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

Tuesday - July 20, 2010

From: Greenfield, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting
Title: What to Plant Now feature?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Would y'all at all consider having a "What To Plant Now" section" and/or a "What's Blooming Now" one. You are very generous with your information, but if I wanted to "go native", it seems that the information I glean here gives several dozen options, with no clue how to cultivate these. When do I plant, and how long till bloom are really key. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your suggestions!

Our long-term goal is to provide all of the type of information you're asking for.  Since there are more than 20,000 native plant species in North America, you can understand that the challenge is daunting.  In the interim, we try to give our patrons the best tools we can to help them make decisions about gardening with native plants.

Having search results that yield dozens of choices is not necessarily a bad thing.  Yes, there are more options to research, but the richness of options will usually lead you to better results. 

We already feature a "What's Blooming Now?" section on the home page of the Image Gallery.  One set of images features plants from across North America that are currently flowering.  The other set of images focuses on those species that are currently flowering at our home at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX.  A customized "What's Blooming Now?" feature is a possibility and is one we'll investigate as we further develop and enhance the website.

 

More Planting Questions

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
view the full question and answer

Moving "lily of the valley" from MD to TX. Is that OK?
January 17, 2012 - My question pertains to lily of the valley. From your database, I learned that it is a native plant but only the following states were listed: GA , KY , NC , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV. I am moving from...
view the full question and answer

Growing Conditions for Yucca cernua
October 22, 2011 - Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua: I bought many lovely plants at the Wildflower Center sale on Friday, among them, a Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua. 24 of the 25 plants I bought are already in the grou...
view the full question and answer

Medium-sized trees for Central Texas
October 25, 2013 - I need some help figuring out what 2 trees to plant to replace 2 trees that are being taken down on Monday. The input we've received from the company doing the tree cleanup is to go with a chinkapi...
view the full question and answer

Hankering for a view-blocking hedge in Hempstead, TX.
July 03, 2013 - Hempstead is 50 miles west of Houston and I am looking for a fast growing native to provide a block of a view for a fairly large area (about half a block). I would prefer something that is also benef...
view the full question and answer

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