Mulches for Home Gardens and Plantings

Boost your garden’s production with mulches. This publication shows when to use organic mulches, like bark or leaves, and synthetic mulches, like plastic sheets, and teaches how to apply them.

Making and Using Compost in the Garden

Making your own compost is an easy, practical, and satisfying way to make use of yard waste and table scraps. With this publication, designed for the home gardener, you’ll be composting like a pro in no time!

Lily Leaf Beetle

Lily Leaf Beetle, also known as red or scarlet lily beetle, can cause significant damage to native and cultivated true lilies. Learn how to identify and manage this insect in this factsheet.

Milkweed (Ornamental Plants Toxic to Animals)

To increase monarch populations, people are increasingly planting ornamental types of milkweed and encouraging common milkweed to grow wherever it occurs in uncultivated areas. While milkweed is beneficial to monarch populations, people need to be aware that it is toxic and can be lethal to animals, particularly horses and other equines.

Mukdenia, Mukdenia rossii

Grown for its showy foliage and airy flowers, mukdenia is an uncommon herbaceous perennial for the shade garden. The glossy green, fan-shaped leaves are attractive throughout summer, but when they transform to bright red starting at the tips they become a stunning statement in the garden. Learn more about this introduced ornamental plant in this article…

Sea thrift, Armeria maritima

Sea thrift is a profuse spring and early summer bloomer, with pink or white flowers on low mounds of dense foliage. Coming from mountainous and coastal areas, it needs excellent drainage and lean soils to thrive so can be a challenge to grow in wet Midwestern climates. Learn more about this clump-forming evergreen perennial in this article…


With coarse foliage and big, dramatic funnel-shaped flowers on large, mound-shaped plants, datura makes a bold statement in the garden. These fast-growing annual or tender perennial herbaceous plants are easily grown as seasonal plants in colder climates. Learn more about these plants that are not only ornamental, but have been used for medicinal, religious, and cultural purposes for millennia in this article…

Shooting star, Dodecatheon meadia

With delicate, nodding purple, pink or white flowers that resemble tiny “shooting stars”, Dodecatheon meadia is a charming spring wildflower of moist prairies and open woodlands that adapts well to home gardens. Learn more about this perennial native to the central and eastern US in this article…

A Pepper for Every Pot

There’s a plethora of peppers out there, and they’re not all just for eating. Learn more about what’s going on in ornamental pepper development in this article…

American Hog-peanut, Amphicarpaea bracteata

With attractive trifoliate leaves and the ability to fix nitrogen, American hog-peanut is a vigorous annual vine that twines around neighboring plants – making it welcome in some places, but usually considered a weed in ornamental landscapes. It is a somewhat unusual plant because it produces two types of flowers and seeds. Learn more about this North American native in the pea family in this article…

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