Corn Earworm, Helicoverpa zea

No one likes opening a fresh ear of sweet corn only to find it chewed up and often with a worm inside. The culprit is usually a corn earworm. The caterpillar of this species of moth varies a lot in color but is always seen feeding on the silk end of ears of corn. To learn more about this pest and how to control it, read this article…

Verbena bonariensis

With its long, airy sprays of purple flowers, Verbena bonariensis is a great addition to the garden. It is a perennial, but only to zone 7. However, it is very easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed, so can be treated as an annual in colder climates. The flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and other insects. To learn more about Verbena bonariensis, read this article…

Landscaping In Spite of Black Walnuts

Black walnut trees can have a dramatic, negative affect on certain plants. Black walnut trees, and a few other types of trees, produce a chemical called juglone that causes wilting, yellowing of leaves and sometimes the death of susceptible plants. To learn more about juglone toxicity and which plants are suceptible, read this article…

'Silver Falls' Dichondra argentea

Looking for a trailing plant with silvery foliage? ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra fits the bill, with shimmering silver leaves on trailing stems. Only hardy to zone 8, it makes a great seasonal plant for containers or planted in the ground as a fast-growing ground cover. Learn more about this attractive foliage plant in this article…

Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia reginae

The iconic, stereotypical flower of the tropics – bird of paradise – isn’t really a tropical plant at all – Strelitzia reginae is from subtropical southern Africa! But there’s no denying it has a very exotic bloom that looks tropical. Although it won’t survive outdoors in the midwest, it can be grown as an indoor or patio plant. To learn more about this interesting flower, read this article…

Chioggia Beets

Beets are an easy crop to grow in the home garden, but they don’t have to be plain red. ‘Chioggia’ is an heirloom variety that is also called candystripe or bull’s eye beet for the colorful red and white rings seen in cross-section of the roots. These beets are often sweeter than other varieties, too/ To learn more about this interesting beet, read this article…

Bean Leaf Beetle, Cerotoma trifurcata

Are your green bean plants being chewed up, with lots of round holes in the leaves and nibble marks on the pods? The most likely culprit is bean leaf beetle, a chrysomelid pest that tends to be more common in the southeast, but has outbreaks in southern Wisconsin after mild winters. To learn more about this insect pest and what to do about it, read this article…

Russian sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia

With airy purple-blue flowers and gray-green leaves, Russian sage is a nice addition to the late summer garden. This semi-woody plant can be used as a substitute for lavendar where it is too cold to grow that plant reliably. It combines well with ornamental grasses and white-flowered perennials. To learn more about Russian sage read this article…

Ageratum, Ageratum houstonianum

Not many bedding plants boast blue flowers. Ageratum flowers come in a variety of blue, pink and purple tones and various heights.  The soft fuzzy flowers are dainty and feathery, often delightfully fragrant, and usually completely cover the plants. To learn more about this easy-to-grow, tender annual, read this article…

Concolor Fir, Abies concolor

Native to the western US, concolor fir is a great  evergreen tree for the Midwestern landscape. It is one of the most adaptable firs and is a good substitute for blue spruce. Slow-growing, with an almost perfect pyramidal Christmas tree shape, this tree needs little maintenance in most landscapes. To learn more about concolor fir, read this article…

Lantana

Lantana is a tender perennial shrub that’s grown as a flowering annual in colder climates. The species may have rangy habits, but newer ornamental types are compact, more floriferous and come in a variety of colors. To learn more about this plant, read this article…

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