Gardening ideas, tips and tools.

Garden Flowers

Garden Flowers: Marigolds

Single Marigold

Garden Flowers are a great addition to any home garden. Gardens no longer have to be comprised solely of vegetable plants. Many outdoor gardens are a combination of vegetables, herbs and garden flowers, or are just carefully planned arrangements of outdoor flowers and shrubs.

While vegetable gardens help to provide food for the table, outside flowers and plants add to a garden a beautiful touch we all enjoy. Make sure you have the best tools used for gardening which will make things much easier.

Types of Garden Flowers

Garden flowers are broken down into three main types: perennials, annuals, and biennials.

Which Flowers Come Back Every Year

Perennial flowers return year after year with little to no encouragement, providing continuous garden blooms. Perennial plants tend to have a higher price tag up front but can be more economical in the long run.

What Are Annual and Biennial Types of Plants

Annual flowers only live for one growing season and need to be replanted every year. Biennial Plants are a hybrid of the two; the first year is spent focusing on vegetative growth, the second year the plant blooms and completes its life cycle.

Creating a landscape with different flowers is easy to do with all of the choices available. Choose flowers in a variety of heights and colors, which are well suited for the amount of sunlight a spot receives during the day.

Make sure you have the right garden equipment such as great gardening shoes like Sloggers Women’s Waterproof Rain and Garden Shoe

Sun Requirements for Garden Flowers

Full Sun – Full sun means the spot receives 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day. It doesn’t have to be a continuous 6 hours, and can be broken up throughout the day, with some occurring in the morning and another chunk in the afternoon.

Partial Sun / Partial Shade – These two terms are fairly interchangeable and mean a spot receives 4-6 hours of direct sun over the course of the day. Both would prefer to receive early morning or evening light, being shaded from the most intense sun in the mid to late afternoon. Partial sun plants need a minimum of 4 hours and will do better the closer to 6 they can get. Partial shade plants need a maximum of 6 hours of sun but prefer the lesser amount.

Full Shade – Full shade means less than 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. This doesn’t mean the plant never receives any sunlight. Full shade plants will thrive with filtered sunlight, or some early morning direct sun.

Types of Garden Flowers with Pictures

A trip to the local garden store or nursery will provide many types of garden flowers to choose from. Here are some of the most common garden flowers names found in home gardens: Here is how to make your garden look nice on a budget.


A Red Rose Flower

A Red Rose Flower

Roses are the most common cultivated garden flower found in landscapes around the world. These perennial flowers are known for their exquisite beauty and intoxicating fragrance. Available in almost any color imaginable, a variety of bloom sizes, and many different scents, roses add a traditional beauty to any garden.


Garden Flowers: Tulips

A Group of Tulips

Tulips are known for their unique shape that is described as a cup or star-shaped flower. They come in a plethora of colors and make an exquisite display when planted in large stands. Tulips are spring blooming perennials that grow from bulbs.


Garden Flowers - Peony Flower

Peony Flower

Peonies are another favorite in traditional gardens. They are known for their colossal flowers that perch atop glossy green foliage. Peonies require little care and plants can grow for upwards of 100 years with little attention from the resident gardener. The rules for success are simply full sun and well-drained soil.


Garden Flowers - Lily Flower

Lily Flower

Lilies are popular all around the world as well. This beautiful perennial comes in a variety of colors and sizes. They grow well in containers and do not require a lot of water, making them an ideal plant in many landscapes.


Garden Flowers - Iris Flower

Iris Flower

Iris are known for their showy flowers. Iris flowers are extremely unique and bloom in a variety of purples, blues, white and yellows. They are perennial plants that grow from creeping rhizomes, or bulbs in drier climates.




Petunias are one of the most popular annual flowers planted in home gardens. They can tolerate relative harsh climates, including gentle frost, and hot climates making them suitable for many landscapes. Petunias grow best with at least 5 hours of sun daily but prefer locations protected from the wind as their blooms shred easily.




Geraniums are common bedding plants in gardens, as well as a popular flower in hanging baskets. Growing geraniums is easy if your garden has well-drained soil that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight. Most geraniums grow as annual plants and have been a garden staple for over a decade.


Pansy Flower

Pansy Flower

Pansies are very beautiful and colorful annuals, also known as violas. Plants are shorter in stature making them good border plants or hanging basket fillers. They come in a variety of stunning colors and are commonly grown as annuals but can be perennials in certain zones.


Marigold Flower

Marigold Flower

Marigolds are known for their bright orange or coppery colored blooms. These annual plants will tolerate almost any soil conditions but prefer full sun locations and do well in heat. Marigolds bloom all summer long, providing cheery color to any landscape.


Dianthus Flower

Dianthus Flower

Dianthus are a dainty flower, commonly known as Sweet William, with notes of cinnamon and clove in their fragrance. They belong to the same plant family as carnations and can be found in gardens as hardy annuals, biennials and perennials depending on the planting zone. Dianthus prefer slightly alkaline soil and full or partial sun.

How to Take Care of Garden Flowers

The best flowers are healthy, strong plants with beautiful blooms. It’s important to apply fertilizer throughout the growing season. In most garden situations a general purpose plant food will meet the needs of most plants during a typical growing season.

Follow the instructions on the fertilizer container regarding application rates and frequency, making sure to water thoroughly into the soil to prevent damaging the plant. A good drip irrigation system does a great job keeping plants watered.

Garden flowers add an element of beauty to all landscapes. With many choices in terms of plant heights, colors, scents and flower shapes the creative possibilities are endless.

Garden Flowers2020-07-11T13:48:08-04:00

Indoor Garden

indoor garden

How to Start an Indoor Garden for Beginners

More and more people are taking it upon themselves to start an indoor garden and grow their own plants and vegetables, it’s no surprise that growing spaces are finding their place inside.

At the same time people are becoming more cognizant of indoor air quality, and also designing living spaces that focus on tranquility.

This makes indoor gardening a great concept to implement.

Indoor Garden Benefits

  • Plants recycle air through their natural processes, this improves indoor air quality
  • Indoor plants are attributed as being soothing and peaceful
  • You can enjoy the benefit of fresh produce available right in your home depending on which plants you choose

Indoor Garden Design

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning an indoor garden. Some of the biggest considerations to factor in are how much space is available to work with, will you be doing hydroponics, how much natural sunlight is available, and which plants you’d like to grow.

Space is a severely limiting factor in indoor gardening; it’s not possible to move walls or snap your fingers and gain square footage inside the home. We are constricted, literally and figuratively, by the walls around us.

Sometimes designing an indoor garden means getting creative with the space available. If lighting is conducive, indoor containers can be placed on windowsills, on top of cabinets and the refrigerator. You can also purchase an indoor garden tower to maximum vertical space.

Indoor Garden Light

Proper lighting is very important for an indoor garden. When lights for indoor gardening aren’t optimal to grow healthy plants you may need to buy specific lighting optimized for plant growth.

Indoor garden lights come in many options: varying sizes and outputs, within a wide range of costs to meet almost every budget.

An easy solution is the AeroGarden Bounty Basic-Black Indoor Garden which will provide plants with the correct lighting and growing environment.

Proper lighting will keep plants healthy and vibrant without becoming spindly or leggy from lack of sunshine.

What Are the Best Plants to Grow Indoors

In terms of plants, some people choose to grow ornamental plants only; creating a lush, green space full of colorful blossoms and beautiful scents.

Others mix ornamentals with herbs and vegetables. Some choose to focus solely on edible plants to reap extra benefits.

Those that are really ambitious put together indoor gardens consisting of a myriad of plants, sometimes mixing ornamentals, herbs, and vegetables.

With a range of plants to choose from, it’s easy to tailor an indoor garden to the specific desires of a homeowner.

For a beginner with little to no previous gardening experience, an indoor herb garden can be a good, simple starting point.

They can be grown in small containers and require little maintenance; easy to fit on a windowsill and easy to reap the benefits.

Is it Possible to Grow Vegetables Indoors

Or course! If you are more adventurous you can grow an indoor vegetable garden containing some of these great veggies

  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Peppers

All of these species are relatively easy to grow indoors.

Squash, cucumbers and melons also grow well inside but the spreading vines will need more space than upright plants, and could easily take over a small area creating more of a jungle feel in your home than intended!

Indoor Gardening Containers

Once the types of plants (and quantity) are chosen the garden containers and potting soil can be purchased. Mix and match a variety of colors, sizes, and textures to create visual interest and compliment the home’s décor, or pick a single theme to create continuity and uniformity.

The only limitation here is budget and imagination.

Use the biggest pot/pots possible to keep the soil from drying out as fast but keep in mind the larger pots will require more soil to fill them.

Styrofoam can be cut into discs and placed into the bottom of pots to help fill some of the space, placing potting soil on top for the plants to grow in.

Using Old Items for Container Gardening

Upcycling old items (wagons, wash tubs, barrels, etc.) for use as containers is a creative way to reduce supply costs and can add interest and whimsy to an indoor garden.

Make sure though, that any items upcycled for containers have drainage holes, yet will adequately hold soil. If necessary take newspapers and line the inside of containers to prevent soil from falling out.

indoor plants

How to Start an Indoor Garden

When you begin planting, keep in mind proper plant spacing to encourage optimum growth and adequate air circulation. It’s tempting to plant seedlings/seeds closer together to maximize limited space, but don’t do that.

Giving plants the space they need will result in hardier, healthier plants and decrease the chance of disease.

After plants are nestled securely into the potting soil, water the containers thoroughly, as often as moisture is needed.

The goal is to keep the potting soil from drying out completely, stressing the plant, yet not allowing them to sit in waterlogged soil.

Plants will require more frequent watering in warmer months and in dryer climates.

Indoor Gardening Kit

An indoor gardening kit and self-watering systems can be purchased to help take the guesswork out of a watering schedule, and tend to plants when you are on vacation or out of town for a few days.

Indoor Garden Care

In addition to ensuring your containers have enough sunlight and are properly watered it’s important to fertilize periodically to provide ample nutrients. Here are some tips on choosing the best fertilizer for gardens.

Continuously watch for harmful pests (treating when necessary), and prune back tattered leaves and spent blooms to encourage new growth.


Being limited on outdoor space doesn’t mean having to forego gardening. With some ingenuity, it is possible to design a beautiful indoor garden space capable of purifying the air in your home, creating a serene, tranquil environment to enjoy and providing edible herbs and produce to enjoy.

Indoor Garden2020-06-30T14:54:08-04:00

Honey Bee

The honey bee is distinguished from other bees by the production and storage of honey and their construction of colonial nests from bees wax.

There are seven recognized species, with the most popular being the Western honey bee which has been domesticated for crop pollination and honey production.

About 30% of the food consumed on American tables is pollinated by the honey bee; it is the only insect that helps in food production.

Honey Bees

Are Honey Bee Populations Declining?

Over the last handful of years, the plight of the honey bee has come to light in agricultural and horticultural systems, including the home garden. The honey bee populations are decreasing at an alarming rate and potentially putting food production in danger.

As their numbers decrease the impact is felt. Fortunately the honey bee is being seen for the benefits it brings to gardens, fields, nurseries and orchards worldwide. People are becoming more aware of how their choices impact bee populations and changing how they do things.

The honey bee population has been in decline for some time now. Research points to a couple of different causes.

One cause is thought to be electromagnetic radiation from cellular towers, mobile devices and wireless internet. This electromagnetic radiation damages the navigational skills of honey bees and prevents them from returning to their hive.

Honey Bee

Bees navigate by using the vibrations in the air. The magnetic frequencies emitted from the aforementioned devices interfere with their navigational skills. When female worker bees fail to return to a thriving hive, the hive will begin to flounder.

An increase in pesticide and fungicide use is also contributing to the demise of honey bees. Some pest and fungal sprays work by directly killing the honey bees. Some affect populations by disrupting their navigational skills – causing colony collapse disorder – or inhibit their ability to reproduce.

No matter the way, the honey bee population feels the damaging effects.

Honey Bee Friendly Plants

One of the most important things gardeners can do is to grow plants in their gardens and landscapes that attract honey bees.

Giving them a solid source of food will help encourage population growth. Fortunately there are many plants that attract honey bees:

So, what are the best flowers for honey bees? Here are some great choices. If you are looking to attract butterflies take a look at the butterfly garden page.

  • Natural wildflowers – A great option to use to bring in honey bees. They are easy to plant, easy to grow and require very little attention to flourish.
  • Berries – A plethora of flowers in a small area. This is a huge attractant for honey bees as it concentrates a large food source for the bees within a limited space.
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Blueberries
    • Blackberries
  • Fruit Trees – Another concentrated source of food in a small expanse.
    • Apples
    • Peaches
    • Cherries
  • Flowering Herbs –  Work well to attract bees because of their strong scent.
    • Mint
    • Basil
    • Lavender
    • Oregano
  • Vegetable Plants – Can produce beautiful, yellow flowers that easily attract bees to the home garden.
  • Weeds – Another green attractant, although one we try to discourage in our gardens. If possible allow some of these weeds to grow freely, and flower.
    • Dandelions
    • Milkweed
    • Goldenrod

Attract Honey Bees to Your Garden

One of the best ways to bring them into a garden is to group plants together to encourage the honey bees.

If possible, plant an area about one square yard in size with the same plant to attract them to the area. Pick plants that have a long blooming season to keep bees coming back, and encourage flowers to bloom so the nectar and pollen is available for them to feed on.

A water source such as a bird bath, a backyard waterfall, or even a dripping hose will give bees a place to rest and drink.

How Do You Keep Pesticides From Killing Bees

Equally as important as encouraging bees into a garden, is making sure chemicals applied for pest control are not harmful to the insects.

Neem oil, vinegar and Epsom salts such as Epsoak USP Epsom Salt – 19 lbs. Resealable Bulk Bag are natural alternatives that can be used safely without damaging bee populations.

Neem oil is highly effective at repelling garden pests such as aphids, spider mites, and certain plant diseases such as powdery mildew.

Both white and apple cider vinegar works extremely effectively as a weed killer due to their high acetic acid content. Fill a spray bottle or watering can with straight vinegar and apply directly to the weeds you’d like to kill.

Epsom salts work well at keeping slugs and snails off of garden flowers, and also benefit vegetables because of the magnesium they contain. If absolutely necessary, Spinosad and Pyrethrum can be applied to gardens at dawn or dusk when bees aren’t active.

Once the chemical dries, they are no longer harmful to bees.

How To Be Bee Friendly

There are many things home gardeners can do to help encourage honey bee populations. Flowering plants and trees can be added to a garden to attract bees, and bee safe methods can be used to help control pests and weeds instead of harmful chemicals.

These thoughtful changes can help to build their populations and in turn ensure the pollination of food crops for human consumption.

Honey Bee2020-05-21T23:05:15-04:00

Why Are Native Plants Important

why are native plants important

So why are native plants important? Native plants are important because they provide pollen, nectar, and seeds to creatures such as birds, insects, butterflies and other small creatures. This food source isn’t always available when non-native horticultural species are planted in gardens and landscapes.

Following closely behind the rise in environment and soil sustainability is the idea of incorporating more native plants in home and business landscapes.

This practice has come to be known as naturescaping – using the plants found in the natural habitat of an area to landscape, versus introducing non-native species that require higher maintenance and inputs.

Native plants are adapted to the local climate, and most often, the local soil conditions of a given environment. They hold a lot of importance in landscapes as they provide many beneficial attributes to local animals.

Benefits of Native Plants

Lower Maintenance – One of the biggest benefits is that these plants have evolved to local conditions, optimizing what resources are available to grow to their best potential. They are adapted to soil conditions, rainfall amounts, and local insect pests.

This often means they require little water, no fertilizer inputs, need little pruning and are quite resistant to pests and diseases. As a homeowner you don’t have to spend the time and money you’d devote to non-natives, to keep native plants looking healthy and strong.

Cost Savings – It’s easy to understand how lower maintenance needs means lower maintenance costs when growing natives. The lower plant needs mean it’s not necessary to spend money on fertilizers and pesticides.

Plus, your time is worth something too; less time spent maintaining native plants means more time to spend elsewhere.

Decreased Water Consumption – On average, one to two thirds of water consumed by homeowners goes towards irrigating gardens and lawns. Homeowners in the arid Western regions will devote up to 60% of their water, on average, to landscape needs; homeowners in the east allocate closer to 30% of their water to yard plants.

Native plants have adapted their root systems to go much deeper in the soil than non-natives. This deeper root system means they can access more water and also store it for future use. Being able to access more water means less is needed through irrigation.

Songbird Habitat – Over the last few years, there has been a gradual decrease in the songbird population due to loss of habit. Planting native species gives them much needed habitat and encourages population growth. Encouraging native species in your landscape is the single best thing to do to bring in more songbirds.

Finding the Right Plants

When it comes to choosing native plants for your garden, it’s best to ask local experts for some help. They will know what plants are well adapted for the local region and give some extra tips and tricks.

There are Native Plant Societies in each state, and sometimes local areas have small, community organizations that are well educated on the native plants for that region.

Two other great resources are local native plant nurseries, and/or classes offered by a nearby community college if they are available.

How to Plant Native Plants

Planting a garden with native species requires a little more preplanning than when working with non-native horticultural species.

Native plant nurseries see more of a flux in their inventory than traditional nurseries; this is often dependent on supply and demand of customers in a local area, and the smaller amount of plants initially grown for sale. It’s best to contact your local nurseries ahead of time to ensure they have the plants desired in stock.

Native plants can be planted as live plant material, or by seed. Plants typically come bare-rooted and tend to be available from December to March.

They can then be planted during their dormant seasons, requiring fewer inputs to encourage growth and minimize transplant shock. Sowing seeds has advantages over planting live plants.

Although it takes longer to see your work come to life, it is easier to sow seeds than dig holes for live plants, and seeds can cover a larger planting area than plants. Native plant seeds are also more readily available than live plants.

Why Are Native Plants Important

As people become more aware of environmental sustainability, and the impacts traditional gardening can have on resources, there has been a corresponding increase in the amount of native plants used in landscapes.

These plants are highly adapted to a local environment, requiring less maintenance and fewer inputs for optimum growth.

This results in a reduced cost for the homeowner, a decrease in water used for irrigation, and fewer chemicals used to treat pests. Native plants are a great benefit to a garden, offering many advantages to homeowners.

Why Are Native Plants Important2020-01-14T18:27:06-05:00

Plant Diseases

Types of Plant Diseases - Blight

Plant diseases take the fun out of growing a garden which can be extremely fulfilling when seeing your hard work pay off. Taking the time to work the soil beds, adding amendments, planting seeds/plants and then watching them grow through to harvest can instill a great sense of satisfaction. But there are very few things more frustrating, and bewildering, than seeing garden plants succumb to garden pests and plant diseases. To fix them you need to diagnose the cause in order to treat the problem. This plant disease list will hopefully help you identify and treat some common plant diseases.

Types of Plant Diseases

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Miniscule, microscopic single celled organisms are the cause of the visible foliage damage associated with bacterial leaf spot. Early identification is crucial to save plants from extensive damage. Bacterial leaf spot shows up on lettuce, beets, eggplant and pepper plants as dark, necrotic looking spots on foliage. When the bacterial disease attacks the leaf edges, leaves become papery and delicate often breaking off due to the dryness of the tissue. Severe infestation will cause defoliation and severely impact the health of a plant. There are no recognized chemical treatments so prevention and control are important. To prevent bacterial leaf spot make sure to rotate crops, plant disease resistant varieties and avoid overwatering. The best control method is removing infected plant parts to prevent the spread of bacterial leaf spot.


Early Blight

The beginning symptoms of early blight show up as small 1-2mm brown or black lesions on the fruit/stem/foliage of tomatoes, and the stem/foliage/tubers of potatoes. If the conditions are conducive to progressing the small lesions will grow, forming the characteristic “bulls eye” pattern early blight is known for. These concentric rings are often surrounded by a halo of yellow tissue. If lesions are allowed to worsen the entire leaf can become chlorotic and die.  Lesions that form on fruit/tubers appear leathery in nature, often causing premature drop from the plant. Preventative measures include a 3-year crop rotation, promoting good air circulation around the base of the plant, and/or applying a potassium bicarbonate solution to the plants and soil starting approximately two weeks before early blight symptoms occur. Chemical controls are limited – a copper based fungicide being one of the few, albeit expensive, options – and it is highly recommended to remove infected plants entirely and dispose of properly.

Plant Diseases - Tomato Blight

Plant Diseases – Tomato Blight

Late Blight

Late blight also affects tomato and potato plants, spreading quickly and wreaking havoc on a stand of plants. As its name implies it occurs later in the growing season, most often after the plant blossoms. Triggered by rainy, damp weather, late blight causes plants to rot and die if left untreated. Early symptoms look like grayish-green water spots on older leaves; as it matures the spots darken in color and a white fungal growth occurs on the undersides of foliage. Like early blight the chemical controls are limited to expensive copper sprays that work best when the disease is caught early. Often times, an entire stand is infected and plants need to be removed entirely and then disposed.

Bacterial Blight

Similar in symptoms and treatment to late blight in tomatoes and potatoes, bacterial blight is a fungal disease that affects legumes in Eastern and Southern North America. Symptoms appear on foliage and pods as grey water spots that eventually turn necrotic and drop out of the leaf tissue. To control plant resistant cultivars in a 3-year plant rotation; remove and dispose of infected plants to prevent spread to other plants.

Damping Off

Soil borne fungi cause damping off in wet, cool conditions. Seeds or seedling are typically affected by the pathogens; seeds rot before germination or seedlings deteriorate immediately after emergence, causing them to fall over. Damping off can be prevented by ensuring the soil is well amended with organic matter prior to planting, keep the soil damp but not waterlogged, encourage ample air circulation in seeding areas, and make sure the soil is warm enough for that specific seed before planting.

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew affects many vegetable plants, causing the growth of white or purplish “down” on the undersides of foliage. The top side of older leaves may demonstrate patches of white or yellow. Symptoms of downy mildew are exacerbated in cool, wet weather prone to occur in early spring and late fall. Downy mildew affects many vegetables crops and prevention is a critical management method: plant resistant varieties is they exist, water the roots of plants early in the day, avoid overwatering, encourage good air circulation around the base of susceptible plants, and apply copper spray as a preventative every 7-10 days when the weather is cool and wet. Infected plant tissues should be quickly removed and disposed of in an area away from the garden, to reduce contamination of other plants.

Fusarium Wilt

A soil borne pathogen that affects nightshade plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers, fusarium wilt is commonly found in gardens all across North America. The plant disease enters through plant roots and interferes with the vessels within the plant that are responsible for water transport. Once in the plant, fusarium wilt spreads up the stem and into the leaves, restricting water flow. Without proper water the foliage wilts and turns yellow. This fungal disease is more rampant in hot, dry weather and can survive for years in the soil. The best methods of control are to remove affected plants quickly and dispose of them away from the gardening area. Also make sure to sterilize gardening implements with a dilute bleach solution to prevent transferring the disease. There are some fumigants available to treat fusarium wilt but many require professional application, making them a costly solution. If the disease persists in a garden area, it may be necessary to sterilize/solarize the soil to kill the pathogens. To do this remove all plant materials and cover the bare ground with black or clear plastic. Allow the plastic to sit on the soil for 4-6 weeks during the hottest part of the summer; the intense sun and heat generated will kill fusarium wilt.

Mosaic Virus

Mosaic virus is a viral disease found all across the United States that affects a wide range of horticultural and vegetable crops: roses, beans, tobacco, tomato, potato, cucumbers, and peppers. Some of the symptoms include yellow, white or green stripes/streaks on foliage, pronounced yellowing of foliage veins, wrinkled/curled or stunted leaves, overall stunting of plant growth and reduced yields. Mosaic virus spreads through the feeding of insect pests and has no cure once a plant is infected. The only treatment option is to remove and destroy anything infected. To minimize infection prevent resistant plant varieties, spot treat with diatomaceous earth around plants as preventative pest control, and avoid using tobacco around susceptible plants as it may harbor the virus.

Powdery Mildew

The most common, widespread fungal disease in plants, powdery mildew attacks vegetable plants, ornamental species, and fruit trees. Hot and dry summer weather favors its spread and it can be difficult to control. Powdery mildew is easy to diagnose; it presents itself as patches of white or light-grey, talcum-like powder on plant leaves and stems. Planting mildew resistant plants, giving them plenty of room for air circulation around the base, and watering the root system – avoiding the foliage – early in the day are great preventative methods. If plants fall victim to this plant fungus, quickly remove and discard infected plant tissues, making sure to not spread fungal spores to other garden/yard areas. Some sources recommend spraying infected plants with a combination of neem oil and soap, mixed in water, but the results vary.


Common rust is a fungal disease typically found on a variety of mature plants: roses, hollyhocks, lilies, snapdragons, tomatoes, beans and lawns. Rust looks like its name implies – reddish-orange spots made up of masses of fungal spores on older, lower leaves of the plant. If untreated these spots can turn yellow to black, deform the entire leaf, and in worse case scenarios cause leaf drop. Garden areas receiving low light (4-8 hours of low intensity sun) are more susceptible to rust diseases; especially when the climate is warm/hot and humid. Cultural methods are the most effective methods of control/prevention: keeping weeds out of the garden bed, allowing good air circulation around the base of plants, watering early in the morning, removing infected leaves when the disease is spotted. An application of neem oil such as Organic Neem Bliss 100% Pure Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil – (16 oz) High Azadirachtin Content – OMRI Listed for Organic Use can kill rust spores on the plant and works well if the disease is caught quickly. Copper sprays and sulfate powders also work well if applied early.

Plant diseases can quickly spread and cause major damage if left untreated and allowed to proliferate in a garden area. Often times there are limited chemical options available for treatment of plant diseases, so preventative methods become even more important for plant disease control. A handful of best management practices can help to reduce the risk of infection: purchase resistant varieties of plants if available, keep garden area free of weeds and debris, water the base/roots of plants early in the day while avoiding overwatering, maintain good air movement around the base of plants and promptly remove and dispose of infected vegetative matter to minimize the spread of infection with these plant diseases.

Plant Diseases2020-01-10T23:59:45-05:00