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

Varieties of lupines that will grow in Zone 7, Alabama
October 27, 2006 - I have just found you and read 500 plus questions, fascinated. My question concerns plants in Alabama, is there a variety of lupine that will grow is zone 7, sun or shade? Also, we purchased acreage t...
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012 - Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
view the full question and answer

Will maroon and Texas Bluebonnets prosper in Richland MO?
July 02, 2013 - I live in Richland, MO and have obtained both Maroon and Texas Bluebonnet seeds from Fredricksburg, TX. Will they prosper in this area and when is the best time to plant? I have read how and what type...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for leach field in Maine
October 31, 2010 - I am looking for a wildflower mix that would suitable to plant over a leach field. What plants should I look to avoid?
view the full question and answer

Flower sucession for Washington DC
June 18, 2012 - Interplanting to cover up spring ephemerals. When bulbs/spring ephemerals (camassia, bluebells, etc.) are dying back, their wilting leaves don't look so great. What can I plant to minimize the me...
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