Finding the Perfect Christmas Tree

When the holiday season is here, nothing quite says ‘Christmas’ like trimming the tree. The fresh smell of pine needles, the twinkle of lights, and the sound of Christmas carols in the background, are enough to make anyone feel jolly.  But how do you find the perfect tree to bring home? With several options of…

Opting for Ornamental Grasses

Autumn weather is the perfect time to add to your garden. It is a great time to plant new trees, shrubs and perennials. If you’re looking to improve the year-round appearance of your garden with some new plantings, consider adding ornamental grasses to your yard. Ornamental grasses come in a wide range of sizes to…

Pumpkin Spice Plants

Autumn has become synonymous with “pumpkin spice.” You can find pumpkin spice lattes, breakfast cereal, cookies, candies, and seemingly every other type of pre-packaged food available. But what exactly is pumpkin spice, botanically speaking?  The flavors most associated with “sweater weather” are actually a blend of spices from tropical plants.  The five most common spices…

Plants of Japan

Japan has a rich cultural tradition of gardening, and the country is considered a global biodiversity hotspot. But you do not need to build an entire Japanese garden or start planning a trip to Japan to enjoy its diverse flora. Many thrive in our climate and make excellent additions to a St. Louis backyard. The…

Heat Up Your Landscape with Hibiscus

In the heat of the summer, hibiscus are popular ornamental plants that can add a touch of tropical flare to any landscape. The genus Hibiscus includes more than 300 species, including two that are native to Missouri.  Hibiscus History These plants have a long history of cultivation, beginning in the 17th century when hibiscus from…

All About Galls

During the spring and summer, the Kemper Center for Home Gardening often get questions about galls, or growths found on trees and other plants. People want to know what they are, and what to do about them. The following information will tell you all you need to know about galls. What are galls?  Galls are…

2021 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…

Think Tropical

As temperatures warm outside, many home gardeners are eager to get their summer gardens started. Spring is the perfect time to plan your summer garden, and once the final frost is out of the forecast, you can get to planting your annuals.  When you’re thinking about how to make your yard pop this summer, consider…

All About Easter Lillies

In springtime, Easter lilies are a common sight in grocery stores, churches, and on dining room tables. With their large, white, trumpet-shaped blooms and delicate fragrance, they are a true symbol of the Easter season. But did you know that spring isn’t the only time these plants can be enjoyed?  If you want to keep…

The History of the Shamrock in Ireland (and How to Grow Your Own American Version)

Every March, many storefronts, restaurants, and homes turn green as Irish Americans celebrate their heritage through St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, many without Irish ancestry join in the celebration, too. During the St. Patrick’s season, the shamrock becomes a universal symbol of all things Irish. And rightfully so—the shamrock is the national plant of Ireland…

Protecting Plants from Fungus Gnats

As you wait for the winter to thaw so you can get back to your garden, you may be paying more attention to your houseplants. And, it’s possible, dealing with pest issues. One very common plant pest if the fungus gnat. Infestations of these small, flying insects can range in severity from just being a…

Your Amaryllis Can Bloom Again!

Amaryllis are a popular holiday plant because when potted indoors, they tend to bloom around Christmas. Plus, the red variety adds some festive color to any room. While their blooms fade after holidays, the plant’s life is far from over. In fact, if cared for properly, amaryllis can bloom over and over.  All About Amaryllis…