Gardening Help Search

Plant Samples

Due to the threat of Boxwood Blight, Rose Rosette and other serious pest/disease issues, the Garden is no longer allowing plant samples to be brought in for identification or diagnosis. These problems can spread to the garden displays and severely impact our living plant collection.

Please help us protect our plants by taking clear photos of the plant you need identified or diagnosed. Images can be emailed to plantinformation@mobot.org or brought to the Plant Doctors at the Center for Home Gardening (Open every day, 9 am - 5 pm).  

For any additional questions regarding samples, please call: 314-577-9562.

How to Protect Perennials for Winter

Garden perennials which are cold hardy can still be damaged when the soil freezes and thaws several times during the winter. This freezing and thawing of the soil may loosen or heave the plants, causing roots to break and dry.

A 2" to 4" layer of organic mulch, such as leaves, compost, wood chips or shredded bark will give winter protection to perennials by preventing these rapid temperature changes of the soil. This mulch will also reduce deep penetration of frost and excessive loss of moisture. The mulch should be applied after the soil begins to freeze.

A final word of caution: For added protection, be sure to buy perennials that are winter hardy in this area. A reliable nursery of garden supply center will be able to guide you in your selection. Also, avoid planting perennials in poorly drained locations where they might be subject to winter root rot.

Seasonal Gardening Tips

  • Continue watering evergreens until the ground freezes. Soils must not be dry when winter arrives.
     
  • Remove spent flowers and foliage of perennials after they are damaged by frost.
     
  • Plant tulips now.
     
  • Mulch flower and bulb beds after the ground freezes, to prevent injury to plants from frost heaving.
     
  • Fall tilling the vegetable garden exposes many insect pests to winter cold, reducing their numbers in the next year's garden.
     
  • To prevent insects or diseases from overwintering in the garden, remove and compost all plant debris.
     
  • Keep mulches pulled back several inches from the base of fruit trees to prevent bark injury from hungry mice and other rodents.
     
  • Be shure to shut off and drain any outdoor water pipes or irrigation systems that may freeze during cold weather. 
     
  • Reduce or eliminate fertilizing of houseplants until spring


    Learn more
Enjoy the fragrant blooms of the Ozark Witch Hazel flowering in shrub borders or wooded areas on warm sunny days.
Enjoy the fragrant blooms of the Ozark Witch Hazel flowering in shrub borders or wooded areas on warm sunny days.
Repot any root-bound house plants now before vigorous growth occurs. Choose a new container that is only 1 or 2 inches larger in diameter than the old pot.
Repot any root-bound house plants now before vigorous growth occurs. Choose a new container that is only 1 or 2 inches larger in diameter than the old pot.
Bloom Time Calendar

See when plants bloom at the Garden:

Gardening Help

We have staff available to help you with your gardening questions:

  • Plant Doctors: Master Gardeners and Garden staff can answer your questions in person

    Center for Home Gardening
    Every day, 9 am - 4 pm

     
  • Horticulture Answer Service: Have your gardening questions answered over the phone

    Mon.-Fri., 9 am to 12 pm
    (314) 577-5143
     
  • Plant Information: Email your gardening questions to: 

    plantinformation@mobot.org

    We are currently experiencing a high volume of emails, 
    therefore response time may be delayed. We thank you for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.