Gardening FAQs

We at the Miller Plant Farm consider ourselves experts of a sort since we have been in the business of producing plants for the home gardeners and commercial farmers in the York, PA region since 1928.  We like to be sure that our customers have the best information, so we encourage them to ask questions and seek our help.  It's only natural, then, that we should hear some of the same questions frequently, and we've included them here as a further help to you.  They seem to fall into a few standard categories, and some of them might surprise you.


Will you be getting more plants in?  If so, when? 

Although we may purchase some plant material from time to supplement our own supply, we generally do not buy plants.  With the exception of fall mums, perennials, and zonal geraniums, 95% of all plants sold at the farm are grown from cutting on site.  We are true greenhouse growers, not just retailers like the majority of other garden centers.  

Do you offer a planting service or have a landscaping division? 

No, not at this time.  We have business cards available at our registers for several local landscaping companies that do reputable work.  

Does Miller Plant Farm have a butcher shop or process deer?

No, Miller Plant Farm does not have a meat market.  J. L. Miller Sons butcher shop is only a quarter mile west on state route 182 on the left from Miller Plant Farm.  J. L Miller Sons phone: 717-741-2431.


How much sun is full sun?

Full sun is defined as having direct exposure to the sunlight for at least six hours of the day.  

How much shade is full shade?

Full shade is defined as having less than four hours of any sun exposure.  

What is a tender perennial?

A tender perennial is a plant that has a perennial life cycle in a climate warmer than the one you are gardening in. 

In what climate zone is York, PA located?

Here in the York area, we are in climate zone 6b.


Are poinsettias poisonous?

The widespread belief that poinsettias are poisonous is a misconception. The scientific evidence demonstrating the poinsettia's safety is ample and well documented.

According to ECKE Ranch, studies conducted by The Ohio State University in cooperation with the Society of American Florists concluded that no toxicity was evident at experimental ingestion levels far exceeding those likely to occur in a home environment. In fact, the POISINDEX Information Service, the primary information resource used by most poison control centers, states that a 50-pound child would have to ingest over 500 poinsettia bracts to surpass experimental doses. Yet even at this high level, no toxicity was demonstrated.

As with all ornamental plants, poinsettias are not intended for human or animal consumption. Individuals with a sensitivity to latex - the milky fluid found in cut poinsettias and other plants - may experience allergic reactions in the form of a rash or irritation that develops when the skin is exposed to the latex. This has been observed to occur only with people who are allergic to latex and products made from this material. However, the poinsettia has been demonstrated to be a safe plant. In fact, in 1992, the poinsettia was included on the list of houseplants most helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air. So, not only is the poinsettia a safe and beautiful addition to your holiday decor, it can even help keep your indoor air clean!

What general care should I give my poinsettia when I get it home?

Place in indirect light, indoors, where temperatures will remain in the range of 60-80 degrees F. Keep away from drafty windows. Water the poinsettia when the soil is dry to the touch.

How do I re-bloom my poinsettia for the next season?

According to the ECKE Ranch website, "when the poinsettia's bracts age and lose their aesthetic appeal, there's no reason to throw it out. With proper care, dedication and a certain amount of luck, you too can re-bloom your poinsettia!" Read More...>>


I would like to buy green bell peppers, but all that I see are red, yellow, orange, purple…any color but green.  Where are the green peppers?

Simply put, green peppers are unripe bell peppers.  All bell peppers will ripen green to their final color, depending on variety.  We offer various varieties in a range colors.  Green peppers are less sweet than when left on the plant to ripen fully to final color.  For the purpose of harvest, green peppers are less perishable.  As the fruit matures it becomes increasingly perishable and softer.  There is a larger window for harvest of green peppers than there is for ripened bell peppers of final color.   

My zucchini plants are growing beautifully, but not producing any fruit.  What am I doing wrong?

In most cases when this happens in the home garden it is due to poor or no pollination of the plant.  Zuchini plants have male and female flowers, and if pollination is not taking place, it is likely the result of a low bee population in the area.  Pollination can be performed manually by using a dry paint brush or equivalent to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female.  The male flowers are the yellow flowers on the stem of the plants, the females are the flowers on the non-stem end of each emerging fruit. 

How do I produce seedless watermelons from the transplants I buy? 

Seedless watermelons set all female flowers.  Cross pollination must take place between the male flowers of a standard seeded watermelon plant and the female flowers of a seedless watermelon plant.  Make sure that when planting seedless watermelon transplants that you also pick up a seeded watermelon transplant for pollination.  If planting multiple plants, good pollination can be achieved by planting one pollinator to every 3 seedless transplants.

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