Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 - March 07, 2016

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Where to find milkweeds and other butterfly favorites
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Our neighborhood in San Antonio is planning a big Arbor Day celebration. One of the events will focus on Monarch Butterflies. We will be releasing some live ones in our park and will have a booth that will give away Milkweed seeds and kids will be able to plant them in small containers at the booth. We want to sell or give away small plants that attract butterflies, but don't know where to find milkweed growing in small pots or what other kind of plants would be good to feature. The event will be in late April. Can you help us identify some plants that would be good for this event? Any other helpful hints?

ANSWER:

You are in luck!  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Sale will be held on April 9 and 10 (members' sale Apr. 8).  I am told that there will be several milkweed species available for sale.  The plant list is not yet available, but you can soon access it at this web site.  

Here is an answer to a previously asked question that lists many milkweed and similar species native to counties near San Antonio.  They should also grow near you.  Another answer shows a variety of nectar plants attractive to butterflies.  And I must not forget to add Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower), a big favorite not on the above lists.

Thank you for helping to preserve our butterflies.

 

From the Image Gallery


Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

More Planting Questions

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Cypress trees near pool in Winter Park FL
August 17, 2012 - I live in Winter Park (Orlando) Florida. I have been gifted two potted cypress trees that I need to get into the ground. The only place I can plant them is in my backyard in between a stand of non-inv...
view the full question and answer

Seed Habiturf on top of existing St. Augustine from Austin
January 26, 2012 - We don't want to rip up an existing St. Augustine lawn (potential HOA problems), but we'd like to go native grasses (like Habiturf?). Is there anything we can just seed on top of our present lawn a...
view the full question and answer

Problems with evergreen sumac in San Antonio
May 03, 2012 - I planted 5 5-gallon (approximately 2 feet tall) evergreen sumac in early January. Since that time they have sprouted out new shoot with new leaves several times - every time the leaves have wilted a...
view the full question and answer

Frost damage to native plants in Austin
December 19, 2011 - Hello, We bought a number of native plants at this fall's WFC sale and planted them. The recent frost seems to have defoliated our pitcher sage, beautyberry, butterflyweed, and flame acanthus plan...
view the full question and answer

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