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
1 rating

Monday - April 26, 2010

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Using a stock tank as a planter for Maximilian sunflowers in Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am going to re-phrase a question I asked last week, because even though I tried to be very careful, I posed it in a way subject to misinterpretation and thus did not get an answer. So here goes: I propose to buy a stock tank about two feet deep and maybe four feet across, put one layer of bricks beneath it, put drain holes in the bottom, fill it with dirt, and plant Maximilian sunflowers. What are the chances that the sunflowers could thrive for a few years before I have to thin them? I currently have a colony in the ground and they are out of control.

ANSWER:

Sorry about the confusion! We grew up in West Texas where a stock tank was a hole in the ground where you hoped the windmill would pump some water for the stock. A stock tank for a container is a new concept for us. Anyway, based on the research we did answering your question today on Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower), we would say you could get 3 or 4 years out of the tank, and that 2 feet would be deep enough. The roots are rhizomes, not far under the surface, so if you had to, you could thin them by just pulling out a plant. 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Making sod from native grass seeds from Pflugerville TX
April 28, 2012 - I am trying to install a native lawn. A story on KVUE suggested 2 lb Buffalo, 1.5 lb Blue Grama, and 6 oz of Curly Mesquite. I have some seeds purchased from seedsource.com about 2 years ago. I can...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Painted Lady
May 10, 2009 - Where can I buy plants for the painted lady butterfly larvae in Houston?
view the full question and answer

Source of article on Great St. Johns-wort (Hypericum ascyron)
August 11, 2005 - I found the following comment on your database when reading about Hypericum ascyron: Comments: The scattered distribution of this plant in Ontario is thought to match historical aboriginal encampment...
view the full question and answer

Source for lady lupine in Rosemary Beach, FL
April 21, 2009 - Where can I buy the lady lupine? I live in Rosemary Beach, Fl.
view the full question and answer

Removing Mountain Laurel Seed Pods from Austin
August 14, 2012 - Is it best to remove seed pods from Mt. Laurel or leave them on the tree?
view the full question and answer

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