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Cultivating sunshine: Growing citrus indoors. A citrus tree with yellow fruit.

Cultivating sunshine: Growing citrus indoors

As we hunker down for winter, some of us may begin longing for summer’s warm, sunny days. Perhaps it’s the cold weather or the desire to return to gardening. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of opportunities to continue our gardens indoors. While we often associate citrus with warmer climates...
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Tips for selecting and transporting holiday plants. Bright red and green poinsettia plants

Tips for selecting and transporting holiday plants

The holiday season is here, which means evergreens, poinsettias, amaryllis, and other holiday plants have arrived in stores. Plants are often at the center of our holiday decorations and traditions and are frequently given as gifts. Whether buying them as gifts or for yourself, following a few tips...
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Magnifying lens looking at houseplants

Can houseplants improve indoor air quality?

Autumn has arrived and somehow I have more houseplants than I started with in the spring. As temperatures fall, I find myself hunting around my home for bright windows and saucers to go under the pots. With a home full of plants, you may think this must be good for our air quality especially when...
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Tea leaves spilling out of a tea cup

Growing tea in Illinois

Grow your own tea Did you know, you can grow the most popular drink in the world right here in Illinois? If you’re wondering how to harvest Pepsi or Coke from a tree, I’m sorry, you have the wrong drink. Second to water, tea reigns supreme as the world's favorite drink, and it has been for...
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red poinsettia bracts

Keeping Your Poinsettia Alive Through the Holidays

Poinsettias are one of the most popular holiday plants with their bright color providing festive Christmas décor, but if you have ever been gifted a poinsettia or been tempted to purchase one due to their showy, colorful bracts (leaves), you know they aren’t the easiest plant to keep alive much...
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worms feeding on food waste creating compost

Vermicomposting: A Composting Option for the Winter

Being two weeks into the new year, I hope those of you with new goals of healthier eating are still going strong. If things didn’t work out the way you had planned, no worries; vermicomposting can help you get rid of all those fruits and vegetables that have gone bad and provide a nutrient rich...
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large Norfolk Island pines in a landscape and potted Norfolk Island pine

Norfolk Island Pines

Norfolk Island pines (Araucaria heterophylla) are plants we commonly find during the holiday season. They are widely marketed as living Christmas trees and are commonly adorned with bells and bows. If you purchased or received one, they could become beautiful houseplants for many years if...
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A Primer to Supplemental Lighting for Indoor Seed Starting

Perhaps my least favorite part of winter is waking up to darkness in the morning. This morning, as I led my half-asleep six-year-old down the steps into the living room, we were greeted with streams of light coming through the windows. After the short days of winter and several days of cloudy, wet...
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Propagating Houseplants

One of my great loves of plants is that we can create new plants from existing. There are a number of houseplants that are easy to propagate and if you're like me you can never seem to have enough of your favorite plants! When propagating houseplants, there are usually three different methods and...
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