaves, flowers and fruit. When Mother Nature does not provide enough, it’s up to the gardener to supply the rest. Not too little, not […]


Trumpet creeper is no shrinking violet


Q: I have a trumpet creeper that is more than 5 years old. It is planted at the front of our house which faces east. The vine grows rather hardy but never enormous, as the material I’ve read about this vine indicates. I am wondering whether to move it or just destroy it. Since I’ve researched it and learned that it can be very invasive, I’m wondering if I should just get rid of it. […]


June Garden Calendar


HOME (Houseplants and indoor activities) Indoor plants will require more frequent watering and fertilizing as they increase their summer growth. You can move houseplants outdoors to a shady location, but pay close attention to their watering needs. Cut garden flowers for indoor beauty. Recut the stems again just before placing in water. Add a floral preservative, and change the solution frequently. Root cuttings of houseplants and garden plants to increase your collection or share with […]


Sunflowers for Midwestern Gardens


Sunflowers are traditional in the typical Midwestern garden, but modern hybrids have greatly expanded the palette of choices. Whether you want short, medium or tall; yellow, burgundy, bronze or brown; seed for the birds; or just pretty to look at, there’s a sunflower for you. Gardeners will find two different types of sunflowers available from garden centers and online catalogs: Those grown for their edible seeds, and those grown primarily as ornamentals. Traditional sunflowers are […]


In The Grow


Q: We found a plant in our woods about a week ago, and I wondered if you could identify what it is? – R.B. via email A: That is one of my all-time favorite woodland wildflowers, the trillium. There are numerous species of Trillium. I believe yours is the prairie trillium, known botanically as Trillium recurvatum. Despite the common name, prairie trillium is native to woodland habitats rather than open prairie. Some members of this […]


Assessing Freeze Injury on Horticultural Plants


As so many gardeners are staying at home these days, we’ve had more opportunity to enjoy the spring display. And then, perhaps inevitably, “normal” spring frost and freeze visited. Some plants are vulnerable to damage. The amount of damage will depend on how far along they are in their development. Home fruit-growers may have reason to be concerned: At 28 F, you can expect a 10 percent loss of flowers/young developing fruit. However, at 25 […]


Home Gardener’s Guide (HO-32-W)

Purdue Extension Publication


This publication discusses planning a vegetable garden, planting, fertilization, care, harvesting, and storage recommendations. Tables are included providing a vegetable planting guide, the recommended nitrogen side-dressings, and adjusting the soil pH. Illustrations are given explaining how to make a blueprint of your garden plot, examples of commonly sold fertilizers, the proper way to plant seeds with a hoe, using newspaper to prevent plant wilting, and thinning carrots.


May Garden Calendar


HOME (Indoor plants and activities) Many indoor plants can be moved to shady locations outdoors but only after the danger of frost has passed. Plants will dry out more often outdoors, so keep a close eye on soil moisture. Sinking the pots in soil will help slow down moisture loss. Now is a good time to take cuttings of houseplants to increase a collection or share with friends. Stick cuttings to root in media, such […]


Friend supplied more than hosta


Q: A friend gave me some starts of hosta last year, and where I planted them, this lovely surprise came up early this spring. I did not plant this so I’m guessing this came as a bonus with the hostas from my friend.  Can you identify?  – T.C., Tippecanoe County A: What a great bonus! This appears to be Corydalis solida, (common name fumewort) most likely the cultivar ‘Beth Evans’. Fumewort is a spring ephemeral, […]