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

Monday - May 18, 2009

From: Old Orchard Beach, ME
Region: Northeast
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Container plants for deck in Maine
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live on the ocean in Maine. Fourth floor deck. I want to plant containers and boxes with annuals that can withstand a lot of wind. We get mostly sun but some shade as well. Of course, there is the salt factor, too. Any recommendations??

ANSWER:

First, we need to explain to you that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the planting, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. Ordinarily, to answer this question we would go to our Native Plant Database, and search on Maine, annual, and sun to part shade. When we did this, we really found very little appropriate to your purposes. We recommend native plants, because many non-natives can become invasive, taking over natural habitats, and because they are adapted to the climate, rainfall and soil of the area where they are being grown. None of these seems likely to apply in the artificial habitat you are creating. In order to raise the natives we were able to find, and because of your short growing season and the extreme conditions, you would have to start seeds indoors, and then put them in containers when it was warm enough for them to survive. So, we would recommend that you go to a local nursery and select plants already in bloom or about to bloom, plant them in good potting soil, and you should be able to enjoy the flowers until the first freeze. Few, if any, of those plants are likely to be native to Maine, so giving you a list of plants from our database is kind of pointless. As high as your garden will be, with the ocean winds, and unprotected as the plants will be in pots, you may have to experiment to even find suitable plants. Sorry we couldn't help you.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Evergreen plants with showy flowers for pots in Central Texas
January 14, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants with showy flowers suitable for Central Texas. Plants need to do well in pots.. they will be planted in flower boxes in my very sunny porch. thanks!!!
view the full question and answer

Failure of potted verbena to bloom
July 20, 2008 - I have a trailing purple verbena that won't bloom. It is in a container, not in the ground, and gets lots of sun. What is the problem?
view the full question and answer

Hot Sunny Planter Suggestions for Florida
March 05, 2013 - We have a large, raised, concrete planter (about 15' L x 2' W) separating us from our condo neighbor in Clearwater, FL. We would like suggestions for shrubs that tolerate full sun and hot conditions...
view the full question and answer

Wintering Purple Coneflowers in pots in Springfield MO
August 26, 2013 - I have some 8 month old purple cone flowers in containers on my porch. They did not bloom this summer because they were seedlings when given to me. I can not put them in the ground. How can I keep the...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering a Juncus effusus in Great Neck, NY
October 23, 2008 - Can I over winter a juncus effusus spiralis indoors or must it be kept outdoors? Whether indoors or outdoors, what is the proper way to keep it alive during the winter months?
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