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

Thursday - October 22, 2009

From: Oneida, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower preparation for winter
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I live in Onieda New York and I would like to know what do I do with my wild flowers before winter so they look great next year?

ANSWER:

The short answer is ... nothing!  Plants that are native to the environment in which they are planted, will do fine without intervention from a gardener (which is why they are such a good choice when you are trying to garden sustainably).

You don't mention when you planted them (and if you planted them as seeds or small plants) and what type of plants they are (annual or perennial). You also don't mention whether they are planted in a border with other types of plants or if they are planted in an area to simulate a meadow. What you should "do" depends on those factors.

You will find our "How To" article  Meadow Gardening  helpful even though it is aimed at establishing a larger, self-sustaining area.  If your plants are annuals or biennials you need to be sure they have set and dropped their seed before you cut them back.  The perennials can be treated much as you would any perennials in your garden ... cutting them back in either late fall or early spring as you prefer.  I prefer to leave them standing for the winter interest (and seed for the birds).

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Gathering seeds of Indian Blanket from Duncanville TX
June 09, 2012 - We have a field full of Indian Blanket that are blooming now and would like to share some seeds with our friends! Where is the seed on them and I take it we wait till they are done blooming to get the...
view the full question and answer

Yellow Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa
May 09, 2005 - Does entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, come in yellow in the wild? I have Indian paintbrush in the front pasture and noticed last weekend that there were 5 or 6 that were light yellow...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Wildflower Meadow Gardening
September 16, 2005 - Good morning! I want to overseed a buffalo lawn that has been down for about a year with a wildflower mix, how would you recommend that we prepare the site.
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of a wildflower garden in Covington, GA
July 28, 2010 - I have a small wildflower meadow in my backyard in southern Newton County, Georgia. The area has a 17% slope and is surrounded by mixed a stand of hard and soft woods. This year the spring and early...
view the full question and answer

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