Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied, sucking insects that are sometimes called plant lice. They feed on plant sap and subsequently excrete a sugary substance (called honeydew) that can attract ants as well as support the growth of a saprophytic fungus called sooty mold. Learn about common aphids found in home gardens in this factsheet.

Lemon-scented Plants

If you want to add some lemon zest to your garden, but can’t grow a lemon tree, consider trying some lemon-scented herbs or other plants. Many different plants contain the same chemical compounds that give lemons their distinctive fragrance. This article covers a collection of plants that have scents suggesting lemons.

Indoor Citrus

Even though we can’t grow oranges and grapefruits outdoors in the Midwest, it is possible to keep a citrus tree as a houseplant in a warm, sunny room. Even if your plant never produces fragrant blossoms and brightly colored, ornamental fruit, the shiny, dark green leaves make citrus an attractive container plant. Learn more about the long history of citrus throughout the world and how you can grow your own…

Living Stones: Lithops

Plants that look like rocks? Those would be living stones, in the genus Lithops. These are small succulent plants that survive in their harsh environment by having much of the plant body below ground, and only the wide leaf end visible above the rocky ground. To learn more about these fascinating plants that make good houseplants, read this article…

Burro’s Tail, Sedum morganianum

Burro’s tail is a low maintenance houseplant best grown in hanging containers that will showcase its fleshy, bluish green leaves covering the long, drooping stems. This succulent tender perennial does best in bright light and can be moved outdoors during the growing season. To learn more about Sedum morganianum, read this article…

Kahili Ginger, Hedychium gardnerianum

If you want a glamorous and spectacular plant to bring an exotic look to your garden, and sweetly fragrant flowers, try growing kahili ginger. This showy subtropical plant is an attractive foliage plant even when it doesn’t have its terminal spikes of striking yellow and red fragrant flowers. To learn more about Hedychium gardnerianum, read this article…

Flowering Maple, Abutilon spp.

Flowering maples aren’t real maples, but they have palmate leaves that look similar to that tree’s leaves, and much more spectacular flowers than true maples have. Also commonly referred to by just the genus name Abutilon, these tender sub-shrubs can be used as seasonal accent plants or grown indoors to bloom year-round. For more about flowering maples read this article…

Insect Pest Management for Greenhouses

This handy chart lists pesticides that are most effective against common greenhouse pests such as aphids, scales, leafminers, spider mites, and thrips. Formulation, effectiveness, cautions, and other details are provided.

Holiday Cactus

With brightly colored flowers in shades of pink to red, white and bicolors, blooming holiday cactus plants are a welcome sight at this time of year, but not all types bloom in late December.  Many specimens have been kept as houseplants for years, or even decades. To learn more about the various plants called holiday cactus, read this article…

Elephant Bush, Portulacaria afra

Many succulents make interesting houseplants. If you want something easy to grow with an interesting name, try elephant bush. This South African native is a favorite food of pachyderms that can grow up to 15 feet tall, but it also adapts readily to container culture. Learn more about Portulacaria afra in this article….

Boston Fern, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’

Boston fern is a selection of tropical sword fern that has been used as an ornamental since Victorian times.  Readily adaptable to growing in containers, it is a natural in hanging baskets and in elevated containers as a houseplant, but also can be used as a seasonal foliage plant in the garden. To learn more about Boston fern, read this article…

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