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 out 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.

indoor plants poinsettias

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.

Equipment

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.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on spring wasp prevention – why it’s important and some basic initial tactics to consider. Spring is an especially valuable period of the year for limiting wasp presence around your property or within your garden, as it’s one where queens become more active and begin building their nests and colonies.

At Millcreek Gardens, we offer a wide range of plant nursery and garden supplies, including several disease and pest control products and services at your disposal. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over a few other wasp prevention and removal techniques to consider around your garden and property this year.

spring garden wasp prevention

Entry Patching

One of the simplest ways to prevent wasps from entering your home, even if they may be present outside: Seal all potential entryways, such as cracks or other gaps that have formed in doors, windows or other related areas. Wasps can squeeze through some pretty small cracks, and will also enter through any holes in your window screens. Ensure all these areas are covered properly.

Sealing

One additional tip to help ensure wasps never even invade your property at all, much less attempt to enter the home, involves properly sealing outdoor waste bins, compost piles and related areas. Wasps are attracted to these and the food sources they offer, but if lids are tightly sealed at all times, they’ll go elsewhere in many cases.

Peppermint Oil

Another strong prevention method for wasps is the use of peppermint oil, which can be easily mixed in with some water and dish soap in a spray bottle. Research has shown peppermint oil to be effective at limiting the presence of wasps – to the point that there are actual wasp and hornet repellants or killers on the market based on mint oil.

Wasp Traps

For situations where your property is already dealing with a significant wasp infestation, wasp traps are often a good method for ridding yourself of them. These involve a small container that has a desirable material for the wasp inside, but that does not allow the wasp to come back out once they’ve entered. There are several DIY methods available here for those who are handy, but also many pre-made traps you can purchase.

Wasp Spray

Finally, in cases of significant wasp infestations you cannot get rid of in other ways, wasp spray products may be a last resort. Make sure to choose an eco-friendly option – there are several on the market. We recommend spraying wasp nests at sunrise or sunset, periods where wasps tend to be less active and will not risk stings. Soak the entire nest and try to spray out as many wasps as possible, including ensuring beforehand that you have enough spray in the can to finish the job completely.

For more on spring garden wasp prevention and removal techniques, or to learn about any of our garden products or services, speak to the staff at Millcreek Gardens today.

At Millcreek Gardens, one of our top service areas for gardeners throughout the state is pest control and disease prevention. From areas like fertilizer application to identifying harmful pests and working to remove them, we’ve helped numerous Utah gardeners keep both their gardens and overall properties free of harmful pests and related diseases or other concerns they bring with them.

One pest type that may not directly damage plants, but that can be dangerous to human health and scary to many children, is the wasp. Did you realize that spring is a particularly valuable time period for identifying and remedying potential wasp infestations on your property or within your garden? This two-part blog will go over why spring is such a notable stretch when it comes to wasp prevention and removal, plus some basic spring tips on keeping wasps far away from your property or garden.

spring garden was prevention tips

Spring and Wasp Prevention

Wasp prevention is a task that comes down to understanding the behavior of wasps, which – like many other insects – fluctuates based on the season we’re in. In winter, for instance, wasp queens remain in sheltered locations, protected from any threat but also not causing much of a nuisance.

During spring, however, wasp queens will begin venturing out of their hiding spots and looking for new nesting locations. This means that if you catch a queen in your area early enough during this part of the year, you will stop an entire nest from forming and cut off the issue at its knees.

Our next several sections will go over some of the methods available to you when it comes to either preventing or removing wasp nests.

Soap and Water Option

In cases where you don’t get to your wasp prevention until certain small hanging nests are already present on your property, one of the best and least costly methods for removing these is using basic soap and water. Mix two tablespoons of dish soap into a spray bottle, then fill the rest with water and spray the nest – be sure to wear proper protective equipment if there are active wasps. The soap will clog wasp spiracles, killing them virtually immediately.

Nest Decoys

Wasps do hold value in an ecosystem – they feed on many other pest types, including some that bring disease to plants or even humans. For this reason, many gardeners and homeowners prefer to redirect them rather than killing them, and a decoy nest is a great method here. This is not a fake wasp nest – it’s actually a decoy nest of one of their predators, functioning similarly to a scarecrow on a farm. They make wasps think a natural predator is nearby, which incentivizes them to naturally move to a different location.

For more on removal methods for wasp nests and why spring wasp prevention is important, or to learn about any of our gardening supplies or other services, speak to the staff at Millcreek Gardens today.

The early elements of spring are upon us, and for gardeners around Salt Lake City and the rest of Utah, that means several things. Spring is a vital season for gardeners and landscapers everywhere, important for activating many areas of the garden and stimulating healthy growth as plants begin a new cycle following the cold winter.

At Millcreek Gardens, we’re here to help in a variety of ways. From our numerous plant supplies like garden fertilizers to garden plants themselves, garden products for disease control and several areas of expertise, we’ve assisted a range of different homeowners as they prep their gardens during the early spring period. Here are a few specific tips we can offer on preparing your garden during the early spring.

early spring gardening methods

Irrigation and Sprinklers

One area you should take a good look at during early spring is your irrigation system, whether you utilize traditional sprinklers or another form of irrigation. Ensure there are no leaks or other damage issues present, plus confirm your timers are still working properly.

If you’ve had issues with irrigation in the past, this could also be a great opportunity to upgrade your system. Drip irrigation is an excellent method, slowly applying water to root zones and avoiding runoff.

Weeds and Pre-Emergent

Early spring is also an ideal time for getting a head start on weed prevention in your garden. This involves first pulling existing weeds, then applying a pre-emergent that will control things like crabgrass, purslane, spurge and many other weed species. Speak to our pros about which pre-emergent is best for your garden.

Dividing Bulbs

Generally speaking, most gardening pros agree that overgrown or clumped-together flowers and bulbs should be reviewed and divided every three to five years. If you haven’t done this for a few seasons, early spring is a great time of year – if you do end up removing certain bulb types, spring offers several new available plants to fill this space.

Fertilization

Spring is great for several areas of fertilization, and one we specifically recommend during early spring: Fertilizing roses, annuals and berries as soon as growth begins. This stimulates new growth and promotes proper flowering.

Other Tips

Some other general tips to consider:

  • Based on weather, cut down cover crops and add soil and compost.
  • Look for early signs of powdery mildew on grapes, roses and ornamentals, and treat these with copper fungicide.
  • Check for aphids on roses, using neem oil or insecticidal soap to remove them if needed.
  • If you have pear or apple trees, consider hanging pheromone traps to prevent codling moths.
  • Feed young citrus trees monthly until June.
  • Add a mulch layer to soil to retain moisture and keep it cool.

For more on early spring gardening tasks to consider, or to learn about any of our gardening supplies or services, speak to the staff at Millcreek Gardens today.