Winter brings new opportunities for plant care | Home & Garden

URBANA — Wednesdays just got merrier and brighter. Each week, University of Illinois Extension educators will share holiday plant and home landscape tips for winter.

The free online workshops begin Dec. 1 and include live, follow-along activities led by Extension educators Andrew Holsinger, Chris Enroth, Ken Johnson, and Katie Parker, Each hour-long session begins at 3 p.m. Register online at

YARD AND GARDEN: Change up your holiday plant tradition with amaryllis

Unique Plants for the Holidays — Wednesday, Dec. 1: Are you searching for the perfect holiday gift for that plant lover on your list, but don’t want to give them the typical poinsettia or Christmas cactus? Learn about some out-of-the-ordinary plants and how to grow them like plumeria, citrus, tea, coffee, and miracle fruit that can make great gifts for the plant enthusiast in your life, or yourself!

Going Nuts Over Tree Nuts! — Wednesday, Dec 8: It’s just nuts! Yes, through the holiday season it can get a bit hectic but sit back and relax while you learn about the wonders of growing nuts in your own back yard. The nuts that will be covered fall into the traditional holiday fare of chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts.

Wonderful Winter Interest — Wednesday, Dec 15: The winter season can be a dreary time for your landscape. Learn what plants to use to add color, texture, and plant architecture to your winter landscape, such as red and yellow twig Dogwood, winterberry, witch hazel, serviceberry, and false cypress.

Dealing with Winter Wildlife Damage — Wednesday, Jan 12: Wildlife can be fun to watch, but wild animals can also be very destructive to the home landscape. Learn how deer, rabbits, racoons, squirrels, voles, and mice may cause damage to your yard or garden this winter and some tips to help protect your landscape.

OVER THE COLES: Watering trees, shrubs in the fall and winter is a balancing act

If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate, or for more information, contact Katie Parker at [email protected]. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs.

For more information on University of Illinois Extension programming in Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby county, visit our website at or call us at 217-849-3931.


Katie Parker is Local Foods and Small Farms Educator with the University of Illinois Extension