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

Sunday - January 25, 2009

From: Terrell, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Native flowers for cutting for wedding in June
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband and I are hosting a wedding reception for our daughter and her husband in Austin in June. If possible, we would like to use live flowers or live colorful plants as centerpieces and decoration. We live in the Dallas area and have acreage, so we would be able to plant in ground and harvest the flowers/plants or plant in pots. Could you recommend something that we could plant now that would be ready for use the second week of June

ANSWER:

To make sure we understand what you're asking, you have property near Dallas where you hope to have blooming flowers in June sufficient to cut or pot and take to Austin for a wedding reception. We will be happy to list some Texas native flowers that bloom in June. However, we hope you will consider the logistics of what you're planning to do. Even assuming you can get enough blooms and plants to satisfy your requirements, you then will have to transport them to Austin, trying to keep them from wilting or dying until they can arrive at the reception. You will be cutting them in a very hot time of year, needing to get them into water right away, and keep them in water in order to have them fresh-looking at the affair. If you were thinking of saving money by doing this, consider the expenses of preparing soil, purchasing seeds or starter plants, getting water to them, and defending them from insect and animal predators, waiting to have a snack on the fresh young plants. Not to mention the weeds!

However, even more compelling is the problem of time. Most wildflowers seed themselves out in Fall, the seeds go into the soil to rest and prepare for germination in late Winter, and then begin blooming around March. Many are annuals which will bloom very profusely for a month or 6 weeks, and then settle in to make their seeds for next year. Perennials often don't begin to bloom until the second year after planting. If you have a greenhouse and sufficient resources to do so, you could try planting seeds and getting them started quickly, then transferring to pots in hopes they would bloom in time. This is also a pretty expensive and time-consuming project.

We promised you plants that will bloom in June; what we can't promise is there being much chance of seeding or planting starter plants now, nearly February, and expecting a satisfactory crop in June. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we recommend only plants native to North America and to the area in which they are being grown, we will find blooming plants for North Central Texas, where the land is on which you hope to grow your flowers. Follow the plant links to our webpage on each plant and learn when they should be planted, what kind of exposure to sun they need, and how much moisture they will require. 

Amblyolepis setigera (huisache daisy) - annual, 6 to 15" tall, blooms yellow March to June

Callirhoe digitata (winecup) - perennial, 8 to 20" tall, blooms white, red, purple April to August.

Centaurea americana (American star-thistle) -annual, 1 to 1-1/2 ' tall, blooms white and pink, May and June

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed) - annual, 1 to 2' tall, blooms yellow, brown April to June

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - perennial, 2 to 5' tall, blooms pink, purple April to September

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy) -perennial, 2' tall, blooms yellow March to July

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) - annual, 1 to 2' tall, blooms red, yellow, brown May to August

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - perennial, 1 to 6' tall, blooms red, May to October

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (tanseyleaf tansyaster) - annual, 6 to 12" tall, blooms purple May to October.

Phlox drummondii (annual phlox) - annual, 6 to 12" tall, blooms white, red, pink, purple March to June

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot) - perennial,6 to 12" tall, blooms white, yellow March to November

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - perennial, 1 to 3' tall, blooms orange, yellow May to November.


Amblyolepis setigera

Callirhoe digitata

Centaurea americana

Coreopsis tinctoria

Echinacea purpurea

Engelmannia peristenia

Gaillardia pulchella

Lobelia cardinalis

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Phlox drummondii

Melampodium leucanthum

Wedelia texana

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Will non-native hostas do well in South Carolina from Seneca SC
May 20, 2013 - I am moving to SC from CT and want to bring some of the hostas I grow in CT. If I plant them in the shade in SC, will they do well down there?
view the full question and answer

Meadow garden for Colorado Springs CO
June 03, 2012 - We recently purchased a restored home on a mesa just above the downtown area of Colorado Springs on the front range. The previous owners seeded the front lawn with blue gramma and told me that all I ...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

How to Control Pests on Plants for Sale
May 15, 2014 - I am renting a closed spot at a flea market, and am having trouble with several infestations at once, and I am not sure how to control them. I am currently having trouble with aphids, whiteflies, and ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for freestanding water in Oklahoma
July 28, 2013 - I have an overflowing gutter and the ground below becomes a muddy hole. I'd like to put a basin or pot in/or above the ground with a rain chain. Are there any plants--shrubs or otherwise that flouris...
view the full question and answer

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