Gardening Help Search

Temporary Closure

The Center for Home Gardening is currently closed to ensure visitor and staff well-being. Our Plant Doctors are still available through phone and e-mail to answer your gardening questions. Please note that response times may be delayed due to limited staffing.

Horticulture Answer Service
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Phone #: 314-577-5143

Plant Information

Soil Testing & Pot Recycling Suspended for 2022

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 in the St. Louis region continues to remain suspended for 2022. Garden centers that have pot recycling collection trailers will NOT be accepting garden plastics. Please see the Plastic Pot Recycling: Update and Perspective blog entry for more information about the program's suspension. Additional questions about pot recycling can be submitted to the Green Resources Info Service at

May Seasonal Gardening Tips

  • Wait until spring bulb foliage turns yellow before removing, or next year's flower production will decline. 
  • Continue monitoring pines, especially Scotch and mugo for sawfly activity on new shoots. 
  • Plant summer bulbs such as caladiums, dahlias, cannas and elephant ears. 
  • Begin planting warm-season annuals.
  • Plant hardy water lilies in tubs or garden pools. 
  • Apply post-emergence broadleaf weed controls now if needed. 
  • Zoysia lawns may be fertilized now. Apply no more than 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet. 
  • Watch for sod webworms emerging now. 
  • Control caterpillars on broccoli and cabbage plants by handpicking or using biological sprays such as Bt. 
  • Set out tomatoes, peppers and eggplant plants as soils warm. 
  • Watch for striped and spotted cucumber beetles now. 
  • Houseplants can be moved outdoors. Gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions. 
Plants of Merit 2022

Plants of Merit are plants selected for their outstanding quality and dependable performance in the Midwest in the categories of annuals, bulbs, edibles, houseplants, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines. Click the link below to view the new Plants of Merit selections for 2022.

Plants of Merit 2022

meadow sage
Salvia nemorosa 'Wesuwe'

eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis 'Appalachian Red'