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 - April 10, 2012

From: Spicewood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need plants for new wrought iron planter in Spicewood,TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Spicewood, Texas, and have just purchased some really nice wrought iron window boxes for my patio railing. What would be the best and prettiest plants to use? Thank you

ANSWER:

Well first, I’m going to refer you to our “How To Article” on Container Gardening. This article will guide you through the joys (and problems) of growing plants just outside your door. You’ll have control of the soil composition, and the water they will receive. The other variable will be the amount of sunlight they receive, depending of the orientation of your patio.

For plant selection, let me show you how to use our Recommended Species List. Go to our Native Plant Database. Scroll down to the Recommended Species Box and click on the “View Recommended  Species Page” button. Click Central Texas on the map,  and you will get a list of 156 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Central Texas. You can look through the list, but that’s too many plants to deal with now. Go to the Narrow Your Search box and make these selections: select Texas under State, herb under General Appearance, and Perennial under Lifespan (we can change that later). Check Sun (or the condition that exists on your patio) under light Requirement, Moist under Soil Moisture, and 0-1 & 1-3 under height. Click on the Narrow Your Search button and your list shrinks to 16. You can get different lists by changing your selections. Go through the list, and when you click on the Scientific Name of each plant, its NPIN page will come up that tells the plant’s characteristics, growth requirements, and has images in most cases.

Using this information can help you find just the plants for your new planters. Going to our Suppliers Directory will help you find businesses that carry native plants.

Clicking on this link will give you the particulars about our upcoming Spring Plant Sale, April 13 - 15, 2012.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Meadow garden for Colorado Springs CO
June 03, 2012 - We recently purchased a restored home on a mesa just above the downtown area of Colorado Springs on the front range. The previous owners seeded the front lawn with blue gramma and told me that all I ...
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Galveston that would survive in Austin
December 01, 2008 - What plants are native to the Galveston, Texas region? Can any of those plants survive in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Seasonal tasks for Big Red Sage and Tall Aster in Marble Falls TX
January 09, 2012 - I transplanted some Big Red Sage and Tall Aster into my raised bed garden in early summer this year. They've sent up lots of rosettes. Do I need to protect them from freezing in winter? Do I need to ...
view the full question and answer

Source for two violas for Houston
July 10, 2013 - I live in Houston, TX. Can you tell me where I can buy viola rotundifolia and viola cucullata? I understand these are round-leaved yellow violet and marsh blue violet respectively. I stumbled on these...
view the full question and answer

Does a cenizo really predict rain in Austin?
July 18, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, folklore has it that the flowering of Cenizo (aka Barometer Bush) is a predictor of rain fall. The Cenizo in South Austin is blooming profusely right now. Does this portend a Noac...
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