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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 07, 2011

From: Valley Forge, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Planting ironweed in Valley Forge
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I work in a national park and we have one population of Vernonia glauca (tawny ironweed), a state-listed endangered species in Pennsylvania. Last year we collected seed and have been successful in growing them this spring in order to establish several satellite populations. Can you advise on when the best time to plant these small plugs would be (or if we already missed it?)and what the latest date they can be planted and expected to do well might be?

ANSWER:

I am not sure we can help you, as our answer is "it depends ...".

It depends on how big the plugs are and if they will be planted in a place where they can be watered until they are established.  If that is the case, you can plant them now.  If you are depending on Mother Nature to rain on them, you may have missed your window of opportunity.  When I lived in your area, my personal deadline for digging up and dividing perennials was Memorial Day ... after that I only planted container grown perennials and annuals. 

So ... if you can water them until they establish (they don't "flag" if they aren't watered) then go ahead ... if you are unsure, maybe  plant half of them, pot up the rest and keep them going and plant them in mid to late September when the heat lets up but the ground is still warm.  This will give them the opportunity to establish roots quickly before dormancy.

Good luck ... and don't forget to collect more seed and repeat the process next year!

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet rosettes in July from Austin
July 30, 2012 - Dear Mr S.P.: Please solve my bluebonnet summer mystery! I established about 1500 sq feet of bluebonnets starting four years ago by scavenging seeds here and there and just scattering in the sprin...
view the full question and answer

Plants for cleared area by creek
October 10, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. My front "yard" is about 2 1/2 sloping acres with a wet weather creek at the bottom. It has been recently cleared of cedar. The cedar is now shredded and acts as a cover to he...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets around May 21 in Fredericksburg, TX
January 31, 2010 - We heard that this 2010 spring is expected to be a great bluebonnet/wildflower season in the Texas Hill Country. Do you predict that a later May date (21st) will be too late to catch abundant bluebonn...
view the full question and answer

Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Texas
September 08, 2006 - My husband bought a large amount of wildflower seeds at the Ladybird Johnson's Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas several months ago, but neglected to ask when to plant them. Some were Bluebonnets a...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center