Gardening: Most Popular Articles
Many gardeners worry pruning their roses will hurt them. Pruning is actually a good way to keep your roses healthy and blooming. Learn how to do it right, with these tips.
Poinsettias are popular holiday decorations and gifts. Knowing how to keep Christmas poinsettia plants in bloom longer and how to force them to rebloom next Christmas, requires some special care.
Hydrangeas need pruning, to keep them in shape and flowering profusely. But timing when to prune hydrangeas determines how well they will flower or if they will flower at all. Here's some help.
Holiday cyclamen plants make great excellent long, blooming houseplants with minimal care. Here are some tips for keeping yours growing.
All rose plants need some attention going into winter. Winter weather can really challenge rose bushes, particularly the hybrid teas. You will need to discourage new growth and make sure the rose plants in your garden are well water and well mulched. Look out for overwintering garden pests and diseases too.
Brambles, like raspberries and blackberries, need regular pruning to keep bearing large, healthy crops and to prevent them from taking over your garden. Don't let this scare you. Pruning brambles is actually a simple procedure, if you follow these steps.
Paperwhites are popular long-blooming, indoor plants for winter. Unlike other narcissus, they don't require chilling, so forcing them is as easy as putting them in water. Here's how.
It's not hard to grow rosemary. The plants may be associated with the Mediterranean, but you can successfully grow them just about anywhere, as long as you give them plenty of sun and bring them inside for the winter.
It can be nice to leave some perennials standing for winter interest. But many perennial plants don’t survive rough weather well. These plants should be cut back in the fall.
Amaryllis bulbs often appear around the winter holidays, but they are long lived plants that are easy to grow and easy to force. The large blooms get bigger every year. More...
Many herb plants can be easily grown indoors, in a sunny windowsill or under lights. Here are tips for the best herbs to grow and how to keep them growing.
How to Grow Tomatoes. Tomato plants know what they like and they grow well when you give it to them. Here are 10 tips for growing terrific tomatoes.
Storing dormant plants can be scary, but I promise you, most geranium plants make it through the winter indoors just fine. The easiest way is to store them pot and all.
Kids have been pressing leaves between sheets of waxed paper for generations. It's an easy way to preserve the beauty of fall foliage and to get kids interested in the outdoors.
You can be successful growing lavender in your garden if you choose the right variety. Tips for choosing growing and pruning lavender plants.
Pothos is arguably the easiest houseplant to grow - tolerant of low light conditions and erratic watering. It can also help purify indoor air.
Paperwhites can grow tall and top heavy, then fall over. Researchers have come up with an unusual solution to this problem: Alcohol. The bulbs don't grow as tall as they normally would - but the flowers remain normal size and last just as long.
Snapdragons are colorful cool season flowers that grow easily in most gardens and climates.
Most plants benefit from some sort of regular pruning and maintenance. The trick is in know when to prune what. Its confusing, but rarely fatal. Pruning at the wrong time of year may result in less flowers and fruits, but it usually wont harm the plant in the long run To help you take the guess work out of pruning, here is a series of articles to help you learn when to prune the plants in your garden.
Air drying herbs is an easy way to preserve and store your garden herbs, with minimal loss of flavor and quality. Here are some simple steps for doing it.
Pruning lilacs doesn't just keep their size in check, it rejuvenates the plant and encourages more blooming. Here's how to prune lilac plants.
Pansies are probably the most popularly grown and most recognizable cool season plant.They’re easy and undemanding to grow. Here's how to keep your pansies growing and blooming longer.
Once the tops of your garlic plants start to die back, you know it’s time to harvest. Here’s how to be sure your garlic is ready to dig and how to dry and store it for keeping.
Whether you prefer to cut back your ornamental grasses in the spring or fall, it can be messy. The technique shown here is an easy way to cut them back, without having leaves falling everywhere.
Fall blooming flowers come in rich colors that extend the gardening season. Here are tips for choosing and growing the best fall flowers, in your garden.
Regional tips for what to do in the November garden, whether it's planting bulbs, starting vegetables, or getting ready for the holidays.
Powdery mildew is one of the most common and easily recognized plant diseases. Almost no type of plant is immune. As the name implies, powdery mildew looks like powdery splotches of white or gray, on the leaves and stems of plants. Although powdery mildew is unattractive, it is rarely fatal. However severe or repetitive infections will weaken the plant. There are several steps a gardener can take to prevent and control powdery mildew in the garden.
Christmas Cactus. Growing and caring for Christmas cactus plants in the home. How to propagate more Christmas cactus plants. Page 4.
Ornamental cabbage and flowering kale are in the same species, Brassica oleracea, as edible cabbages and kale. Although they are still edible, they aren’t as tasty and tender as their cousins. But they're as easy to grow, as shown here.
Rose hips are the seed pods of roses. They look like small crab apples and make good food and a great source of vitamin for us and the birds. Here’s how to harvest and use yours.
The trick to finding low maintenance perennial plants is choosing plants suited to your growing conditions and getting them well established. Here are 10 good candidates.
Plants are always better off in the ground during winter in freezing climates. If you must leave your plants in containers, you’ll need to provide some extra protection. Here are things to consider before you decide to overwinter your container plants and how to keep potted plants alive through the winter.
Many plants have recurrent problems with pests and diseases, which will over winter in their fallen foliage. The following perennial flowers survive better if cut down in the fall. Page 2.
You’ve purchased ‘hardy’ mums only to be disappointed when they didn’t survive the winter? For a truly hardy mum, select the right variety and give it time to establish. Here’s how.
Drying gourds keeps them around indefinitely. It's an easy process, but it takes time. Here’s all you need to know about how to dry gourds. What you make of them after that is up to your creativity.
A little planning goes a long way, when starting a garden. Here's some guidance for deciding where to put it, what you'll need, where to begin and what to plant.
Powdery mildew and other fungus diseases of plants have long been successfully controlled with a home remedy of baking soda, water, and oil or soap. Here's the recipe.
Fall is the perfect time to get the garden cleaned up. Cutting back these perennial flowers and plants will cut back on diseases and give you a head start in the spring. Page 3.
Pumpkins for carving are strictly for show. If you’re going to be using your pumpkins for cooking and baking, you want the sweetest pumpkins you can find. A smooth, creamy texture is important too. And having an outer shell on your pumpkin that doesn’t require a power tool to remove is a nice plus. Here are some tips for picking a great pumpkin for eating. Page 2.
Used by gardeners to determine what plants will survive in their garden climate, recent changes in zones have improved accuracy.
A Thanksgiving Centerpiece with Dried Hydrangea and Ornamental Corn
The USDA has released their new Plant Hardiness Zone Maps. Using 30 years of data, the new maps better reflect regional differences and are much easier to read. See what's changed.
Dormancy is often defined as a state of sleep and that's pretty much what your plant is doing when it goes dormant.
Sweet potatoes can be grown in most vegetable gardens. They take a few months to mature, but even the leaves are edible. Here are tips for getting the most from you backyard harvest.
Some perennials need the winter protection their fallen foliage provides and survive best if left standing through fall and winter. The following plants should be pruned in the spring.
Here are some petunia basics to guide you through grandifloras, waves, supertunias and more, as well as how to grow and care for your petunias and keep them blooming all summer.
Mulch is any type of material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and make the garden bed look more attractive. Organic mulches also help improve the soil’s fertility, as they decompose. Here are the pros and cons of various mulch materials.
There are many common garden and house plants that can cause poisoning problems, from itching to death. Use caution when gardening around children and pets.
We usually think of drying herbs, but some herbs, like chives, don't dry easily. Freezing these herbs will preserve their fresh flavor for months. Here are two simple ways to do it.
While gardeners in zones 8 and above can grow tender bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers year round, northern gardeners will need to dig and store these plants to overwinter them. The following guidelines will help you to successfully store cannas, caladiums, dahlias, galdiolas and more.
Tips for getting green tomatoes to ripen on the vine and how to salvage the obstinate tomatoes you actually have to pick before they fully ripen.
Hydrangeas are easy to grow, but can frustrate you by not blooming. Here are some tips for caring for hydrangeas, getting them to bloom and new hydrangea varieties that are even easier to grow
Clematis vines need to be pruned to encourage new growth and more flowers. When to prune your clematis depends on when it blooms. Here are some tips.
Gardening doesn't come to a sudden halt in the fall. Putting your garden to bed means cleaning up and protecting your plants until spring. Here's a checklist of what to do to put your garden to bed.
Tomato diseases are often weather dependent and can spread rapidly. Here are some common tomato diseases, their symptoms and what to do if they attack your tomatoes.
Garlic scapes are the curling tops of garlic plants, which are as edible as the garlic bulbs. Here are tips for growing and using the scapes from your garlic plants.
Easy to grow Sweet Alyssum is a delicate carpet of tiny flowers with a subtle, sweet fragrance. Here are some tips for growing Sweet Alyssum plants in your garden or in containers.
Increase the plants in your home and garden by taking cuttings from existing plants and rooting them to make more plants. Here's how, step-by-step.
Clivia or Kaffir Lily. Gardening. Page 5.
In areas that experience freezing temperatures, winter mulching of the garden differs from mulching during the growing season. We mulch our gardens in the spring to suppress weeds, retain moisture and feed and warm the soil. While we may spread a layer of soil conditioning compost or manure in the fall, the primary reason for winter mulching is to protect our plants from the harsh conditions of winter freezes, thaws and winds. There are several ways to do this.
Growing kale is easy and very rewarding for the home gardener. The secret to growing great kale is cool temperatures and plenty of water. Here's how to have your best crop ever.
An alphbetized listing of plants with info on selecting, growing and using plants in garden design. Includes: flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs and more
When choosing companion plants for your roses, consider aesthetics, growing conditions, and plant health. Rose companion plants should look good with roses and require similar growing conditions. Here are more tips from the New York Botanical Garden on what plants to grow with your roses.
These 6 indoors plants are extremely hard to kill with neglect or kindness, yet they'll add that homey feel that only plants can bring.
Whether called green beans, snap beans or string beans, bean plants are easy to grow. Here are some tips for how to grow a huge harvest in your garden.
How to Prune an Overgrown Apple Tree
Starting plants from seed isn't rocket science, but there are several tips that will help your success rate with seed germination and give your seedlings a healthy start. Here's how to start seeds indoors.
Keep your garden in bloom and color all summer, with these perennial flowers that provide a long season of interest.
The perfect time to plant spring blooming bulbs depends on where you live and what the weather is like that season. Spring blooming bulbs need several weeks in the ground to get their root systems growing before the ground freezes. But even if you don’t get your spring blooming bulbs in on time, there are a few thing you can do.
Is wood ash good for garden soil? Will it do more harm than good? Here are some thoughts to consider before you put wood ash on your garden plants.
Not all plant problems are caused by insects or diseases. Plant nutrient deficiencies often manifest as foliage discoloration. The following chart outlines some possible problems.
It is always confusing knowing whether to prune flowering trees and shrubs in the spring or wait until they bloom. Most spring bloomers should be trimmed after blooming, but not all. Here's a list of common landscape trees and shrubs and when to prune them.
Moss looks wonderful in the garden, especially on rocks and rock walls. It gives any garden a sense of age and weight. Getting moss to grow on rocks or on the ground in your garden simply requires you give the moss the growing conditions it needs and have some patience while it gets established.
Birds are usually welcome in the garden, until they become a nusiance. Besides eating your fruits and berries before you get a chance, they can make an ugly, slippery mess of things. Here are some ways to deter birds from staining, pecking and nesting in your home.
Ever wonder if you could root and grow branches from your favorite rose bush? With a little care, roses root very easily. You won't always get exactly what you started with, but it's fun trying. And here's how.
How to Prune Apple Trees - Thinning Inside Branches. Page 8.
Growing potatoes can be easy, if you learn to avoid the pest and disease problems. They can even be grown in containers. Here are the basics on how to grow potatoes.
Best known as a seasoning, bay laurel is an evergreen shrub or tree that does well in containers. Bring a little of the Mediterranean to your home.
Hydrangeas are one of those flowers that almost dry themselves. Once dry, they can last and look beautiful for years. You can dry hydrangeas several ways, but I’ve found the best way to dry hydrangea flowers is the water drying method. This drying method helps the hydrangea flowers retain their color and last longer. Here’s how.
Starting seeds with a sterile potting mix is a wise idea. Here’s a rundown on what's in a soilless potting mix and why it's the best option, when seed starting indoors.
The key to growing healthy, vibrant spring flowering bulbs is to provide them with a great growing environment. Rich well-draining soil and sunshine will reward you with ample flowers for your bulb planting efforts. It doesn't hurt to know which end is up, either. Here are some more tips for growing large, colorful spring flowering bulbs.
Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits for the home gardener to grow and one of the most rewarding. Whatever your zone, there is probably a strawberry for your garden.
How to Prune Apple Trees - Removing Suckers and Water Sprouts. Page 3.
Violas and pansies are such stalwarts that gardeners take them for granted . These cool season bloomers are great for spring and fall gardens and for bridging the seasons in warmer areas, where they’ll bloom right through the winter. Newer violas have bolder colors and larger flowers that bloom longer. Even better, the new violas and pansies exhibit better heat and cold tolerance than the remarkably hardy varieties where familiar with. Read how to grow the best violas for your garden.
Thyme is an extremely easy growing Mediterranean herb that prefers dry, lean growing conditions. In fact, thyme almost grows itself. You can grow thyme in herb gardens, on rock walls, between pavers or even indoors. Here are some tips on growing and using great thyme.
Oregano is a hardy perennial plant that will grow easily in your garden for many years. Tips for which varieties to grow and how to get the most from them.
Agave are tough plants that thrive on neglect. Here are some tips for growing and caring for agave in your garden or your home.
Evergreens make wonderful living privacy screens and wind or noise breaks. Here are 10 of the best evergreens for creating a hedge, based on growth rate and required maintenance.
Pruning Apple Trees - Outward Facing Bud. Page 7.
Daffodils may be the most popular spring flowering bulb. They are easy to grow and live for years. Here are some ideas and tips for planting and caring for daffodil flowers.
How to grow strawberries in containers. Tips for getting the most from strawberry plants grown in pots.
Osteospermum is a tongue-twisting name for a pretty daisy-like flower with unusual color petals and very often, a blue center. Also called African Daisies, these plants make profuse blooming garden plants. Tips for planting and caring for Osteospermum plants.
Apple Tree Pruning - Competing Leaders. Page 6.
Pruning Apple Trees - Removing Low Branches. Page 4.
Gardeners have been using Epsom salts as a plant fertilizer for generations. There is little research to prove conclusively that Epsom salts have any effect on plants, but many seasoned gardeners cite their own gardens as proof that Epsom salts help certain plants grow stronger and produce better. If you’d like to try experimenting on your own, here are some tips for using Epsom salts in your gardens.
Borage is a freely seeding, easy growing annual plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves with the flavor of cucumbers. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. Here are some tips for growing borage.
Too often mums are an impulse buy at the nursery in fall, when already in bloom late in the season. but they can actually be hardy perennials in most gardening zones, Here's how.
Apple Tree Pruning - Removing Dead and Diseased Wood. Page 2.
Every garden needs pollinators and bees are among the best. Without them there would be limited flowers and even fewer fruits and vegetables. To attract bees and other pollinators to your gardens you need to select flowers and plants that are high in nectar and pollen and plant so that they are obvious and available to the insects. Here are some tips for luring bees to your garden and lists of good plant choices for bees.
Persian Shield has luminous purple leaves washed with silver. You can grow Persian Shield as a houseplant or use it in borders and containers. Tips for growing Persian Shield.
How to plant and transplant roses. Tips for getting your rose plants off to a great start.
Pruning Apple Trees - Downward Facing Branches. Page 5.
Exotic, tropical Passion flowers evoke the south seas, but they can actually be grown in much milder areas. Here are some tips for growing passion flowers in your garden.
Garden plants usually come labeled with required sun exposure. Here are the usual meanings of Full Sun, Partial Sun/Partial Shade,Dappled Sun,Full Shade.
Horticultural oil is an effective and ecologically friendly way to handle many garden insect pests and even some diseases. Most hort oils are some type of mineral oil, a refined petroleum product. The oil is usually combined with some type of emulsifying agent so that it can be mixed with water and used as a spray. You may see it listed as dormant, summer, all-season or even superior oil. Here’s what the difference is.
Scale are tiny parasitic insects that adhere to plants and live off the plant’s sap. They look like bumps on the plant’s stem and are often mistaken for a disease. There are some 7,000 species of scale insect, varying in color and size.
Beets are a fast growing crop that can be grown just about anywhere. Although beets are known as a root crop, all parts of the beet plant are edible. Grow beets in the garden in spring and fall and have them to eat all year.
Blossom drop is a common tomato growing problem that can be extremely frustrating to the home gardener. Otherwise healthy looking tomato plants set flower blossoms, only to have them dry up and fall off the plant before a fruit is formed. Blossom drop can be attributed to several causes, most often related to either temperature and / or stress.
Sage is one of those wonderful Mediterranean herbs that only asks for sun and warmth and then takes care of itself. And it's beautiful enough to have on display in the perennial bed. Here are some tips for growing great sage.
Diseases and insect pests of garden plants. Photos of insects, insect damage and diseases, with brief description of the pest and the damage it can do to plants in the garden.
Aeoniums are drought tolerant, succulent plants. They are only hardy in hot climates, but they can be grown in containers and wintered indoors. Page 2.
Plants in the mint family are very hardy perennials with vigorous growth habits. Mint, left to its own devices, will spread quickly and become a nuisance. However, it is very popular as a flavorful herb and the plants can be grown easily. Just try to chose a spot where you won’t mind the rampant growth or grow it in a confined space.
Miniature roses deliver all the punch of full size roses in a size that suits any garden. They may look delicate, but miniature roses are hardier than many tea roses and much easier to grow. Great as a specimen, an edger or in containers, mini roses are easy care plants that bloom throughout the season.
Spinach is a cool season crops and can be grown in spring, fall and even winter. Plants spinach every couple of weeks, to extend your harvest. More tips for growing spinach in the home garden.
Broccoli is not the easiest crop to grow, but it is very rewarding because the harvest season is so long. Side shoots keep coming throughout the summer. Here are some tips to get you growing.
Basil is an easy to grow tender annual. The hardest thing about growing basil is choosing which varieties to grow. Here are some suggestions for great basil varieties and how to grow them.
Coreopsis are sunny flower border workhorses, blooming most of the summer. Here are some tips for choosing and growing some of the dozens of varieties available.
Ilex verticillata, Winterberry Holly, or Winterberry is our native, wetland holly that loses it leaves each autumn. This beautiful shrub is all the more showy because its lack of winter leaves makes its berry display all the more showy. After the leaves have turned yellow and have fallen off, you are left with a breathtaking view of thousands of brightly colored berries clinging to every stem. What a joy to have such color in the middle of winter.
Gardening magazines are monthly garden inspiration. They tell us about new plants, garden design ideas and gardening techniques. Here are my picks for the top gardening magazines.
Hybrid tea roses are the most popular rose in the world and perhaps the most popular flower. Hybrid teas have all the virtues you look for in a flower: beauty, fragrance and easy care. As with any other type of plant, not all hybrid teas are created equal. However, the idea that hybrid teas are fussier than other rose types is unwarranted. The key, as always, is to choose a variety suited to your climate and zone.
Seed potato is a confusing term. Potatoes do set seed, but we don't grow them from seed. Here's how to make sense of seed potatoes and how to prepare them for planting
Deadheading flowers is a garden maintenance task that must be done if you want to have flowers throughout the garden season. The more you deadhead your flowers, the more new flower buds will be set. Deadheading all makes your whole garden look better.
Bleeding Heart plants (Dicentra) are spring blooming flowers for a shady part of the garden. Bleeding Hearts are perennial plants with heart shaped pink or white flowers with a tear shaped drop at the bottom. Bleeding Heart can be grown in many areas and will self-sow in cooler climates. Bleeding Heart plants combine beautifully with other spring blooming flowers.
Container vegetable gardening allows you to grow vegetables almost anywhere. Here are specific on how to grow big yields in small spaces.
Blueberry Growing Tips: Blueberries are popular to grow in home gardens because they can grow in a small space, even in containers, and have very few problems. There are three main types of blueberries: highbush, rabbiteye, and southern highbush, with different varieties doing better or worse in various areas. Here are some tips for growing your own blueberries.
How to Prune Apple Trees. Gardening. Page 9.
Rose bushes are often grafted onto hardier root stocks. Sometimes the root stocks can send up new growth that overtakes the original rose bush. This growth is called suckers can needs to be removed.
Cannas are tropical flowering plants with large, banana like leaves that are grown as annuals in cooler regions. These bulbs are easy care and make a dramatic effect in the garden.
Growing onions takes patience, since all the action takes place under ground. If you can provide a rich soil and a full day of sun, you can grow a good sized harvest of onions for eating fresh and storing for later.
Saving tomato seeds requires a little more work than simply scooping them out and letting them dry. But it's not hard and it's worth it, to save your favorite varieties.
Coneflowers (Echinacea) are rugged native American plants that bloom repeatedly throughout summer. Here are some growing tips to get the most from these popular garden plants.
Rose growers recomend at least 5 -6 hours of full sun for growing roses. If your garden doesn't provide that much sun, you may still be able to grow select varieties of roses. No rose will thrive and bloom without some sun, but there are roses that will do just fine with a little shade. Here are some top rosarian picks of roses able to perform in partial shade.
Peace Lily. Gardening. Page 6.
Working with plant combinations in garden design.
All roses are beautiful, but fragrant roses are extra special. And who would be better qualified than the 'All America Rose Selections' to clue us into some great growing roses with exceptional fragrance. Here are their picks from the last 5 decades.
How to Plan and Start a Vegetable Garden. Ideas for where to site it, how to prepare to plant and choosing vegetables to grow.
It's not just carrots that rabbits love. They will eat flowers, branches and much more. Tips for rabbit control in the garden, rabbit deterrents and plants rabbits will/won't eat.
It's time to plan the vegetable garden, but how much should you plant per person? How much to plant depends on a number of factors. Here are some guidelines.
Hellebores are long lived shade garden plants that bloom in spring and stay in bloom for weeks. Try these tips and see how easy they are to grow and care for.
Fall clean-up of leaves is not a chore most gardeners look forward to. One way or another, you are gong to have to collect the leaves from your lawn, raking or otherwise, and there really aren't that many options. Here's some advice and tips in choosing a leaf blower/vac, shredder or even a humble rake, to make quick work of the leaves in your yard.
10 perennial plants that may surprise you with their drought tolerance. While water is crucial to growing healthy plants,these perennials that can withstand periodic dry spells. Sooner or later every garden will experience a period of drought.
If you're looking for a low-maintenance perennial flower with a long season of interest, consider Astilbe. The tall feathery plumes look good for months. Tips for how to grow and care for Astilbe.
Early blight is a very common fungal disease that can affect all parts of the tomato plants. Here are photos and tips to help you identify early blight on your plants.
Your vacation can be stressful on your plants. Even while you are away, your garden needs water, so here are some ideas and tips for watering your plants while on vacation and caring for your garden and containers, so you can enjoy some time off.
Companion planting for tomatoes can improve the tomatoes growth and flavor and repel insects and diseases. Choosing companion plants for your tomatoes should be easy because companion plants for tomatoes include many of these popular garden vegetables.
Asparagus is one of the earliest spring vegetables. Since it is perennial, it's important to get it off to a good start. If you are thinking of planting asparagus, here's some help.
Ferns make great plants for the garden or the home. Most prefer some shade and water, but there are many to choose from. Here are some tips and ideas for choosing and growing fern plants indoors or in the garden.
How to get rid of earwigs in your garden. While earwigs do feed on plants, the amount of damage they do shouldn’t present a major problem in most gardens. In fact, earwigs even eat aphids, snails and some types of larvae, so it might be a plus that they are there. However, there are times when earwigs can be considered a pest. When that happens,
Nasturtiums are cool season annual flowers in rich, jewel tone colors. Nasturtiums are extremely easy to grow, practically growing themselves. There are bushy, trailing and climbing nasturtiums to fill every gardening need. They are even edible. You won’t usually find seedlings of nasturtiums, but the large seeds germinate quickly and the plants bloom all season. Here are some more nasturtium growing tips.
Digging, dividing and storing dahlia tubers each years will keep you in an endless supply. Follow these basic steps.