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

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 Butterfly Gardens Questions

Optimum pruning time for butterfly garden
April 18, 2005 - I am planting a butterfly garden that I would like to be pretty as well as beneficial for butterflies. If I am going to have both host plants and nectar plants in the garden and the butterflies will b...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars eating passion vines from Austin
May 17, 2012 - My question concerns Yellow passion flower, purple passion vine & butterflies. I have had my passion vines for 3-4 years, each spring they start growing beautifully, then in 1-2 days are almost compl...
view the full question and answer

Bright yellow butterfly in Austin
October 10, 2008 - What is the name of the small bright yellow butterfly that is dancing all over Austin at this time of year?
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants for Washington DC area
June 28, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am a teacher working with very young students to establish a wildlife garden. We received a donated butterfly bush of a smallish cultivar, but wondering if there is a native...
view the full question and answer

Winter care of Asclepias tuberosa from Austin
October 31, 2013 - We have several asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed). Monarch caterpillars have found and denuded them. We are excited about all of the Monarch caterpillars, but unsure of what to do next. What do we...
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