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

Fertilizer amounts for native perennials in Belton, TX
March 18, 2009 - I am a novice gardener and need advice on how to fertilize my native perennials. I would like to use organic fertilizer and need advice on exactly what to use. I have a compost pile but it does not ...
view the full question and answer

How does Habiturf spread from Walburg TX
May 19, 2014 - How does HabitTurf spread? - by seed only? - when/how often must you let it go to seed to insure a permanent stand?
view the full question and answer

Growing Evergreen sumac in clay soil of Texas
August 19, 2011 - I'm in need of a fast growing evergreen screening shrub/small tree. I'm considering the Evergreen Sumac but before I go further I need to know if this plant will thrive and remain evergreen in the D...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen pet-safe shrubs for house and screening in McKinney TX
April 15, 2010 - Looking for shrub, preferably evergreen, to plant near the house that can handle wet ground and is pet (dog, cat, horse) safe. The area became boggy after we had an underground water leak that is now ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Native Plants in Juniper litter from Wimberley, TX
October 04, 2010 - Junipers create an environment under their canopy that prohibits growth of other plants. I have a virgin lot that has been cleared of many juniper but has remaining heavy natural leaf mold containing...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center