Three Must Have Books

This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are celebrating National Library Lover’s Month and the books that we love to use.  I want to share two of my go-to books and a new addition that I am excited to have this year. Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains (ISBN 978-1-60938-071-7) by…

Denver Botanical Garden

Hailed as one of the top 5 botanical gardens in the US and often referred to as an oases in the city, the Denver Botanical Garden is a must on your places to visit.  This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are talking about vacation destinations. I had the pleasure of visiting the Denver Botanical…

African violet no more!

I am a huge African violet nut.  Huge.  African violets belong to the family Gesneriaceae and belong in the genus Saintpaulia.  Until recently taxonomist have pretty much left this genus of plants alone.  At one time there was about 21 recognized species of African violets until a few years ago when the “Great Merger” occurred. …

How Much?

How much water should I give my houseplant?  Simple.  You water until it comes out of the bottom of the pot.  We often get asked to quantify the amount that is needed.  Does it need to be a cup (8 oz.), a few tablespoons, or a gallon?  Every container is different in size and the…

Dutch Amaryllis

Two weeks ago I shed some light on telling the difference between the Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus (you should check it out).  This week we are diving deeper into the holiday favorites and talking about Hippeastrum. Yes you are probably scratching your head and wondering why you haven’t heard of Hippeastrum.  Trust me you have. …

False Christmas Cactus

Growing up my mom always called her Christmas cactus a Thanksgiving cactus because it would be in full flower by the end of November.  Being the good son, I never questioned Mom or try to correct her.  Twenty something years and a few advance degrees later, Mom was right.  The popular plant that’s now arriving…

Plant Protection

Are your trees ready for winter?  Last week I talked about the importance of winter watering but I want to touch on woody plant protection.  Most of our herbaceous perennials die back to the ground and don’t need protection from small mammals.  However, those plants that have a persistent above ground structure, tree and shrubs,…

Boo!

A few weeks ago I blogged about plant names and how they can be misleading.  Since Halloween is only a week away I thought I would share with you three of my favorite spooky plants: Death Camass, Bloodroot and Skeleton Weed. Death Camass (Zigadenus venenosus) is a native bulbous perennial that is found throughout the…

Pollinator Habitat

Pollinator decline has been a huge buzz word the last few years and rightly so.  With so much focus on the use of pesticides, viruses, mites and whatnot – leaves us feeling helpless. Welcome to the Nebraska Extension Pollinator Habitat Certification.  You spoke and we listened.  If you want to be a part of the…

Black Tupelo – The Other Red Tree

“Autumn paints in colors that summer has never seen” – Author unknown We are coming up on Fall Foliage Week and the time of the year that we get to celebrate all the colors of fall.  For many of us this means watching our trees turn hues of red, orange, and yellow.  There are many…

Indoor Air & Houseplants

Welcome to the most exciting week of the year: National Indoor Plant Week! We often don’t take into consideration the quality of the air we breathe inside our homes.  However, often times the air quality is not what we think it is.  Homes have become more airtight in the quest to improve energy efficiency.  Home…

Peonies

Peonies are one of the longest lived herbaceous perennials.  Some anecdotal evidence reports upwards of 80+ years.  How did your peonies do this year?  Did they flower okay for you or have they started to fizzle in their performance.  Working with clients I have found two major sources for poor peony performance. 1.  planted to…