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
2 ratings

Friday - April 02, 2010

From: Ashland, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?

ANSWER:

Ashland, in central Missouri, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b, so we will check anything we recommend to make sure it is native to that area. We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on Missouri on the map, and then narrow our search by clicking on "herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) under General Appearance and "perennial" under Lifespan. You can repeat this search, indicating if you have "sun" (6 hours or more of sun daily), "part sun" (2 to 6 hours of sun daily) or "shade" (less than 2 hours of sun a day) under Light Requirements. There are other things you can specify in that search, such as color of blooms desired, time of bloom and soil moisture. You will need to observe the area you intend to use as a garden for a day to see just how much sun there is normally, and where. Another thing we would recommend is that you work some compost or other organic material into your soil before you plant anything. This will help with drainage, provide some soil nutrients and improve the texture.

Since you are a beginning gardener, we recommend you read a couple of our How-To Articles: A Guide to Native Plant Gardening and Gardening Timeline. When you are looking at our plant list, follow each link to our webpage on that individual plant to learn more about it, including how to propagate and growing conditions; at the bottom of that page is a link to Google for still more information. We are specifying "perennials" under Lifespan because you wanted flowers that come back yearly. If you want blooms from them this year, you will probably have to purchase bedding plants, as perennials usually do not bloom until the second year from seeding. Missouri must be a wonderful place for gardening; we found 76 possibilities and selected 12 for examples. You can redo the search and find many others.

Perennials for Ashland, MO:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)

Geranium maculatum (spotted geranium)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Zizia aurea (golden zizia)

From our Native Plant Database:


Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Coreopsis lanceolata

Dicentra cucullaria

Echinacea purpurea

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Geranium maculatum

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox pilosa

Zizia aurea

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Severely cutback sloping soil in Dripping Springs TX
May 09, 2010 - We have 5.5 acres off Henly Loop just north of Hwy 290 about 10 miles west of Dripping Springs, TX. The former property owners carved out soil from a sloping area to get soil for the driveway. Doing ...
view the full question and answer

Should Texas live oaks be mulched under drought conditions?
July 19, 2011 - Should we mulch our live oaks in pastures for water retention?
view the full question and answer

Using seaweed in compost
October 05, 2015 - What do you think about using seaweed in compost? I live on the Gulf Coast
view the full question and answer

Esperanza with rust spots in Corpus Christi, TX
November 30, 2009 - I have a young esperanza plant and the leaves have what looks like rust spots all over them. What is the cause of this and what can I do for it? My other larger and older esperanza does not have this....
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

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