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

Tuesday - March 23, 2010

From: East Bernard, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Flowers for sandy soil and sun in Wharton Co., TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Wharton County. I am looking for flowers to plant in beds that have sandy soil and are well drained. The area receives sun all day until 5-6 in the afternoon. I would like to have flowers that would bloom much of the spring and summer since it wraps around the entire patio.

ANSWER:

Having sandy, well-drained soil is refreshing to us after many questions about poorly-draining clay soils. However, we caution you that your soil might drain too well, so a little advance preparation, adding some compost or other organic matter, will not only enrich the soil but help the roots to tap into the nutrients and get sufficient moisture from that soil.

We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on South Texas on the map, and select plants that bloom in different times of the season to satisfy your request for bloom much of the Spring and Summer. We will select on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant") for Habit or General Appearance, "sun" for Light Requirements and first "annual" and then "perennial" for Duration. The reason for the last selection is that it is a little late to plant seeds for annuals this year, as they are ordinarily planted in late Fall in this part of the world. You might be able to purchase bedding plants for annuals, so you will have some bloom from them this year, but if you wish to seed, you will have to wait until next year to enjoy those plants. Perennials do not bloom until the second year, either, unless you can purchase year-old bedding plants for them. Many of these plants will bloom even longer than indicated if they are watered. We found 10 annuals for your area and 19 perennials, from which we have made some selections. You may use the same search procedure to look at more options. 

Of course, our selections will all be plants native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which those plants are being grown. If you have difficulty finding plants, go to our National Supplier's Directory, type in your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant seed suppliers, nurseries and landscape and environment specialists in your general area. 

Annual Blooming Plants for Wharton County, Texas:

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) - 1 -2 ft., blooms red. yellow, brown May to August, medium water use,sun or part shade

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain) - 6- 12 in., blooms pink, purple March to December, low water use, sun or part shade

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm) - 1 - 2 ft., winter annual, blooms white, pink, purple May to July, low water use, sun, part shade

Salvia coccinea (blood sage) - 1 to 3 ft., blooms white, red, pink February to October, sun or part shade

Perennial Blooming Plants for Wharton County, Texas: 

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - to 1 ft., semi-evergreen, blooms white, pink, purple Mar to June, sun or part shade

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - to 3 ft., blooms blue, purple July to November, medium water use, sun or part shade, attracts butterflies

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower) - 3 to 10 ft., blooms yellow, brown August to November, low water use, sun

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow) - 1 to 3 ft., blooms red January to December, medium water use, sun or part shade

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) - 1 - 2 ft., blooms white, pink February to July, low water use, sun

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower) - 1 - 3 ft., blooms orange, yellow, brown May to October, medium water use, sun

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage) - 2 to 3 ft., blooms blue April to October, low water use, sun

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - blooms orange, yellow May to November, low water use, sun or part shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Gaillardia pulchella

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Monarda citriodora

Salvia coccinea

Callirhoe involucrata

Conoclinium coelestinum

Helianthus maximiliani

Hibiscus martianus

Oenothera speciosa

Ratibida columnifera

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

Use of newspaper mulch in garden
January 05, 2007 - Before constructing a raised garden, I would like to lay newspapers at the initial ground level, then add about 12 to 15 inches of compost on top of that. Would that hurt the plants? And will the ne...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing plants in St. Peter Sandstone
April 02, 2008 - Can you grow plants or native plants in St. Peter Sandstone or amend it?
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping in Austin
August 24, 2009 - I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Browning leaves on recently planted chinkapin oak in Rockwall TX
June 09, 2010 - I just planted a chinkapin oak that is about 1 1\2 inches thick last week and now some of the leaves are turning brown. Does that mean its dying? Do you have any tips that I could use to protect it?
view the full question and answer

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