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

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

Plantings of Castilleja in Texas
April 04, 2012 - I am a graduate student interested in studying different species of paintbrush (Castilleja) in Texas. I understand that the Texas Dept of Transportation has been seeding wildflowers along Texas highwa...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of Meremia dissecta from Austin
September 30, 2012 - I have a large quantity of seeds of Merremia dissecta that I acquired from plants growing in the parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art. (Hmmm… I wonder if it's called alamo vine because of som...
view the full question and answer

Perennials for Sandy Shade in California
December 17, 2015 - Are there any native perennials that would do well in sandy shade? I have a difficult corner in my garden that does not get much sun. The soil is sandy though I have added some amount of compost to en...
view the full question and answer

Early wildflowers for PA
November 25, 2011 - What spring wildflower is the first to bloom in Erie, PA?
view the full question and answer

Culture of Indian paintbrush
December 16, 2007 - I have never tried to plant the Indian Paintbrush flower before, and I'm not sure what the culture is besides what's on the LBJ Wildflower center website. Are there any tricks for getting a good sh...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center