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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - April 04, 2014

From: Aquasco, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Planting wildflowers on company property from Aquasco MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Our company wants to plant wildflowers on our property. How do I know how much seed, what type of seeds, how to care for, how to plant, basically everything? Finally, we hope to find use some deer-resistant wildflowers. Any information you could supply would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

The first, and best thing we can do for you is to link you to our How-To Articles. You might want to read all of them to kind of get on the same page with us in relation to the use of plants native not only to North America but to the area where they are being grown; in your case, Prince George County, MD.  Most particularly, we recommend you read the articles under "Large Scale Wildflower Gardening" including:

Getting Started

Meadow Gardening

Seed Collection and Storage

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is in Austin, TX but our Native Plant Database has many plants listed that are native to your part of the country. We will try to walk you through the steps you need to take.

Begin with finding the right native wildflowers for your area by going to the US Wildflower Database for Maryland.  Each picture has a link beneath it - you can click on that link and get more information on it. Be careful, on this list, below the Scientific Name, you may see the word "Introduced, " which means it is not native, not to Maryland or even not to North America. We would also suggest that you contact the Native Plant Society of Maryland,  and click on "Chapters" on the Home Page to see if you can find a group near you that can give you more local help.

We are going to go to our Native Plant Database, scroll down the page to "Combination Search" and, using the selection bar on the right hand, select on Maryland for state, "Herbs" (herbaceous blooming plants) under HABIT and then check whatever other characteristics you want, such as height, color and bloom time, light availability, etc. Also, on the top line of every page of that database is "Search Native Plant Database" and a box in which you can type the scientific (preferred) or common name of a plant, click on GO and that will take you to our webpage on that plant, where you can learn its growing conditions, light needs, benefit to wildlife, color and time of bloom, soil preference, etc.

If you are growing plants native to your area, you have a much higher probability of choosing plants for which you have the correct soils, climate and rainfall. You will need to check for the amount of sunlight each plant needs. We categorize sunlight requirements as "Sun", more than 6 hours a day of sun, "Part Shade," 2 to 6 hours of sunlight a day, and "Shade" as 2 hours or less of sun a day. If some parts of the proposed garden are in some shade from structures or trees, you need to observe the area and determine how much sun is on each area. This will vary according to season, so we like to suggest this be done over several seasons, but you probably don't want to wait for that.

To test this out and help you find your way through our database, we will select 12 wildflowers from the US Wildflower Database for Maryland,  and run them through the our Database. Our webpages will give you information on propagation (seed? cutting? transplant?), and sometimes places where the plant can be seen or purchased.

Wildflowers Native to Maryland:

Symphyotrichum pilosum (Hairy white oldfield aster)

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens (Spreading aster)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet beebalm)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Potentilla canadensis (Dwarf cinquefoil)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

Dicentra canadensis (Squirrel corn)

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush)

Erigeron strigosus (Prairie fleabane)

Apios americana (Groundnut)

 

From the Image Gallery


Hairy white oldfield aster
Symphyotrichum pilosum

Spreading aster
Symphyotrichum patens var. patens

Scarlet beebalm
Monarda didyma

Virginia bluebells
Mertensia virginica

Dwarf cinquefoil
Potentilla canadensis

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Squirrel corn
Dicentra canadensis

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Prairie fleabane
Erigeron strigosus

Groundnut
Apios americana

Dense blazing star
Liatris spicata

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Source for book on Mimosa pudica from West Palm Beach FL
September 07, 2012 - Where can I find the TickleMe Plant Book -the guide for growing the sensitive plant mimosa pudica seeds?This is the plant that plays dead when touched.
view the full question and answer

Starting Tecoma stans seedlings
February 25, 2013 - I planted and germinated several (about 40) seeds from my Tecoma stans plant and they all sprouted and grew very nicely. They are now about 6 weeks old and they don't seem to be making any more prog...
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

Die-off of Texas bluebells
June 04, 2008 - I live in southeast Travis County east of IH35 in the Blackland Prairie. We have a gorgeous stand of Texas bluebells. Last year, the bluebells would look fine, then they would turn brown and die for...
view the full question and answer

Nimblewill grass for a shady area in Dallas
April 04, 2013 - i have a very shady backyard and reading some of your post I think Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) will survive. Two questions: Is it drought resistant? Where can I buy the seeds?
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