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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

Microgreens

One of the best parts of working for University of Illinois Extension is being able to learn something new literally every day. U of I Extension Master Gardener volunteers share this love of learning as well, and several years ago one of them introduced me to microgreens. Microgreens are a close cousin of sprouts. Microgreens are seedlings grown to fully expanded cotyledons or one true...

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Winter Storms and the Landscape

As a gardener, I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I love the way my garden looks softly draped with snow and sparkling with ice, but as the winter wears on this beauty fades and I long to see something bursting into bloom in the garden. This is a two-edged sword. Good in some respects, bad in others. One benefit of deep snow cover is that snow is an excellent insulator. Though s...

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Chinese Hibiscus

There are several species of hibiscus that people typically grow in their landscapes, but some are native to tropical places and will not overwinter here unless brought indoors. Chinese hibiscus is one of these tropical types. Historically, the tropical or Chinese hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis , is believed to really be from China. There is some debate though as to whether ea...

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ZZ Plant-- Zamioculcas zamiifolia

The phrase "the right plant for the right place" is one way to think of choosing plants for your landscape. If you choose a plant not quite adapted to a particular space in your yard, you will struggle to get that plant to thrive, and it may not even survive. The same idea applies to houseplants. Some plants are better adapted to the typically low light conditions found indoors. These plants wi...

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