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

Thursday - July 17, 2008

From: Pleasant Hill, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Deadheading flowers on hybrid Black Knight butterfly bush
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two Black Knight Butterfly bushes in my landscape. Should I deadhead the flowers on this bush? Also, should I prune this back, if so, when, how much? I live near Kansas City, Missouri.

ANSWER:

Just about any plant is going to benefit from being deadheaded, unless you are planning to take seed. And, taking seed from a highly hybridized plant like Black Knight would be of little use, as the seed would probably not breed true to the hybrid characteristics. Hybrids are nearly all propagated by softwood cuttings. Those who grow this plant recommend deadheading as it will encourage more blooms. And if it begins to get out of bounds, don't be afraid to prune it back so it doesn't try to take over your garden. In Missouri, you would probably be wise to cut your plant back to about 6 inches from the ground in late winter. This should help it to come back more vigorously than ever. Read this article on the culture of the Black Knight from your own Missouri Botanical Garden website.
 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Non-native tropical Butterfly vine (Mascagnia macroptera) in Houston
February 02, 2006 - HOWDY . . . Miss Smarty Plants !!! I am trying to identify one of the most intriguing, unusual & beautiful vines that I have ever seen. I encountered this vine at the home of an 87 year old widow ...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
February 11, 2009 - We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Garden, non-poisonous to Dogs, in Taylor MI
March 27, 2014 - I have a small fenced yard with a patio that my dogs have free access to. I would like to create a butterfly garden and add other plants that are non toxic to my dachshunds. Any suggestions. I am f...
view the full question and answer

Natives for wet soil in Cincinnati OH
March 21, 2014 - I live in Cincinnati and the soil in my back yard is wet (soggy) all year round. There are moss and grass growing in the yard. The area is shaded in the afternoon but receives sun earlier in the day. ...
view the full question and answer

Dieback of Indigo Spires and whirling butterfly
June 02, 2008 - I have an Indigo Spires plant that is turning yellow and dying back. I have fed it but nothing seems to perk it up. I also have whirling butterfly plants that are losing leaves and dying back. What...
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