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
1 rating

Friday - March 22, 2013

From: Asheville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Schedule for planting perennial wildflowers from Asheville NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is the best time to plant perennial wildflowers?

ANSWER:

The depends on where you garden and which perennial wildflowers you are interested in. The best way we know of to go about solving that problem is to go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search about the middle of that page, search on North Carolina for state, herbs (herbaceous blooming plants) for Habit, and perennial for Duration. You can follow each link to our webpage on that plant to find out its growing conditions, propagation suggestions, height, light requirements and see picures from our Image Gallery.When we searched that way, there were 991 plants that fit the specifications! So, we scanned through them looking for attractive wildflowers. You will note there were so many that we only got to "F", as they are listed alphabetically by scientific name.

Here is our list from that search: 

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed)

Caltha palustris (Yellow marsh marigold)

Claytonia caroliniana (Carolina springbeauty)

Coreopsis auriculata (Lobed tickseed)

Commelina erecta (Whitemouth dayflower)

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)

Doellingeria umbellata var. umbellata (Flat-top aster)

Erythronium americanum (Yellow trout-lily)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

From HGTV, Best Time to Plant Perennials:

"Early fall is a good time to plant larger sizes of perennials (if they are available) because the weather is cool and reduces stress on the top parts of the plants. The soil also stays warm and allows the roots to grow, helping the plants to get established in the landscape. In the spring when the plants come out of dormancy, they should perform better than if they were planted in the spring and asked immediately to bloom (in addition to rooting and becoming established). Note that smaller-sized plants from small pots may not root deeply enough to avoid heaving during the freeze-thaw cycles. However, planting larger plants in fall generally works well."

So, you see, we were kind of playing around with you, because we already knew that. But, in the course of answering your question, we introduced you to our Native Plant Database and taught you how to use it to find information about any native plant you are interested in. One further tip, if you want to be sure the plant you are interested in is native to your specific area, where you can be a little more confident of the soils, climate and rainfall the plant will flourish in, go to the bottom of the plant webpage and click on the link to the USDA Plant Profile on that plant. First you will get a map of North America with all the states where that plant grows natively in green, click on your state (North Carolina) and you will get a map with the counties of that state in green where the plant is reported to grow.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Plantain-leaf pussytoes
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Swamp milkweed
Asclepias incarnata

Yellow marsh marigold
Caltha palustris

Carolina springbeauty
Claytonia caroliniana

Lobed tickseed
Coreopsis auriculata

Whitemouth dayflower
Commelina erecta

Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Flat-top aster
Doellingeria umbellata var. umbellata

Yellow trout-lily
Erythronium americanum

Virginia strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Winter plants for windowbox in Piedmont SC
October 26, 2012 - What kind of outdoor window box spruss can grow in upstate South Carolina in the winter months?
view the full question and answer

Fragrant foundation plants for sunny, dry area in Illinois
August 26, 2009 - We need suggestions of what to plant on the south side of our house heave sun and rather dry soil. We just took out old dead bushes. Would prefer something that flowers and smells nice that would gr...
view the full question and answer

Plants under an oak tree from Corpus Christi TX
June 30, 2012 - My project: To grow white turk's cap under an old oak tree I first planted St. Augustine sod this spring because we had many oak suckers around the tree. We mixed new soil and compost, and laid the ...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID at the Wildflower Center from Austin
June 18, 2012 - I was at the Wildflower Center today and loved the green plants with delicate white flowers that were in both clay pots in front of the auditorium. Please let me know the name of the plants.
view the full question and answer

What are the grey-green plants on oak trees in San Marcos, TX?
March 12, 2011 - The oak trees in the neighborhood in San Marcos, TX, are covered with clumps, or balls, of gray/green fluffy-looking plants. they remind me of bromeliads. You can pull and knock them off; after wind ...
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