Filed under Dibbles And Bits

Three Easy-Care Houseplants

Adequate quality light in winter is necessary for healthy houseplants. In this USDA 4-5a growing zone on the Northern Plains, lack of satisfactory light quality indoors can be a problem. Choosing plants with a tolerance to lower light increases the chance they can adapt to the indirect winter sunlight they receive.  These houseplants can be … Continue reading

Almost Missed It

In the middle of the growing season, when container sunflowers on the deck look as beautiful as these, it would be easy to miss a not-so-showy failsafe of Nature.  When we think of a flower’s role in plant longevity, producing seeds come to mind. Then we look for friendly pollinators that help make that happen.  … Continue reading

A Little Myth Dispelled about Ants

Because people sometimes find common ants on a bouquet of peonies, a mythical explanation is that peonies need ants to bloom. Not true. Ants and peonies do help each other. Ants eat the sweet nectar on peony blooms, and the pugnacious ants discourage some other floral-feeding insects, to the ant and peony mutual benefit.  Ants don’t … Continue reading

How Does a Winter-Flowering Plant Make Seed?

Camellias are introduced plants from Japan and nearby Asian countries that have adapted well in the Southeast United States for more than a hundred years. In the south, camellias bloom in the fall or winter or early spring, sometimes before bulb plants. In nature, not many plants bloom at this time. Camellias are shrubs with … Continue reading

Fresh Lettuce in Space and Back Home

If you enjoy eating fresh, homegrown lettuce instead of purchased lettuce that has part of its fresh quality time in transport, it’s also a consideration at the International Space Station. Fresh lettuce is a premium in space. Growing conditions at the space station that differ with Earth include reduced gravity, more radiation, added food safety … Continue reading

Spring Arrives Each Year

Moments of spring shake us from all that swirls around us. A perfect daffodil blossom survives a frosty night. Not quite here, but in mind from last season, the redbud tree, northern magnolia, and native plum will soon display again. There is so much we do not know. Ginkgo trees are not native here but … Continue reading

A Few Dibbles And Bits

Reason to prune trees, chickens as a pesticide alternative, and a plant labeling tip are this week’s Plant Exchange Blog topics. We are grateful to all who share plant-relative information, ideas, and tips from experience that come from professionals and experienced gardeners of the region such as these below. Trees that are properly pruned have … Continue reading

Dibbles And Bits

Dandelions are everywhere in early spring. “My great grandfather brought dandelions with him from Denmark,” Paul Harens of Yankton remarked. “They were for greens.” Why one would bring dandelion seeds to grow– the plant scourge of some lawns today? Dandelions are members of the large Asteraceae family. The genus Taraxacum is native to North America, … Continue reading

Plant Bits

It’s a cold day in the Dakotas, but a great day to do catch up reading here at Plant Exchange Blog. These are some garden-related topics on attracting more butterflies in the yard, like this monarch on Agastache. Also there’s an item on free leaf mulch, attracting more kinds of birds and a possible perennial … Continue reading

Dibbles and Bits

Welcome to Plant Exchange! Here we feature plants in USDA Zone 4-5a on the Northern Plains and the people who grow them. Robins are back and Spring is close, even with snow on the ground. It’s a time to think about plants from last season to repeat or avoid. Gaillardia is a tender perennial here, … Continue reading