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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - April 16, 2007

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

 

 

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