Fact Sheets

Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) This species of cyclamen is a popular plant with florists, and often is called the “Florist’s cyclamen.” The plant is a tuberous perennial with heart-shaped leaves, 1 to 5-1/2 inches long, deep green in color. The leaves often have a silver-marbled tint on top of the leaf and pale or purplish green on the bottom of the leaf. It produces sweet-scented pink, red, or white flowers, 1/2 to 3/4 inches or more […]


Holiday Cactus

The plants we call Holiday Cactus may be either Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus. Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncatus) has oblong, bright green stem segments 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long with 4 to 8 prominent sawtoothed marginal projections that point forward. The flowers have a short tube-like form with spreading, pointed petals, similar to trumpets. The plant bears deep pink, red, orange, or white flowers, up to 3 inches long, from late autumn to winter. The […]

Earth-Friendly Gifts and Wrappings

When selecting gifts and wrappings, consider those that can be recycled. When giving (homemade) cookies, cake, candy, etc., place the cookies in a cookie jar that the recipient can keep. Or, use a plastic refrigerator box or a basket that the recipient can use later. To decorate a bottle, jar, or canister, make a miniature wreath of vines or use greenery to encircle the container. Give a healthy potted plant with instructions for its care. […]


Earth-Friendly Decorations

Although tinsel, artificial snow, and plastic balls are attractive decorations, often they last only one season and are not biodegradable. There are many substitutions that can be made: Purchase a living tree with roots in order to plant it in the yard or garden later. Instead of tinsel or artificial snow, substitute sprays of tiny white flowers such as baby’s breath to insert among the green limbs. To reduce the number of electric lights on […]

Daffodil (Narcissus)

Daffodil (Narcissus) Narcissus is a genus of about 50 species of bulbous perennials which produce between one and 20 flowers on each stem. They have erect, strap-shaped, mid-green leaves, 6 to 30 inches long. The flowers are 1-1/2 to 3 inches across and trumpet shaped. Each flower has a perianth composed of 3 sepals and 3 petals, surrounding the cup or trumpet. The perianth is usually yellow or white; the cup or trumpet may be […]

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) The Hippeastrum hybrids produce clusters of huge red, pink, salmon, white and bicolor trumpet-shaped flowers atop tall slender stalks. The leaves and flowers arise from a large bulb, often resulting in 8-12 flowers per bulb. Amaryllis can be used as a potted plant for holiday decorating. They also make lovely cut flowers for arrangements. When selecting bulbs make sure the bulb feels firm and full. If growth has started, check to see […]


Stormy Weather Affects Landscapes and Gardens

Many gardeners will continue to see the effects of recent storm activity for many weeks to come. The immediate effects include breakage of tree and shrub limbs and other plants. Branches that were damaged but not broken off completely may continue to dry out and die back over time. It’s best to prune out affected branches by cutting back to a side bud or branch. Also related to recent storms is the drying effect of […]

Waterlogged Vegetable Gardens

This summer has been a challenging one for many Indiana vegetable gardeners. It started with a prolonged cold, wet spring, was followed by a couple of weeks of intense heat and drought, and then followed by torrential rains! Gardens that have been in a prolonged saturated condition may present some surprising symptoms, ranging from wilting, yellowing or drooping foliage to blossom-end rot. When soil is saturated for an extended period, roots are deprived of much-needed […]