Root Crops

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get two hours of continuing education credit for watching the video presentations and reading the articles, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on root crops.

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Helenium, Helenium autumnale

For a burst of late-season color, heleniums offer something different than most other daisy-type flowers with short petals in warm, fall colors and a high, architectural center. A few of these robust perennials bloom as early as June, but most wait until August or September when the rest of the garden is waning. Learn more about the garden hybrids developed from these North American natives in this article…

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Common Milkweed Insects

Almost everyone knows that monarch butterfly caterpillars live only on milkweeds, but did you know there are many other insects that feed exclusively on these plants? From other caterpillars to bugs and beetles, there are several types of insects that have developed ways to avoid being affected by the toxins in milkweeds and have become specialized feeders on these plants. Lean more about some of the most common insects found on milkweed in this article…

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Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia

With showy red flowers popular with pollinators, tithonia or Mexican sunflower is a warm season annual that thrives in the heat of summer. The species, which grows over 6 feet tall, makes a great backdrop or seasonal screen, but there are shorter cultivars better suited to small gardens. Learn more about this low maintenance Mexican native in this article…

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Wheat celosia, Celosia spicata

With soft, dense feathery spikes of bright pink, red or purple produced in profusion, wheat celosia adds eye-catching upright flower architecture in the ornamental garden. Easily grown from seed, the flowers are great for fresh and dried flower arrangements, too.  Learn more about this long-flowering annual plant in this article…

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Invasive Plants

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get two hours of continuing education credit for watching the video presentations and reading the articles, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on invasive plants.

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Cicadas

The buzzing of cicadas means it’s the height of summer. In Wisconsin there are only a few species of this group of insects that is mainly tropical in distribution. Feeding underground on roots for years as nymphs, the adults are only around for a few weeks, making their distinctive noise and laying eggs for the next generation. Learn more about these insects in this article…

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Irish and Scotch Moss, Sagina subulata and Arenaria verna

With a lush, velvety appearance, Irish or Scotch moss forms a luxurious carpet of green or gold, respectively. Not a true moss but a flowering plant, these evergreen ground cover plants resemble moss until their small white star-shaped flowers begin to bloom. Learn more about these plants that make a great filler between flagstones or spilling over rocks…

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Hummingbirds in the Garden

Hummingbirds are a large group of tiny birds with iridescent feathers, looking like sparkling jewels zipping among the flowers. These nectar-feeding birds utilize a wide range of plants to supply their enormous metabolic needs. Learn more about this fascinating group of birds and how to encourage ruby-throated hummingbirds, the Midwest’s only hummingbird species, in your garden in this article…

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‘Husker Red‘ Foxglove Beardtongue, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

With showy panicles of tubular white flowers and deep maroon foliage, ‘Husker Red’ foxglove beardtongue is a star in the garden in late spring into early summer. One of few Penstemon species to thrive in humid climates, P. digitalis is a nice addition to rain gardens, perennial borders and natural areas. Learn more about this selection of this eastern North American native in this article…

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