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Gardening in the South

Wildflower Meadows: How to Grow One in Your Backyard

Wildflower

Auburn, Alabama— Wildflower meadows are a rich and colorful habitat full of beautiful flowers and various grasses. They also create a home for biodiversity. “Large or small, the benefits of a wildflower ‘patch’ are numerous. Environmentally, the pollinators will love you. Honey bees and native bees, along with butterflies, and other pollinators will enjoy the continuous food source- nectar,” said Dani ... Read More »

The Dew of the Sea: Growing Rosemary Anywhere

Auburn, Alabama — Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly referred to as rosemary, is an evergreen plant, as well as an herb. The term rosemary is derived from a Latin word and means “dew of the sea”, according to Medical News Today. The sea cliffs near the Greek Islands are a common place for rosemary to be found growing. Growing Rosemary Growing rosemary ... Read More »

Lantana: Hard Working Shrub for Home Landscapes

lantana

AUBURN, Ala.—If you’re looking for a blooming powerhouse, lantana is your answer. This perennial flowering woody deciduous plant, not only thrives with little moisture, but it does so with low effort. As summer settles in full force, lantana brightens yards and landscapes across the Southeast.  Neal Hargle,  an Alabama Extension home grounds says most people find it easy to grow lantana. Easy ... Read More »

Crapemyrtles–A Southern Favorite

AUBURN, Alabama — Crapemyrtles are among the South’s favorite trees. With vivid blooms of pink, red, purple and white, and a unique bark, these plants are ideal to include in your landscape. Although they are not native to the South, crapemyrtles flourish in warmer regions such as the South, Southwest and the West Coast. Crapemyrtles come in a wide variety ... Read More »

Adding Houseplants to Your Spaces Successfully

houseplants

AUBURN, Alabama — Made popular in the 19th century, houseplants come in many shapes and sizes and usually do not take up too much space in your home.  Most people use them  to lighten up a space or give a cozy appearance to a room. What are houseplants? First, let’s distinguish between houseplants and outdoor plants. Rhonda Britton, a regional Alabama Extension agent ... Read More »

Slime Molds, Nostoc Appear in Yards after Heavy Rains

slime molds nostoc

 AUBURN, Ala.—Many Alabama homeowners felt the effects of torrential downpours in the garden and in their yards. Dr. Dave Han, an Alabama Extension turfgrass management specialist, said homeowners may see a plethora of strange-looking organisms popping up in the yard. “Besides the usual mushrooms, moss and algae, two strange-looking things are popping up: slime molds and Nostoc,” Han said. Slime ... Read More »

Ready, Set, Grow: Heirloom Tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

AUBURN, Ala.— Whether consumers choose to purchase their food or grow it themselves, many are interested in moving away from mass-produced items—including commercial tomato varieties. Alabama Extension Regional Agent, Hunter McBrayer said the trend brings consumers looking for more natural and sustainable foods. “Many believe heirloom tomatoes are more ‘natural’ and sustainable,” McBrayer said. “While you can save seed from ... Read More »

How to Grow and Maintain Elephant Ears

AUBURN, Alabama—Elephant ears are indigenous to Southeast Asia and feature large, thick leaves reminiscent of their namesake. The plant is used in many home gardens as an eye-catching focal point or in contrast to smaller plants. Although elephant ears are typically green, there are varieties created by breeders that add pinks, blues, yellows and black to your garden. They do not ... Read More »

Fruits for the Home Garden

plums fruits

AUBURN, Alabama— With summer on the way, fruits are a perfect snack. Growing your own fruits at home can be a way to make them more easily available and less costly. Blueberries Blueberries are easy to grow at home because they are very low maintenance. There are many different types of blueberries that include: Northern highbush, Southern highbush, Rabbiteye, and Lowbush. ... Read More »

Planting Indian Hawthorn

indian hawthorn

AUBURN, Alabama — Spring is here and many people across the state are working in their gardens and yards. One plant that seems to be particularly popular this time of year is Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis species). Indian hawthorn is a small  shrub or ground cover native to southern China and Japan and cultivated across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones ... Read More »