Northern Natives: Whorled Milkweed

This article by Beth Stetenfeld originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Most gardeners are aware that monarch butterflies benefit when we plant milkweed in our gardens. All species in the Asclepias genus are host plants for monarchs—they lay their eggs on the plants and the hatched caterpillars then feed on the…

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Iceberg Alley Sageleaf Willow

This article by Debbie Lonnee originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Many recent shrub introductions have offered northern gardeners colorful foliage to accent their gardens. Whether it is the reds or purples of ninebark, the chartreuse of spirea or sumac, or a great variegated dogwood, foliage can brighten up our gardens…

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Summertime Joy: Sunflowers

This article by Samantha Johnson originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. The splendiferous sunflower might not be the first plant that comes to mind when you think of your kitchen garden. But these beauties deserve a place in your edible garden for both their flowers and their seeds. Sunflowers are hardy…

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Plant Profile: Spotted Jewelweed

This article by Beth Stetenfeld originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. If you’d like to attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden, spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a good choice. This tall, 2- to 5-foot, bushy plant can form dense colonies, but also works well as a border plant,…

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Growing Perennials in Containers

Growing perennials in containers makes sense for northern gardeners for a lot of reasons. Sometimes you have a plant you want to add to the garden, but aren’t sure exactly where it should go. Other times, you may know where you want the plant to be placed but because of heat (about which we know…

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What to Do About Scorched Plants

Like many gardeners in Minnesota, I’ve been discovering crispy, browning leaves on my plants—the new hydrangeas I’m testing, winterberries that have been in the ground for years, green beans. Are these scorched plants due to the heatwave we’ve had in June? Or are they symptoms of disease? And, what should a gardener do about them?…

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Plant Profile: Dill

This article was written by Samantha Johnson and appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener. Once upon a time, I planted dill in my herb garden and it grew so tall and gorgeous that I couldn’t bear to harvest it. So I just admired it in the garden every day and breathed…

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Grow Lettuce Longer: Tips for Extending the Season

This article was written by Susy Morris and appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener. Salads are a favorite meal in our home, which made growing lettuce a priority when space was carved out for a vegetable garden. It quickly became a favorite vegetable to grow, too. Homegrown lettuce, harvested and eaten…

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Plant Spotlight: Wild Ginger

This article was written by Beth Stetenfeld and appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of the Northern Gardener. Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is a plant of many surprises—also many names. It is commonly called woodland ginger, Canada ginger, snakeroot, colic root, coltsfoot, namepin and sturgeon potato. In the garden or the wild it seems unassuming, but…

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African Violets: Make More Plants

This article by Eric Johnson originally appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. African violets. Could a name sound more magical? Even though they have suffered an identity crisis of late—sometimes being pegged as stuffy and old-fashioned—they are enchanting, easy-care bloomers. They are a colorful addition to the houseplant landscape, with countless varieties…

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