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

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

Use of non-native pothos for outside wall from Las Vegas NV
January 05, 2014 - I am in Las Vegas, NV. I live in a cottage-style apartment so I have a north facing porch with no one on the west so I get some there (and have an inherited cactus probably a yard all round) I would ...
view the full question and answer

Do plants grow faster in natural or artificial light?
March 13, 2009 - Do you think plants will grow faster in natural light or artificial light or a combination of both? And why do you think that. and need your answer for my biology project please and thank you for your...
view the full question and answer

Plants for dry containers in Dallas
March 01, 2010 - I have four, rectangular, low to the ground, clay pots on either side of my garage. They face the west and I usually forget to water them. Cactus worked but I planted the kind with thorns! Any ideas...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 16th floor of condo in Panama City Beach, FL
May 30, 2012 - My husband and I have a COSI on the west end of Panama City Beach, Fl. I love plants and flowers and live out of state. Our condo is on the 16th floor and directly on the gulf. What type of plants ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging baskets in Austin
October 06, 2009 - Can you suggest some plants for winter hanging baskets in the Austin, TX area?
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