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

Dying branches on Texas Mountain Laurel from Kempner TX
September 14, 2012 - The branches on my Texas Mountain Laurel are very dry and brittle. The leaves are also starting to die. The tree has been in my yard for six years and prior to that it sat wrapped in burlap for ov...
view the full question and answer

Propagating sundrop plants in Dallas
May 18, 2009 - How do I propagate sundrop plants?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Shumard oak in San Antonio
May 18, 2010 - Hello. I live in San Antonio and Have a question about a Shumard Red Oak. It's growing at an average pace, seems a little more vigorous this year. It's a nice tree with great fall colors. HOWEVER, w...
view the full question and answer

Propagating yaupons (Ilex vomitoria)
November 30, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty, I enjoy your weekly tips printed in the Austin Statesman. We live in the Texas hill country where the soil is essentially rock. One of the nice benefits of our yard and the are...
view the full question and answer

Need advice for growing Texas Mountain Laurel from seed in Humble, TX
March 25, 2011 - We live in Humble, Texas 77396 and would like to grow some Texas Mountain Laurel trees from seed. I recently read that they may not grow well in this area because they prefer the Texas Hill country a...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center