Home & Garden – Chicago Tribune

  • Black fungus gnats buzzing around your houseplants? Grab a potato to check for larvae

    Fungus gnats are attracted to houseplants’ moist soil where they like to lay eggs, but they’re easy to treat.

  • Removing deadwood makes for happier, healthier shrubs and trees — here’s how to know if branches are still alive

    It can be hard in winter to tell if branches on your trees and shrubs have died, but removing them can make your plant healthier in the long run.

  • Whiteflies are a common pest for houseplants. Here’s how to treat an infestation.

    Whiteflies reside on the underside of leaves, and an infestation is often noticed when a plant is disturbed and the insects fly up.

  • New to growing houseplants? Here’s what you need to know about soil — and soil-less growing mediums

    Orchids, cacti and succulents require special growing medium, but houseplants in general will do better with soil-less products.

  • Pruning shrubs in winter can pay off big for gardens come spring

    Renewal or rejuvenation pruning can drastically improve growth come spring, but before you prune flowering shrubs, be aware of when they bloom.

  • With a new year comes new plans for your garden. Here’s how to get started.

    Noting what parts of your garden needed a little work over the summer can give you a head start in planning for spring 2021.

  • The best snow removal products for winter weather in Chicago

    With snow and ice in the forecast, here’s what you need to know about snow blowers, de-icing products and other winter weather items.

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Editors’ picks in Lifestyles

  • Mealybugs can put houseplants in a sticky situation — here’s how to get rid of them

    Mealybugs, which look like white cottony masses on your houseplants, can leave lasting damage if unattended. Here’s how to treat an infestation.

  • Like dormant plants that emerge and rebuild in spring, we can wait out this cold, dark winter

    People usually gather in the darkest times of the year, celebrating our connections and making our own light. Plants have a different strategy.

  • Paperwhites are great winter flowers, but picking the right bulbs is vital to their success

    Paperwhites are a favorite plant for winter flowers, but it’s important to pick the right bulbs and grow them carefully for success.

  • Yew shrubs, hardy and attractive, are the stuff of ancient legends and a great addition to Midwest yards

    Yew shrubs were highly popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and many still remain thanks to their hardy spirit.

  • These flowering plants are perfect for gifts that spread holiday cheer

    Flowering plants such as azalea, kalanchoe, cyclamen and amaryllis work well to brighten long winter days and make ideal holiday gifts.

  • Gardening gifts and trusty tools for the discerning green thumb

    Gardeners rely on a few high-quality tools to handle the lion’s share of their work in the garden. Here’s what to look for.

  • Burlap screens can help protect evergreens from winter, but watering matters more

    Burlap screens can help protect evergreen trees from winter damage and salt spray, but watering well before cold weather strikes is vital.

  • Invasive buckthorn crowding out plants in your garden? Here’s how to get rid of it.

    Buckthorn is an invasive plant that can crowd out other trees and shrubs in your garden. Getting rid of it can be tricky.

  • Acorns are in short supply this year — here’s why

    Oak trees go through phases of booms and busts for acorn supply, aiming to flood the area with acorns for hungry predators so a few slip by.

  • T-shirts are the perfect tool to help protect arborvitae evergreens from snow damage

    Using strips of T-shirts can help protect young arborvitae evergreens from branch damage due to heavy snowfall.

  • Warm, dry November means new plants need extra water before winter

    Keep watering plants in gardens after a dry, warm start to November adds stress to newly planted trees, plants and shrubs.

  • How to winterize your vegetable garden for a thriving crop next year

    Vegetables have bee harvested, but there are still a few things gardeners should do for a thriving vegetable garden next year.

  • Winter is coming: Here are 12 do’s and don’ts for preparing your garden for cold weather

    As gardeners prepare for winter, protecting plants and trees from cold weather and hungry animals is vital to a flourishing garden next year.

  • Your plants might be hardy enough to survive a Chicago winter, but their blooms are a different story

    While a plant might be hardy enough to survive a Chicago winter, it might not thrive and bloom come spring.

Chicago Tribune Articles group 7

  • Knowing when to prune clematis vines depends on which type your garden has

    There are several categories of clematis, and each should be pruned differently to keep the vine flourishing in your garden.

  • Uproot delicate dahlia tubers now so they can overwinter indoors

    Dahlias are native to Mexico and can’t survive chilly Chicago winters, so their tubers must be uprooted and taken inside during late autumn.

  • Bundle up your garden for winter with burlap, leaves and frost blankets. Here’s what to use for your plants, shrubs and trees.

    Use a floating row cover, leaves or other insulators to protect your Chicago-area garden from winter weather.

  • Shredded leaves have plenty of uses in gardens, from nurturing soil for spring vegetables to feeding the lawn

    Plentiful and, even better, free, shredded leaves have lots of uses in your garden, from nurturing soil and lawns to serving as mulch for trees.

  • Falling leaves can be a pain during yard work, but mulching mowers make it easier to handle

    A mulching mower will chop up leaves as you mow, reducing how much raking a homeowner must do during autumn months.

  • Dark blotches on leaves of pachysandra are sign of Volutella blight. Here’s how to treat it.

    The summer drought followed by rains in recent months could incite active Volutella blight, a fungal infection, on pachysandra.

  • Deer rubbing can be fatal to trees. Here’s how to protect yours as bucks look to mark territory this fall

    Bucks shed summer velvet from their antlers and mark their territory by rubbing antlers against trees, causing sometimes fatal damage to the tree.