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…

Iris Clean Up

Bearded iris are a staple in the landscape.  They offer a burst of color when we need it the most in the spring.  Late summer is a great time to rejuvenate your iris beds.  Iris spread by underground stems called rhizomes. As they spread they tend to grow on top of neighboring plants. Before you…

Weed or Flower?

“Is this a weed or a flower?” – one of the most commonly asked questions I get here at the Extension Office.  I always answer: is it growing where it supposed to?  If not, then it is a weed.  A coneflower growing in a bluegrass lawn is a weed and bluegrass growing in a coneflower…

Leaf Lettuce

Summer was hard on our vegetable gardens this year.  Two major storms in June followed by searing heat in July.  My plants are tired and have slowed down producing. Its time to think about lettuce.  Lettuce a cool season crop and what better way to end the summer by planting a few rows.  There are…

Checkered White

It’s always a joy to see something new visiting the garden.  This past weekend I was out and about in the yard and spotted a new butterfly to me, the Checkered White (Pontia protodice).  A handsome butterfly that appears white with brown markings and (to me) a powdery blue body.  This was something that I…