Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Friday - July 20, 2007

From: Dumfries, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Fall seeding of Butterfly Weed in Virginia
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Just ordered seeds from you - Butterfly Weed - and I plan to hopefully scatter the seeds early Oct. in an area along a tree line here in No. VA where the sun bakes the soil as it is exposed to hot western sun. What is your recommendation for preparing the area and is there a mulch which I could lightly use to help with evaporation? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Try to find some reasonably bare spots on the soil surface. Rake them smooth and sow your Butterfly weed seeds. Very gently rake them in or cover lightly with finely sifted soil. Gently water them in. You can lightly mulch with clean pine straw or wheat straw, just don't go too heavy on it. You want to still be able to see the soil through the mulch.
 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

How toxic are milkweed (Asclepias spp.)?
November 01, 2011 - We are considering a monarch waystation for our local elementary and are concerned about milkweed toxicity. Would it be safe to plant it in reach of children?
view the full question and answer

Orange eggs on milkweed plants
October 18, 2012 - Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly garden in Austin
May 28, 2008 - I am located in North Central Austin, and just bought a house with a large back yard. One half is shade-part sun, and the other half is full sun. The shade from three large (55-60) foot trees. I am...
view the full question and answer

Milkweed species for Central Texas
February 11, 2015 - What milkweed should I plant in the flood plain behind my house on Brushy Creek.
view the full question and answer

Pollinators for Washington State
June 26, 2015 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am removing invasive knotweed in the Pacific Northwest and I would like to provide native plant alternatives that would flower and provide pollen in the late summer/fall f...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.