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

Monday - August 11, 2014

From: Krugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pollinators, Butterfly Gardens, Meadow Gardens, Planting, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Making a pollinator garden
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a ditch right by my house and I want to turn it into a pollinator garden using native plants. My problem is, right now it's so full of weeds that we have to mow those down so soon. For example, the weeds will get as high as my shoulder but the mammoth sunflowers I tried to plant only got about a foot high. How can I turn this around?

ANSWER:

This could be a huge project, depending upon the size of your ditch.  I will refer you to a series of How To articles on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web site. The first order of business is getting rid of the unwanted weeds.  A good start will be to mow them down before they go to seed.  Many of them will be annuals that will not return if no seeds are produced.  Then make use of the tips offered in the How To articles. You will want a mix of native grasses and broad-leafed wildflowers.  It would be best to plan to plant seeds in the fall.  The Butterfly Gardening article will suggest some plants to chose.  You should be able to find many of these plants at one of  your local gardening suppliers.

 

More Pollinators Questions

Pollinators of Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree)
March 19, 2015 - What are the pollinators of Bauhinia lunarioides? Also, is it a host plant for any butterfly or moth caterpillars?
view the full question and answer

Pollinator for Hymenocallis palmeri
August 06, 2007 - Okay, Ms. Smarty Plants, let's see if I can stump you. I feel blessed to have seen an alligator lily (Hymenocallis palmeri) in the Everglades, while doing photopoints with my boss. Please tell me w...
view the full question and answer

Bee-friendly bush with small yellow flowers in Minnesota
August 04, 2015 - I was up north in Minnesota and saw a bee friendly bush with small yellow flowers clustered so they looked like small (4"-6") flocked Christmas trees. Any ideas? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Butterflies attracted by Pink Evening Primrose from Burnet TX
July 30, 2012 - I see information on Pink Evening Primrose that says it attracts 'many butterflies' Please tell me which butterflies and name them? I've looked everywhere and am just exhausted and frustrated with...
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