Gardening Help Search

Temporary Closure

The Center for Home Gardening is currently closed to ensure staff and visitor well-being. Our Plant Doctor service is still available through e-mail. If you have any gardening questions, you can e-mail us at plantinformation@mobot.org.

Soil Testing & Pot Recycling Suspended for 2020

Due to the Center for Home Gardening being closed, we are not able to conduct free soil pH tests at this time. As an alternative, soil samples can be submitted to the University of Missouri Extension's Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory

Plastic Pot Recycling for 2020 has also been suspended for the St. Louis region. Garden centers that have hosted pot recycling collection trailers will NOT be accepting garden plastics. Questions about pot recycling can be submitted to the Green Resources Info Service at greenresources@mobot.org.

Water Lilies for the Home Gardener

Water lilies (genus Nymphaea) are one of the most iconic ornamental plants of the Missouri Botanical Garden and one of the main highlights of the summer months. Their vibrant colored flowers of pink, purple, white and yellow add beautiful splashes of color to the Central Axis pools in front of the Climatron, Linnaean House and the Carver Garden. While the Garden has been growing water lilies for many decades, they can just as easily be grown and enjoyed by gardeners in their ponds at home. Our new Water Lilies for the Home Gardener Fact Sheet will guide you in caring for these unique and popular plants.

Water Lilies for the Home Gardener



Tropical Water Lily

Nymphaea 'Suwanna'

Hardy Water Lily

Nymphaea 'Wanvisa'

Tropical Water Lily

Nymphaea 'Sir Galahad'

Hardy Water Lily 

Nymphaea 'Lemon Meringue'

Tropical Water Lily

Nymphaea 'Rosa de Noche'

Hardy Water Lily

Nymphaea 'Peach Glow'

Seasonal Gardening Tips

  • Continue watering, especially evergreens if soils are dry.
     
  • Container grown or balled and burlapped trees and shrubs can be planted. Loosen the soil in an area 2 times the diameter of the root ball before planting. Mulch well after watering. 
     
  • Spring bulbs for forcing can be potted up now and stored in a cool, frost-free place until it's time to bring indoors, usually 12 to 15 weeks.
     
  • Cannas and dahlias can be dug when frost nips their foliage. Allow the plants to dry under cover in an airy, frost-free place before storage.
     
  • Transplant deciduous trees once they have dropped their leaves. 
     
  • Plant tulips now.
     
  • Continue mowing lawns until growth stops. 
     
  • A few degrees of frost protection may be gained by covering tender plants with sheets or light-weight fabric row covers.
     
  • Continue harvesting tender crops before frost.
     
  • The average frost date for St. Louis is about October 15-20.
     
  • Persimmons start to ripen, especially after frost. 
     
  • Place wire guards around trunks of young fruit trees for protection against mice and rabbits.

Learn More

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.
Gardening Help

The Center for Home Gardening is currently closed. If you have any gardening questions, you can e-mail us at
plantinformation@mobot.org.

Bloom Time Calendar

See when plants bloom at the Garden: