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

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

Time of year to plant Tecoma stans
December 16, 2007 - I wanted to know when the best time to plant the Esperanza flower (Tecoma stans) was. The information on the website did not give planting dates or soil conditions for this plant. Can you please help?...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting an immature Sweet Bay Magnolia
May 30, 2006 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: I just found what I think is a Magnolia Sweet Bay growing wild next to an oak and a pine tree in my back wooded yard. It has blooms on it and is about 2 feet tall. There are tw...
view the full question and answer

Native turkscap failing to thrive in Shiro TX
March 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Two years ago I transplanted several native (not cultivars) Drummond's turkscaps in the proximity of water oaks in the front yard. All get shade and some sun. They seemed to ...
view the full question and answer

Allelopathc qualities in sunflowers
June 19, 2007 - I have a sunflower patch in the corner of my backyard (Maximilians, common sunflower, and silverleaf sunflower)and would like to use the spent stalks (sans the seedheads) as mulch in the fall. Howeve...
view the full question and answer

Grafting to a cherry laurel for edible fruit in Austin
July 01, 2010 - I was the one who asked earlier about grafting to a Cherry Laurel. I will happily graft a local plum on it, say a Mexican Plum or American Plum or one of the naturalized peaches (a friend has an India...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center