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 browse our Frequently Asked Questions!

Early Spring Blooming Perennials
Several perennials that bloom in early spring are often forgotten about among flowers like crocuses and daffodils. Learn how pig squeak, heartleaf brunnera, Lenten rose, candytuft, crested iris, Virginia bluebells, moss phlox, lungwort or Bethlehem sage, pasque flower, and bloodroot could enhance your garden.
Annual Vines
Annual vines grow quickly and bloom profusely in one summer. They can camouflage fences or walls, accent architecture, or soften structural lines—and at the same time add color, texture, and height; screen for privacy or against the elements; or welcome birds, bees, and butterflies. Learn about their care and suggested varieties.
Poinsettia Care
The poinsettia is one of the most popular potted flowers in the United States. Learn how to select a healthy plant and the care involved keeping the plant and getting it to bloom again next season.
Dahlias
Dahlias are available in 15 different official colors and 18 types. Learn about dahlia history, planting and growing tips, fall care, and classification.
Growing Petunias
Petunias are easy to grow, bloom reliably all summer, and are available in a wide range of colors, flower forms, and growth habits. Learn about petunia types and how to grow and maintain them.
Growing Garden Lilies
Find out out several different varieties of true lilies. Also, in addition to being outstanding garden performers, lilies make excellent cut flowers with a long vase life.
Suggested Daffodil Cultivars for Iowa
Several thousand daffodil cultivars are available. One way to choose is by considering the physical characteristics of different types. Brochure briefly describes 48 cultivars that are known to do well in Iowa.
Growing and Over-wintering Tender Perennials
Tuberous begonias, gladioli, caladium, cannas, and dahlias provide welcome color until a killing frost. Check these tips for growing and storing these perennial favorites.
Caring for Roses in Iowa
Learn how to grow roses that you'll be proud of. Information on planting, watering, fertilizing, deadheading, weed and pest control, winter preparations, and pruning for roses in Iowa gardens.
The Griffith Buck Roses
Griffith Buck developed more than 85 roses that are noted for their free-flowering habit, disease resistance, and winter hardiness. Several varieties are described here, along with where you can find them.
Growing Holiday Cacti
Discover more information about the three types of holiday cacti: Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, along with their culture and propagation.
Clematis
Clematis are often referred to as the queen of the flowering vines. Learn about the varying types of clematis, growing tips, how to support the plant, pests, use in vases, and species that work best in Iowa.
Delphiniums
Learn more about delphiniums with this brochure on delphinium traits, care, plant sources, problems, staking, and commonly available varieties.
Growing Chrysanthemums in the Garden
Chrysanthemums reach their peak when most annuals and perennials are winding down for the season. Mums also offer gardeners a wide range of colors and flower forms and only require moderate levels of maintenance.
Late Season Perennial Flowers -- Reiman Gardens
Mums, 'Autumn Joy' sedum, and rudbeckia are familiar perennials that bloom in late summer to fall. Adding any of these eighteen other less common, late season perennials discussed in this publication will also extend the color in your garden.
Daylilies
Daylilies are easy to grow, relatively pest free, and many varieties multiple quickly. Learn more about daylily characteristics, propagation, growth needs, types, and landscape uses.
Edible Flowers
Edible flowers are a popular way to add color, texture, scent, and flavor to foods. Included is a list of some edible flowers, their culture, and suggested uses.
Growing Annuals in Containers
Container gardens are a great way to grow plants in limited spaces. Look here for tips on choosing containers and plants, as as tips on maintenance.
Gardening in Iowa Zones
Zone maps are a gardener's best tool for selecting plants that will do well in local gardens.  This publication includes information about and how to use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and the AHS Plant Heat Zone Map.
Choosing an Arborist
Tree work should be performed only by a properly trained and equipped arborist. Considerations in choosing an arborist include certification, insurance, references, contracts, etc.
Choosing a Landscape Contractor
Hiring a landscaper can be a daunting task. This publication provides information on professional certification and other requirements in Iowa, and topics to discuss with potential contractors.
Pollinators in the Garden
Publication discusses what pollination is, common pollinators in Iowa, and how to attract pollinators to your garden.
Sphinx Moths
Learn more about a fascinating insect behavior viewed in the home garden - nectar feeding by large, dark moths (sphinx moths) that look like hummingbirds.
Organic Mulches
When choosing which organic mulch to use, consider availability, cost, appearance, function, and durability. Includes information on using bark, cocoa-bean hulls, corncobs, grass clippings, leaves, newspapers, pine needles, sawdust, straw, and wood chips.
Botanical Insecticides in the Home Garden
Botanical insecticides are naturally occurring insect toxins extracted from plants. Several have been formulated for insect management in the home garden. Learn more about the pluses and minuses.
Questions About Composting
If you are starting a compost pile in your yard or garden this year, this publication answers a few of the commonly asked questions about composting.
Understanding Pesticide Labels
Detailed descriptions of all parts of pesticide labels provided. The label is the law. As a buyer, you assume responsibility for the consequences if the product is used in any way different from the label directions.
El manejo integrado de plagas para los huertos de hortalizas (en español)
Identificar y alentar a los depredadores y parásitos naturales es una habilidad de jardinería útil. Esta hoja informativa describe 10 insectos benéficos y también ofrece otros consejos para prevenir problemas de insectos y enfermedades. Spanish version of Integrated Pest Management for Vegetable Gardens.
Integrated Pest Management for Home Gardens and Landscapes
Identifying and encouraging naturally occurring predators and parasites is a useful gardening skill. This fact sheet describes 10 beneficial insects and also offers other tips for preventing insect and disease problems.
Therapeutic Gardening: Creating Raised Bed Planters
Raised beds and planters make gardening accessible for gardeners of all abilities. Use this information to decide where to put your bed or planter, the materials that will be needed, and the types of plants to consider.
Therapeutic Gardening: Resources
Resource list for making gardening easier and more accessible, including books, organizations, web sites, and selected educational programs.
Therapeutic Gardening: Benefits for Healthcare Facilities
Therapeutic gardens for healthcare facilities benefit residents, staff, and visitors. Find out details of how to plan and maintain these features.
Therapeutic Gardening: A Factor in Choosing Healthcare Facilities
When choosing a healthcare facility, consider the outdoor environment. Well-designed landscapes provide therapeutic benefits to physical, emotional, and mental health. Here are nine features to look for.
Therapeutic Gardening: Gardening Tips for Older Adults
Here are descriptions of several simple ideas and inexpensive tools that can help people continue gardening as they grow older.
Garden Tips Guidelines to Seasonal Chores
Learn to properly maintain your garden all year round. Includes information on what steps to take with your lawn, fruits, trees and shrubs, flowers, herbs, houseplants, and/or vegetables in the early and late part of each season.
Finding a Certified Pesticide Applicator for Emerald Ash Borer Treatment
A useful guide to finding certified pesticide applicators who can treat for tree and shrub pests, including the emerald ash borer.
Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use
Make high tunnels more profitable for crop production by installing a system to catch, store, and reuse the rainwater from periodic rain events. The authors describe system components, give approximate costs, and detail year-round maintenance procedures. Also described is a drip irrigation system.
Ornamental Water Features for the Midwest
Water gardens are appealing to many, but the climate in the Midwest presents some specific challenges. This book examines the many considerations to building a water garden in the Midwest and includes basic guidelines for construction, maintenance, and selecting plants.
Growing Organic Vegetables in Iowa
Organic production and consumption has increased over the past 20 years. Learn how to raise organic vegetables - including strategies for composting, pest management, and disease management.
Organic Apple Production in Iowa
New and experienced organic apple growers will find recommendations in this guide for managing insect pests, diseases, and weeds. Tips about marketing opportunities also are included.
Flowering Plants for the Late Summer Garden
Highlights some of the best August-flowering plants for zones 4 and 5. All listed plants have been proven performers in Iowa and Nebraska gardens.
Sustainable Home Landscapes
Sustainable landscapes require less time, money and other resources. This book provides information on creating an environmentally friendly, economically feasible, and beautiful landscape by placing the right plant at the right place.
Iowa Vegetable Production Budgets
This enterprise budgeting tool can help vegetable growers estimate the costs and revenue associated with producing a product. Growers with multiple enterprises can use total sales as the basis for estimating the cost of planting, growing, harvesting, and handling key crops with a series of worksheets.Specific crops include: Asparagus, basil, green beans, carrots, eggplant, garlic, salad greens, snow peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, raspberries, strawberries, cherry and heirloom tomatoes.
Home Landscape Questions
A 2-part questionnaire helping you analyze your landscaping site and to assess your family's needs and wants for the project.
Home Landscape -- Understanding the Basics of Landscape Design
Whether you want to do-it-yourself or are working with a professional, this guide offers a step-by-step approach to understanding the design process. Color photos and diagrams show how to use basic design elements to create a pleasing and functional space. Included worksheets can assist you in analyzing your site. An additional resource list and convenient index are also found inside.
The Garden Guide to Midwest Annuals and Perennials
An easy-to-carry guide (5"; x 8 1/2") for home gardeners and visitors to public gardens in the Midwest. Color photos and basic information about growing 300 annual and perennial flowers, Buck roses, ornamental grasses, herbs, vines, and even water plants. Symbols help to identify sun/shade requirements and indicate special uses (containers, butterfly gardens, etc).
Pruning Ornamental Shrubs
Understand how plants grow, why pruning is necessary, and which tools to use to remove the mystery surrounding this routine horticulture practice.
Deciduous Shrubs
More than 110 photos plus descriptions of 75 deciduous shrubs (organized by height) will simplify your hunt for the right shrub for your landscape. A comparison chart identifies those with the most ornamental value. Recommendations also are given for specific planting needs, such as dry or wet soils, shaded sites, and food for birds and other wildlife.
Annuals
This gardener's guide to annual flowers includes 106 plant descriptions plus 186 color photos. A comparison chart makes it easy to choose plants by height or flower color. Recommendations also are given for specific uses, such as drought tolerance, fragrance, and cut-flower bouquets.
Common Rose Diseases
Several rose diseases caused by fungus, virus, or bacterium are discussed. Disease-resistant varieties also are mentioned.

Pages