Rose bushes are beautiful, but they have a reputation for being hard to take care of. At Millcreek Gardens, our Tree and Shrub experts think this is unfounded. Cultivating rose bushes in Salt Lake City does take some effort, but you will undoubtedly feel it is well worth it when your beautiful rose bush bursts into bloom this summer.

What do you need to know about growing rose bushes in Utah?

outdoor plantsrose bushes

Choose a Sunny Spot

Roses love sun. But this is Utah, so you don’t want to overwhelm them. Select an area where your rose bush will get six to eight hours of sunlight a day — but not all during the hottest parts of the day. Keep an eye on a few different spots in your yard for a few days and make notes so you’re sure you choose the best place.

Dig a Big Hole

Did you know that for trees and bushes, the size of the hole you dig should be about twice as wide as the size of the root ball? Skimping on the size of the hole can impact your rose bush’s health and growth.

As the weather heats up in the summer, you might want to add a bit of mulch around your rose bush to help it retain moisture. Leave a space right around the trunk, however, to reduce the risk of rot.

Water & Feed

You should water a newly planted rose bush at least every couple of days, ensuring the soil stays damp. As your rose bush grows and matures, you can cut back watering to about once a week. Water your rose bush at its stem near the ground — don’t pour water over the top of the bush where the leaves and buds are. Wet rose bush leaves are vulnerable to fungus. Our rose experts recommend using a drip irrigation system to keep roses happy and to water more wisely.

Fertilizer is more important for rose bushes than for many other plants. Buy a fertilizer at Millcreek Gardens that’s specially formulated for roses, such as Rose-Tone from Espoma or Dr. Earth’s Rose and Flower fertlizer. Both are organic and can be used throughout the whole year! F     ollow the directions for fertilizer carefully. Too much fertilizer can burn your rose bushes and too little can leave them small and stunted. It’s also a good idea to add a fertilizer high in Nitrogen to the base of your roses as winter begins so the plants have something to feed from when they wake up in the Spring.

However, don’t fertilize a new bush — it’s too traumatic. Only fertilize established rose bushes.


Pruning is another crucially important step in cultivating rose bushes. Without regular pruning, your rose bushes with grow to be spindly and have few blooms. In Utah, most roses bloom especially well in May and September, but with proper pruning, they can bloom all summer long.

Rose bushes should be pruned in spring to encourage new growth and blooms for summer. Prune branches just above an outward-facing bud and cut the branch at a slope — this makes it easier for water to run off. Make sure to have a sharp pair of clippers or hand pruners to get the job done.

Best Garden Store in Salt Lake City

If you want to try your hand at growing roses, stop in and talk to the rose experts in our Tree and Shrub department at Millcreek Gardens. We’d love to help you choose a rose bush and advise you on how to take care of it. Come see us today!

Soon you will begin to see your outdoor plants like crocuses and daffodils peeking their heads above ground, if you haven’t already. Salt Lake City gardening enthusiasts know this is the signal to get the gloves, rake and pruners out of storage and use them to inaugurate spring gardening season. The experts at Millcreek Gardens have a few tips for the novice gardener who wants to get their garden plants into shape this spring.

outdoor plants

Dispose of Leaves

Hopefully you left a nice, warm covering of leaves over your spring flowers over the winter to keep them protected from the cold and snow. Once they start to emerge, however, it’s time to uncover them. Consider getting a rake with a small head for this chore, or use a leaf blower. It allows you to gently and carefully remove last fall’s leaves from between your emerging plants without damaging or traumatizing them in any way.

It’s best for your lawn (and easier for you) if you use your mower with the blade at a high setting to mulch leaves in the fall rather than rake them up and dispose of them. As the leaves break down, they help fertilize your soil. When spring comes, there’s no need to vigorously rake up stray leaves on your lawn; just let them decompose naturally.

Pull Up Weeds

This chore will start to take more time as the season progresses, but the sooner you get started on it, the easier it is.

Remove all dead plants from last year, then move on to newly emerging weeds. Depending on the size of your beds and the types of garden plants you tend to favor at your Salt Lake City home, you may want to consider putting down black plastic to control weed growth in some areas.

Prune Garden Shrubs and Trees

When you’re doing spring pruning, it’s critical to remember not to prune any bushes or trees that bloom in the spring, such as azaleas or magnolias. Their buds have already formed, and anything you cut off now will just be a waste.

Generally speaking, it’s best to prune outdoor plants right after they have finished blooming. If you wait too late in the season, they will have begun the process of forming new buds and you will disturb it. Stick to pruning deadwood and nonflowering trees and shrubs in the spring.

Salt Lake City Plant Store

If you’re thinking of adding any outdoor plants — or indoor plants — this year, come to Salt Lake City’s favorite plant shop: Millcreek Gardens. Our experts will show you around our garden nursery and help you pick the right plants for your home and garden. Stop by today!

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us — what are you going to get for your sweetie? We suggest a lovely, long-lasting indoor houseplant from our Salt Lake City gardening store!

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Roses Are a Bad Investment

For many years, the expectation on Valentine’s Day has been to send your sweetie (and by this we mean spouse, significant other, mom or anyone you think is sweet) a dozen long-stemmed roses. Prices for a bouquet like this are inflated to three times their regular price or more during this holiday.

The very worst part, however, is that cut flowers don’t last long — barely a week if you’re lucky. Worse, oftentimes the buds don’t even open! There’s all kinds of advice online about how to get them to open — fresh cut the stems horizontally, don’t expose the flowers to the cold, add a teaspoon of bleach to the water, add sugar, add floo power. But does any of this work? Maybe. Maybe not.

Take the guesswork out of your thoughtful gift this Valentine’s Day and get a reliable, hardy, green indoor plant.

Flowering Houseplants for Sale in Salt Lake City

If you have your heart set on giving flowers, give a flowering houseplant.

A peace lily is a lovely and easy-to-care-for gift. Their teardrop-shaped white blooms are so pure and sincere. These plants, which grow wild in the jungle, like a warm, humid environment. Keep them moist and mist their leaves every so often for a treat. They love light, but they’re a bit shy, so indirect light is best.

An African violet gives you beautiful purple blooms (or sometimes pink, white or blue). It’s a loveable plant, not just for its beautiful flowers, but also for its soft, furry leaves. If you want it to keep flowering, keep it close to a window, but out of direct sunlight. True to their name, African violets love heat, but not humidity, so water from the bottom to keep the leaves from rotting.

A cyclamen is a deliciously beautiful flowering houseplant, spawning tall blooms in pink, white, purple and a few lesser-known varieties. The flowers are reminiscent of a delicate orchid, but a cyclamen is a much more robust plant. A cyclamen does well in a window out of direct sunlight. The blooms and heart-shaped leaves will reach wantonly toward the light; turn the plant once a week or so to help keep its shape.

Advice from Garden Nursery Experts

If none of these seems to suit your taste, ask the experts at Millcreek Gardens for more suggestions. As the premier plant shop in Salt Lake City, our employees are doyens of gardening indoors. It makes their day when customers at our gardening store ask them for advice.

Tell them who you’re getting the plant for, whether they enjoy gardening or if taking care of a houseplant will be a new experience for them. We’ll help you find just the right houseplant for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day.

Is your poinsettia still sitting in the window, its pot wrapped in red foil, looking a bit forlorn? Good! Now you can try your hand at keeping it and trying to get it to bloom again next year. We hope you got your poinsettia at our Salt Lake City garden nursery this past season, but even if you didn’t, the experts at Millcreek Gardens want to share our advice with you for making your poinsettia last.


Poinsettia History 101

Poinsettias are beloved plants popular during the Christmas season for their large, cheerful red blooms. Although they originate from the warm climates of Mexico and Central America (in fact, they grow wild there), they’re hardy enough to withstand shipping and display in grocery stores, department stores and plant shops in Salt Lake City and throughout the entire U.S.

They enjoy a cool, yet humid, environment (exactly the opposite of Utah). They like light, but prefer indirect light. You must keep them moist, but not too moist, or they’ll get root rot.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how plants that like humidity but not heat and precise levels of light and water don’t die shortly after you get them home. The truth is that poinsettias thrive in optimal conditions, but easily survive a challenge. In fact, you could get a nice poinsettia a week or so before Christmas and do absolutely nothing for its care and keeping and it would look pretty good the whole time.

Poinsettia Care Post-Holiday

Regardless of how careful you dote on this lovely plant, however, its blooms will eventually fade and its bracts (they’re not truly petals) will fall. At this time, you can trim off what’s left of the flowers and enjoy the greenery. Maybe even change the paper on the pot to a fresh, new color.

Once the weather warms up (50 degrees-plus), you can turn your poinsettia into an outdoor plant. You can plant poinsettias in the ground, but Salt Lake City is not the best place for this, so leaving yours in its pot is a better idea. Adding some fertilizer at this time makes your poinsettia happier as well.

In the summer, you can prune and repot your poinsettia, but come fall, you must bring it indoors to encourage it to go into dormancy for at least eight weeks. During this time, it must have at least 14 hours of total darkness per day. If it is disturbed by even the tiniest amount of light, it can affect its color come Christmas.

Is it Worth It?

As you can see, it’s much easier to throw away your poinsettia and buy a new one at our Salt Lake City garden nursery next season. But for some gardeners, overwintering a poinsettia and getting it to bloom again is a labor of love and a point of pride. If it’s not for you, we’ll be happy to offer you a stunning selection of all colors and styles of poinsettias next holiday season.

For more tips on how to care for outdoor plants or for helpful hacks for gardening indoors, call or stop by Millcreek Gardens and talk to our friendly professionals. We love giving advice!


For aspiring plant parents, it can be hard to know where to start. We all love the idea of a lush, plant-filled home and yard, but is that easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be. At Millcreek Gardens, your go-to plant store in Salt Lake City, we carry a wide variety of plants, some of which are sturdy enough to survive life with even the most forgetful (but well-meaning) plant parent.

indoor and outdoor plants

Indoor Plants for Beginners

  1. Aloe vera is known as one of the easiest indoor plants to keep alive. It’s a succulent, so it requires infrequent watering and can survive in either direct or indirect sunlight.

    Under the best of care, an aloe vera plant can live up to 40 years, so you can probably get it to live for at least a few. It can grow for years without needing to be repotted, reaching only about 12 inches tall, and it is not particularly sensitive to soil pH.In addition to being ornamental, aloe vera naturally contains a gel-like substance that can soothe minor cuts and burns.

  2. English ivy is tolerant of medium and low-light conditions and doesn’t need much water. It also isn’t too picky about temperatures, and its affinity for moist air makes it a perfect bathroom plant.

    English ivy is good for hanging planters — it will tumble beautifully over the edges of the container. If you don’t want to hang this plant, you can add a vertical structure to the pot, such as a wooden dowel, where the ivy can climb.English ivy is toxic to humans and animals, however, so be careful with this plant if you have young children or pets.

Outdoor Plants for Beginners

  1. Ajuga, or bugleweed, loves shade, so if you want to start a garden but don’t have much direct sunlight in your yard, this plant is for you. Its green and purple leaves provide colorful groundcover for your yard, and ajuga produces blue and purple flowers in the spring.

    This plant is also known for its weed-smothering abilities, and comes back every year, so you only need to plant it once. Millcreek Gardens carries six varieties of ajuga.

  2. Alternatively, if your yard is overly sunny, you can start with an agave plant. These multi-stemmed evergreen shrubs look best without any pruning, which will save you time and trouble.
    Agave is drought tolerant, resistant to urban pollution and isn’t picky about soil pH. In fact, agave grows best in soil quality that is considered poor. Its blueish-green, sword-like leaves are ornamental on their own, but Parry’s agave — the variety that we carry here at Millcreek Gardens — also sprouts yellow flowers in the summer.

Whether you’re looking for indoor plants for your Salt Lake City home, or you’re looking for outdoor plants for your yard, Millcreek Gardens has what you need to get started. Come browse our selection today.

As we head into fall here in Salt Lake City, the daylight hours get shorter and our outdoor plants take up less of our time, if you find yourself missing the colorful bounty of summer, now is the perfect time to remedy that situation, and to plan ahead to extend next year’s flowering season.

Chrysanthemums – also known as simply mums – are the darling of fall gardens. Hardy, showy and available in a rainbow of hues, these stalwarts are the perfect antidote to gray skies and falling temperatures.

Over-Wintering Garden Plants

If these cheerful, pom-pon-like blooms are not yet part of your garden, you can still enjoy their beauty in potted form – use them to decorate your porch, patio or even your dining room table. You can try to overwinter them to plant in spring, but only if they’re the hardy variety. Check with a friendly, helpful Millcreek Gardens sales associate before buying so you get the type of chrysanthemums you want.

After your chrysanthemums have finished blooming, water them well (don’t prune!) and store them in a cool (not freezing!) dark area such as a basement or garage. Check on them weekly to ensure their roots stay damp. When spring comes, get them used to daylight slowly before planting them in the ground.

Plant Shop Tips from Our Experts

Although chrysanthemums are perennials, there’s no guarantee they will live beyond a single growing season. But you can give them a helping hand!

First, you’ll want to choose an area of your yard that gets a lot of sun from late summer through the fall months.

Chrysanthemums do best in well-drained soil, so pick a spot with less clay and more sand, if you can. Get some peat moss or compost from our garden nursery to mix into the soil to help provide your mums with just the right amount of moisture and nutrients. Next, dig a hole two or three times bigger than the root ball – 8 to 12 inches deep should be about right – and mix in your additives.

Chrysanthemum Care

It’s tempting to plant your mums close together so they’ll look like big, fluffy pillows come fall, but try to resist. Remember your plants will grow and develop all summer long, and you want them to have the space to do this. Also use a light hand to add fertilizer to mums – too much stimulates an awkward-looking growth spurt.

Once your mums start to bloom next fall, keep them thick and fluffy by pinching off any new leaves that develop near the blossoms. You want all the plant’s energy to go to its flowers!

If someone gifts you mums from a floral shop, don’t plant them outside; these types of mums are more delicate and meant to be enjoyed as indoor plants only.

Good Advice from Our Garden Nursery

When you’re shopping for chrysanthemums, ask us about adding toad lilies or asters to into your plan for abundant color in your outdoor garden next fall.

Depend on Millcreek Gardens for all your gardening supply needs. We’re the gardening experts who love to help our Salt Lake City customers in caring for all their outdoor and indoor plants year-round.

Although we are known as Salt Lake City’s go-to spot for outdoor plants, houseplants and anything garden-related, come fall, Millcreek Gardens is HQ for Festival Transylvania, a spooky, fun event for kids and adults alike.

Purchase your timed tickets online, then head out to Millcreek Gardens between 6:30 and 8 p.m. most nights Oct. 16-31 for some much-needed outdoor fun with the kids.

Walk along a path flanked with silly, mischievous Halloween characters who take on an air of spookiness after dark. Enjoy tasty seasonal beverages at the Spooky Hollow Munchery, and bask in the beauty of fall in Salt Lake City and all its golden glory.

Download and print out a page for your kids to color before your visit, and bring it with you to enter into a contest. Millcreek Gardens is also sponsoring a pumpkin decorating contest — stop by ahead of time to buy pumpkins for the whole family.

Safety First at Festival Transylvania

We know that it may have been some time since you have been to a festival. The challenges that come with living in the era of COVID-19 are many, and sometimes it seems like we can hardly remember the days when we used to have fun. But rest assured, the team at Millcreek Gardens is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our guests and employees throughout this 14-day festival.

At the festival:

  • Everyone must wear masks.
  • Groups are limited. Although you may buy tickets in groups up to 50, when you arrive at the festival, your party will be broken up into smaller groups for safety reasons.
  • Millcreek Gardens employees practice social distancing, keeping 6 feet away from guests as well as wearing masks.

In the last six months, we have canceled many of the events we usually hold throughout the year in an abundance of caution. The reason we decided to go ahead with this one is because it is traditionally held outdoors. We felt that, combined with our dedication to limiting group sizes and ensuring guests wear masks, the event will be safe.

Moreover, we want to acknowledge that practicing social distancing all these months has been extraordinarily difficult for everyone, so we are rejoicing in our ability to be able to offer the chance for families to participate in a fun, safe experience again. It is not often we get the opportunity nowadays to forget what’s going on in the world for an hour or so and remember what life used to be like. The fact that we can help the people of Salt Lake City this way is truly an honor.

Escape to Millcreek Gardens

We hope you and your family will have fun at Festival Transylvania, and remember us for all your gardening supply, nursery and outdoor and indoor plant needs.

As August draws to a slow, lazy close in Salt Lake City, it’s time to start thinking about getting your outdoor plants ready for fall. It may be hard to believe because it’s still so hot, but trust us, now the time to get out of the hammock and grab your gloves and shears.

outdoor garden supplies SLC

Deadhead Outdoor Plants

Start by deadheading all your flowers, both perennials and annuals. Deadheading redirects the plant’s energy from producing seeds to growing new blossoms in these last few weeks. Plus, it looks so much prettier and more cheerful than all those drooping flowers!

While you can pinch some blossoms off with your fingers, others require a heavier tool. You can find a wide variety of clippers and shears at Millcreek Gardens, suitable for cutting the tiniest gnarly stem all the way up to small tree branches.

Prepping Trees & Shrubs for End of Summer

Give your trees and shrubs a last long drink. They’ll need it this month, but in September they’ll be preparing for dormancy.

Remember not to prune trees and shrubs that flower in the spring — you may cut off potential blossoms. The right time to prune trees and shrubs depends on the type you have. Don’t know what’s right for your outdoor plants? Just call and talk to one of the experts at Millcreek Gardens. We’ll help you make the right choice.

If you don’t have any trees or shrubs, now’s the time to think about planting some this fall.

Fertilize Outdoor Plants

Once you’re done deadheading and pruning, you’ll want to fertilize. It can be hard to cut plants back in August because you still enjoy their color so much. But in some cases, the bloom is off the rose — literally.

Encourage quick regrowth with a dose of fertilizer. Millcreek Gardens sells many brands and varieties. Tell us what you want to fertilize and we’ll tell you what type you need.

Protect Your Garden Plants

You’ve been good all season about protecting your garden plants from pests — don’t stop now! Keep an eye out for aphids, codling moths and mites on your apple and pear trees, and look out for turfgrass bugs, wasps and borers.

Our plant store sells a variety of disease and pest control solutions, including an entire line created just for organic gardens. If you’re not sure what’s attacking your plants, take pictures of the damage and consult with one of our experts when you come in. We can help you identify the problem.

Did you start vegetable seeds this year? Now is the time to get those fall vegetable plants in the ground. Pumpkins, butternut squash, radishes and more will thrive in the cooler weather.

Whenever you’re looking for garden plants for sale in Salt Lake City, or just some advice about the care and feeding of either outdoor or indoor plants, come see the knowledgeable staff at Millcreek Gardens. We’re here to help you grow.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on watering your plants in the garden this summer. This is the period of the year where watering is most important due to the heat plants are facing, and there are a few conditions and themes to keep in mind when performing this basic duty.

At Millcreek Gardens, we’re happy to offer not only a wide range of garden plants, shrubs and other products, but also expertise on how to care for and nurture the various elements of your garden this summer. In today’s part two, we’ll hone in on some specific tips we can give our clients on when to water, how to water and some of the other important themes associated with this process.

summer gardening plant watering

Root Zone

As you water various plants in your garden, it’s vital to remember that it’s not the visible leaves or flowers that need the water – it’s the roots of the plant, generally located inside the soil in which it’s planted. You’re wasting water if you only focus it on the various foliage elements, plus could be promoting disease formation.

Water should be targeted for the soil, which should be composed in way that allows moisture to seep down and be collected by the roots. We’ll talk more about watering depth in a moment.

Watering Timing

In many cases, automatic watering timers will be ideal for gardens. However, it’s also important to be careful here – watering should be done when needed, and there is such thing as too much water when there are periods of rain. You can damage plants with too much water.

Generally speaking, we recommend watering in the morning in most cases. This gives and moisture on leaves or other foliage time to dry out, which as we noted above will help prevent certain diseases.

Thorough Watering

When watering, be sure moisture is able to seep well into the soil area. Lawns and various annuals tend to maintain roots about six inches into the soil, while perennials, shrubs and trees are a bit deeper. The heavier the soil, the longer it will take for water to penetrate each level.

Mulch Themes

Mulch is a valuable substance for a garden when it comes to watering themes. It helps reduce surface runoff and also covers the soil from the sun, allowing water to go to root systems rather than being evaporated.


Finally, ensure you have the proper equipment present for watering a given plant or area. Soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems are often ideal tools here for many situations.

For more on watering your garden this summer, or to learn about any of our garden supplies or plant nursery solutions, speak to the staff at Millcreek Gardens today.

As summer begins in earnest, gardeners around Utah and other high-temperature states are focusing heavily on watering themes for their various plants. The summer is the period of the year when watering is most vital for a variety of plant and flower types, particularly those that are exposed to heavy periods of sunlight in the Utah desert climate.

At Millcreek Gardens, we’re proud to provide not only a huge range of garden plants, shrubs, trees and other materials, but also expertise on the care of any of our gardening elements. In this upcoming two-part blog series, we’ll give you a primer on everything you need to know about watering your plants during the summer – part one will go over some standard conditions and planting situations to be aware of, while part two will dig into specific recommendations we can give on how to water properly.

summer gardening plant watering

Checking Moisture Levels

One of the key themes throughout this series as we discuss plant watering in the summer: Checking water levels. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to tell if you’re watering the garden properly – it involves digging down into the dirt surrounding plants after watering them.

If you’ve watered properly, you should see moisture at least three or four inches beneath the garden surface. If this soil is dry, on the other hand, it’s a clear sign that the roots of your plants are not getting enough water access, and you should increase your watering frequency or amounts. On the flip side, if water is leaking out from below the soil’s surface and pooling visibly in above-ground areas, this is a sign you’re over-watering and should tone things down.

Hot Conditions and Wilting

One common summer occurrence with some plants, including annual flowers and others in the garden, is mid-day wilting. This is a form of water conservation many plants take during the hottest period of the day, a shut-down that allows them to protect themselves from the heat while retaining as much previous moisture as they can.

So if you see this mid-day wilting, it is not necessarily a sign that plants need water. Watering may help some leaves perk back up, but you should only carry out additional watering if you’ve checked the soil and confirmed it has not received enough.

Veggies and Flowers

There are a few plant types where over-watering is a significant risk, and various vegetables and flower types are good examples. Tomato plants, for instance, may look rough or scraggly during parts of the summer, causing their owners to attempt to water them repeatedly – but this look actually doesn’t signal a need for more water, and over-watering won’t help. This look is due to the plant devoting all its energy to producing fruit, not any issue with water, and you’ll just be wasting your supply if you continue to water this area.

For more on summer plant watering, or to learn about any of our garden or nursery supplies, speak to the staff at Millcreek Gardens today.