March 12, 2008

How to Prune Lilacs


The lilac is a common reliable large shrub that may reach heights of 15 to 20 feet. As lilacs mature, the shaded lower portions of the shrubs usually lose their leaves, which result in large, overgrown specimens often leggy and unattractive. Old, neglected lilacs can be renewed or rejuvenated by two different pruning methods.

Early Spring-Flowering Shrubs for the Landscape


After a long (seemingly endless) winter, most Iowans are eagerly looking forward to spring. Sure signs of spring are the emergence of tulips and daffodils, the greening of lawns, and the blooming of early spring-flowering shrubs. Though it may be hard to believe, the flowers of the following shrubs will begin to appear within the next few weeks.

Cold weather and plant diseases


It's been a long, frigid winter, and I'm ready for spring. Some have asked if there might be a silver lining to this cloud of a cold winter -- could all this cold weather have killed off more plant pathogens and insects than usual, so they'll be less of a problem in the spring and summer?