En Espa—ol

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

When and how to sow bluebonnets in Concho, Texas
May 25, 2010 - Please tell me when I should plant bluebonnet seeds in Concho County, Texas (near San Angelo). I am getting different answers from different sources. Also, can the seeds be strown or do they need to a...
view the full question and answer

Strangling Bluebonnets
March 14, 2004 - I have some Bluebonnets that are being strangled by some strange rope-like plant. Whatís going on here?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for NY that bloom in the first season
May 17, 2010 - Hi, I'm looking for native annuals that germinate the same season they're planted. There are many northeast native annuals but most of them require a season of frost to germinate the following sprin...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of survival of Genus Castilleja in Wisconsin
April 04, 2005 - In traveling through Texas last week we noticed many many little orange flowers which are absolutely fascinating. I found a picture of that flower in your website for Wildflower Days 2005 in the to...
view the full question and answer

Yellow Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa
May 09, 2005 - Does entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, come in yellow in the wild? I have Indian paintbrush in the front pasture and noticed last weekend that there were 5 or 6 that were light yellow...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center