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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Many of you probably remember last summer when the news came that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) had been found in Kane County, in Northern Illinois. News broadcasts on every network showed a tiny green insect and said that it was responsible for the death of 20 million ash trees. Some people panicked–...

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If you are looking for something to brighten up a shady spot in your landscape, consider Caladiums . Their brightly colored leaves streaked in shades of green, white, red and pink in various stripes and spotted patterns attract a lot of attention. It's another one of those plants that has the dangerous potential of being one I'd like to collect because of the astounding number of differ...

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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. With a little extra care, it is possible to bring these plants indoors and have gorgeous flowers during the winter months. I have had one of my Chinese hibiscus...

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Hardy Banana-- Musa basjoo

I love using tropical plants in my garden, but personally I hate having to bring them in for the winter. At least most of my tropicals are in pots, so there is no digging involved. If a plant has to be dug out of my garden in the fall, it has to be a very special plant. I was thrilled when a Master Gardener drew my attention to the hardy banana a couple of years ago. My heart skipped...

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The question on everyone's mind lately seems to be "Are we going to get the cicadas this year?" Unless you've purposefully avoided the news lately, you know that this question refers to what's happening in Northern Illinois, particularly the Chicago area. This part of Illinois is in the midst of the emer...

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