Invasive Native Plants – Can Native Plants Become Invasive

Sat, 2019-08-03 18:11
Not all exotic and non-native plants are invasive, and not all native plants are strictly non-invasive. It can be confusing, but even native plants can grow in such a way that they become problematic and invasive. Invasive native plants can be a problem for the home gardener, so know what to look for and what to avoid. Can Native Plants Become Invasive? A native plant can become invasive, even after years of growing it without any problems. Part of the confusion on this subject is the term invasive; it’s relative. A stand of fast-growing, out-competing goldenrod can potentially take over your garden, and you might call it invasive. But in the meadow down the street, it’s just a natural part of the native landscape. Generally, we consider aggressive, non-native plants that out-compete native plants to be invasive, but there are conditions under which plants native to a certain area become

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Space Horticulture: Learn How Astronauts Grow Plants In Space

Sat, 2019-08-03 15:00
For many years, space exploration and the development of new technology has been of major interest to scientists and educators. While learning more about space, and the theoretical colonization of Mars, is fun to think about, real innovators here on Earth are making strides to study more about the way various environmental factors impact the way we grow plants. Learning to grow and sustain plantings beyond Earth is of great importance to the discussion of extended space travel and exploration. Let’s take a peek at the study of plants grown in space. How Astronauts Grow Plants in Space Horticulture in space is not a new concept. In fact, early space horticulture experiments date back to the 1970s when rice was planted in the Skylab space station. As technology progressed, so too did the need for further experimentation with astrobotany. Initially starting with fast growing crops like mizuna, plantings maintained in

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Is Eating Tendrils Safe – Learn How To Harvest Squash Tendrils

Sat, 2019-08-03 11:07
It’s really amazing how much of our produce we discard. Other cultures have more of a tendency to eat the entirety of their produce, meaning the leaves, stems, sometimes even roots, blossoms and seeds of a crop. Consider squash, for example. Can you eat squash shoots? Yes, indeed. In fact, all pumpkin, zucchini, and squash tendrils are edible. Puts a whole new spin on how much our garden can feed us doesn’t it? Eating Pumpkin, Zucchini, and Squash Tendrils Perhaps, you didn’t know that squash tendrils were edible, but did know that squash blossoms are edible. It doesn’t take much of a leap to figure that the tendrils might be tasty as well. They look much akin to pea shoots (delicious) albeit a bit firmer. All varieties of squash can be eaten, including zucchini and pumpkins. Edible squash tendrils may have tiny bristles on them, which might be unpalatable to

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Categories: Organic Gardening

What Is Senecio – Basic Tips For Growing Senecio Plants

Sat, 2019-08-03 07:00
What is senecio? There are more than 1,000 varieties of senecio plants, and about 100 are succulents. These tough, interesting plants may be trailing, spreading groundcovers or large shrubby plants. Let’s learn more about growing senecio plants, along with some important caveats. Senecio Plant Info While senecio succulents grow outdoors in warm climates, they are popular indoor plants in areas with cool winters. Senecio succulents are often grown in hanging baskets with the fleshy leaves trailing over the sides. Popular varieties of senecio succulents include string of pearls and string of bananas. Some varieties of senecio that typically grow wild are known by names such as groundsel or tansy ragwort. Some types of senecio produce yellow, sunflower-like blooms. Less commonly, senecio may produce purple or white flowers. Leaves may be deep green, bluish-green or variegated. Note: Senecio plants are toxic. Outdoors, the plant is especially problematic for livestock, as ingestion

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Cup Plant Information: How To Grow Cup Plants In The Garden

Fri, 2019-08-02 18:00
Well maintained flower beds have mass appeal, and more and more gardeners are opting to plant natural borders and landscapes consisting of native perennial flowering plants. Not only do native plants help create habitat for pollinators and wildlife, but they are also able to adapt and thrive in weather conditions specific to the growing region. This is especially beneficial in regions where drought is common. The cup plant, for example, is a wildflower that can show just how advantageous planting native perennials can be. What is a Cup Plant? Cup plant, or Silphium perfoliatum, is native flowering plant found in most parts of the eastern United States. Reaching heights of up to 8 feet (2.4 m.), this bright yellow perennial flower is a welcome addition to gardens for its attractiveness to bees and other beneficial insects. As a member of the aster family, cup plants provide profuse garden color from

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Milkweed Pruning Guide: Do I Deadhead Milkweed Plants

Fri, 2019-08-02 15:00
We know milkweed is a crucial plant for Monarch butterflies. Growing the plants will attract and feed these beautiful butterflies. But you may be asking, “should I prune milkweed.” Milkweed pruning isn’t really necessary, but deadheading milkweed can enhance appearance and encourage further flowering. Do I Deadhead Milkweed? Milkweed is a glorious perennial wildflower native to North America. All through summer and into fall the plant is covered with flowers. It is a perfect plant in the native garden or just to colonize a vacant field. The blooms are excellent cut flowers, and in the garden, they are attractive to bees and butterflies. Deadheading milkweed is not necessary but it will keep the plants looking tidy and may promote further blooms. If you do it right after the first flowering, you can expect a second crop of blooms. Cut the blooms off just above a flush of leaves when milkweed

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Clouds And Photosynthesis – Do Plants Grow On Cloudy Days

Fri, 2019-08-02 11:00
If shade from clouds is making you feel blue, you can always opt to walk on the sunny side of the street. The plants in your garden do not have this option. While you may need sun to lift your spirits, plants need it to grow and thrive since their process of photosynthesis depends on it. That’s the process by which plants create the energy they require to grow. But do clouds affect photosynthesis? Do plants grow on cloudy days as well as sunny ones? Read on to learn about cloudy days and plants, including how cloudy days affect plants. Clouds and Photosynthesis Plants feed themselves by a chemical process called photosynthesis. They mix carbon dioxide, water and sunlight and, from the blend, construct the food they need to thrive. The byproduct of photosynthesis is the oxygen plants release that humans and animals require to breathe. Since sunlight is one

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Duck Habitat Safety – What Are Some Plants Ducks Can’t Eat

Fri, 2019-08-02 07:00
If you have ducks living in your backyard or around your pond, you may be concerned with their diet. Protecting ducks on your property is likely a priority, which means keeping plants poisonous to ducks away from them. But which plants are unsafe? About Plants Ducks Can’t Eat Well-fed ducks aren’t likely to munch on plants that are dangerous to them. And most ducks can tell by the first taste which plants they shouldn’t eat, as the first bite tastes bitter. Many common ornamentals we grow in the landscape are actually bad for ducks to eat. Rhododendrons, yew, and wisteria are among a few plants harmful to ducks. Anything of the nightshade family is suspect, although in some cases it is just the leaves. Cherry tomato fruits are often used as treats and pill pockets for ducks, but they should not eat the leaves. Others say tomatoes and all forms

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Can You Grow Taro In A Pot – Container Grown Taro Care Guide

Thu, 2019-08-01 18:15
Taro is a water plant, but you don’t need a pond or wetlands in your backyard to grow it. You can successfully grow taro in containers if you do it right. You can grow this pretty tropical plant as an ornamental or harvest the roots and leaves to use in the kitchen. Either way they make great container plants. About Taro in Planters Taro is a perennial tropical and subtropical plant, also known as dasheen. It is native to South and Southeast Asia but has been cultivated in many other areas, including Hawaii where it has become a dietary staple. The tuber of taro is starchy and a little sweet. You can cook it into a paste known as poi. You can also make flour out of the tuber or fry it to make chips. The leaves are best eaten when young and cooked to eliminate some of the bitterness.

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Zapotec Pink Pleated Tomato Plants – Tips For Growing Zapotec Tomatoes

Thu, 2019-08-01 15:13
Picture a tomato with a fluted, rounded shape and bright pink flesh and you’ve got an image of Zapotec pink pleated tomato plants. Their form is intriguing and beautiful but the flavor is also exceptional. The plants are said to be from the Oaxacan region in Mexico and grown by the Zapotec tribe. Try growing these funky fruits which are a conversation starter all on their own. What is a Pink Zapotec Tomato? Pleats, ruffles, and fluting all describe the fruit of Zapotec pink pleated tomatoes. What is a pink Zapotec tomato? This tomato variety is also known as Oaxacan Ribbed, a nod to the region and appearance of the fruits. These heirloom tomatoes are late season, so you have to wait until late summer before you can enjoy their sweet-tangy flavor. Gardeners growing Zapotec tomatoes can expect indeterminate type plants which will vine and sprawl, requiring space and support.

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Edible Okra Leaves – Can You Eat The Leaves Of Okra

Thu, 2019-08-01 11:10
Many northerners may not have tried it, but okra is quintessentially southern and linked to the cuisine of the region. Even so, many southerners typically just use the okra pods in their dishes but what about eating the okra leaves? Can you eat the leaves of okra? Can You Eat the Leaves of Okra? Okra is thought to have originated in Africa and cultivation spread to the Middle East, India and into the southern reaches of North America, most likely brought by the French via West Africa. It has since become a popular food in southern parts of the U.S. And while it is the pod which is most favored, okra leaves are, indeed, edible too. Not only the leaves but the beautiful blossoms as well. Eating Okra Leaves Okra is a type of hibiscus plant that is grown for ornamental purposes and as a food crop. The leaves are

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Medicinal Ginseng Remedies – Using Ginseng For Health Benefits

Thu, 2019-08-01 07:00
Ginseng (Panax sp.) is one of the world’s most commonly used herbs. In Asia, medicinal ginseng dates back several centuries. In North America, herbal ginseng use dates back to the early settlers, who used the plant to treat a number of conditions. Is ginseng good for you? What do medical experts say about using ginseng for health? Let’s explore. Ginseng as a Medicinal Herb In the United States, ginseng is extremely popular, second only to Ginkgo biloba. In fact, ginseng is incorporated into such varied products as tea, chewing gum, chips, health drinks and tinctures. Medicinal ginseng is lauded for a host of miraculous cures, and has been used as an antidepressant, blood thinner, and immune system booster. Supporters say it relieves maladies ranging from upper respiratory infections to addiction to high blood sugar.  The experts have mixed opinions when it comes to using ginseng for health. An article published

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Chir Pine Information – Learn About Chir Pine In Landscapes

Wed, 2019-07-31 18:00
There are many, many types of pine trees. Some make suitable additions to the landscape and others not so much. While the chir pine is one of those trees that can attain large heights, in the proper location, this tree can make a great specimen or hedgerow planting. Chir Pine Information Chir pine, also known as Indian Longleaf pine, is common to the most southern U.S. forests, although it is native to the Himalayas, where it is widely used for lumber. Needles of Pinus roxburghii are long and deciduous during dry seasons, but they usually remain on the tree for the better part of the year. Evergreen and coniferous, the trunk can grow to six feet (1.8 m.) around. Using chir pine in landscapes is normal too, but you should allow plenty of room for the specimen, which can reach 150 feet (46 m.) at maturity. However, the tree more

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Mandrake Propagation Guide – Tips For Growing New Mandrake Plants

Wed, 2019-07-31 15:00
Mandrake is one of those magical plants that turns up in fantasy novels and spooky fables. It is a very real plant and has some interesting and potentially scary properties. Growing new mandrake plants is quickest from roots or offsets, but you can also start them from seed. Propagation of mandrake from seed can be a little tricky unless you know a couple of crucial tips. Continue reading to learn how to propagate mandrake. About Growing New Mandrake Plants You don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to appreciate the much storied mandrake plant. It is a member of the nightshade family and its root is the part primarily used. While all parts of the plant are poisonous, it was once used in medicine, mostly as a pre-surgery anesthesia. It is rarely used today due to the dangers but it is a fun and interesting plant to grow. Mandrake

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Pepper Plant Insects: What’s Eating Hot Pepper Plants

Wed, 2019-07-31 11:05
Hot peppers are and effective deterrent to many pests, but what plagues these spicy plants? There are several pepper plant insects that can attack the plants and their fruit, and the occasional bird or mammal might try a bite. The biggest culprits are a handful of insects and their larvae, but these can easily be dealt with by vigilance and organic methods of control. Biggest Hot Pepper Pests Glorious hot chilies and spicy peppers add punch to a host of recipes. But fruit with holes or shredded leaves can compromise your crop. What’s eating hot pepper plants? Mammals and birds usually avoid such spicy fare, but insects don’t seem to mine the capsaicin laced peppers.  There are several pepper plant bugs that can spell serious problems to your pepper harvest. Probably the number one hot pepper plant insects are the pepper weevils and pepper hornworms. While their names might suggest

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Crimson Cherry Rhubarb Info: How To Grow Crimson Cherry Rhubarb Plants

Wed, 2019-07-31 07:00
For many home vegetable gardeners, adding new and interesting plants to the garden plot is fun and exciting. Expanding the garden is also a great way to expand their palates in the kitchen. Though most vegetables are grown as annuals each season, some special plants require more time in order to produce a crop. Rhubarb is an example of a perennial addition to the home garden, and the ‘Crimson Cherry’ variety is especially known for its sweet taste. Crimson Cherry Rhubarb Info Rhubarb plants are a popular choice for gardeners who wish to use the stalks in recipes for sauces, pies, and other baked goods. Rhubarb plants are unusual in that only some parts of the plant are edible, while other parts are toxic. This toxicity is caused by the presence of oxalic acid. With any rhubarb, make certain to properly research its use and handling before trying any recipes

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Differences Between Hansel And Gretel Eggplants

Tue, 2019-07-30 18:00
Hansel eggplants and Gretel eggplants are two different varieties that are very similar to each other, like the brother and sister from a fairy tale. Read up on some Hansel and Gretel eggplant information to find out why these hybrids are desirable and what they need to grow and give you a big harvest. What are Hansel and Gretel Eggplants? Hansel and Gretel are two different hybrid varieties of eggplant, both fairly new to the gardening world. They each won All American Selections – Hansel in 2008 and Gretel in 2009. Both were developed specifically to breed out some of the undesirable characteristics of most eggplants. There are almost no practical differences between Hansel and Gretel eggplants. Hansel has deep purple skin and Gretel’s skin is white but, otherwise, they both have the same qualities that make them great options for the vegetable garden: The fruits are long and narrow

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Propagating Ginkgo Cuttings: Learn How To Root Ginkgo Cuttings

Tue, 2019-07-30 15:00
Ginkgo biloba is the sole surviving member of the extinct division of plants known as Gingkophya, which dates back some 270 million years. Ginkgo trees are distantly related to conifers and cycads. These deciduous trees are prized for their bright fall foliage and medicinal benefits, so it’s not surprising that many homeowners would want to add them to their landscape. And while there a number of ways to propagate these trees, ginkgo cutting propagation is the preferred method of cultivation. How to Root Ginkgo Cuttings Propagating ginkgo cuttings is the easiest way to make more of these beautiful trees. The cultivar ‘Autumn Gold’ is the easiest to root from cuttings. When it comes to propagating cuttings, your first question may be, “can you root ginkgo in water?” The short answer is no. Ginkgo trees are sensitive to poor drainage; they prefer well-drained soil and do well in urban areas surrounded

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Growing Minette Basil Plants – Information On Minette Dwarf Basil

Tue, 2019-07-30 11:15
Some types of basil can become a bit gangly and less than attractive although the aroma and flavor of the foliage can’t be beat. If you love basil’s fragrance and taste try growing Minette dwarf basil plants. What is Minette basil? Keep reading to find out all about the basil variety ‘Minette.’ What is Minette Dwarf Basil? The basil cultivar ‘Minette’ (Ocimum basillicum ‘Minette’) is an adorable dwarf basil that grows into a compact little shrub perfect for knot gardens, edging and container growing. Plants grow into 10-inch (25 cm.) globes rife with succulent, aromatic small basil leaves. Tiny this basil may be, but it still packs all of the anise-like sweet flavor along with the fragrant clove scent of the larger basil cultivars. This basil works well as a companion plant, as its pungent aroma also wards off aphids, mites and tomato hornworms. Minette basil grows into a perfectly

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Sun Tolerant Hostas: Popular Hostas To Grow In Sun

Tue, 2019-07-30 07:00
Hostas add interesting foliage to areas in need of large, spreading and colorful leaves. Hostas are most often considered shade plants. It’s true that most hosta plants should grow in a partial shade or dappled sun area to keep leaves from burning, but there are now many sun-loving hostas available for the garden. About Hostas for Sunny Spots Newer hostas for sunny spots are appearing in the market with the claim of being hostas that tolerate the sun. Yet, there are hostas for sun that have grown for decades in many well-planted gardens too. These plants can grow happily in areas that make morning sun available to them. Afternoon shade is a necessity, especially during those hot summer days. Further success comes from consistent watering and planting them in rich soil. Add a layer of organic mulch to help hold and conserve moisture. Sun Tolerant Hostas Let’s take a look

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Categories: Organic Gardening

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