Fungus Gnats on Houseplants

Fungus gnats (Family Sciaridae) are insects commonly associated with overwatered houseplants. They can become a nuisance when they are present in large numbers and fly around inside a home. In most situations, fungus gnats are a cosmetic problem. However, on occasion, fungus gnat larvae can cause plant damage.

Reducing Soil pH

Sherry Combs, formerly of the UW-Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Lab Revised:  10/27/2007 Item number:  XHT1151 Is your soil pH too high?  Probably not, although the popular press urges most gardeners to question whether their garden soil pH is ‘right’.  Only a soil test for pH can indicate whether the pH is ‘right’, and ‘right […]

Croton, Codiaeum variegatum

One of the boldest houseplants around, croton offers fabulous foliage marked with bright yellow, orange, red, and even near black. These eye-catching plants add a tropical touch to indoor décor or make a dramatic focal point as a seasonal plant outdoors during the growing season. Learn more about this Asian plant distantly related to poinsettia in this article…

Staghorn Fern, Platycerium bifurcatum

With “leaves” shaped like deer antlers arching out from a brown and green shield-shaped base, staghorn fern can be a dramatic decorative accent and conversation starter.  Naturally growing on trees for support and protection, these plants can be a bit challenging to grow indoors, but make fine houseplants with a little effort. Learn about these unique tropical ferns and how to grow them in this article…

Twospotted Spider Mite, Tetranychus urticae

From apples to zucchini – no matter what types of plants you grow – it’s likely something spider mites will attack. The most common spider mite, the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), is a general feeder that attacks a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. Learn about this the biology of this tiny pest, the type of damage it causes and how to manage it in this article…

Scale Insects

Scale insects feed on many plants, but are often overlooked because they are immobile and many types look like small bumps that just might be plant parts blending in with the leaves, twigs and branches. These insects secrete a waxy covering – that gives them their common name – to protect them from the environment and predators. Learn more about this group of inconspicuous and atypical insects in this article…

Aphids, in-depth

Aphids may be viewed as just another pest for gardeners to try to eliminate, but they’re really fascinating insects, with bizarre lifestyles and eating habits and they’re also dinner for lots of other insects. Forming colonies covering the leaves and stems of plants, these small sap-sucking creatures reproduce incredibly fast and a few also transmit plant diseases. Learn more about this large group of insects and how to manage them in the garden in this article…

Plumeria

Plumeria are small tropical trees with fragrant flowers, commonly used to make wonderfully scented leis in Hawaii. Several types are easily grown in containers in colder climates to enjoy a touch of the tropics in summer. Learn more about this group of plants native to tropical America in this article…

String of Pearls, Senecio rowleyanus

String of pearls is an interesting succulent grown for its unusual, bead-like leaves. Small, fragrant brush-like white flowers are produced in summer. Learn more about this vigorous growing, low maintenance, tender evergreen perennial grown as a novelty houseplant …

Heliconias

For most Midwesterners, if they recognize a heliconia at all, it’s as a brightly colored, long-lasting component of a bouquet of tropical flowers. The genus Heliconia is a large group of plants native to tropical areas of the Americas with banana-like leaves and conspicuous inflorescences. Learn more about these showy, interesting plants in this article…

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