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?


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 - October 19, 2010

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Herbs/Forbs
Title: How do I prepare blackfoot daisies for winter in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I have blackfoot daisies in my garden that have bloomed all summer. They are cascading out of the bed onto my lawn/grass. They have been so beautiful that I hate to cut them back. How do I prepare them for the winter and to insure that they return next spring?


The blackfoot daisy Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) is a great summer bloomer that can withstand the Texas heat. They are hardy in USDA zones 4a to 9b. Lago Vista is in zone 8, so overwintering should not be a problem here.

Some light trimming now to keep them out of the grass and help maintain their mounded shape could be helpful. When the flowers have all gone in November, cutting the plants back to about one half their size will help provide another spring and summer of beautiful fragrant flowers.


From the Image Gallery

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Pruning Questions

Safe branch length of oaks in Clayton NC
November 06, 2011 - I have 2 very large oak trees in my yard and I am concerned about the length of the branches over the house and driveway. Most seem larger than 4" in diameter. What is a safe length for these branc...
view the full question and answer

Pruning buttonbush from Pottsville PA
December 10, 2013 - In a formally planted park, a small area has become swampy. I have choosen to plant it with wet tolerant native plants. I would appreciate any suggestions on pruning the buttonbush [Cephalanthus occ...
view the full question and answer

Can Monterrey Oak be topped into a bush from Austin TX
June 16, 2013 - I received a suggestion to use Monterey oak as privacy hedge by topping the small tree and letting it bush. I can't find any pictures or info on this being done though.
view the full question and answer

Deadheading Mexican hat to produce more blooms in Austin
July 05, 2010 - I have several Mexican hat (rudbeckia) plants growing wild in my yard. Would deadheading now give them a second flush of bloom in fall?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Bauhinia lunarioides
May 29, 2008 - I have a Bauhinia variegata..when is the best time to prune it? it tends to grow horizontally..where do you clip off the limbs?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center