Fifty Degrees In February Not So Fabulous For Plants

Why is it so difficult to have everything? Fifty degrees in February is fabulous, but it makes perennials heave. Now, I’ve got to admit every time I hear a grower say their perennials “heaved,” I try to hide a shouldn’t-laugh-at-a-funeral type of smile. Even though the term is funny, this is serious business. Remember in science class how…
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Shovel Snow On Perennials For Extra Protection

We associate snow with cold, but there’s a reason Eskimos use it to build houses – snow’s a good insulator. Mother Nature insulates the ground from too-deep freezing by blanketing it with snow. The root system of plants can’t take cold temperatures the way the above-ground branches can. While the branches of adapted trees and shrubs…
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Plant Or Divide Iris In August

Iris have been called the poor man’s orchid. Because they’re so beautiful, I think I’ll opt to be a poor man. Iris have come a long way in the past 50 years, and the small-flowered less-showy varieties of yesteryear have been replaced by the gigantic blossoms and intense colors of today’s hybrids. Most iris varieties bloom…
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Hardy Perennial Gaining Popularity

Would you like to turn heads with a hardy perennial that’s one of the best-kept secrets in flower gardening? It’s fully winter hardy across North Dakota and Minnesota with its zone 3 rating. It’s low-maintenance, free of insects and disease, rarely needs dividing, is long-lived and tolerates a wide variety of soil types. What is this…
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Plant A Bleeding Heart For Generations Of Bloom

There’s lots to love about perennial bleeding hearts, and they’ve been especially strong-blooming this year. Few perennial names are as descriptive as bleeding hearts. This tough, winter-hardy perennial blooms in May and early June. They’re one of the longest-lived perennials, preferring to remain undisturbed in place for decades. Many other perennials require digging and dividing…
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