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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Chicory -- Cichorium intybus

Defining a plant as a "weed" really depends on your point of view. Take the common roadside plant chicory ( Cichorium intybus) that seems to be everywhere this time of year. This perennial plant seems to go unnoticed until its bright blue flowers appear each summer, each individual flower only lasting a single day. I think of it as one of those plants that thrives on mistreatm...

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Blossom-End Rot

If I were a gambler, I would have made a lot of money this week betting on the subject of homeowner's questions received in our office. We had at least one call every day on blossom-end rot in tomato. There was one day that it seemed like every other call was someone asking about blossom-end rot! It seemed appropriate to address this problem in today's column since it seems like a good portion...

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Daylily-- Hemerocallis

I am definitely a novice when it comes to daylilies. Growing up, they were on my mom's "do not plant" list, so we never had them in our yard, and I never dared to plant any. She disliked them because the ones she knew only bloomed once, she didn't think the tall foliage was particularly attractive, and they tended to overtake areas. I was usually treading on thin ice with my mom in terms of my...

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Japanese Beetle-- Popillia japonica

My least favorite pest of the season has made its presence known in a big way in the last few weeks. I was out in my yard one evening in late June, and I spotted him on my river birch tree–one lone Japanese beetle in all his awful metallic oily-colored glory. With visions of defoliated roses and a stream of colorful language escaping my mouth, I scurried to apply the systemic imidacloprid...

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Coneflower-- Echinacea

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea , was one of the first perennials I started from seed when I was in high school. I was amazed that it worked–I had actual plants that grew quite vigorously. Inspired by my success, I used more of my hard-earned babysitting money to buy what I considered 'exotic', seed of the white-flowered Echinacea cultivar 'White Swan'. I thought I had captu...

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