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…

Keeping Your Plants on the Bright Side

How to Make Sure Your Plant is Getting Enough Light in Winter The shortest day of the year has passed, but St. Louis days are still averaging only about 9 and a half hours of daylight. That’s a far cry from the summer solstice in June, a day when we see almost 15 hours of…

Cold Weather Kale and Cabbage

Cabbage and kale are popular cool-weather vegetables known for their many health benefits, but did you know these lovely leafy greens come in ornamental varieties, too? Ornamental cabbages and kales have showy, colorful foliage and are typically grown as annuals in fall container plantings or massed for a late-season bedding display. The leaves come in…

All About Pumpkins

From pumpkin spice lattes to jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins have become a universal symbol of fall. Pumpkins also come from an enormously diverse plant family, Cucurbitaceae, which contains more than 100 genera and over 700 species. In the U.S., any round, orange squash is likely to be called a pumpkin, but the term “pumpkin” has no real…

Overwintering Plants

When fall approaches and temperatures begin to dip, many home gardeners wonder when it’s time to bring houseplants indoors. As a general rule of thumb, the Garden’s Kemper Center for Home Gardening recommends tropical houseplants be moved inside once temperatures drop below 50°F.  If left outside, most indoor plants will suffer from cold damage. Growing…

Adding Panicle Hydrangeas to Your Home Landscape

During St. Louis summers the fluffy white or pink flowers of panicle hydrangeas are easy to spot in many home landscapes. Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are native to Japan, China, and eastern Russia where they grow on sparsely wooded mountain slopes and valleys. In the wild they can reach up to 15 feet tall with…

Home Herb Gardens

Herb gardens are popular with many home gardeners because they can be grown with little space and yield crops that can be used in many favorite recipes. Many chefs prefer the taste of fresh herbs over dried products you purchase at the store. Some popular herbs to grow in your garden include basil, rosemary, chives,…