Category: Winter

Winter Desiccation of Woody Ornamentals

Winter’s howling winds and frigid temperatures are challenging for all woody landscape plants. Although our plants are fully dormant at this time, the plant tissue is still subject to losing too much water – a condition called desiccation. This year’s unusually heavy and consistent snow cover provides good insulation, and most plants went into winter with a good moisture supply this year. However, when the ground is frozen solid and freezing temperatures are accompanied by […]

The Big Chill

When winter temperatures dip below zero and winds howl across the prairie, gardeners may worry that their trees and shrubs are taking a beating. No need for doom and gloom yet – most hardy landscape and orchard plants are reasonably able to cope with most of our winters, including our recent polar vortex. Many factors influence plant injury, including plant species and cultivars, degree of plant dormancy and overall plant health. How low the temperature […]

Switchgrass Northwind named 2014 Perennial Plant of the Year

Switchgrass Northwind has swept its way to the top as the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year for 2014. The Northwind cultivar of Panicum virgatum is distinguished by starkly upright habit compared to the original species. Northwind provides landscape interest from late summer through winter. Blooms appear in late summer, followed by upright seed heads and golden fall foliage. In winter, enjoy the musical swishing sounds as the sturdy foliage sways in the […]

It’s Easy to be Green, if You’re a Plant

St. Patrick’s Day seems to bring out the “Wearin’ o’ the Green” among human folk. But plants wear their green throughout the year, and it is the green that makes plants such unique life forms. Plants get their green color from a pigment called chlorophyll. Green plants produce their own food supply through a process called photosynthesis, which can only take place when both chlorophyll and light are present. Other ingredients are also essential for […]

Variegated Solomon’s Seal Named 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year

Variegated Solomon’s seal has been selected by members of the Perennial Plant Association as the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year. Known botanically as Polygonatum odoratum Variegatum, this classic hardy favorite is a well-behaved addition that adds seasonal interest with foliage and flowers. The bright green foliage edged with white reaches about 8 to 24 inches tall and spreads by rhizomes to form small colonies. In late spring pendulous, white, bell-shaped flowers appear in pairs […]

Recycle Your Holiday Greenery

Though it may give you the blues to take down your holiday decorations, you can find solace in recycling your greenery. After you remove tinsel, plastic and other non-recyclable decorations, use the greenery to provide food and cover for wildlife or chip it into mulch for landscape protection. Winter birds will appreciate having recycled trees and garlands for cover, especially if you decorate them with bird-food ornaments. You’ll need to secure the tree trunk or […]

New Vegetable Varieties 2012

What better way to scratch your gardening itch this winter than to page through garden catalogs or surf websites with the promise of mouth-watering produce for the coming growing season! Here’s a look at just a few of the new vegetable seed offerings for 2012. Try a few alongside your old standby favorites so that you can compare performance in your garden. Following the description of each vegetable is the number of days to maturity […]

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year™

And the winner is, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ for the Perennial Plant Association Perennial of the Year! Known as Siberian bugloss by many longtime gardeners, Brunnera macrophylla is a hardy (native to Siberia), low-growing clump-former, reaching 18 inches tall and wide. Brunneras are generally grown for their lovely small blue spring flowers that remind of forget-me-not. ‘Jack Frost’ is particularly notable for all-season interest with striking silver leaves with contrasting green venation and leaf edge. […]

How to care for your amaryllis

Amaryllis is a popular holiday gift plant but may have the lucky recipient wondering about its proper care. Amaryllis is a tender bulb that won’t survive outdoors even in the mildest of Indiana winters. But it can be grown indoors to provide a dramatic show of color during dreary winter months. The showy flowers range from crimson, scarlet, rose, lavender, white or bi-colored combinations. Although each plant may produce only one cluster of 2-4 blooms, […]

Interveinal Chlorosis on Azaleas and Rhododendron

Chlorotic (a yellowing of the leaves) azaleas and rhododendron are a common sight in the Indiana landscape. The term chlorosis gets its name from the lack of chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for healthy plants’ green color. One major cause of chlorosis is a deficiency of either iron or manganese. Other landscape plants such as pin oak, river birch, holly and sweet gum are also susceptible to chlorosis. Iron deficiency leads to a pattern of yellowing […]

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