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
2 ratings

Thursday - June 09, 2005

From: Schenectady, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers that will grow in sandy soil in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. S. Pants, We live near Albany, NY in what was once a pine forest. The soil is very, very sandy. I've had some success with wildflowers but I have to use some topsoil and humus mixture to get any decent results. Are there any wildflower seeds that will grow in sandy soil?

ANSWER:

Here is a list of plants that will grow in sandy soil, are native to New York and are commercially available. You will need to check the other growing conditions, e.g., amount of sunlight and moisture to be assured of success in growing these. On the main page for each plant, be sure to select "Growing Conditions" at the top of the page to find out more about the plant.

Bitterroot (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Scarlet Indian-paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)
Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Castilleja coccinea)
Lance-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Golden-wave (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Jimsonweed (Datura wrightii)
Shootingstar (Dodecatheon meadia)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)
Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)
Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Downy phlox (Phlox pilosa)
Unicorn plant (Proboscidea louisianica)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata)
Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina)

To find a list of nurseries and seed companies in your area that might carry the seeds or plants, visit the National Suppliers Directory.

By the way, the name is Smarty Plants!
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Plants for steep clay bank in Summerfield OH
April 07, 2012 - Hello, We have a steep 15-20 foot high bank behind our house here in southern Ohio. Probably 50 ft.long. What could we plant for beauty and erosion control. It is nasty clay soil with lots of shale an...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
June 16, 2015 - TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
view the full question and answer

Baby Butts in Bluebonnets
March 14, 2004 - Do photo sessions in the Bluebonnet patch cause harm to the plants?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in Colorado mountains
April 21, 2007 - Will Bluebonnets grow up in Colorado in the mountains?
view the full question and answer

Wedding Flowers for Alabama
July 03, 2015 - I am considering planting wildflowers for my wedding in early/middle May of 2016. Could I plant seed this fall and have bloom by late April in time for my May wedding?
view the full question and answer

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