Happy Spring! Now that seedlings are sprouting and flowers are beginning to bloom, Bismarck gardeners are eager to start preparing their garden beds. If you haven't built any raised garden plots in your yard yet, then now is the time to do so! While some, hardier veggies prefer direct-seeding into the ground, many prefer the luxury of an elevated garden plot or container instead.

As humans, we're lucky to be able to pick and choose who we let into our lives and who we don't. We try to surround ourselves with people who are positive influences and who help us to grow into the best version of ourselves. However, the plants in our garden aren't so lucky-they don't get to choose who grows near them, even if their neighbors are leeching all their nutrients or shading their sun. That's why it's important for us, as gardeners, to choose our plants' companions wisely!

Have you ever given a new plant a prime place in the garden, only to be disappointed when it completely dies back? Or have you picked up a plant thinking it would last only the summer, only to be pleasantly surprised when it pops back up the next spring? Don't worry; you're not alone! It's important to make sure you're aware of a plant's life expectancy before taking it home from the garden center, as this can dictate care requirements and influence where you might place it. Take a look at the difference between annuals, biennials, and perennials, and what that means for your Bismarck garden.

Grow nature's candy in your own backyard, and you'll never worry about satisfying your sweet tooth again!

The subtle sound of trickling water is, without a doubt, one of the most harmonious sounds there is-and an essential element for your personal backyard oasis.

Spring is, without a doubt, the busiest time of year for homeowners and gardeners. Not only do we need to get around to the usual indoor spring cleaning, but we also have to tidy up the landscape and prepare our gardens for the season. Truthfully, it can all be a little overwhelming!

With all of the nurturing we do to encourage our houseplants to grow, accommodating that growth by repotting houseplants is surprisingly one of the most neglected parts of plant care. Just like your expanding family has probably outgrown a home or two over the years, our houseplants can grow too big to live in their potted homes.

It's been a long few months of winter in North Dakota, and by now, our green thumbs are really itching to get out in the garden again! Since spring is still a little ways away in Bismarck and the ground is still very frozen, we suggest turning to your indoor greenery for some much-needed plant therapy.

Who said hanging baskets were exclusive to the patio or the pergola? Currently, one of our favorite trends is decorating with indoor hanging baskets. They can quickly transform an entire corner of your home, and they're great for those with little floor space to work with!

Houseplants and pets have more in common than you might think-they both require our love and attention to survive, and they both bring life and joy into our homes. But regardless of how much they have in common, sometimes they just don't mix. Cats and dogs are naturally curious, especially when they're home alone and looking for amusement.

Indoor seeding gives you a jumpstart on the growing season and gives your plants a better chance of survival. Last year, we discussed how to grow plants from seeds, including indoor seeding versus sowing, in one of our blog posts. This year, we decided to dive into some more detail by sharing some of our favorite techniques for successful seeding, germinating, and transplanting. If you're planning on starting your annual flowers or garden edibles from seeds this year, you'll want to take a look!

With close to 2000 different species, begonias are one of the most diverse group of flowers you can plant in your garden or decorate your home with. Some are prized for their charming, multi-colored flowers and double blooms while others are famous for their fantastic foliage. Regardless, they're a beautiful plant that can fit into any landscape design or interior decor aesthetic!

While many of us genuinely appreciate the pristine beauty of a winterscape, others are already longing for spring to arrive in Bismarck. That's why backyard birding is one of our favorite activities during this time of year-birds beautify our landscape in the absence of flowers and greenery while also reminding us that the sounds of spring aren't too far away. If you'd like to enjoy the pleasant presence of more birds in your garden, simply provide them with food, shelter, and water. Keep it up, and you'll have them flocking to you all year 'round!

It's that time of year again. For many of us, as the holiday season nears its end, so does our enthusiasm for letting it snow and walking in a winter wonderland. After just a few weeks into the cold season, we're already longing to hang up the snow shovel and grab our garden trowel. If you're one of those Bismarck snowbirds who like to fly south this time of year, we don't blame you-but your houseplants might if they end up being neglected! Whether you're heading out for a winter ski trip or a warm, tropical getaway, here's how you can vacation-proof your houseplants.

Christmas trees that are locally grown, cut, and recycled are about as eco-friendly as it gets. Most cities these days have recycling programs where Christmas trees are collected and chipped up into wood mulch to use in city parks.

Aloe vera is undoubtedly one of the most popular houseplants we sell here at Plant Perfect, and it really comes as no surprise. Not only are their spiky, green, fleshy leaves super attractive, but they're praised as one of the easiest houseplants to own and also come with the added bonus of amazing healing properties you can harvest right from your own home!

As people who adore plants, we never want to see them suffer at the hand of pests. But we especially don't want to see pests in our houseplants, because that brings the problem inside our homes-gross!

It seems that each year, the Christmas songs and decorations arrive just a little earlier. Let's face it-as soon as Thanksgiving is over, we're turning on the Hallmark channel, breaking out the eggnog, and putting up the tree.

To feed, or not to feed? That is the question. A question we're asked almost every day here at the garden center. Other questions we often get include (but are not limited to): how much to feed, when to feed, and what to feed. When it comes to caring for houseplants, it's clear that fertilization is a common source of confusion.

With Thanksgiving under our belt (OK, maybe we had to take off the belt completely), it's officially the start of the Christmas season! Of course, the stores in Bismarck have been in holly-jolly mode for weeks, but now that December is around the corner, it's finally acceptable for you to start turning up the holiday tunes.

Wreaths are a classic piece of front door decor, especially around the holidays. They make the entrance to your home even more joyful and inviting for holiday guests and add the finishing touch to your house's holiday display-both inside and out!

Winter in North Dakota...need we say more? Sure, there are a few festivities and activities that can make winter fun, but the reality is that the cold, snow, and lack of a green garden to cheer us up can get the best of us sometimes. As one of the coldest states in our country (second only to Alaska), it's no surprise that our long and harsh winters can induce seasonal depression. Luckily, there are a few methods for dealing with seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), to help you endure the season-including plant therapy, of course.

Unless you spend your winters escaping the North for a tropical getaway, the seemingly endless amounts of snow here in Bismarck can take a toll after a while. After the warmth and joy of the holiday season passes and we're left with the bleakness of January, it's normal to feel a little sad-seriously, it's called Seasonal Affective Disorder ( or "SAD"). For us green thumbs, surrounding ourselves with winter-flowering houseplants is pretty much the best therapy around. Luckily, there are plenty of flowering plants that provide life and color throughout the cold season!

Plants are some of the best air-cleaners around. You know they absorb carbon dioxide, but did you know they also filter out other harmful chemicals from the air? Some of the products in our homes contain synthetic materials, like paint, pressed wood, carpet, and upholstery, that release trace amounts of chemicals into the air that can make us sick.

Canning garden vegetables is the absolute best way to enjoy your fall and summer harvest later into the year. By canning or pickling vegetables from the garden, you can keep enjoying your homegrown produce long after the first frost-and well into the long Bismarck winter!

We love the beautiful colors of fall here in Bismarck, but it also means there's some yard cleanup that needs to get done. We've got a few tips to help keep your yard and lawn looking great through the fall and make it easy to tidy up in the spring.

While our perennial plants can withstand the winter without a problem, our annuals aren't quite as resilient when it comes to braving the cold and snow. In fact, in our cold climate in North Dakota, they aren't resilient at all-they die off after the first frost or two.

We’re definitely heading into fall here in Bismarck. The days are getting shorter, there are gorgeous chrysanthemums everywhere, and before too long we’ll have pretty autumn leaves falling around us.

As the leaves start to change and we prepare for much of our garden to go dormant in just a few short months, planting might not be the first thing on your mind this fall. Most of us consider planting a spring activity, and while that remains true, the cool, comfortable temperatures of autumn provide great conditions for many plants! The key is knowing what you can plant, and when!

As the morning air starts to feel a little crisper here in Bismarck, we can expect many of the wonderful, heat-loving blooms of summer to fade. Many gardeners take this as a sign to hand their annual plants over to Mother Nature and finish gardening for the year. While autumn colors provide natural beauty all on their own, there's no reason you can't cherish your beloved annuals for a little longer-especially when it comes to container gardens. Learn how to change up your annual planters with some of our fantastic fall container ideas:

NDSU Horticulture: Our Favorite Varieties

Is there any better way to express your love of plants than to devote your life to the science of gardening? That's exactly what the students and professors in the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University do! They're involved in every aspect of garden cultivation, from landscape design and management to new crop technology. They even engineer newer, bigger, and better varieties of our favorite plants.

What better way to spruce up your residential boulevard than with some lovely, hardy trees? Not only do trees make boulevards much more scenic, but they also provide your home and vehicle with shade, provide a barrier to wind, and even increase your property value. Plus, trees tend to grow better along residential boulevards compared to major streets and even parks, so boulevard planting is great for both you and the environment!

From creeping weed grasses to unwanted flowers, weeds are the bane of every gardener's existence. Unattractive, irritating, and usually vigorous growers, weeds have a way of infiltrating even the healthiest of gardens, popping up through your grass, flower beds, and even your patio. Some might say controlling weeds is right up there with controlling pests and fungus. Luckily, you can wave goodbye to weeds with our helpful weed control tips:

As the summer season starts to fade, so do most of our vibrant, sun-loving blooms. While a few flowers may grin and bear the cool September air, most of our popular annuals and perennials will lose their pep by the first day of fall. Luckily, beautiful chrysanthemums and other fall bloomers are perfect choices for keeping your garden flourishing with flowers throughout the autumn season. Accent those gorgeous North Dakota fall colors with these beautiful fall bloomers

Most gardeners, beginners included, understand the importance of proper garden care. We know that our plants need proper watering, our garden beds need proper weeding and the lawn needs proper mowing. However, something that often gets overlooked is mulching. Not everyone quite understands the benefits of mulch. Mulching isn't just for looks-although it doesn't hurt your curb appeal-it's actually a pretty useful garden technique that provides many benefits to our plants.

From grasslands to wetlands to forests, North Dakota has a wide variety of natural landscapes. To say the diversity of native plants in North Dakota is impressive would be an understatement; tallgrass prairie areas alone include over 200 plant species! Plant diversity across the state is an important part of our environmental health.

It's no secret that common, native, perennial trees and shrubs definitely have an important place in the garden-but they have a place in everyone else's gardens, too. I mean, the reason they're so low-maintenance and that pollinators love them so much is because they survive on their own, in yards and forests all over North Dakota!

Nature provides some of the most stunning sights and sounds, largely thanks to gorgeous natural water features like lakes, rivers, brooks, and waterfalls. There's just something therapeutic about the consistent trickling of water that helps us feel calm.

For gardeners, watching one of your beloved perennial plants effortlessly flourishing with flowers is a proud moment. With minimal effort required from us, perennials will return faithfully each season to provide consistent color to our gardens. However, sometimes we find ourselves in a transition period between seasons where our garden fades in color as it awaits the next round of buds to break. To ensure you've got a garden with colorful blooms all year long, we've put together a perennial blooming calendar, season by season, so you'll never have a boring, flowerless garden ever again:

Part of creating a great garden and landscape design is ensuring the space will look beautiful at any time of year. Conifers are a fabulous option for adding color and texture that stays put all year. These evergreens are as tough as they are attractive, so they're great for gardeners short on time. If you love the look of evergreen needles, you'll adore them in containers!

When you spend a lot of time nurturing your garden plants, it's tough not to take a pest infestation personally! Here are some common signs of infestation in North Dakota gardens, the culprits, and how to control them.

Rabbits may look cute and innocent, but these rascally rodents are actually pretty crafty. It isn't always easy to keep them away from your garden and devouring all your tasty plants, but luckily there are some proven techniques that keep rabbits and other hungry critters from enjoying your garden buffet.

While some gardeners have a preference when it comes to annuals vs. perennials, the truth is, a gorgeous garden is often a balance of the two! Annuals sometimes get some flack because of their high-maintenance reputation, but keeping your annuals looking great all season doesn't have to be difficult. Keep those one-of-a-kind blooms bright and bushy with proper planning and minimal maintenance!

Most recipes just aren't complete with the flavors of fresh pepper and tomato. You chop them up, you throw them in, and voila! You're a master chef. They're the co-stars in so many summer dishes, like salsa, or barbecue kebabs. The best part? You can grow them in your own garden easily.

Growing your herbs in containers yields the dual benefits: you'll have fresh flavor only steps away from your kitchen, and you'll keep it confined to a small space, which makes factors like sunlight and soil moisture all the easier to maintain. You can even bring them inside to overwinter them or find them a permanent place on a sunny windowsill in your kitchen.

Spring is rolling in, and you may want to hit the ground running with your garden. Maybe you've been planning all winter and gathering some new ideas for the blooming season, and if so, we love your enthusiasm!

When it comes to bringing something exciting and new to your landscape, perennial flowers are in it for the long haul. When perennial landscaping, choosing a compelling blend of colors and styles is the goal here. We like to mix types of perennials that bloom together throughout the season so there's always something new and beautiful happening!

With springtime comes the excitement of watching your garden bounce back to life after the cold winter months. Your grass will slowly turn from yellow to green, and your perennials will likely bloom on their own, so spring is a time to focus on your beloved annuals. Whether it's vegetables or flowers, seeding can be a tricky task. Knowing what to seed, what to sow, and when to do either can be overwhelming. Follow our spring seed planting guide to help you grow successful annual gardens this spring...

Our environment is made of countless, delicate systems that work together to create the world we know and love. Like a domino effect, if one part is knocked off balance, the entire ecosystem is disrupted. Pollination is a crucial process for plant production, one that sustains our entire way of life. Without it, we would lose 75% of the world's crops, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other plants...

Evergreen trees are a great feature for any landscape, adding reliable, year-round interest. They're tough trees, with their leaves and needles clinging on even through our frigid North Dakota winters. But even evergreens are susceptible to winter burn, which turns their lovely green needles into dull, rusted tips. Luckily, winter burn on evergreens is easy to treat and even easier to prevent. Add a few simple tasks to your autumn chores list to keep your trees bright and bushy all year long.

With the fast-paced environment many of us live in today, we find ourselves yearning for a pleasant distraction from the stressors of everyday life. For many of us, gardening is a joyous outlet that we just can't get enough of. Not only does it make the world around us a more beautiful place, but it allows us to express ourselves unlike anything else.

Here on the northern edge of the United States, we can really appreciate the value of a sunny getaway after a long, cold winter. But why fret about spending all that money on a short-lived vacation when you can bring the tropics right to your doorstep? Grow your own exotic oasis and set your home and garden apart from the rest by gardening with gorgeous tropicals. Though they might not enjoy our unpredictable outdoor temperatures, tropicals can easily flourish in our homes with the help of some of these simple care tips.

Spring has finally arrived, and that means Easter is just around the corner! As we near the holiday, garden centers are busy stocking their shelves with gorgeous Easter lilies for churches, florists, and customers who appreciate their radiance and symbolism.

Imagine if you arrived at a wedding ceremony and the bride and groom were already waiting at the altar. For some occasions, a grand entrance is an important part of the experience. After putting so much effort into carefully planning your garden, planting your annuals, and keeping everything looking neat and healthy, your garden deserves a beautiful first impression. From the first time you lead a guest into space, to the thousandth time you step inside, your garden should always deliver that inviting 'Wow!' factor-and it starts with a gorgeous gateway.

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