Lilac Blight in Iowa
Ted Lare
by Katrina Mittlestadt
10M ago
Lilacs are a favorite spring shrub in Iowa. They are especially loved for their sweet fragrance and their cone-shaped panicles covered with tiny blooms. However, over the last several years, lilacs have been showing signs of significant stress and lack of vigor. The culprit: lilac blight. The first signs of lilac blight are almost impossible to notice with the naked eye, but before long it becomes obvious that our beloved lilacs are struggling. What Is It? Lilac blight is a potentially serious lilac disease caused by bacteria that infect the plant in early spring when the weather is cool ..read more
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Magnolias to Grow In Iowa
Ted Lare
by Katrina Mittlestadt
11M ago
If you’re looking for something unique that blooms early spring in Iowa, Magnolia trees are your answer. Magnolias are not just for southern landscapes. In fact, many varieties will thrive in Iowa as well. Their blooms come in various shades of pink, white or yellow and they are known for their sheer beauty and fragrance. Each Magnolia cultivar even has its own unique scent!  Magnolias grow a bit slower than some other ornamental trees, but this makes them strong wooded trees that live a very long time. Lucky for us, magnolias bloom at a very young age, many start flowering right ..read more
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Cut It or Leave It? A Guide to What to Prune Now & What to Leave Until Spring
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
A question we hear a lot is “When do I prune this, fall or spring? Is one better than the other?” and well, there are a lot of answers. Most plants do best if you leave the pruning shears alone and wait until late-winter/early spring (late February through mid-April, with March being most ideal in Iowa). But, like with anything, there are a few exceptions to this rule. I asked Dustin, our nursery manager, and Kelly, our head arborist (and star of Homesteading Hints!) what their answer is to this common question.  Renewal Pruning vs. Hard Pruning  First and foremost, it’s imp ..read more
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7 Rare + Exciting Philodendrons to Add to Your Collection
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
Everyone’s heard of philodendron, but do you know how many varieties there are? Over 400! You could only own philodendrons and have a full on jungle with no two plants alike. They get bonus points for being easy to care for and living a long time (maybe even longer than you!).  We’ve highlighted 7 of these exciting houseplants in this blog and included tips and tricks to keep them thriving. Philodendrons are often confused with pothos and monstera, which is understandable considering they all belong to the genus Arum of the plant family Araceae. While it’s easy to tell the difference ..read more
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It’s Indoor Plant Week! Here Are Some New Plants to Try Growing
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
Happy Indoor Plant Week! In celebration of this special occasion, we’re giving you a virtual tour of some of the rarest and most fascinating plants in our garden center right now. If you’ve been eager to expand your indoor plant horizons and introduce some new plant babies to your collection, you’ll want to run—not walk—to pick up one of these exciting specimens!   Pothos ‘Silver Satin’ This stunning new indoor plant is so named thanks to its unique shimmery silvery-green foliage. Pothos ‘Silver Satin‘ grows fast, and pretty soon, its pot will overflow with a river of glimmering ..read more
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How to Grow Gorgeous Fall Mums at Home
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
No fall landscape is complete without everyone’s favorite autumn-blooming flowers—mums! Growing chrysanthemums is simple, but the key to long-lasting color is selecting a great specimen and treating it with the correct care. Here’s your guide to growing fall mums in Iowa! Types of Fall Mums There are two varieties of mums you’ll typically find at garden centers; florist mums and perennial mums. Florist mums, sometimes called decorative mums, are the mums you’ll typically see for sale in every storefront starting in mid-August. They are best grown as annuals and look spectacular in pots thank ..read more
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Hydroponic Houseplants and How To Grow Them
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
Are you fascinated by gardening but not so fond of getting your hands dirty? Try growing your houseplants hydroponically! This blog will cover which plants you can grow in water and how to do it.  What is Hydroponic Gardening? Hydroponics is a soilless technique for growing many types of plants, including houseplants, that uses a different medium to support the roots and grows the plants directly in nutrient-rich water. Hydroponic growing may help houseplants grow faster, and give you a first-hand look at your plant’s magical root systems during their maturation process. There are a few ..read more
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The Many Benefits and Uses of Peat Moss
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
You’ve heard your gardening friends talk about peat moss, you’ve read about it in gardening blogs, and you may have even used it in your garden once or twice. But what is it about this magic moss that offers so many benefits to your landscape plants? Let’s dive deep into all the basic uses of peat moss and its many useful applications in the garden!   What is Peat Moss? Peat moss is marketed as an alternative to compost, often sold in bags or bales. It is made of a large, absorbent organism that grows in dense masses in bogs, also known as “peatlands.” Used most often as a soil ame ..read more
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The Many Colors of Coneflowers
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
After years of cultivation, there are so many new unique colors and forms of these gorgeous flowers, ranging from shades of pink, orange, red, white, and yellow! These showy perennials are heat tolerant and drought resistant, easy to grow, have long bloom times, make beautiful cut flowers, and attract birds and other pollinators to your garden. Coneflowers are the ultimate statement of simple beauty and elegance with a wild-flower aesthetic that will make your garden feel like a cottage.  How to Care for Coneflowers  Although they tolerate almost anything you throw at them, cone ..read more
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To Trail or Train: Skills to Manage Your Vining Houseplants
Ted Lare
by Admin
1y ago
It’s no secret that vining house plants have minds of their own, but with a little persuasion and guidance, you can train your plant to grow in various ways for the perfect decoration in your home. Here is a guide on which vining house plants trail and how to help them grow in the right directions. The Basics of Vine Training The key to successful climbers is to train them young. Training your vining house plants in an upright growth habit as early as possible will help them continue growing this way for the rest of their lives. Of course, if you want your plant to grow with trailing vines t ..read more
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