Publications

The ISU Extension Store offers a number of publications for purchase or in a free downloadable PDF document. Publications related to flowers, lawn care, vegetables, trees and more can be found below to help you navigate to the information you need. The drop down menu will guide you to several categories containing publications, all relating to horticulture. If you have additional questions on a certain plant or problem call the Hortline at 515-294-3108 or browse our Frequently Asked Questions!

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Sample Submission Form
Download and use this form when submitting a plant problem (plant disease or insects/mites on plants), an insect for identification, a plant for identification, or a mushroom for identification. This form consolidates and replaces: PIDC 0031 PIDC 0033 PIDC 0042 PIDC 0043
Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Plant Nematode Sample Submission Form
Download and use this form when submitting soil samples for nematode identification and counts. This form is for soybean cyst nematode egg counts, nematodes on corn, turfgrass nematodes, nematodes found in vegetable or fruit crop fields, as well as home gardens. Also includes instructions on collecting and shipping plant and soil samples for nematode analysis at the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic.
Top 13 vegetables to donate to food pantries
Many gardeners produce excess vegetables during the growing season. Some preserve their surplus vegetables for later use, while others give friends and neighbors the extras. Another option for using this excess produce could be a local food pantry. This publication discusses 13 vegetables that can be donated to food pantries and tips for growing and harvesting those vegetables.
Verticillium Wilt of Woody Plants -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Learn about symptoms and management strategies for this fungal disease. This pub also provides a list of susceptible and resistant species.
Hosta Diseases and Pests -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Easily identify common diseases and pests and how to manage them effectively.
Leaf Spot and Melting Out of Turfgrass -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Description and management information, plus how to submit samples for diagnosis.
Got Plant or Insect Problems?
The ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic helps Iowans diagnose and manage plant diseases, weeds, and insects in fields and around your home. Here's an introduction to the clinic.
Protecting Bees in Iowa
Beekeepers and commercial pesticide applicators play important roles in protecting Iowa's bees. This publication outlines actions both groups can take to reduce the risks to bees that benefit Iowa's agroecosystem.
Juniper Diseases
Help with identification and control of the most common juniper diseases. Color photos and tables.
Houseplant Insect Control
Prevention is the first step in controlling houseplant insects. This web-only guide provides descriptions and photos of nine common houseplant pests plus suggestions for treatment.
Anthracnose of Shade Trees
Anthracnose is one of the most common foliage diseases of shade trees in Iowa. Find out about symptoms and management. Color photos.
Morels, False Morels and Other Cup Fungi
Learn about local morels and fungi. Includes many pictures to help you identify morels. Also has info on safe use of fungi as food.
References and Resources for Prairies and Native Plantings -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Prairie plants and other native plants are returning to the Iowa landscape. This publication offers a list of resources that will help those planning to create any size prairie plantings.
Prairies and Native Plantings as Outdoor Classrooms -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
This publication outlines a process and the resources needed to help establish prairie to be used as an outdoor classroom. Such a classroom can be used to educate elementary through high school aged students about science, math, language arts, social studies and the arts.
Introduction to Iowa Native Prairie Plants -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Find out more about native plants and their uses in a garden or large planting. Includes more than 20 color photos, plus a detailed chart of prairie plant characteristics.
Soil sample information sheet for horticulture crops
Download and submit this form to the ISU Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory.
National Directory Organic Agriculture Expertise July 2005
This publication contains contact information on self-identified organic agriculture experts from 42 states and several countries around the world.
Especially for Kids! Where in the World? -- Reiman Gardens
Encourage children to explore the Reiman Gardens to find plants that are native to other countries. Then they can check off each plant that they find on the included map and draw a line to its native country.
Especially for Kids! Plant Zoo -- Reiman Gardens
Discover the many plants that have been named after animals. Public gardens, such as Reiman Gardens, have several of the plants described here.
Especially for Kids! Insect Investigator -- Reiman Gardens
Learn how to keep an insect investigator journal and see how many of the world's one million different types of insects you can find.
Growing and Using Basil -- Reiman Gardens
Basil is a member of the mint family with an aroma like mint and tea. Learn about its history, uses, culture, harvesting, preparation, and the different basil varieties.
Viburnums: Ideal Shrubs for Iowa Landscapes
Learn about the best viburnum species and cultivars for mid-Iowa (hardiness zones 4 and 5); also site selection and care and maintenance.
Growing Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Iowa
To successfully grow in Iowa, select cold hardy varieties, choose suitable planting sites, and follow recommended planting procedures.
Lichens -- Reiman Gardens
Many gardeners are concerned about unusual gray-green growths on tree trunks and branches. Learn more lichens, where they are found, and their different types and uses.
Guidelines for Selecting Trees
Selecting a single tree for your yard or several hundred for your community will be more rewarding if you take time to critically evaluate the proposed planting site and the reasons for planting trees on that site.
Iowa's Oaks -- Reiman Gardens
Learn more about Iowa'€™s official state tree and the twelve different species native to Iowa.
Water Gardens: FAQs -- Reiman Gardens
Starting and maintaining a water garden of any size inevitably brings questions. Find answers to the most commonly asked questions here.
Rain Gardens: Filtering and Recycling Rain Water
Rain gardens collect and filter rain water to improve storm water management. They also can provide an attractive habitat for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
Iowa Butterfly and Caterpillar Food Preferences -- Reiman Gardens
Find out about providing food and nectar sources in our landscapes and gardens to support and encourage butterfly habitat. Approximately 75 species of butterflies have been recorded in Iowa.
Water Gardens: Aquatic Plants -- Reiman Gardens
Learn how to start a water garden. Topics include plant selection, floating plants, submerged plants, shallow marginal plants, deep water plants, planting methods, and fertilizing plants.
Perennials for Shady Areas
Selecting and planting shade-tolerant perennials, annuals, trees, and shrubs can turn a shady site into an attractively landscaped area. Publication discusses perennials that are good choices for partially to heavily shaded locations.
Gardening for Butterflies and Pollinators
A butterfly garden can be created as simply as planting a bunch of butterfly-favorite plants in a sunny corner of your yard. Learn about effective butterfly garden characteristics and which host and nectar plants are best for different butterflies.
Growing Blueberries in Iowa
Blueberries can be grown successfully in Iowa when their special growing needs are met. Topics include site requirements, plant choice, planting tips, plant care, and possible plant sources.
Pruning Grapevines -- Reiman Gardens
Pruning grapes is easier when you understand the growth and fruiting characteristics of the grapevine. Learn the reasons for pruning, the common training systems, and how to prune.
Pruning Raspberries
To obtain maximum yields and to control diseases, raspberries must be pruned properly.
Grasses for Special Uses -- Reiman Gardens
Describes and compares five grass species for use in special situations, including buffalograss, zoysiagrass, creeping bentgrass, rough bluegrass, and annual ryegrass.
Lighting & Houseplants -- Reiman Gardens
One of the most overlooked aspects of growing plants indoors is lighting, resulting in poor plant health with thin, sparse foliage. Learn about proper lighting as well as lists of plants that thrive in low, medium, and high light.
Ornamental Grasses with Winter Interest -- Reiman Gardens
An excellent way to brighten the winter landscape is to plant trees and shrubs with ornamental characteristics, such as colorful fruit or exfoliating bark.
Growing Amaryllis
Amaryllis are popular flowering bulbs grown indoors during the winter months. Learn how easy it is to plant an amaryllis bulb and how to care for it as it grows.
Growing Impatiens
Three of the more than 800 species of impatiens are commonly grown in gardens: impatiens , New Guinea impatiens, and rose balsam. Learn more about where to plant, when to plant, watering, and fertilizing Impatiens.
The Language of Flowers -- Reiman Gardens
Check out this list of more than 100 common flowers and their meanings. "Next time you give flowers to someone, consider selecting particular ones to express your sentiment."
Zinnias -- Reiman Gardens
Zinnias prompt memories of grandmothers'€™ gardens and cheerful bouquets. They easily earn a good reputation with their dependability and array of flower colors and heights. Learn how to grow zinnias, the different types, about zinnia diseases and pests, and how to use them as cut or dried flowers.
Cannas for Home Landscapes
Cannas are bold, exotic-looking plants grown for their attractive flowers and foliage. Find information on cannas culture, planting, starting from seed, storage, and flower varieties and sources.
African Violets -- Reiman Gardens
While African violets are relatively easy to grow, they do require consistent care and attention to light, temperature, watering, and fertilization. Find out more, including how to propagate by leaf cutting.
Miniature Roses -- Reiman Gardens
Miniature roses are ideal for container culture, and are popular flowering gifts that can brighten indoor spaces. Make your roses bloom with information on indoor and outdoor care, pest control, and recommended cultivars.
Growing and Over-wintering Garden Geraniums
Discover more about this popular flowering plant. This publication discusses geranium culture, overwintering, potting, cutting, bare root plants, and growing them from seed.

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