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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - August 04, 2012

From: Vail, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Gregg's mistflower in pot from Vail AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently bought a Gregg's Mist plant and don't know much about it. I live in Arizona and was wondering how well the plant will do if I plant it in a large ceramic pot? Will it continue to grow? Any information would be greatly appreciated! THANKS

ANSWER:

We assume you are referring to Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's mistflower). As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, it is native to Cochise County, right next to Pima County, which really doesn't matter so much because if you are using it as a container plant, you have more control over the sunlight and soil than you would if it were planted in the ground.

The first suggestion we have is that you read our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants. Then follow the plant link above to our webpage on this plant. We would like to point out that this is basically a desert plant:

"Native Habitat: Frequent along stream beds and overflow areas in the Trans-Pecos, east to Edwards Plateau and Rio Grande Plains. Sand, loam, clay or limestone. Seasonally flooded stream beds; plains; overflow areas."

The best thing you can do to help this plant prosper in a pot is to use a cactus or succulent potting soil, or even add a little fine gravel or decomposed granite. Don't fertilize, it's always tempting to over-fertilize a potted plant but this can inhibit blooming. Since this plant can bloom from May to November and is a great butterfly attractant, you don't want to discourage blooms. Good drainage in the pot is essential, which the potting soil will facilitate.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

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