University of Maryland Extension

Home and Garden Information Center

Base Name: 
hgic

A Guide to Pruning Roses

Why Prune Roses? Whether you are growing hybrid teas, climbers, or landscape roses, all roses require some pruning each year. Pruning is necessary to remove winter-killed canes (stems), control size, and train the plant for its best production of blossoms. However, different types of roses require...

Common Problems of Roses

Key Points Roses ( Rosa spp.) are some of the most popular flowering shrubs in home gardens. They are best used in a location that receives full sun, good air circulation, and good soil drainage. They require regular maintenance (pruning, disease management, fertilization) for healthy growth and...

Support for HGIC

The Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) is a state-wide program that provides outreach education to Maryland residents and beyond. Our Mission : Develop and deliver science-based, sustainable gardening and integrated pest management education for better human and environmental health. The...

Tips for submitting photos to Ask Extension

The following are tips on how to take good photos and send detailed information that will help us understand your question and respond quickly with a confident answer. General photography tips Make sure your photos are clear and in focus. Wipe off your cell phone camera lens before taking the...

Lead in Garden Soils

Key Points All Maryland soils contain naturally-occurring background levels of lead , typically less than 50 ppm. Some garden soils, however, contain moderate to very high levels of lead that may pose a serious health risk. The risk is primarily from contaminated soil brought into the home on...

Fertilizing Vegetables

Key Points Fertilizer, whether organic or synthetic is used to supply nutrients to plants when they need them. Fertilize based on soil test results and plant needs. Nutrient needs vary between plant families and species . For example, leafy greens require more nitrogen than beans and peas...

Lilac-test

Key points Syringa vulgaris is a woody shrub grown for its fragrant flowers Height: 8’ - 12’; spread: 10’ - 20’ Flower color: lilac, white, pink, purple, reddish Period of interest: showy for about 2 weeks in May Uses: specimen, border Zones: 3-7 Problems with lilacs will only increase with climate...

Poinsettias

Key Points Poinsettias add color and beauty to the interiorscape during the holiday season. Blue, orange, and other colored poinsettias are also popular. They don't grow this way. White poinsettias are dyed and sometimes decorated with glitter to fit different holiday themes. The introduction of...

Indoor Worm Composting or Vermicomposting

Feeding food scraps to redworms Photo credit: Natalie Hampton, NC State University Key Points Vermicomposting (from the Latin word vermis meaning worm) is an efficient and enjoyable method for turning kitchen food scraps into a rich compost. Composting with redworms is becoming popular because it...

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