Category: Flowers

Dividing iris


Whether you’re looking to expand your planting of iris or just need to rejuvenate an older planting, late summer through early fall is a good time to lift and divide iris. Dividing every three to five years will help rejuvenate the planting, and encourage more blossoms for the subsequent years. Most iris plants spread by means of underground stems called rhizomes. Rhizomes become too crowded over time, resulting in reduced flowering. By lifting and dividing […]


Mild weather brings up the bulbs


It’s not unusual for Indiana weather to have trouble deciding what season it is. Recent warm spells have had many gardeners wondering what to do about bulbs, and perhaps a few plants that are poking their foliage through the soil. Just what should gardeners do about daffodils, dianthus and daylilies poking out of the ground? The good news is that no action is required. We’re used to seeing this happen in late winter during a […]


Potted tulips sprouting, but no blooms


Q. I purchased some tulip bulbs last fall that I didn’t have a chance to plant. I potted them up and stored them in the basement. Now I have leaves, but no sign of flowers. What can I do to get them to bloom? A. Most spring-flowering bulbs including tulips require a period of 8-16 weeks of chilling to initiate flower buds inside the bulb. If they don’t receive that chilling period, the bulbs may […]

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Garden Gifts For Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many will be searching for a special gift for that special someone. Why not say it with flowers? Nothing conveys your warm valentine feelings like cut flowers, particularly roses. But their elegant beauty fades fast. So if you’re looking for something that will last a little longer, there are several potted plants that will fit the bill. Cyclamen is made for the occasion with its heart-shaped leaves […]


Butterfly Milkweed Named 2017 Perennial of the Year!


The Perennial Plant Association has named butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), as its 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year. With much focus on pollinator habitat these days, butterfly milkweed is a terrific selection. Butterfly milkweed flowers play host to a wide range of butterflies, and milkweed foliage is the food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Bees, wasps and other insects are also frequent visitors. Butterfly milkweed is native to much of the continental United States and […]


Roses: A Feast For Many Insects/Mystery Plant ID/Why Hydrangea Flowers Fade Pink to Tan


Q. How can I keep the beetles away and keep the invisible insects from eating holes in my rose leaves? The beetles have not been too bad the last couple of years, but the holes in the leaves never stop. I have tried so many different kinds of insecticides but to no avail. Our soil is not too sandy, but it is not all dirt either. Drainage does not seem to be a problem as […]


Humble hosta


If you’re looking for a plant that is winter-hardy throughout the Midwest, excels under shady conditions and has fabulous foliage as well as attractive flowers, then hosta is the plant for you. Also known as plantain lily, hosta performs best in partial to full shade, although some have been able to survive full sun conditions if given a cool environment with plenty of moisture. The leaves will tend to burn or turn sickly yellow if […]


Weed or flower? Sometimes it’s in the eye of the beholder


Q) This flower/weed came up in my flower garden this year. I know that I did not plant it and two other people said that they have it growing in their yards also. I took it to our local nursery. They did not know what it was and looked it up in their books but could not find it. They gave me a few suggestions but when I looked them up on the internet, they […]


Peony Showtime


To admire a peony in full bloom is a fitting way to celebrate our full arrival into spring and preview a hint of the colors that summer will bring to our gardens. Although it is native to Asia, the peony has become a staple of Midwestern flower gardens – so much so that the Indiana Legislature in 1957 adopted the peony as the state flower. Zinnia was the state flower from 1931 to 1957 and […]


Likely culprits of dieback-March 2016


Question & Answer Likely culprits of dieback Q. This is one of our two dwarf Alberta spruce trees. In the fall we noticed the very top of one turning brown; it kept getting worse from top down, and we noticed white webs. We took a picture of it, took it to a local nursery and showed them the picture. They said it was spider mites. We bought a systemic insect control and used per directions […]

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