Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 11, 2015

From: Edmond, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Wildflowers
Title: Thinning and culling wildflower seed mix plants
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Wildflower garden in central Oklahoma I sowed a (mostly) native wildflower mixture in early November here in my Zone 7A Edmond, OK garden. To my surprise, many of the seeds (I'm guessing annuals) germinated over the winter. They survived freezes and snows, and are now thriving in the warm spring days. No flowers yet, but the plants are definitely coming on strong. So I have two questions: 1. The wildflower seedlings are very thick in a few spots. Should I thin them out? Mow them? Let them be? I'm worried they are going to choke out each other and other seeds that are yet to germinate. 2. I was discouraged to find that 5 of the 16 species in the mix I bought from a local company are not native. They are: Cornflower, Corn Poppy, Shasta Daisy, Dames Rocket & Blue Flax. I don't want ANYTHING even remotely invasive in my landscape. Should I remove these aggressively, or are these guys okay to leave for the time being? I will definitely be removing them once I can identify them properly (no flowers yet), but I'm wondering how aggressive I should be against these non-native species. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

ANSWER:

The wildflowers that are closely grown will sort themselves out.  There is no need to thin them.

You are wise to remove the non-natives from the "wildflower" mix.  Though they might not escape from cultivation, there is no reason to take a chance on that.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
September 15, 2012 - I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.
view the full question and answer

Roots of Savannah Holly close to house
February 26, 2009 - I live in Sugar Land and want to plant Savannah Holly at the ends of both sides of the front flowerbed. Are the roots too dangerous to plant so close to the house? (How far from the house should they...
view the full question and answer

Black Sooty Mold on Bay Tree
February 25, 2013 - I have a large bay tree and all the leaves are covered with a black mold-like substance on the top part of the leaf. Under each leaf are some black/brown spots. I have washed the leaves with soap and ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native fruit trees for eastern North Carolina
April 03, 2008 - Are there any good fruit trees to grow in eastern North Carolina? For example peaches, apples, plums? What are your recommendations? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Non-native fig problems in Austin, TX.
July 02, 2014 - We have a large fig tree in our yard. It has been healthy since we bought the house in 2006. But in the last week or so, the leaves have turned yellow and have wilted. It is full of fruit. I'm afraid...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.