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

Request to use images from Image Gallery
February 04, 2009 - The Nueces River Authority is publishing a riparian plant guide and we would like permission to use one or more of your plant photos. Can you direct me to a person or process for this. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for edge of artificial lake in California
August 14, 2013 - How about erosion control at the edge of an artificial lake in Southern California? Juncus and ..?
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Water Gardening
February 28, 2005 - I took the landscaping class several years ago, and now would like to put in a section of aquatic plants. Starting small, I was initially looking for a ceramic bowl-type container, and I need to know...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native bi-color iris from Spring Branch TX
August 18, 2011 - Bi colored iris. I have four plants planted around our water feature last fall. Up until recently they all looked very healthy, yet not blooming. Several weeks ago I noticed that two of the plants ...
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