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

Friday - October 27, 2006

From: Oneonta, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Varieties of lupines that will grow in Zone 7, Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

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 that had been farmed and is very loamy we have abundant VOLES. Do you have any suggestion on how to get rid of them? We have used moth balls, have mixed castor oil with kitty litter. It seems that there are less but would like to make sure they travel far. The have cut some plants off at the base. Thanks for such a great site.

ANSWER:

Thank you for the kind words about our site.

Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis) is your best bet for Alabama and Hardiness Zone 7. There are three other species—Skyblue Lupine (L. cumulicola), Skyblue Lupine (L. diffusus), and Lady Lupine (L. villosus)—that grow in Alabama but they are more suited to Hardiness Zone 8 and above and would be marginal in Zone 7.

Do you have voles (Microtus spp.) or moles (Scalopus spp.)?

If you have voles, they like other rodents (such as rats and mice) need four conditions to be met to succeed: an abundance of food, ready availability of water, good shelter, and limited pressure from predators. If those four conditions are favorable, little can be done to limit their populations. However, changes in any one of the "big four" conditions that are unfavorable to rodents will soon reduce populations. Limiting their shelter areas is usually the most effective method of controlling their numbers. The University of California Davis Integrated Pest Management in their article, "Pests in Gardens and Landscaptes: Voles (Meadow Mice", offers more suggestions for controlling voles.

Moles are insectivores and do not feed on plants but can damage plants by tunneling through the roots and disrupting them. About the only effective way to control moles is by trapping them. Ohio State University Extension has an article, "Effective Mole Control", with more information and suggestions.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Viability and storage of bluebonnet seeds past "use by" date
April 26, 2006 - I have several packets of Bluebonnet seeds and wildflower seeds which have "packed for 2006 use by 3/07". My questions: 1) will these seeds be good for the 2007 growing season?; 2) how should I ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeding for hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans
January 05, 2007 - I need some information. I am going to be traveling to New Orleans in two weeks to visit a relative. They are in an area that was decimated by the hurricane. Though they have rebuilt the neighborho...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
May 09, 2003 - When can I harvest my Bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Rain-lily
April 12, 2005 - What is the common lily (I think) that grows in the ditches and especially this year because of all the rain. The flower is trumpet shaped and has red stripes in the petals? Very common everywhere t...
view the full question and answer

French Provincial Garden using Natives
January 31, 2011 - I am designing a French provincial garden near Waco Lake, I am looking for some native shrubs and ornamental grasses to augment the myriad of lavender, roses, and lilies in the proposed design.
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