Focus on Crocus

A frequent subject in poetry and art, crocus are considered by many to be the first sign of spring.

Plant Profile: Persimmon

The American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a Missouri-native tree known for its edible fruit and cultural connections.

Saving Potted Mums

Mums are a staple in fall gardens. With a little extra care, they can bloom again year after year and save you from making an annual purchase.

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…

Purple Martins Resume Seasonal Residence at the Garden

Perhaps you have seen them while visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden’s William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening — large white, multi-compartment birdhouses on poles about 14 feet high. In spring and summer, the housing is fully occupied by purple martins (Progne subis), a swallow species. St. Louis today is possibly home to the largest…