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    Japanese Beetles: Do Four O’clock Flowers Help?

    A rumor emerged that there existed a flower which could not only halt the Japanese beetle’s garden invasion but kill them in the process. After some investigation, this mythical plant people talked about was the four o’clock, also called marvel-of-Peru (Mirabilis jalapa).

    Bush Honeysuckle: A Shade Plant with Shady Lookalikes

    Every day I arrive to work in Le Center I’m greeted by a row of honeysuckles. When I would visit Iowa to see my parents, however,  an entirely different outlook about honeysuckles emerged. With an axe in one hand and a spray bottle of potent herbicide on the other, I was fighting a scourge rather than a landscaped plant.

    Goldenrods: Global Invasive?

    Thought to be introduced to Asia and Europe via gardeners, goldenrods have managed to cause havoc across the globe. Three Minnesota natives that are commonly put on worldwide “most wanted” lists include Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida), and giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea).

    The Mystery of the Maltese Mushroom

    Maltese plants have several tricks under their leaves when it comes to survival. One plant in particular is not only a survivor, but has a fascinating, strange history.

    Native Poinsettia in Minnesota

    While we enjoy displaying them for the holidays, poinsettia itself is quite a wimp when it comes to cold, and would be doomed growing in a backyard in the Midwest. However, its close relative the wild poinsettia does manage to eke out a living in southern Minnesota.

    Christmas Cacti: A Bit Of Brazil In Winter

    One reason these plants are so robust lies in their homeland, southeastern Brazil. Wild Christmas cacti thrive in rocky, well-drained areas underneath trees.

    Use Soil Health Tests Wisely

    Most gardeners know an unhealthy soil when they work one, no test required. However, if you take steps to improve your garden beds, you may want to know if you are on the right track.

    Cover Crop Grades for the Garden

    Cover crops are a underused asset to any garden. See how common (and some uncommon) species did during the spring and most of the summer.

    Garlic Mustard: A Vinegary Disposition

    One aspect of garlic mustard, aside from its annoying growth habit, is its influence on the soil underneath.

    What Makes a Plant False?

    Whether it is Solomon's seal or false Solomon's seal, we must remember that plants, even the “false” ones, play an important role in their native habitat.