Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - December 13, 2013

From: Texarkana, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Propagation, Seeds and Seeding
Title: Plants for Daisy Girl Scout native plants project
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I am a daisy Girl Scout leader and we are working on one of our Journeys and Native Plants Patch Program which requires our group of 5-6 year old girls to plant and care for a mini-garden. To earn both patches we need to locate a flower or small plant that can be started from seed, can easily be purchased, and is native to our state or local community (Texarkana, TX/AR). We will be keeping the small garden indoors until spring but wish to start planting in January. Do you have any plant recommendations?

ANSWER:

A good place to look for a suitable flower or flowers for your project is in our Arkansas Recommended list.  This is a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping projects in your state.  I looked through the list of 130 possibilities and checked, especially, the sections labeled BENEFIT and PROPAGATION.  It seemed to me a good idea to choose plants that had benefits for butterflies, bees and birds as well as just for their beauty and ease of growing.  As you go through this list you will note that for some plants (see under the PROPAGATION section and the heading Seed Treatment) it is indicated that for best germination their seeds require a period of cold stratification.  You may or may not have an adequate period of time to do this stratification; therefore, the four plants that I recommend below don't require seed treatment prior to sowing and they all are beneficial to insects and/or birds.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)  This is an especially important plant for monarch and queen butterfly larvae.  Here is the propagation protocol from the Native Plants Network and from Monarch Watch.

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)  Here is the propagation protocol from the Native Plants Network and Plants for a Future.

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)  Here is the propagation protocol from the Native Plants Network and Plants for a Future.

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)  Here is the propagation protocol from the Native Plants Network and from Cornell University.

Be sure to check the FIND SEED OR PLANTS section on the species page for reliable seed sources.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

More Propagation Questions

Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
April 07, 2007 - Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have abou...
view the full question and answer

Why is my yaupon tree not producing berries in Metairie La?
November 04, 2009 - What is the lifespan of a Yaupon Tree? We live in Louisiana, and our Yaupon would always get the white flowers in the Spring but never the red berries. Why is that?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Indian Paintbrush in Corona CA
November 05, 2013 - I have a very mature Indian Paintbrush Plant that was becoming too large for the area I had originally planted it in, so I transplanted it to an area much more suited for its size. I reviewed the que...
view the full question and answer

Starting Antelope Horn Milkweed Seeds
March 08, 2013 - I recently found a sealed plastic bag containing milkweed seeds in a cabinet drawer that I had gathered more than a year ago, (maybe two years ago). These are the "antelope horn" milkweed I think it...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Cahaba lily from Columbia TN
September 03, 2011 - My cahaba lilies have so many seed pods. I would like to use the seeds properly to grow more lilies. Can anyone tell me the best way to go about it? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.