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Northwest Illinois Horticulture Corner

In the far Northwest Corner of Illinois, gardening is a very popular pastime! Get your info here!
Extension News Releases

Horticulture hydration

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941, aholsing@illinois.edu It's not rocket science; we all know that plants need water to thrive. But Andrew Holsinger wants to give gardeners a refresher on the ins and outs of garden hydration. "Many environmental conditions factor into plant survival," says Holsinger, a...

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Creating a Butterfly Oasis

News source/writer: Kari Houle, 217-357-2150, khoule@illinois.edu There are approximately 2,000 species of butterflies and moths native to Illinois, and creating a butterfly oasis can bring them to your backyard. "One of the things to remember when creating a butterfly oasis is to provide both nectar sources for butterfli...

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Garden Flowers for the "Dog Days" of August

News source/writer: Martha Smith, 309-756-9978, smithma@illinois.edu Every summer, gardeners notice that certain plants are beautiful up until the heat arrives. Then they fade and wither, leaving us with only the memories of what once was. To keep these plants looking good, watering becomes a nightmare during high heat and perio...

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Goldenrods for the Garden

News source/writer: Martha Smith, 309-756-9978, smithma@illinois.edu When August arrives, our gardens start to show off their late summer beauty. Butterflies flit from plant to plant, often alighting on members of the Solidago species, commonly known as goldenrods. This native plant has gained popularity in recent years....

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Decoding the secret language of flowers

News source/writer: Rhonda Ferree, 309-543-3308, ferreer@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Do you give flowers to your loved one on holidays and birthdays? Flowers are a great way to communicate your love and affection, and some can convey...

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Benefits of intergenerational gardening

News source/writer: Bruce J. Black, 815-632-3611, brucejb@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Like many life skills, gardening is often learned directly from family members. Grandparents might recruit the grandkids to help water transplants or drop in seeds, setting the stage for a lifetime love of gardening....

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Managing pests in your garden with IPM

News source/writer: Ken Johnson, 217-243-7424, kjohnso@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – When trying to manage pests in your garden this year consider using integrated pest management (IPM) practices. "As the saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and i...

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Perilous Pears

Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture, ferreer@illinois.edu   Each year I am more distressed by the number of volunteer ornamental pear trees I see growing in fields, roadsides, and other places where they shouldn't be. This is yet another example of a plant that has escaped culti...

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Home fruit tree care this spring and summer

News source/writer: Richard Hentschel, 630-584-6166, hentsche@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Taking a little time this spring to care for your fruit trees will improve their performance and quality all season, according to University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Richard Hentschel. "Fruit tree care...

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The marvels of spring ephemerals

News Source:  Nancy Kreith , 708-679-6889 URBANA, Ill. – Spring will be arriving soon, and with the new season comes brand new foliage followed by a burst of flowers...

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Rhubarb's Mysteries Revealed

News Source:  Jennifer Fishburn , 217-782-4617 URBANA, Ill. – As the season warms up, many gardeners begin looking forward to their first rhubarb harvests. Although it was first cultivated in central Asia more than 2,000 years ago for its medicinal properties, rhubarb i...

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Trees and shrubs for poor drainage sites

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941, aholsing@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – The splendor of trees and shrubs is apparent in the above-ground portions of the plants, but what lies beneath should not be ignored. "Soil plays a vital role in the survival of trees and shrubs in the landscape," Universi...

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Pruning Fruit Trees

Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture, ferreer@illinois.edu Now is the best time to prune many of your trees and shrubs, including fruit trees. Pruning of fruit trees is done to improve fruit quality, develop a strong plant, facilitate harvest, and control the size/shape...

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Orchids make elegant houseplants

News source/writer: Sandra L. Mason, 217-333-7672, slmason@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Most of us have limited experience with orchids, and may feel intimidated by their reputation as finicky plants. However, orchids are an amazingly diverse plant family, growing in deserts, mountains, marshes, northern woods, and Illi...

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Boxwood blight confirmed in Illinois

News Sources: Diane Plewa , 217-333-0519 Suzanne Bissonnette Boxwood blight, a serious fungal disease, has been confirmed in Illinois. According to a University Diagnostic Outreach Extension Specialist,...

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Trees and winter storm damage

Source/writer: Chris Enroth, 309-837-3939, cenroth@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – After a winter storm, the landscape will likely be breathtaking. But it is a beauty with hidden dangers, said a University of Illinois horticulture educator. "Small limbs can take on hundreds of pounds of additional weight from snow...

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Forcing winter branches

Source/writer: Kim Ellson, 847-818-2901, kellson@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Forcing branches allows us to enjoy a burst of color and brighten up our homes in the middle of winter with materials from our own garden, said Kim Ellson, a University of Illinois Extension horticult...

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All About Cranberries

News source/writer: Jennifer Fishburn, Extension Educator, Horticulture, fishburn@illinois.edu Cranberries are a staple for many people during the holidays. We use them to make cranberry salad or jello for the holiday dinner. Many people also string them with popcorn to make a beautiful garland decoration. I love to eat...

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Christmas tree trivia

News source/writer: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900, rwolford@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – We may put up a Christmas tree every year, but few of us are aware of their history and significance. University of Illinois Extension educator Ron Wolford enlightens us. In 1856, Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the Unit...

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Paperwhites

Forcing paperwhites for holiday décor

News source/writer: Candice Hart, 815-732-2191, mille116@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Longing for a bit of spring during the winter months? A University of Illinois Extension educator suggests "forcing" bulbs indoors to create a beautiful and long-lasting flower display for your home. "The term 'forcing' refers...

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Top 10 tips for poinsettias

News source/writer: Kim Ellson, 847-818-2905, kellson@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – It is hard to think of the holidays without conjuring up images of red poinsettias and a snowy landscape. These beautiful plants are easy to care for, with a few simple tips. "There is no need for people to experience difficulties...

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Holiday Cacti

Source/writer: Jennifer Fishburn, 217-782-4617, fishburn@illinois.edu   A holiday cactus in full bloom is a great holiday gift. Easy to care for, holiday cacti generally are long lived and will easily bloom year after year. In fact, they are often passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms. Wh...

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Selecting the perfect tree this holiday season

News source/writer: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900, rwolford@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Choosing the perfect Christmas tree this holiday season is simply a matter of following a few simple steps, according to University of Illinois Extension educator Ron Wolford. "Choosing the family Christmas tree can be a memory...

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