Gardening

I love to garden and want to share my gardening tips, gardening advice, and garden know-how with you! Gardening topics include easy gardening ideas for beginners, gardening ideas for longtime gardeners, how to grow plants, how to grow flowers, how to grow herbs, vegetable gardening, how to fix gardening problems, advice on gardening tools and gardening supplies, and more!

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

brightly flowering yellow and pink cactus plants in an orange pot, sitting on a shelf


Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

My grandmother always grew cactus. My grandmother had a very green thumb (which I was fortunate to inherit!) She grew things that should not have grown this far north, in places they should never have flourished, and yet they did.

She has quite the collection of miniature cacti. They were planted in several containers, and during the summer she kept them on the basement windowsill that faced no direct sunlight, and a driveway. I swear!! And these little guys never died (my sister took them when she passed away).

In the winter she did bring them upstairs to a window that had winter lighting, but my oh my, if I told most people how she grew these (and they were adorable… always having “babies” and flowering), they would look at me like I had three heads. So, it is probably a good thing that I cannot see your face right now.

While I would never suggest anyone takes care of their cactus plants that way, but it worked for her!

Tips for Planting a Cactus Container Garden

• Planting cacti is easy. You just have to use the right soil mixture (MUCH easier today since you can buy it prebagged instead of mixing it), use gloves, and well, that is it.

• Colorful plants and containers are the key! Get flowering cactus, use colorful planters (either purchased or painted), and either the same or varing height plants.

• Since cactus do not need a lot of water, lightly water, let dry out and repeat.

• I plant in threes because I like the look. You can plant in a long tray too, you do not have to plant in a round container.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden. Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.


How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden Materials:

• Colorful Indoor/Outdoor Craft Paint
• Paint Brush
Potting Soil Formulated for Cactus
• 3 Miniature Colorful Cactus Plants
• Small Spade or Scoop
• Small Stones or Gravel
• 6″ Terra Cotta Pot
• Thick Gardening Gloves

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden. Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.


How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden Directions:

1. Layout a piece of scrap paper to cover your work surface and paint your terra cotta pot a bright color and let dry. If you have purchased colored or decorated pots, skip this step.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden. Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.


2. Place a few small stones (or some gravel) at the bottom of your pot.
3. Fill your pot about ¾ of the way to the top with cactus soil. Dig 3 small holes where you want your cacti to go.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden. Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.


4. Put some thick gardening gloves on (cacti are very prickly) and carefully remove each cactus from the small pots, loosen up the soil/roots and place one cactus in each hole.
5. Add more soil around the plants and carefully pack the soil down.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden. Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.


6. Clean off the soil on the edge of the pot and lightly water the cacti.

Yield: 1

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden. Planting cactus is easier than you think, and are excellent, low-maintenance plants for indoors. Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to plant a colorful and bright cactus container garden.

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty easy

Materials

  • Colorful Indoor/outdoor Craft Paint
  • Potting Soil Formulated for Cactus
  • 3 Miniature Colorful Cactus Plants
  • Small Stones or Gravel
  • 6" Terra Cotta Pot
  • Thick Gardening Gloves

Tools

  • Paint Brush
  • Small Spade or Scoop

Instructions

    1. Layout a piece of scrap paper to cover your work surface and paint your terra cotta pot a bright color and let dry. If you have purchased colored or decorated pots, skip this step.
    2. Place a few small stones (or some gravel) at the bottom of your pot.
    3. Fill your pot about ¾ of the way to the top with cactus soil. Dig 3 small holes where you want your cacti to go.
    4. Put some thick gardening gloves on (cacti are very prickly) and carefully remove each cactus from the small pots, loosen up the soil/roots and place one cactus in each hole.
    5. Add more soil around the plants and carefully pack the soil down.
    6. Clean off the soil on the edge of the pot and lightly water the cacti.

Read more home container gardening tips:

Potting Soil Mixtures for Container Gardening – I do a lot of container gardening!

How to Make a Rainbow Flower Container Garden

Spring Container Vegetable Gardening


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Foxglove Flowers: 7 Tips For Growing Gorgeous Foxgloves

foxgloves growing at the base of a tree


Foxglove is a gorgeous, timeless plant that gardeners have enjoyed cultivating for years. Foxgloves bloom in a variety of colors and work hard at adding height and interest to your gardens. If you are curious about growing this beautiful perennial, take a look below at some helpful tips on how to grow foxglove for yourself. Here is what you need to know.

Foxglove Flowers: 7 Tips For Growing Gorgeous Foxgloves

I love, love, love the look of foxglove. Truly a unique and beautiful flower. Foxgloves come in many varieties, one just right for your growing area!

Foxglove is a poisonous plant if swallowed, so be mindful of that when choosing to plant. Note that this makes them a great flower to plant if you have a lot of deer (I call deer suburban rats because we have so many in our area). The deer know they are poisonous if ingested, and will not eat them.

Foxgloves look gorgeous in vases. If you wish to use your flowers in a cutting garden, create a separate planting area. If you cut the blooms they are less likely to come back the following year. Many gardeners like to add foxgloves to landscaping and borders, but only cut the blooms in their designated cutting garden so not to hurt their landscaping.

foxgloves growing at the base of a tree


1. Watch Sunpatterns When You Plant Foxglove

Before you plant your foxglove, you should take note of where the sun falls in your garden. Foxgloves need full sun, at least six hours per day. They also do best with afternoon sun, so choose a space in the yard that enjoys direct midday sun.

2. Choose Well Draining Soil to Plant Foxglove

Foxgloves do not like “wet feet.” Wet feet means that the soil where your foxgloves are growing should not be soggy. You must take care to choose a planting area that is well draining. While there is nothing wrong with moist soil, you do not want to plant in any area that retains water or is muddy after a rain. Foxgloves are pretty low maintenance plants but they are susceptible to fungus when overcrowded and in poorly draining soil. Avoid this by not overcrowding, and planting in well-drained soil. If your foxgloves do develop a fungus, make sure to remove the infected plants.

3. Stake Your Foxglove Blooms to Prevent Breakage

Did you know that some varieties of foxgloves can grow up to 6 feet tall? As they grow and bloom, the stems may need some support. Simple stake systems can help give the plant some support. All you need is a simple bamboo stake and some string to easily offer support. If your foxgloves are not the tall variety, you will not need to stake.

4. Give Your Foxgloves Two Inches of Water Per Week

Foxgloves like regular watering, just do not overdo it. About two inches of water per week will do, and you will find that in many climates this can be achieved through regular weekly rainfall.

5. Do Not Deadhead Foxglove Blooms

Lots of plants can be strengthened and encouraged to grow further flowers when you deadhead old blooms. Foxglove is not one of those flowers. Foxglove actually relies on the dead blooms to reseed itself, so do not remove them. Instead, let the dead blooms fall of naturally and fall to the ground and reseed.

6. Mulch Your Foxgloves

Mulch helps keep the weeds under control, retain needed moisture without being soggy, and promotes even soil temperature. When using organic mulch, the breakdown will feed the soil. If you mulch your foxgloves after the ground freezes, it will help prevent heaving. You should remove the mulch when new growth appears in the spring.

7. Divide Foxgloves as Needed

Foxgloves can multiply and spread, especially if you have allowed the blooms to naturally fall and reseed. If you notice crowding, it may be time to thin the squad! Simply dig up from the root and replant to a well-draining, full sun area. Foxglove plants are quite valuable, so you may be able to trade your divisions with other gardeners to get additional plants you may need.

Are you ready to give foxgloves a try? Consider these tips for how to grow foxglove and see what a fun plant this can be!

Read more home gardening flower tips:

Sunflowers: 7 Creative Uses for Sunflowers

How to Grow and Care for Wisteria

Everything You Need to Know to Grow Peonies


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Sunflowers: 7 Creative Uses for Sunflowers

large sunflower boom, backyard in the background


During the late summer and early fall months, sunflowers can typically be seen towering in fields and flower gardens just about everywhere you look. Their warm and sunny colors can really brighten up a space, while their seeds are an all you can eat buffet for critters big and small. If you have an abundance of sunflowers or just seem to enjoy them, you should know there are all sorts of ways you can use them around the home. Consider these 7 creative uses for sunflowers, and see how fun these blooms can really be!

Sunflowers: 7 Creative Uses for Sunflowers. If you have an abundance of sunflowers or just seem to enjoy them, you should know there are all sorts of ways you can use them around the home. Consider these 7 creative uses for sunflowers, and see how fun these blooms can really be!


Sunflowers: 7 Creative Uses for Sunflowers

I grew sunflowers in containers this year. They are beautiful, fun flowers to grow. I learned quite a bit growing them and wanted some ideas on how they are useful and what I could do with them once they bloomed. I will say the pollinating by the bumblebees has been fantastic since the flowers bloomed. If you are not certain whether you should grow sunflowers, give it a go if only for the pollination benefits.

1. Roast Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin and nutrients. They can be seasoned and roasted in a variety of ways, allowing you to enjoy them as a snack or as a salad topping. You can use the roasted seeds in baking and other recipes as well. Do you have a sweet tooth? You can even try chocolate covered sunflower seeds!

2. Bring All the Birds to the Yard

Birds love sunflower seeds, and the seeds provide the birds with the nutrients they need to survive the winter. You can add sunflower seeds to your bird feeders, or simply cut off the entire head of the plant and set it out for birds to dig right in.

3. Create stunning centerpieces

Sunflowers are perfect for stunning but affordable centerpieces. You can arrange them in tall vases or cut them down for smaller bud vases. They mix nicely with mums and other fall foliage, and they tend to last a long time even after they have been cut.

Sunflowers: 7 Creative Uses for Sunflowers. If you have an abundance of sunflowers or just seem to enjoy them, you should know there are all sorts of ways you can use them around the home. Consider these 7 creative uses for sunflowers, and see how fun these blooms can really be!


4. Use Sunflower Petals in Tea

Some herbalists like to dry sunflower petals and use them in herbal teas. As you can imagine, even the petals have some nutrients in them and can give your everyday tea a boost. Because the petals are edible, you can also use them to decorate desserts and as garnish when cooking.

5. Make Natural Dyes

Do you like to use natural dyes? The petals of the sunflower can be used in exactly this way. The bright yellow and orange hues will add color to your hand-dyed fabrics and craft items. Consider using sunflower petals the next time you need a natural dye; you are sure to get golden results.

6. Use Sunflower Seeds in your Homemade Scrubs

Sunflower seeds can be added to homemade body scrubs to give them a nutrient-rich boost. They add vitamin E as well as antioxidants, which are great for your skin. Wash and crush the seeds and add them to simple sugar scrub recipes. They are sure to give your scrubs a boost and leave skin feeling great.

Sunflowers: 7 Creative Uses for Sunflowers. If you have an abundance of sunflowers or just seem to enjoy them, you should know there are all sorts of ways you can use them around the home. Consider these 7 creative uses for sunflowers, and see how fun these blooms can really be!


7. Use Sunglowers to Create an Interesting, Pollinator Friendly Yard

By adding sunflowers to your yard, you can create a great deal of interest plus attract pollinators. Sunflowers can add height to your garden and can even be used to create privacy during the summer months as they grow tall.

Children will enjoy planting and watching sunflowers grow, and you can no doubt turn the experience into a wonderful teaching moment. Take the time to measure weekly and track the flowers progress, or note the various pollinators the flowers attract.

As you can see, there are so many creative ways to use sunflowers. Easy to grow and care for, these bright beauties make a wonderful addition to any yard. Consider these ways to use sunflowers and see how beneficial these blooms can be.

Like flowers? You may be interested in these flower topics:

Hydrangea Flowers: 7 Tips for Growing Hydrangeas To get started with, or to perk up existing hydrangeas in your garden, consider these useful tips for growing hydrangeas. This advice for caring for hydrangeas can help you keep these beauties looking full, colorful, and in bloom all season.

Marigold Flowers: 7 Reasons You Should Grow Marigolds This Year – Growing marigolds offers all sorts of benefits to you and your garden, so they should be considered when planning your yearly landscape. Look below at the 7 reasons you should grow marigolds this year and see why these colorful flowers are a must-have for any yard.

Why Your Garden Needs Nasturtiums – Check out the many benefits on why your garden and containers can benefit from planting and growing nasturtiums this gardening season!


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