Native Plants Monarchs Love

In July 2022, the International Union for Conservation of Nature officially designated the monarch butterfly as an endangered species. The IUCN Red List, of which the Garden is a contributing partner, is considered the world’s leading authority on conservation status of species. The designation is a big step for monarch conservation, but also left many…

Heat-tolerant Plants

As St. Louis and much of the surrounding area experience another round of triple-digit temperatures, the plants around us are feeling it too. Hot, sunny weather will dry out soils quickly. With less water available for the roots to absorb, leaves and stems may start to wilt and flag. An occasional deep, slow watering should…

Plant Profile: St. John’s Wort

As interest grows in native plants, some gardeners may be wondering what kinds of options are available to add to their own backyards. From our experts at the William T. Kemper Home Gardening Center comes a suggestion for a native, flowering shrub with an eye-catching bark: Hypericum prolificum, or St. John’s wort. The unique, layered bark…

Honeysuckles Explained

Most gardeners cringe at the word “honeysuckle” these days. But not all species of honeysuckle are bad. Here, the William T. Kemper Home Gardening Center explains which native species you should plant in your garden to attract pollinators and which invasive species you should eradicate wherever possible.

2022 Plants of Merit

Every year since 1998, the Missouri Botanical Garden has partnered with other regional horticultural institutions to select Plants of Merit. Plants of Merit are chosen for outstanding quality and dependable performance in Missouri, southern and central Illinois, and the Kansas City metro area. To qualify as a Plant of Merit, the plants must be easy to…

Controlling Common Insect Pests in Your Garden

Spring means new life and new beginnings, not only for plants but also for the insects that have evolved to eat them. Dealing with insect pests is best done when populations are small and before infestations get out of hand. As we here at the William T. Kemper Home Gardening Center look ahead to a busy growing season, we…

Chemical-Free Weed Control

Spring is upon us, and the signs of the changing seasons are all around: tulip leaves poking out of the soil, blooming magnolias, and weeds appearing in garden beds. This early in the season, these weeds seem innocuous enough, but soon they will be blooming and forming seed. Here are our tips for controlling unwanted…

Starting Seeds Inside in Winter

As cold temperatures and snow and ice persist, late winter has many gardeners missing their time planting outdoors. But this period is the perfect time to start planting certain vegetable seeds indoors. The William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening shares the following advice on seeding indoors in late winter. Seeds to start Cool season…

Plastic Pot Recycling: Update and Perspective 

Missouri Botanical Garden has been tracking and supporting plastic pot recycling issues and options for many years. This spring, we regret to report that public plastic pot recycling will not resume.  Wasn’t Plastic Pot Recycling “suspended” for 2020-21? Why is it being ended now?  The collection program did not re-start as usual in spring 2020,…

Winter is for Witch Hazel

Winter can be a bleak time for your landscape, with leafless trees and few flowers in sight. To add a pop of color to a dreary winter yard, consider a Missouri native: witch hazel.  About the plant: Hamamelis vernalis is commonly called Ozark witch hazel or vernal witch hazel. Its specific epithet vernalis means “spring…

Kid-safe Houseplants

The plants recommended in this blog are known to be non-toxic to children, but not necessarily pets. If you suspect a child has ingested part of a plant and are unsure of its toxicity or if they are experiencing symptoms of poisoning, call the Poison Control Center right away. Houseplants can boost our moods and…

Caring for Cyclamen Beyond the Holidays

Persian cyclamen, also known as florist’s cyclamen, is a common gift plant seen in grocery stores and garden centers around the holidays. These plants make lovely gifts as they are eye-catching. Their glossy, heart-shaped leaves are dark green with contrasting silver markings. Flowers, in shades of red, purple, pink, white, magenta, and salmon, rise above…