Category: Flowers

Celebrate ‘The Year of the Sunflower’

1996 has been proclaimed ‘The Year of the Sunflower’ by the National Garden Bureau, an organization that promotes gardening throughout the United States. The sunflower is enjoying renewed popularity as an ornamental these days, but sunflower remnants found in its native North America have been estimated to be in existence as early as 3000 B.C. The sunflower has long been used as a source of food. Native American populations ground the seed into a flour […]


Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ is 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year

The Perennial Plant Association has selected Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ as its 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year. Members of the association, generally professional plant growers, select a perennial each year to educate the gardening public and promote planting of perennial flowers. The Penstemon, also known as beardtongue, is not widely known to the American public despite the fact that several species of this plant are native throughout the United States and Canada. Penstemon digitalis […]


Care of Christmas Cactus Important After Holidays

While the poinsettia remains the most popular of the holiday plants, a healthy Christmas cactus in full bloom is a great gift idea for that special gardener. But along with that bounty of blooms, send these tips for keeping the plant looking its best. Most blooming plants will keep their blossoms longer in cooler temperatures. Keep the plant in a well-lit location away from drafts from heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot air. […]


December 1995

Q: I have been trying to raise tomatoes on trellises for several years with not too much success. I tried shorter trellises, several different fertilizers and ground-up eggshells for copper and calcium. My plants grew tall vines, went above the trellis by about 3 feet and fell over, ruining my pepper plants next to them. Also, I had brown spots on the tomatoes. I tried different varieties, so variety isn’t a factor. Could you enlighten me, […]

October 1995

Q: I have a couple of very large tulip beds (700 to 1,000 bulbs), and I usually keep them weeded by hand after the tulips have died down in the spring. Would it be all right to spray the grass and weeds that come up in the beds with Roundup in July or August? It would be a lot easier than hand-weeding the beds all summer. But would this harm the tulip bulbs in the ground? […]


Force Bulbs for Indoor Color

(Released: 22 September 1995) By B. Rosie Lerner Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist Now’s the time to stock up on the spring-flowering bulbs that will provide a burst of color just when we need a lift from the winter doldrums. But you don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy these blooms if you prepare a few for forcing indoors. In fact, you can have a bouquet in time to decorate for the holidays. Hardy bulbs […]

Outstanding New Flowers for 1996

Three new garden flowers have been awarded the prestigious honor of being an All America Selection (AAS) for 1996. These new cultivars have been judged superior in their class, based on their performance in test gardens all over the country. Petunia ‘Heavenly Lavender’ is an old-fashioned double petunia. The large, 2.5- to 3-inch blooms are a pure lavender and consistently produce a full doubling of petals. Petunias generally perform best in full sun and benefit from […]


September 1995

Q. We have six flowering dogwood trees in our yard that are approximately 3 years old. (They have not flowered, yet.) Our yard is adjacent to a cornfield. Our problem is Japanese beetles. They especially like our dogwoods. According to publication E-75 from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service on Japanese beetles, flowering dogwoods are “relatively free of feeding by adult Japanese beetles.” Our dogwoods are not “relatively free.” Why are the Japanese beetles feeding on […]

Bring in Flowers for Drying

It may be too hot for outdoor chores, but you can still quench your thirst for gardening by bringing in your flowers for drying. Dried plant materials can last almost forever when properly harvested and preserved. Some plants are naturally dry, while others must be processed to remove moisture. Those that are naturally dry, such as grasses, pine cones, cattails and dried seed pods, will need little processing before arranging. Harvest grass plumes after they […]

July 1995

Q. What has happened to my peonies? This year my maroons are pink; my pinks are white. Then I have white, too. My red one has never changed colors. – Mary Harden, Clay City, Ind. A. Flower thrips occasionally feed on peonies, distorting the buds and flecking the petals with red or white. Thrips are most abundant between late spring and midsummer. They’re difficult to control because they’re usually protected by plant tissue, and they often reproduce […]

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