Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
Which shrubs grow well in dry sites?
Answer:

Deciduous shrubs that grow well in dry locations include Siberian peashrub (Caragana arborescens), American hazelnut (Corylus americana), cranberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus), hedge cotoneaster (...

Question:
Which trees grow well in dry locations?
Answer:

Deciduous trees that grow well in dry sites include northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna), thornless honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos var....

Question:
Is it necessary to deadhead daffodils?
Answer:

Deadheading is the removal of spent flowers.  While tulips should be deadheaded immediately after flowering, it is not necessary to deadhead daffodils.  The vigor of tulip bulbs quickly declines if tulips are not promptly deadheaded and...

Question:
What would be a good planting site for chrysanthemums?
Answer:

Chrysanthemums perform best in moist, well-drained soils.  Avoid wet, poorly drained sites.  Improve hard, difficult-to-work soils by incorporating 2 to 3 inches of organic matter, such as compost, peat, or barnyard manure, into the...

Question:
When is the best time to plant rhubarb?
Answer:

Spring is the best time to plant rhubarb in Iowa.  Plants can be purchased at garden centers or from mail-order catalogs.  Digging and dividing large existing plants is another source of plants.  

Plants growing in...

Question:
What are cornelian cherries?
Answer:

The cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) is actually a species of dogwood.  It is also referred to as cornelian cherry dogwood.  The cornelian cherry dogwood is an adaptable, durable, and relatively pest-free small tree.  Plants...

Question:
What are honeyberries?
Answer:

Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea) is a species of honeysuckle native to cold regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.  Other common names include blue honeysuckle or haskap.  Honeyberries grow 4 to 6 feet tall.  Plants...

Question:
What are serviceberries?
Answer:

Serviceberries are members of the genus Amelanchier.  Other common names for plants in the genus Amelanchier include juneberry, saskatoon, shadbush, sarvisberry, and sugar plum. 

Serviceberries are dual-purpose...

Question:
How should I prune my hydrangeas?
Answer:

Three species of hydrangea are commonly grown in Iowa.  Pruning practices are based on the flowering characteristics of each species.  

The smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) grows 4 to 5 feet tall.  Smooth...

Question:
How soon will a newly planted fruit tree begin to bear fruit?
Answer:

Fruit trees purchased from nurseries and garden centers are usually 1- to 2-year-old plants.  The length of time from planting to fruit bearing varies with the species of fruit, the cultivar, and whether the tree is dwarf or standard....

Question:
What are some good annuals for shady garden areas?
Answer:

Annuals that can be successfully grown in shady areas include wax begonia (Begoniasemperflorens-cultorum), impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), lobelia (Lobelia erinus), coleus (Solenostemon...

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