We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.

Plants Plus: 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 doing the reading, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on invasive plants.

Read More...

Articles on Butterflies

Butterflies are usually a welcome addition to our gardens. With over 150 species in the Midwest, there are likely some butterflies right in your backyard. Read about a few — and some interesting moths, as well as how to lure them in…

Read More...

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…

Read More...

Articles on Biennial Weeds

Biennial plants grow leaves, stems, and roots (vegetative structures) in their first year, then enter a period of dormancy (usually winter) and then bloom the following season. There are a number of weeds that have this life cycle, which affects how we can manage them. Learn about five biennial weeds in these archived articles:

Read More...

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…

Read More...

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…

Read More...

Big & Bold

A great way to make a visual impact in an ornamental garden is to use plants with dramatic, large leaves or flowers. Use these plants for their bold texture or flowers that will really stand out among other plants with fine or medium texture. Read about six plants that have bold foliage or flowers in these archived articles:

Read More...

‘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…

Read More...

Articles on Some Native Garden Plants

Our ornamental garden plants come from all over the world, including from North America. There are many species native to our area that have been selected because of their attractive flowers or foliage — and sometimes developed further as cultivars or hybrids — and offered for sale as garden plants. Learn more about a few of these in these archived articles:

Read More...

Fothergilla

Fothergillas are multi-season beauties grown as ornamentals well outside their original range. These low maintenance small shrubs, native to the southeastern US, have eye-catching blooms in spring and vibrant fall color in autumn. Learn more about these easily grown members of the witch-hazel family…

Read More...