En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
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

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Perennial plants for butterfly garden
June 18, 2007 - Hello, I live in Plano, TX and I am trying to create a backyard garden which will attract butterflies. I prefer bulbs and perennials so that I will not have to replant again and again like annuals. A...
view the full question and answer

Host plant for Northern Pearly Eye butterfly
March 25, 2008 - Can we add to the host plant information for Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush grass)? The grass is host plant for the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly (Enodia anthedon). It would be great to share this info...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to replace non-native Pentas plant in butterfly garden
March 25, 2010 - Can you suggest a Native alternative to Pentas? a freeze killed mine and if a native plant can fill that nectar/color void in my garden I'd appreciate it. thanks for all that y'all do.
view the full question and answer

Early nectar blooms for Monarch butterflies from Austin
May 04, 2014 - Could you tell me any early spring blooming nectar plants that monarchs will nectar from. I'm specifically looking for bloom times in March and early April. I have plenty of May blooms but not ...
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center