Gardening Resources

Frequently Asked Gardening Questions

Questions and Answers for gardening situations happening this month by Master Gardener and Plant Doctor John Stephens.

Monthly Q & A by John Stephens

Q: When I had my black walnut tree pruned last month, sap flowed freely from the wounds. What danger does this pose for my tree?

A: This unusual flow of sap indicated that your tree was not fully dormant at the time of pruning; it is not considered harmful. Do not paint or cover the wounds. Onset of colder weather should stop the flow. Click:

Q: My hyacinths have begun to emerge. What action should I take?

A: Your bulbs have been fooled by the unusually warm winter weather. It’s likely that the flower buds are still deeply underground, and, thus, bloom will not be affected by colder weather later in the season. Take no action at this time. Remember that flowering of hyacinths usually deteriorates after the first couple of years, so bulbs should be replaced more frequently than, say, daffodils or species tulips. Click:

Q: I’m looking for indoor plants, which offer constant bloom. Can you help?

A: Flowering plants usually require some rest and regeneration between bloom periods. However, several commonly available species, which offer prolonged periods of bloom include, African violet, bromeliad, kalenchoe, and orchid. Since some these are relatively inexpensive, they can often be rotated or replaced after flowering ceases. Click:

Q: I’m planning my garden for next season. Is lunaria considered seriously invasive in this area?

A: Lunaria annua, money plant, is an exotic, self-seeding biennial, which has escaped gardens and is now designated as invasive in many places in North America. Its planting, however, is unrestricted in Missouri. Click:

Q: Do camellias ever flower when planted outdoors in the St. Louis area?

A: Yes, indeed, new cultivars, which seem hardy when grown in protected spots so long as temperatures do not fall below 0°F, have been introduced. Several such camellias were flowering or in full bud in gardens at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening on January 10, 2012.

Q: What could have caused several of our arborvitaes to lose most of their bottom foliage up to heights of about four feet?

A: Assuming that your plants have appeared healthy up to this point, browsing deer may be likely culprits. Some of these animals appear to have a fondness for the foliage and twigs of this evergreen species, Thuja occidentalis, even when alternate feed is available. Do not expect the damaged trees to recover by filling in affected areas, so consider replacement and possible use of repellents.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and Veggies

A University of IL site with a lot of information on fruits and veggies

Gardening with Annuals


Gardening with Perennials


General Gardening

Kemper Center for Home Gardening

This is the website of the Missouri Botanical Garden. You will find a very extensive array of gardening information and programs listed under the Horticulture section of this website.

Home Lawn Care


This site contains all of the MU publications related to lawn care.

Plant Diseases

Reports on Plant Diseases

These are useful reports on Plant Disease of trees and shrubs from the University Of Missouri

Plant Problems

University of IL hort answers

You can search for information on plant problems in three different ways on this website.

University of Missouri Plant Diagnostic Clinic

Visit this site to learn about how to submit diseased plant samples or images for diagnosis.

Selecting Shrubs for Your Home


Selecting Trees for Your Home

Ornamental Trees

Soil Testing

Dr. GoodEarth Soil Testing

MU Soil Testing

If you experience technical difficulties with any of the above links, please contact us.