En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - March 14, 2007

From: Pleasantville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Plants for elementary school grow lab in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What can we grow in a grow lab in our elementary school library from seed now that will bloom by June or what interesting looking established plants can we put in this grow lab that will have meaning for the children? We already have an edible garden where each child grows vegetables in grow lab and outdoor raised beds.

ANSWER:

This is rather a short time period to ensure growth from seed to flower, especially outdoors in New York. However, you might have luck with annuals grown inside in your grow lab. Here are three plants native to New York that should be commercially available as seeds: Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed), Gilia capitata (bluehead gilia), Mimulus guttatus (seep monkeyflower)

You might be better off going to a nursery that specializes in native plants and selecting some small bedding plants that are already well on their way. The children could still see them grow—adding leaves and producing buds that open as flowers and then mature into seeds.

If you go with established plants, perhaps you could select several native plants with different types of flowers to demonstrate how the important flower structures differ in various plants. You could choose plants with dramatic blossoms such as: Lilium canadense (Canada lily), Iris prismatica (slender blue iris), Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium)


Coreopsis tinctoria

Gilia capitata

Mimulus guttatus

Lilium canadense

Iris prismatica

Trillium grandiflorum

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Altering the flowering time of Phacelia tanacetifolia
September 08, 2008 - I have been using Phacelia tanacetifolia as a forage plant in a 1 acre and 6 acre enclosure to mass rear the Blue Orchard Bee,(BOB), Osmia lignaria for use as a managed pollinator of almonds in Califo...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of evergreen sumac by cuttings from Cedar Creek TX
March 02, 2011 - I seek an ”Evergreen Sumac” propagation method by cuttings.
view the full question and answer

Survival of bluebonnets in extreme heat from Tioga TX
September 03, 2011 - Is there anything I can do for my bluebonnet patch in this extreme drought for the rest of the summer and fall? Should I have watered this summer? I had a good show and think seeding was fairly normal...
view the full question and answer

Grapes Grown from Seed
July 21, 2006 - Can mustang grapes be grown from seed? If so, how is the best way and when is the best time to do it?
view the full question and answer

Plants that will grow under a magnolia tree.
April 14, 2010 - We live in California near San Diego and have a Magnolia Tree. We have tried to plant many types of flowers around the tree only to have them die. Is there a particular type of plant that we should ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center