Dig Deeper

A blog by the staff of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

5 Historic Black Figures in Horticulture You Should Know

5 Historic Black Figures in Horticulture, Gardening and Plant Sciences You Should Know The Black community is responsible for many contributions to horticulture, plant sciences, gardening and nature. Here are five Black historical figures, some well-known and others lesser known, and their connections to the plant world! 1. George Washington Carver (1860's-1943) As a botanist and [...]

By |February 5th, 2021|Categories: Horticulture|

Humidity Tips: How to Keep Your Houseplants Happy

Learn to manage humidity for your houseplants with Senior Horticulturist Leslie Hunter. Humidity is a measurement of water vapor in the air (and is usually the culprit of bad hair days), but it's very important to plants, especially houseplants. Houseplants appreciate a humidity level between 60 and 80%, which would be difficult to maintain for an entire house—even [...]

By |January 21st, 2021|Categories: Horticulture|

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Botanical Garden Holiday Gift Guide The holidays are officially here, which means the search for unique and memorable gifts is in full swing. The good news is that your local, one-stop shop for botanically inspired, locally crafted gifts is right here at the Botanical Garden! The Garden Shop is open Tuesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but [...]

By |November 24th, 2020|Categories: Garden Shop|

Orchids: Planting and Care Tips

How to Plant and Care For Orchids Tropical orchids are not like most houseplants. They are epiphytes, which means they do not grow in soil but by hanging on to the bark of trees. This unique growing environment means they will not survive the same soils and watering regimens as your typical houseplants. For orchids to thrive in [...]

By |November 2nd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Amaryllis: Planting and Care Tips

How to Plant and Care For Amaryllis When planting your amaryllis bulb, it is best to choose an unglazed terra cotta pot with a drainage hole, that is about two inches bigger around than your bulb. This should allow about one inch of space all around your bulb once planted in the pot. Fill the pot about halfway [...]

By |November 2nd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Overwintering: Ways to Protect Native Bees

Protecting Native Bees with Ecological Horticulturist Ryan Drake Earlier this summer, I cut a dying bloom from Ipomopsis rubra (Texas plume) in the Dorothy and Max Rutledge Conifer Garden. Not long after, I noticed that a Ceratina sp. (Small Carpenter bee) took up residence in the cutting and started a brood nest to lay eggs in. Fall is [...]

By |October 22nd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Fall Gardening Tips: Houseplants, Bulbs and More

Fall Gardening with Senior Horticulturist Leslie Hunter Learn how to protect your gardens—and your houseplants— from the cold temperatures while encouraging the best possible spring blooms. Roses At this point in the season, you can leave your roses alone and allow the blooms to form rose hips while growth slows. Typically, we do not cut back roses at [...]

By |October 21st, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Alliums We Love: 7 Picks for Constant Blooms

7 Alliums for Blooms All Season Long As plants that afford wild, contemporary style with clean, formal geometry, alliums have surged to raging levels of popularity in recent years. The Botanical Garden collection features 66 species and cultivars, with the number growing steadily with each year. During the full span of the growing season in Iowa, you can [...]

By |October 1st, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Foster Nature Appreciation with Sit Spots

Sit Spots: What They Are and How to Use Them For many parents, getting children to spend time outside with stimulating, educational activities can feel intimidating—not to mention securing the materials, supplies and knowledge needed to teach them about the environment. Luckily, sit spots require little to no equipment or prior nature knowledge, and your child will grow [...]

By |September 15th, 2020|Categories: Youth & Family|

The Native Annuals Project

Native Annuals with Ecological Horticulturist Ryan Drake A walk through the Botanical Garden reveals dynamic, complex plantings around every corner. But there is more to those lively blooms and varying textures than aesthetic appeal. This summer, in the Dorothy and Max Rutledge Conifer Garden and Lauridsen Savanna, Ecological Horticulturist Ryan Drake is conducting an experiment. Ryan has been [...]

By |September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Annual Plantings: 4 Steps to Dynamic Designs

Garden Design with Senior Horticulturist Leslie Hunter Although designing annual gardens is a creative process, I have a clear framework that I follow each time. These are the four steps I use to create dynamic garden spaces that will generate interest throughout the season. 1. Determine a Theme The first step is to start with an overall theme. [...]

By |August 19th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

Fall Perennial & Bulb Market: 4 Plant Highlights

Fall Perennial & Bulb Market Preview We're excited to bring back our bulb market in 2020 along with a selection of perennials that are perfect for fall planting, too. Below you'll find five plants to watch for at the Fall Perennial & Bulb Market, from the very first blooms of the season to selections that carry on well [...]

By |August 17th, 2020|Categories: Horticulture|

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