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?


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 - April 16, 2007

From: Perkiomenvill, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower planting in Northeast Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in PA, Northeast, and have high grass that is mostly wet, I was wondering if I could just throw wildflower seeds out into the high grass and if they would grow.


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks there might be a few wildflowers that would make it from seeds sown in the high wet grass, but not many. First, in order for the seeds to germinate there must be good seed-to-soil contact. If you just throw them out in the grass, a lot of the seeds won't make it to the soil. Second, the seedlings of those that do manage to germinate will be shaded by the tall grass and will have to compete for sunlight and space. If you want to be successful with your wildflower sowing, you need to mow the tall grass before sowing the seeds. Smarty Plants also recommends that you read "Large Scale Wildflower Planting" in our How to Articles.

Here are a few recommendations for plants that will do well in moist soils in Pennsylvania:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Mimulus guttatus (seep monkeyflower)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Helianthus maximiliani

Lobelia cardinalis

Mimulus guttatus

Oenothera speciosa

Physostegia virginiana

Rudbeckia hirta

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae



More Wildflowers Questions

Viewing times for wildflowers from Ouchitas to Austin
November 03, 2006 - I'm a geographer and wildflower enthusiast considering a spring visit to the Austin area and want to find out the best time to view wildflowers and farm crops around Austin and also on the drive from...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for Central Texas wedding in May
September 27, 2008 - Hi there! I am getting married in Marble Falls, TX in May. My soon to be husband and I are very eco-conscious, and were wondering what type of flowers are local and in season for a Central Texas weddi...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
May 17, 2006 - I'd like to know if Texas Bluebonnets or even Aggiebonnets (maroon bluebonnets) can be grown in the Phoenix, AZ area. If so, what conditions would you recommend doing this in, as our spring and summe...
view the full question and answer

How to grow bluebonnets in Atlanta TX
March 04, 2011 - How can I grow bluebonnets in Atlanta Texas?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers blooming in Austin in October
June 10, 2008 - Does the Austin area have any flowers that grow/bloom in October? I'm getting married in Austin in October and want the entire event to be as earth-friendly as possible..hence native flowers.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center