Rent Shop 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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - October 27, 2010

From: Kittanning, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Native flowers for September wedding in Kittanning PA
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am planting flowers for a wedding on September 17th 2010. What flowers bloom best. Looking for blues,whites and pinks.

ANSWER:

We hope you meant 2011, as our Time Machine is out of order. We are going to our Native Plant Database Recommended Species, click on Pennsylvania on the map, and then search on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant), and you can do your own search by selecting the amount of sunlight where you want to plant the flowers, the amount of moisture in the soil and the duration. "Duration" means annual or perennial. We will also select on "bloom time" of August to September, and bloom colors of blue, white and pink. While perennials will last longer, for several years, they usually do not bloom until the second season. Since you should probably plant in the Spring, after the soil has warmed up, your best choice would be annuals. Unfortunately, searching on annuals only turned up exactly one choice, Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower). Searching on "all durations," we found 6 possibilities that appear to grow natively in your area. You might find it necessary to purchase bedding plants and plant them in the Spring. If they are not hardy to your area, they can possibly die in the winter, but if you have achieved your wedding backdrop, you can be happy.

Using this database, we will suggest some plants that appear to be native to Armstrong County, in west central Pennsylvania, USDA Hardiness Zone 5b. We do want to warn you that counting on the flourishing of your selected flower at exactly the right time is never a good idea. If there is a heavy rain, flattening the blooming flowers, or an insect attack, or just poorly performing plants, have a backup plan. We can suggest plants that should do well, but we don't have insurance policies.

Early Fall-Blooming Flowers for Kittanning PA:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly-everlasting)

Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great blue lobelia)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Achillea millefolium


Anaphalis margaritacea


Campanulastrum americanum


Conoclinium coelestinum


Lobelia siphilitica


Monarda fistulosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native Annual Plant Substitute for Impatiens
May 11, 2013 - What can be used as an annual flowering plant to substitute for the diseased impatiens? Is Vinca one you would suggest?
view the full question and answer

Flowers for Central Texas wedding in May
September 27, 2008 - Hi there! I am getting married in Marble Falls, TX in May. My soon to be husband and I are very eco-conscious, and were wondering what type of flowers are local and in season for a Central Texas weddi...
view the full question and answer

Will the new bluebonnet plants survive the winter?
October 31, 2009 - I live in Leander, and we've had 19 1/2 inches of rain in the past three weeks. ALL of our bluebonnets are coming up! Can they survive the winter?
view the full question and answer

Optimum viewing time for Texas wildflowers, bluebonnets
March 01, 2007 - I will make a car trip from Alabama to Anson, Texas, in the next month or so. I would like to time my visit to see the Blue Bonnets and/or wildflowers blooming. Please advise me as to the best time t...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2007 - I live in Hereford, Texas, near Amarillo. What would be the closest area for us to see fields of bluebonnets and when? Is it Wichita Falls?
view the full question and answer

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