Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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

Friday - March 07, 2008

From: Columbus, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Xeriscapes, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native plants for flowers in rocky area in Ohio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have just built 4 raised beds on a slope in our backyard on Scioto River. The site is an old quarry so rocky soil below our raised beds & gets full sun majority of day from about 11am-7pm summer time, and can get quite dry. I would like to fill majority of beds with flowers and one bed with trial vegetable garden due to our critter issues: deer, rabbits, groundhogs, etc. Can you suggest native/wild flowers for these beds possible xeriscape but that would give a good show of color and ideally perennials.

ANSWER:

We began by going to our Recommended Species, selecting Ohio, and got the names of 145 native plants that are distributed naturally in Ohio. We further selected by asking for herbs (flowering plants), perennial, 6 hours or more of sun a day and dry soil, which gave us a list of 18 flowering plants that should do well under your stated conditions.

But you might want other types of plants, besides just flowers. You can play around with the list by going to Recommended Species for Ohio, click on "Narrow Your Search" and try "shrubs" for habit, and still selecting for Ohio, perennial, 6 hours or more of sun and dry soil. We got a list of 10 shrubs that might help to fill in the space you are landscaping.

Now, you might consider getting some information a little closer to home. After all, in Texas we probably don't understand your climate and growing conditions nearly as well as you do. Try this Ohio State University Extension website Franklin County Horticulture Program. They may have classes, handouts, or other ideas for you. Try another website from Ohio State that is a Native Plant Bibliography by a Franklin County Master Gardener. And we are big fans of the Native Plant Societies around the country. Here is a website where you can direct a request for information to the Native Plant Society of Ohio.

Finally, we've picked out a few plants from the flowering plants for Ohio list. These are just suggestions, but it will help you learn how to use our Native Plant Database to see pictures, planting information and conditions for each plant.

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke)

Liatris squarrosa (scaly blazing star)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Penstemon digitalis (talus slope penstemon)

Symphyotrichum ericoides var. ericoides (white heath aster)

 

From the Image Gallery


Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Bluebell bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Jerusalem artichoke
Helianthus tuberosus

Scaly blazing star
Liatris squarrosa

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Mississippi penstemon
Penstemon digitalis

White heath aster
Symphyotrichum ericoides var. ericoides

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Low cost landscaping in Federicksburg VA
February 22, 2009 - Hello, I live in Fredericksburg Va and I rent a townhome with a small yard. My back yard is almost completely mud and my front yard has a hideous square shrub. So my question is do you have any plant ...
view the full question and answer

Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
August 04, 2009 - My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling Straggler Daisy
July 07, 2011 - Is there a barrier I can use that will keep Straggler Daisy under control so that I will not be a problem for my neighbors?
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Bushes for Broken Arrow OK
August 27, 2014 - I am looking for bushes that attract hummingbirds. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. Can you recommend some?
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of Aphids on Asclepias plants in Brea, CA.
July 23, 2012 - I grow asclepsias or MILKWEED for the benefit of Monarchs. At times I have aphids consuming the leaves. How can I destroy the aphids without harming the Monarch eggs? Thank you very much.
view the full question and answer

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