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

Wednesday - February 18, 2009

From: Quakertown, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Container plants for Bucks County, PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Bucks County, PA and I would like to have a garden, but do not have a green thumb. Which plants come back each year that survive in large pots. Are daisies also a good choice for my garden? (They are my favorite).

ANSWER:

We are always happy to help new gardeners. The first thing we want to impress on you is that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will recommend only plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Because these plants are already accustomed by many years of surviving in an area to the rainfall, temperatures and soils, they will need less fertilizer, water and maintenance to flourish. We would like you to begin by reading our How-To Article on A Guide to Native Plant Gardening. Next, our How-To Article on Container Gardening With Native Plants will offer you some help with that subject. 

You are obviously interested in perennials that will be dormant in the cold weather, but return in the Spring. You didn't specify if these plants would be in shade or sun, so we will go to our Recommended Species section, click on Pennsylvania on the map, and then NARROW YOUR SEARCH, selecting on "Herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) under Habit. From that list, we'll select some that we think you would like, but you can use the same process to make your own selection. Follow the links to the webpage on each individual plant to get more information. There are dozens of flowers with the word "daisy" in their common names, many of them non-native to North America. We will look for a daisy-like flower that would do well in Pennsylvania. These plants are all commercially available, and if you have difficulty locating them, go to our Native Plant Suppliers location, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape and environment consultants in your general area.

PLANTS FOR CONTAINER GARDENING IN PENNSYLVANIA

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)


Achillea millefolium

Aquilegia canadensis

Campanulastrum americanum

Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia cardinalis

Rudbeckia hirta

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

 

 

 

 

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Pill bugs in potted plants in Atlanta GA
June 14, 2013 - Hello, I repotted four aloe vera plants two days ago with a cacti soil and watered them thoroughly in terra cotta pots according to directions on the bag. Well the next morning the pots had pill bug...
view the full question and answer

Container gardening for pool in southern California
October 08, 2008 - I have large planters around pool would like to know what plants to use that will not grow to high or to big and will not have large roots home located in camarillo ca.
view the full question and answer

Native plant for container on deck in Oak Grove VA
April 05, 2011 - What VA native plant can I grow in a container on my deck that will block the view from the neighbor's deck? I am thinking columnar. This is in full sun and gets hot winds off of a bay. The plant ...
view the full question and answer

Potting soil used in Wildflower Center nursery
October 23, 2008 - I recently purchased several beautiful little plants at your Fall plant sale and notice how very happy and healthy they all are! Please tell me if you mix your own potting soil and what your potting ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant for Containers in Delaware
June 23, 2015 - I live on the East Coast. I have a large covered porch that only gets some afternoon sun. I have tried full sun, partial sun and shade plants, and had no luck with them thriving. Can you recommend any...
view the full question and answer

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