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?


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

Tuesday - April 18, 2006

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils
Title: Proper soil for Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus


I live in San Antonio. Have taken landscape course at the center several years ago-(fabulous)! I am putting in a raised portion of the garden this year with Blackfoot Daisies. Can you tell me where to find the proper growing medium for them somewhere in this area or in Austin... will travel!


Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) wants high pH soil. You should avoid adding any kind of acidifying organic matter to the soil—peat moss, tree shred, most compost, manure—but you should make sure the soil has good drainage. If it's clayey or tends to stay moist, you will want to add course sand (builders sand, or river sand) to loosen the soil and mound it up to allow more aeration. Once established, the plants will need little supplemental water unless the soil is now too porous. Liberal watering may cause them to bloom more abundantly in the short term, but ultimately shorten their lifespan.

You can check the National Suppliers Directory for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants and supplies for them. The Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas lists additional sources for native plants.


More Soils Questions

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Is it OK to remove soil around oaks - Austin, TX.
May 24, 2013 - I have several oaks trees (one live oak + burr oaks) from 15'-35' in height. They seem healthy. A local arborist says they were planted too deep and that the soil around them needs to be excavated t...
view the full question and answer

Member of Taxus genus native to southern Illinois from Granite City IL
July 12, 2013 - Is there a native Southern Illinois similar to Taxus baccata? I live in Granite City IL and am looking for a native plant/scrub that stays green year round about 2-3 feet tall to it helps insulate the...
view the full question and answer

What is the application rate for dried molasses in Leander, TX??
February 10, 2012 - I bought dry molasses to add to my soil but the bag doesn't say anything about how much to add. Should I just sprinkle it around and it doesn't matter if it is more or less? I have 2.25 acres so I...
view the full question and answer

Care of Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap)
November 30, 2013 - Does the venus flytrap grow better in nitrogen rich soil or in nitrogen poor soil with a diet of insects? Thank you so much for your time!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center