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
2 ratings

Monday - April 19, 2010

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Water Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Best time to plant wetland plants in NY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants - I'm working on a fresh water, shoreline wetland creation project in New York State. I've created two zones of native wetland plantings, an emergent shallow marsh zone and a emergent shoreline zone (see list below). Within these zones I'm proposing to vegetate with 2" plug plantings. This project has been delayed a bit and the landscaping can't take place until the fall. Is it 'ok' to plant plugs in the fall and if so what window of time should we aim for? Emergent Shallow Marsh: Pontederia cordata, Scirpus cyperinus, Peltandra virginica, Sagittaria latifolia, Carex vulpinoidea, Acorus calamus, Leersia oryzoides Emergent Shoreline: Asclepias incarnata, Lobelia cardinalis,Iris versicolor, Juncus effusus, Carex stricta, Epilobium coloratum, Scirpus atrovirens, Chelone glabra

ANSWER:


It is absolutely fine to wait until fall to plant.  I think the reason spring is considered "the time to plant" is because there are more plants available in nurseries at that time and more anxious gardeners wanting to plant them!  Early fall is ideal ... plants are generally not heat or water stressed (yours certainly won't be water stressed!) and they have time to settle in, generate some roots and harden off before winter dormancy.

You can double-check with your local agricultural extension office, but I would say that September or October are ideal. You will probably be fine well into November depending on the weather.

Your plant choices are excellent ... we applaud your efforts.  Lady Bird Johnson always said that we should leave the land "better" than we found it and the basic premise of the Sustainable Sites Initiative is that every landscape can be a functioning ecosystem.  Your are obviously doing your part!

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Native plants for a bioswale in Irving, TX
March 30, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, what plants would you recommend for a bioswale in the north Texas (Dallas) area?
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around a fountain in full sun near Dallas
May 19, 2010 - I'm seeking advice on what I can plant around the base of a fountain, in full sun, that can tolerate the fountain water splash/spray. I'm seeking something that can be maintained to a maximum h...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a pond edge in IN
June 08, 2012 - Hello, I live in Southern Indiana. I care very much about reinforcing native plants for my region & not planting anything invasive. I had a pond built last year & need some suggestions for native ...
view the full question and answer

Effect of herbicides on frogs
December 10, 2007 - I live in a planned development adjacent to a natural waterway that contains native and non native plants. It also is an amphibian habitat with many frogs. The landscape manager has sprayed the ar...
view the full question and answer

Source for Saltmarsh cordgrass from Houston
April 16, 2013 - I work for a consulting firm and we are looking to do more of our wetland creation/restoration. Do you know where one can purchased Spartina alterniflora?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center