En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 17, 2005

From: Marietta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Wildflower meadow on former cattle pasture in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have purchased approximately 7 acres of land in North Carolina. A neighbor has been using the land for grazing his cows, but I hope to plant it with wildflowers once we've built a small house. Which plants should I consider and what will be my best plant to convert from the grasses the cows have been eating to a flowering field? I hope to plant at least 5.5 of the acres in native plants and grasses.

ANSWER:

To begin, i suggest you visit the Native Plant Library to find an article called "Wildflower Meadow Gardening". This is a 3-page PDF-formatted article that you can download. It has lots of information about preparing and planting your wildflower meadow. Another article in the Native Plant Library that is relevant to your project is "Large Scale Wildflower Planting." On the Regional Fastpacks page, you can select the "Recommended Native Plant Species List" for the Southeast to download as a PDF-formatted file. The list has a column that gives the specific states for each plant. It also is divided into plant groups: Ferns, Grasses, Shrubs, Trees, Vines, and Herbaceous (wildflowers). There is a column for both the scientific and the common name, and a column with comments on the average height of the plant, the bloom color and period, and the ideal light and moisture requirements. Since the "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" article recommends that the makeup of your meadow be 50-80% grasses, you can start by looking at the 14 grasses on the list for North Carolina. You can narrow the list by choosing grasses with growing conditions that best suit your land. You can also see pictures and get more information about each plant by doing a search by scientific or common name on the Native Plants Database. This list also contains herbaceous wildflowers that are suitable for North Carolina. To find sources for native seeds and native plants for the region, visit the National Suppliers Directory.

The North Carolina Native Plant Society also has a list of recommended plants to use for landscaping, as well as a list of invasive plants to avoid and a list of sources for purchasing native plants and seeds.
 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Grasses for a prairie in southeast Texas
September 30, 2013 - We have a small place (about 100 acres) in Colorado County, Texas, on the Colorado River north of the town of Weimar. We are gradually clearing (bulldozing) the woods of cedars. One particular spot ...
view the full question and answer

Additional screening under yaupons in Georgetown TX
November 09, 2011 - We live on a corner and have a berm along the south side of our yard which blocks our backyard from the street. It was planted with uprights yaupons. With the drought, deer have eaten the bottom por...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a property near a conservation area in MD
July 18, 2011 - Can you tell me what native plants and the type of landscaping that would be good to plant in front of a forest conservation area that is on a steep hill behind our future house? It is located in Manc...
view the full question and answer

Grass for shady area
June 21, 2011 - I need to find a grass that can grow in a shady area, with some sun. Drought resistant and preferably native to the area. Would like to find a sod if possible. I know it's not a great time to plant n...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Denison TX
January 27, 2014 - I have researched many grasses for sandy soil in Denison,Tx that are easy mantainance. Habiturf has been recommended but is mostly Buffalo grass and is not recommended for sandy soil. What other opt...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center