Gardening for Experts: Growing for Master Gardeners

Expand your garden with some tips for growing more challenging veggies, herbs, and plants.

If you’re looking to enhance the beauty of your garden and cultivate your gardening skills to new heights, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you venture beyond the familiar and embrace the rewarding challenge of nurturing and tending to plants that demand a deeper understanding of their unique needs.

We’ve put together some Plant Profiles of vegetables, herbs, perennials, and annuals that require a bit more love than your usual plants. Get to know how much sun they need, how often you should water them, and the ideal temperature they need to thrive. And take your garden game up a notch.

Plus, check out The Miraculous Green Guide for even more ways to expand your gardening palate — it’s a great resource for gardeners of every level.

Get to know each plant below, and let’s grow the garden of your dreams.

Growing more challenging vegetables pays off — it’ll boost the flavor of your dishes while saving you money. Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules can help keep your vegetables fed before you feast on them!

Vegetable Gardening for Experts

Growing more challenging vegetables pays off — it’ll boost the flavor of your dishes while saving you money. Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules can help keep your vegetables fed before you feast on them!

Carrots

This hearty vegetable can pose a challenge for green-thumb gardeners because the raw seeds are teeny-tiny and can be difficult to sow.

Pro tip: Once seeds germinate, thin them by removing excess seedlings so that the remaining seedlings have 2-3 inches of space between them. This will grant roots with enough room to grow and flourish.

What’s to love: Homegrown carrots have a sweeter and fresher taste compared to store-bought ones.

Water: Needs about 1 inch weekly early on. Then increase to 2 inches weekly as the roots mature.

Sunlight: Full sun

Ideal temperature: 50-75 degrees

Cauliflower

Cauliflower can be tricky to grow because it requires consistent moisture — dry soil is a no-no.

Pro tip: Adding mulch around the plant will help retain soil moisture and keep the ground cool. Just the way cauliflower likes it!

What’s to love: Its mild flavor makes it an excellent canvas for different flavors — cauliflower can be tossed raw in salads, roasted, mashed, or even turned into cauliflower rice.

Water: Needs a moderate amount of water, about 1.5-2 inches weekly.

Sunlight: Full sun

Ideal temperature: 50-70 degrees

Celery

Even gardening pros need to give extra care when growing celery because of its shallow, thin root system — which makes the roots more susceptible to drying out.

Pro tip: After celery germinates, spread mulch around it to keep the soil moist — and you’ll be on our way to a successful harvest.

What’s to love: This super versatile vegetable adds depth and flavor to soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries. Additionally, celery leaves can be used to enhance dishes.

Water: Needs a moderate amount of water, about 1-2 inches weekly and will not tolerate drought of any kind

Sunlight: Full sun with shade during the hottest part of the day

Ideal temperature: 50-70 degrees

Annuals Gardening for Experts

Adding more challenging annuals diversifies your garden's plant palette. It contributes to a richer, more layered garden design and introduces new textures, shapes, and aromas. You can keep your container-grown annuals protected against over and under-watering with Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control Potting Mix.

Dahlia

Charming yet a challenge to grow, Dahlias are prone to root diseases — so making sure the soil has the right amount of moisture at all times is key.

Pro tip: Water the soil directly (avoiding the foliage) and let the top 1-2 inches of soil dry down between watering.

What’s to love: Its stunning and intricate bloom adds a touch of elegance and charm to any garden or floral arrangement.

Water: Needs a moderate amount of water, about 1-2 inches weekly.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade

Ideal temperature: 65-75 degrees

Tuberous Begonia

The Tuberous Begonia plant needs expert care due to its sensitivities to weather conditions — it can be damaged by too much sun and doesn't like hot, dry weather.

Pro tip: Make sure your tuberous begonia is placed where it has good air circulation, and remove spent flowers frequently to help keep the plant tidy and forming more flowers.

What’s to love: With their large, rose-like blooms and attractive foliage, tuberous begonias have become beloved ornamental plants that are cherished by flower enthusiasts and gardeners worldwide.

Water: Needs about 1-1.5 inches weekly. Avoid overwatering — begonias don't like to sit wet. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

Sunlight: Grows best in dappled light or morning sun. Protect them from the hot afternoon sun to prevent their leaves from burning.

Ideal temperature: 65 degrees

Impatiens

If fed too much, impatiens will happily grow a lot of leaves, but form few flowers making them  higher-maintenance than most flowers.

Pro tip:

Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Bloom Booster Plant Food can help nourish Impatiens while boosting its blooms.

What’s to love: Often known as "Busy Lizzies” because of their rapid growth and continuous blooming, impatiens can bring a burst of color and joy to your garden beds, containers, and hanging baskets.

Water: Needs a moderate amount of water, about 1-2 inches weekly. Keep soil evenly moist — Impatiens are not drought tolerant.

Sunlight: Partial to full shade (2-4 hours of filtered morning sun with afternoon shade)

Ideal temperature: 65 degrees

Herb Gardening for Experts

Growing and using more challenging herbs introduces your taste buds to new and intriguing flavors that you might not have experienced before. Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix is great for growing beautiful and delicious herbs.

Lavender

Overwatering and high humidity is what makes Lavender finicky to grow — too much water and humid conditions make it prone to diseases and rot.

Pro tip: Ample air circulation and well-drained soil are the keys to success.

What’s to love: Welcome to aromatic bliss! Lavender is a great addition to salad dressing, baked goods, drinks and so much more!

Water: Once established (and before it flowers) water every 2-3 weeks. Once it forms flower buds, increase your watering to once per week.

Sunlight: Full sun

Ideal temperature: 60-70 degree

Rosemary

Overwater-ers beware! Too much water can drown the roots. The first sign your rosemary is being watered too much is if the leaves start to turn brown.

Pro tip: Use a well-draining soil like Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix and let the top 2 inches dry out between watering.

What’s to love: Add a distinct and aromatic flavor to dishes like roasted meats, vegetables, potatoes, and pasta sauces.

Water: Needs to be watered every 2 weeks when planted in ground and weekly if planted in a container.

Sunlight: Full sun (at least 6 hours, but 8 hours is better)

Ideal temperature: 55-80 degrees

Sage

Soggy roots make sage a sad herb. So if you're heavy handed, you’ll need to hide that watering can from yourself.

Pro tip: Sage thrives in full sun and heat but struggles in high humidity, so make sure your plant has plenty of good air circulation.

What’s to love: This versatile herb encapsulates its audience with a strong, earthy flavor and can be used in fall meals like stuffing and creamy soups.

Water: Once a week until established. Then water every other week.

Sunlight: Full sun

Ideal temperature: 60-70 degrees

Perennials Gardening for Experts

Gardenia

This flower isn’t only pretty, it’s pretty picky. The reason being is that its native habitat consists of moderate to high elevations with cool temperatures, yet frost-free. Quite specific.

Pro tip: Plant your Gardenia in an area where it’s protected from the mid-day sun (they like full sun but hate the heat).

What’s to love: Its creamy white petals create a striking contrast against its glassy dark green leaves.

Water: Needs a light to moderate amount of water, about 1 inch weekly. Keep the soil damp but not too soggy.

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade

Ideal temperature: 60-70 degrees.

Clematis

What makes the clematis plant challenging to grow is that they have a variety of different classes — each with its own unique requirement on how to prune them.

Pro tip: If your clematis grows and flowers on last year’s vines, just prune them to maintain their shape and remove dead and weak stems in the late summer (after they flower). If it sends up a lot of new growth from the ground each year, prune them back annually in the spring.

What’s to love: Celebrated for their elegance and versatility, the Clematis flower can be used as climbers, ground covers, or container plants.

Water: Needs about 1 inch weekly.

Sunlight: Full sun (at least 6 hours a day)

Ideal temperature: 65-85 degrees

Hybrid Tea Rose

Not all roses are created equal and vary in their level of difficulty. Hybrid Tea is among the difficult due to their susceptibility to fungal diseases, insect pests, and frequent fertilizing and watering requirements. But with dedication and proper care, you can enjoy these magnificent roses in your garden.

Pro tip: If you live in the north, plant the graft union (the bulge at the bottom of the stem where it joins the roots) 1-2 inches below the soil. If you live in the south, plant the graft union just above the soil for best results.

What’s to love: A timeless and iconic flower, roses have captured hearts for centuries with their exquisite beauty and captivating fragrance.

Water: Needs a moderate amount of water, about 1-2 inches weekly.

Sunlight: Full sun

Ideal temperature: 60-80 degrees

Become a Gardening Expert with The Miraculous Green Guide

Growing a garden is a journey, and that journey is a whole lot easier when you have a guide on hand.

 

The Miraculous Green Guide is your go-to resource for all things gardening, with detailed content that delves into every stage of the gardening journey. You’ll find information, inspiration, celebrations of gardening culture, and more. Check it out now to cultivate your passion and begin your journey to garden mastery.