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?

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

Wednesday - October 27, 2010

From: Kittanning, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Native flowers for September wedding in Kittanning PA
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am planting flowers for a wedding on September 17th 2010. What flowers bloom best. Looking for blues,whites and pinks.

ANSWER:

We hope you meant 2011, as our Time Machine is out of order. We are going to our Native Plant Database Recommended Species, click on Pennsylvania on the map, and then search on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant), and you can do your own search by selecting the amount of sunlight where you want to plant the flowers, the amount of moisture in the soil and the duration. "Duration" means annual or perennial. We will also select on "bloom time" of August to September, and bloom colors of blue, white and pink. While perennials will last longer, for several years, they usually do not bloom until the second season. Since you should probably plant in the Spring, after the soil has warmed up, your best choice would be annuals. Unfortunately, searching on annuals only turned up exactly one choice, Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower). Searching on "all durations," we found 6 possibilities that appear to grow natively in your area. You might find it necessary to purchase bedding plants and plant them in the Spring. If they are not hardy to your area, they can possibly die in the winter, but if you have achieved your wedding backdrop, you can be happy.

Using this database, we will suggest some plants that appear to be native to Armstrong County, in west central Pennsylvania, USDA Hardiness Zone 5b. We do want to warn you that counting on the flourishing of your selected flower at exactly the right time is never a good idea. If there is a heavy rain, flattening the blooming flowers, or an insect attack, or just poorly performing plants, have a backup plan. We can suggest plants that should do well, but we don't have insurance policies.

Early Fall-Blooming Flowers for Kittanning PA:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly-everlasting)

Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great blue lobelia)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Achillea millefolium


Anaphalis margaritacea


Campanulastrum americanum


Conoclinium coelestinum


Lobelia siphilitica


Monarda fistulosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Thinning and culling wildflower seed mix plants
May 11, 2015 - Wildflower garden in central Oklahoma I sowed a (mostly) native wildflower mixture in early November here in my Zone 7A Edmond, OK garden. To my surprise, many of the seeds (I'm guessing annuals)...
view the full question and answer

French Provincial Garden using Natives
January 31, 2011 - I am designing a French provincial garden near Waco Lake, I am looking for some native shrubs and ornamental grasses to augment the myriad of lavender, roses, and lilies in the proposed design.
view the full question and answer

How will winter weather affect bluebonnets this year?
February 27, 2010 - Just wondering how our winter weather this year will affect the blooming of bluebonnets. When are they expected to be in full bloom and what will be their duration? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Will Bermuda grass crowd out natives
September 12, 2008 - i have a new office bldg on an acre lot in cedar park. the city requires complete ground cover within a few months so bermuda was sprayed much to my dismay..the area along the front towards the road ...
view the full question and answer

Planning a park along a railroad track in Williamston, SC
May 14, 2008 - We have a railroad track in Williamston, and we are cleaning up the park. Removing trees, planting flowers,shrubs. The track is on high ground and the Fire Dept. has burnt off the weeds. What kind of...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center