Yard and Garden News

The following news stories are written by Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist, and are distributed to news media around the state by Agricultural Communication Service, at Purdue University.


When to Remove Maple Tree Sucker

Q. I have a maple tree (it is either an ‘October Glory’ or ‘Autumn Blaze’) that has (what I assume to be) a rather large sucker at the bottom. The diameter of the sucker is about 2 inches, and the tree trunk is 7 inches in diameter. I have attached pictures of it from different angles. I would like to know if it is OK to remove it? I’ve read quite a bit about these [Read More…]

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Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Winter 2017-18 was pretty harsh compared to most years. Much of central and northern Indiana experienced 13 or more days well below zero, while southern Indiana had four to five days just a few degrees below zero. In addition, gusty winds further injured plants by desiccating buds and twigs. The consequences remain to be seen. While some spring flowering trees and shrubs may perform admirably this season, some species will have few or no blooms [Read More…]

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New Tool Provides Resources for Midwest Landscapes

The Purdue Landscape Report provides science-based, timely information for Midwest landscapes. Members of the Purdue Landscape Report Team create articles and supporting photos. The team is composed of Purdue Extension specialists and diagnosticians in many disciplines, including horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, urban forestry and turf science. The information in the report is intended to benefit commercial growers, garden centers, landscapers, arborists, or others who want to keep up with current landscape issues. In addition to [Read More…]


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. Other factors include how [Read More…]


Allium ‘Millenium’ Named 2018 Perennial of the Year!

The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) selected its 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year: Allium ‘Millenium’ (yes, that’s Millenium with just one n). This announcement continues to show the focus on pollinator habitat these days — Allium ‘Millenium’ is appropriately referred to as a butterfly and bee magnet! ‘Millenium’ is a hybrid Allium selected for late flowering. It has masses of rose-purple blooms; a uniform habit; and neat, shiny, green foliage that remains attractive long after [Read More…]

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Blooming out of sequence is cool!

What is that crabapple doing reblooming in October and November? Actually, it might be more correct to think of it as jumping the gun on next spring rather than reblooming. Although it happens to some extent many years, there seem to be more reports thas usual of landscape plants blooming out of sequence this fall. Rhododendrons, crabapples, and saucer magnolias are the most commonly reported species blooming this fall. Spring-blooming woody plants initiate flower buds [Read More…]

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Composting turns garden trash to treasure

Autumn frosts usually means lots of cleanup around the yard and garden. Why not turn that yard waste into treasure? Composting is a naturally occurring process that breaks down organic materials into an excellent soil amendment that improves soil structure, as well as adds some nutrients. Composting will help you recycle your garden wastes, improve your soil and reduce disposal costs. All organic materials will break down eventually, but gardeners can speed up the process [Read More…]


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 [Read More…]


Gardeners reminded to protect pollinators

Pollinators are all the “buzz” these days with a federal proclamation designating June 19-25 as National Pollinator Week. Now in its tenth year, the focus of this designation by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior is to promote the health of pollinators, so critical to food and ecosystems. It may surprise you to learn that the honeybee is native to Europe and was introduced to the U.S. But there are also numerous other [Read More…]


Why plants fail to bloom

Flowering plants that don’t bloom as promised can be a big disappointment in your garden. Reasons for lack of blooming are as diverse as the palette of plants from which to choose, but a little detective work can usually pinpoint the trouble. The most common factors associated with blooming, or lack thereof, include light, plant age, nutrition, extreme temperatures and improper pruning. Many woody plants must reach a certain age before they are mature enough [Read More…]

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