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jay6a

growing native plants for wildlife

Jay 6a Chicago
last year
last modified: 4 months ago

Native plant people talking about and growing native plants. Anyone is welcome. If you have questions or need plants identified we can help you.

Comments (990)

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month

    This is a good article about restoration, diversity and Woodland Sunflowers.

    https://woodsandprairie.blogspot.com/2022/12/the-battle-of-aggressive-sunflower.html?m=1








  • Skip1909
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Nice pics, I'll check out the article. Here's an awesome video of a photographer that built a wildlife pond and habitat, then set up a blind to take pictures of the visitors https://youtu.be/4LvaX748pVI

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    I'm not well-versed in conifers, but do have a list at work from a presentation given by our Ag. Agent "Underutilized Trees & Shrubs". If I can remember, I'll bring it home; anything suited to our area should do just as well in yours. Right off the top of my head, two deciduous woody plants with good winter interest are the river birch (betula nigra) 'Heritage' and redosier dogwood. 'Heritage' is better suited to our hot summers than white birch, and is resistant to many of the pests and diseases; as it matures, it also develops a lovely an interesting exfoliating bark. There are a few different varieties of the redosier dogwoods now, with different coloration. They thrive in full sun to part shade, but will have better winter color in full sun. Winterberry holly is deciduous, and you need both male and female plants, but will have a beautiful display of bright red berries in winter - for the birds or to cut and bring indoors (use them as supports for your forced paperwhite bulbs ... great combination). I'm glad to see you've chosen the serviceberry (shadbush, amelanchier, etc.). Check the different varieties for the characteristics you prefer - some have more vibrant fall foliage than others. The berries are very attractive to wildlife (I didn't realize chipmunks climbed trees until I saw one gathering berries in one of the serviceberries at our park). The berries are edible for humans, if you can get to them before the wildlife does! They taste a lot like blueberries. One of my favorite local nurseries is also a good resource for information, rarefindnursery.com. Even if you don't order anything from them, you will find a lot of photos and information and I've always found it to be reliable. Ah, sweetbay magnolia (magnolia virginiana) - another native, semi-evergreen, very fragrant blooms (heavy in June, intermittently thereafter), seeds are colorful and food for wildlife. The undersides of the leaves are silvery, making a nice display when they flutter in the breeze. Choose an upright or multi-branching variety, according to your needs. Like serviceberry and river birch, they do well in a moist soil. Ninebark (physocarpus) is another deciduous native, for sun or partial shade. 'Diablo' is a dark red leaved cultivar with contrasting clusters of tiny pale pink flowers. I'm sorry, I should never get started.
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    As far as I know, there aren't many evergreen shrubs that are also host plants for butterflies. I've heard of people planting red bay (Persea borbonia) or swamp bay (P. palustris) which are evergreen and keeping them pruned to bush size, but they're only regularly used by palamedes swallowtails, which don't occur in north Alabama. Once in a blue moon I find a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar on mine, but it wouldn't be worth it for you. Spicebush swallowtails lay eggs just as freely on sassafras as they do spicebush, so you could plant some 'out back' for them. Sassafras doesn't need a shady swamp like spicebush. If I were you, I'd use one of the native viburnums for foundation planting, like V. acerifolium/maple leaf viburnum or V. dentatum/arrow wood. Maple leaf viburnum has some of the most beautiful leaves, plus azalea sphinx moths occasionally use viburnums as host plants. Bird just LOVE the berries! The best thing about the native viburnums is that they're so easy to grow, they can survive foundation soil, which is usually full of subsoil turned over by the builders and hard to repair. If your foundation area is real wet, you could plant the possumhaw viburnum, which is evergreen. The best wildlife plant out there is wild black cherry/Prunus serotina, but it makes a big tree. If you have a big enough yard, it would be well worth it to have several. It's host to both tiger swallowtails and red-spotted purples, plus many of the big moths, like cecropia moths, use it as a host plant, bees use the flowers, and birds love the fruit. In regard to butterflies, you probably should watch to see what butterflies occur in your area, look up their host plant/s, and plant them if you'd like to see more of them. Buttonbush is a real draw as a nectar plant for butterflies and MANY other insects, but, unless you have a consistently wet spot for it, it might not make it. I have about a dozen blueberry bushes which have gotten big, and they keep me and the birds eating blueberries from about the first week in June until August - I have different varieties that mature at different times. And they're SO easy to grow, no insecticides needed, just acid soil! There are many plants that make good nectar plants. I have a bottlebrush buckeye that butterflies just LOVE, but it only blooms once a year. You could plant some pentas, which butterflies like to nectar on and tersa sphinx moths like to use as a host plant. Of course, there's milkweed, the monarch host plant that all butterflies like to nectar on, zinnias, butterfly bush, and lantana, which can't be beat! A good butterfly book that includes host plants, and a good bird book would be a great buy! Sherry
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  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month

    I don't know what's going on but the the other forums here have no posts on them.

  • Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana
    last month

    Hi Jay,


    No posts found is the message I get on all the other forums. I wonder what is going on. I don't post much, but I lurk and enjoy the posts quite often.


    I love your flower pics.

    Jay 6a Chicago thanked Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana
  • Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana
    last month

    I went to this link

    https://updownradar.com/status/gardenweb.com#why


    and then went to

    https://www.gardenweb.com/


    That will get you in and you can maneuver from links on that page. grrrr

    Jay 6a Chicago thanked Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana
  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks Sue! The comments did reappear eventually.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My seeds available for trade. I haven't been on top of gathering seeds of all my plants this year, or there would be a lot more. I will check to see if any more can still be collected. I will put the seeds that I'm winter sowing; and the seeds I'm starting inside, in another comment. I wasn't going to winter-sow any more than 5 species, but it's about 22, which is almost nothing compared to the usual 150+ species that I've been doing for the past 3 years

    Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine

    Agrimonia striata Roadside Agrimony

    Alnus incana Grey Alder

    Amorpha fruticosa False Indigo

    Amorpha canescens Lead Plant

    Anaphalis margaritacea Pearly Everlasting

    Anemone canadensis Canada Anemone

    Apocynum cannibinum Hemp Dogbane

    Artemisia princeps Japanese Mugwort

    Asclepias fascicularis Narrow Leaved

    Asclepias humistrata Sandhill Milkweed

    Asclepias incarnata subsp. pulchra Swamp

    Asclepias oenotheroides Zizotes Milkweed

    Asclepias syriaca white flowered

    Baptisia australis Blue Baptisia

    Bidens cernua Nodding Beggarticks

    Blephilia hirsuta Hairy Wood Mint

    Bromus kalmii Kalm's Brome

    Bouteloua curtipendula Sideoats Grama

    Bouteloua dactyloides Buffalo Grass

    Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush

    Clematis pitcheri Bluebill

    Coreopsis tripteris Tall Coreopsis

    Crataegus sp. Hawthorn

    Desmodium canadense Showy Tick-trefoil

    Elymus histrix Bottlebrush Grass

    Elymus virginicus Virginia Wildrye

    Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Love Grass

    Heterotheca villosa Hairy Goldenaster

    Erechtites hieracifolius Burnweed

    Euthamia caroliniana Grass-leaved Goldnrd

    Festuca rubra native red Fescue

    Foeniculum vulgare bronze fennel

    Gaillardia aristata Blanketflower

    Gomphocarpus physocarpus balloon mlkwd

    Grindelia lanceolata Narrow-leaved Gumwd.

    Helianthus anuus wild form

    Helianthus occidentalis Western Sunflower

    Hibiscus laevis Halberd-leaved Rosemallow

    Hydrophyllum appendiculatum Great Wtrlf

    Iliamna remota Kankakee Mallow

    Koelleria macrantha June Grass

    Lespedeza capitata Round Headed Bsh Clvr

    Liatris aspera Rough Blazing Star

    Liatris ligulostylis Meadow Blazing Star

    Liatris pycnostachya Prairie Blazing Star

    Liatris spicata Dense Blazing Star

    Ludwigia alternifolia Rattlebox

    Mentha arvensis native mint

    Mirabilis nyctaginea Wild Four O clock

    Monarda punctata Spotted Horse Mint

    Ocimum tenuiflorum Holy Basil

    Oenothera macrocarpa MO. Evening Prim.

    Oligoneuron album White Goldenrod

    Oligoneuron rigidum Stiff Goldenrod

    Parthenium integrifolium Wild Quinine

    Ptelea trifoliata Wafer Ash

    Pycnanthemum incanum Hoary Mountain M

    Pycnanthemum virginicum Common Mtn. M

    Ratibida columnifera Mexican Hat

    Ratibida pinnata Grey Headed Coneflower

    Rumex sanguinea Bloody Dock

    Salvia coccinia Scarlet Sage

    Scrophularia marilandica Early Figwort

    Scutellaria incana Downy Skullcap

    Silphium integrifolium Rosin Weed

    Silphium laciniatum Compass Plant

    Silphium terebinthinaceum Prairie Dock

    Solidago drummondii Cliff Goldenrod

    Symphiotrichum ericoides Heath Aster

    Symphiotrichum lateriflorum Calico Aster

    Symphiotrichum novae- angliae N. E. Aster

    Symphiotrichum oblongifolium Aromatic A.

    Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Coralberry

    Taxus distichum Bald Cypress

    Thermopsis villosa Aaron's Rod

    Tithonia rotundifolia Mexican Sunflower

    Tradescantia ohioensis Ohio Spiderwort

    Tridens flavus Purpletop Grass

    Verbena hastata Blue Vervain

    Verbesina encelioides Cowpen Daisy

    Vernonia novabarascensis New York Ironwd

    Withania somnifera Ashwaghanda

    Zizia aptera Heart-leaved Gldn. Alexanders





  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    last month

    Wow, Jay. That’s quiet a list! What would you like to trade for? Can’t say that this weather is getting me very motivated. It’s going to be the coldest Christmas in 30+ years.



  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hey Iris, you already sent me seeds, so you don't need to trade any more of yours, if you're interested in any of the seeds. It's still a lot warmer by you then it is here. It looks like it will be much colder for the whole eastern side of the country starting Thursday. I haven't checked for any ice sculptures on my frostweed and Cunila. Do you leave the seedheads on your frostweed? I deadheaded mine because the vollunteers are a real pain to dig out. I wonder if deadheading them has an effect on their abilty to form ice? There hasn't been a lot of snow here yet, but there's a chance of blizzards later this week. I'm not looking for any seeds in particular.

  • Skip1909
    last month

    Have you used the ashwaganda, how do you prepare it? I heard it can cause the pituitary gland to secrete HGH, but that you shouldn't take it for more than 2 weeks at a time. I guess its the kind of thing where you take it for 2 weeks, then take 2-4 weeks off before taking it again. It was on a YouTube podcast called Huberman Lab which is produced by a Stanford professor/ neuroscientist.

    He was saying you could achieve the same effects by using hot saunas and ice baths following certain protocols, but basically the benefits are the result of the new stress/stimulus. Your body will adapt and it won't have the same benefits if you try to do it too often.

    I want to try the wafer ash again. I know some germinated last year but a bunch of my seedlings fried when I went away on vacation. I'm thinking about that Amorpha on your list too. I saw it in a native plant garden around here and it looked like it would be good with some little ground covers under it. Does it send out runners or rhizomes like sumac?

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I've never used the ashwagandha yet. I've grown it in pots twice. The first time I got tons of seeds from it, and a tomato hornworm was eating it. Are you referring to the Amorpha fruticosa? I'm not sure if it sends out runners. I've had 2 plants growing in part shade for about 4 years, and they haven't sent up any runners. Those 2 came bareroot from PM. I had 2 plants that I grew from seed, that I was going to send to you, but never did because of covid or something. I put them in the raised bed with a couple Desmodium canadense plants. I took out and pitched the Desmodium because they have a messy growth habit and the Japanese beetles were attracted to them more than any of my other plants. The fruticosa was getting too big for the bed and they were shading out some plants, so I moved them to the front yard, and their roots were deep and a real workout to dig up. One of them died after I moved them to the front. I might have a few small fruticosa plants in a pot. I've seen thickets of fruticosa at a couple different prairies. I don't know if they formed by runners, or by seeds that grew next to the original plants. I think all Amorpha species have big, deep root systems. I have 4 Amorpha nana plants and I tried moving them this year, and their roots were so deep that I gave up, and I think I killed 2 of them trying to dig them out. They are right next to my New York Ironweed that gets tall and shades them too much. The nana haven't bloomed yet and the flowers are supposed to be fragrant. I'll probably have to move the Ironweed instead. I sheared it back severely 3 times and it still grew about 5 feet tall. I've tried digging up Ptelea suckers, but they are like sassafrass suckers and it's nearly impossible to dig one up with roots attached. I have 2 small wafer ash that are growing slowly, and the pandurata is always trying to smother them. I have 1 prickly ash that's starting to put on growth, and I'm going to have to find a better spot for it next year. Prickly Ash and Wafer Ash are both host plants for giant swallowtails, and they really aren't real ashes (Fraxinus) at all, but the 2 ashes are in the citrus family. It's weird that Ptelea has dry seeds and not fruit. I'd like to grow the wafer ash, prickly ash, and buttonbushes behind my fence, in the easement by the ditch, when I get the mulberry, elm and buckthorn totally removed. I was making progress and then this deep freeze happened. Maybe in a few weeks we'll be in the 50s again Lol. Didn't have a chance to fix the hole in the awning, so the squirells are living in the penthouse again, but it's better than having raccoons. The more land that's 'developed' takes away all the places these animals need to survive in winter. I just read about all the benefits of ashwagandha and I should definately grow more and use it next time. I wonder how many plants I'd need to grow for a years supply? I probably don't have the room to grow a years supply Lol.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    These are seeds that I'm winter sowing.

    Actaea racemosa

    Anemone quinquefolia

    Cleome serrulata

    Coreopsis palmata

    Dalea purpurea

    Doelingeria umbellata

    Erigeron formosissimus

    Eurybia macrophylla

    Helianthus occidentalis

    Lobelia puberula

    Monarda punctata

    Nicotiana rustica

    Osmorhiza claytonii

    Oxalis violacea

    Panicum virgatum

    Plantago rugelii

    Plantago virginica

    Polanisia dodecandra

    Polygala senega

    Rumex hastatulus

    Silphium pinnatifidum

    Smallanthus uvedalia

    Solidago drummondii

    Solidago nemoralis

    Sorghastrum nutans

    Symphiotrichum sericeum

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    last month

    Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! It was awfully cold here the last couple of days. A low of 7. Hope I didn’t loose any of my zone pushing kind of plants since the temperature didn’t go above freezing for 3 days.


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Happy Holidays everyone! It's been bitterly cold here. I hope everything that I planted comes back. I don't try to zone push anything up here anymore. Im seriously considering growing a few housplants in the near future. I haven't winter sowed any pots yet. I need more potting soil.



  • Skip1909
    last month

    Happy holidays everyone! I've been trying to get myself pumped up for some native plants but my attention is wandering. I did get a new native plant book that I'm excited to read: Wild Plant Culture from Wild Ridge Plants in NJ. It's all about evaluating and restoring landscapes plus indigenous and traditional uses for native plants. I got a book on building natural ponds too (no pumps or filters). I'm excited to dig into these books this winter to see what I can come up with.
    Time to start wintersowing, maybe New Years day I'll start getting the jugs out there. I got a mcleod fire tool, it's normally used for cutting fire lines around brush fires and in building trails but I think it will also be really useful for clearing lawn and leveling ground. It's like a hoe, a really coarse stiff rake and a tamper all in one. I used one on the trails building team and saw the potential in it for my own property.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    last month

    Sounds like a useful, informative book Skip. That's a cool fire tool. I would have to use 2 of my tools to get the same effect. I'm debating whether or not to get a Root Slayer shovel. My mind is also wandering all over the place. I haven't winter sowed anything yet. I bought a couple bags of potting soil. They are a cheaper brand, but I want to see if I have better results than I get with the more expensive pro-mix and Frogfarm stuff. I need to get some seeds into cold, wet stratification too.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    last month

    Happy New Year! Had thunderstorms all of last night and into the morning. The new year is starting of being very behind in doing some yard clean up. Currently having a stream going through my backyard. It’s going to be way too muddy to do much for a while.


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    How did your plants do with the deep arctic freeze a couple weeks ago Iris? I hope the shrubs and vines I planted all come back in spring. The Dirca palustris, Hydrangea arborvescens, Passiflora lutea and Lonicera flava. I lost my wallet on New Years Eve and whoever found it used my credit card. I'm now waiting to get new cards and a license. Not the best way to start the new year. I need to pot up the few things that I'm winter sowing. I was thinking about ordering some Iris cristata rhyzomes. I wonder if Prairie Moon has any bare root Bunchflowers available. I got an Amarylis bulb as a Christmas present, and now I'm thinking about getting a few houseplants like the succulent starfish flower milkweeds and maybe orchids and Gesneriads. I will definately run out of space for any more plants after this year Lol, but it always seems that there are always a few plants that I must have and can't live without. It's all about the wild creatures that I'm trying to help.

    I have a few new species that should be bigger and better this year like the white single and double Trillium grandiflorum, the double Bloodroot 'Multiplex' and the pink flowered Bloodroot 'Venus'. It's cool how everything changes year to year.

    A Gesneriad hybrid. I kind of think of these Gesneriads as fancy tropical Penstemons.

    I have to look over this chart and see what I still don't have Lol. Harbinger of Spring,❤ Erigenia, Skump cabbage not really doable in my gardens, and that yellow Viola pubescens var. eriocarpa. I've tried it from seed a few times. I'm just going to have to get plants. I hope I have some Blue Eyed Marys. I scattered 2 packets of seeds. I moved my 2 Blue Cohosh plants. I hope they return. I haven't had luck growing any native Delphinium. I recieved 1 Delphinium tricorne plant and it didn't make it. They are really only native to southern Illinois.

    I wonder what color this will be? An Amarylis expert told me it's probably going to be red and white striped, but we'll just have to wait and see.👀

    Bouceria frerei, Frerea indica. This species still retains it's leaves, that are succulent. It grew in the part of Africa that broke off and moved east for millions of years until it slammed into Asia and became India. I think that's why it never lost it's leaves, because it was seperated from all the other stapeliads that lost their leaves. There are other Bouceria species that have lost all their leaves. $20 online. Not bad considering it's famous history


  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    29 days ago

    Loosing the wallet is really not the best way to start a new year. I hope karma gets the person using your credit card. What a hassle.

    I guess I am going to see what kind of damage the cold did by April. Broccoli and parsley look dead. That’s a first. Hope it’s not an indicator of how the plants in the yard are doing. The extent of my winter sowing was to throw some seeds like Blue Curls, Rosinweed, and Lazy Daisy in pots. I am not having much hope for success since the resident chipmunk still spends most of the day in all of the pots I have along the walkway. I might start some seeds inside next month if I find some space. I have a lot of houseplants, and the have been growing really well, so they are taking a lot of room. Ha ha, wonder when my vanilla is finally going to bloom. Would be great with the way prices for vanilla beans are going. Another one taking a lot of patience. Will be interesting to see what color your amaryllis is. I have a lifesaver cactus that has been blooming it’s little heart out last Summer.

    Still not sure what my plans are for Spring as far as new plants go. Need to see what needs replacing. It’s awfully muddy, so not getting as much work done as I want.



  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    28 days ago


    You know if the Monarch cats eat all your milkweeds they will eat your lifesaver cactus.

    I can see red color.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    27 days ago

    At this point, I think I am over having shortages of milkweed. Knock on wood!

    Did you do your winter sowing yet? Are you using your bins or something else?

    Came across putty root orchid in a local post on Facebook today. Pretty! Wonder if this would grow for me. As houseplants orchids are iffy for me. I kill about half of them within 2 years. One I rescued from Lowes last Summer is having some flower buds now though. Wonder what kind of color that’s going to be.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    I think the southeastern native orchids like to grow in moist soil that has lots of organic matter. There's a terrestrial orchid growers club on fb. If you can get a part shady area to have enough organic matter to grow moss, it will grow orchids. I'm more interested in growing them outside. I might try a couple types inside, but there are so many it's hard to decide. There are so many native orchids nobody could possibly grow them all. What if you cleared a small area next to your pond that is low enough to be a bog? Are you going to plant your water willows at the edge of your pond? I want to dig a larger in-ground bog and plant my water willows in there. Im not really sure where to plant my buttonbushes? They were in bog pots last year. Do you have any buttonbushes, and how often do they need to be watered? I haven't winter sowed anything yet. I need to get some of the seeds into CMS in the fridge.


  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    26 days ago

    There currently is a lot of moss growing everywhere. Had thunderstorms from the afternoon until now. Unusual to have strong ones like this in January. Lots of damage reports nearby. I will see what things look like in the morning. I have one of the water willows planted at a shallow edge of the pond, one is still in a pot. Hope they come back in Spring. I have 4 big button bushes, and by now half a dozen little ones since they do easily root from cuttings. I tried to plant them in the wet areas of the yard, but they do just fine with watering once a week in Summer.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    25 days ago

    I grew a buttonbush before long ago. I can't believe I got rid of it. Ignorance I think. That one did well in regular soil with occasional water. There are big buttonbushes that grow in water most of the year, at the sand prairie. That's where I got the seeds to grow mine. I think they would be too big for a bog and they would shade out all the other bog plants. They should do fine in the easment which is a ditch. I'd love to see Tersa Sphinx Moth cats all over them.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    25 days ago

    I have read that Texas Star hibiscus can grow in water. Maybe I will stick one of my rooted cuttings in the pond to keep safe from the deer. Might be worth a try. It seems the fox is now a nightly visitor in my yard.


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    25 days ago

    Are there any big snapping turtles in your pond to keep the deer away? I don't think the foxes are big enough to hunt deer. That's cool that you have foxes.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    22 days ago

    Jay, the snapping turtle I saw in there last Summer wasn’t even dinner plate size. Wonder if it’s hibernating in there. Got very cold last night again, so now I had frozen mud in my flower beds. It’s awfully quiet here on the gardenweb/ houzz.


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    Yes it is quiet around gardenweb. I put some seeds into CMS in the refrigerator. I'm going to pot up some seeds tonight.

  • Skip1909
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    I planted all my pawpaw seeds in a big giant pot outside but that's all I've done so far. I have to remember to move it into the shade, the seedlings can't handle full sun. It's a big tall planter type pot though so they should have plenty of room to make a tap root and then hopefully be easy to pull apart when it's time to plant. I still have to do all my winter sowing of small seeds. Not much of a winter we're having here though, it was brutally cold that one week but it's been above 40 during the day since Christmas with a stretch of warmer weather in there.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    That reminds me, I have paw paw seeds in water in the fridge. I winter sowed 24 pots which is just a fraction of what I have sown in the past. If I get the normal germination of 50% that will leave me with 12 pots to worry about. Here are some species I sowed.


    Helianthus occidentalis. I had 3 plants but, I lost 2 because the were overcrowded. I like how all the leaves are in a rosette.


    Eurybia macrophylla. I saw this plant blooming in the shade garden and I want more.


    Rumex hastatulus is an annual and it just has basal leaves. I want to use it as a host plant. The Rumex altissima I grew was very big and agressive.


    Symphiotrichum sericeum.


    Smallanthus uvedalia. I had forgotten how large the seeds were. They could knock you out if they were shot with a slingshot.


    Oxalis violacea. I only have a couple plants left. These little plants can't handle competition with taller plants. I still haven't found the perfect spot for them.

    Polanisia dodecandra. It is in the Cleome family Cleomaceae. The seedpods of Polansia point upwards, unlike Cleomes who's seedpods are pendulous.

    I have 1 or 2 Royal Catchfly plants, but I want to have a nice clump of them.

    Lobelia puberula.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    I had some dried everlasting Pseudoanaphalis obtuaifolium flowers and I planted some of the seeds. Then I remembered the seeds were no good, because the female plant never had a male plant to pollinate it. I used the pot for paw paw seeds instead. The seeds were in water and were very plump.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    20 days ago

    How long do paw paw need to get some fruit? I had mine for at least 6 years, but they are still pretty small. Not in an ideal location, but there were some blooms for the past few years. No fruit though. More rain today. My witch hazel is blooming.


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Nice witchhazel! If paw paws are grown from seed, they can take 10 years to bear fruit. If they are grafted trees, only 2 to 3 years. I will still probably buy a tree, I don't want to wait 10 years. I grew a paw paw several years ago from seeds that I got from someone in the seed exchange forum. 1 paw paw seed germinated, and I kept it for a couple years, but it grew so slow that I got rid of it.


    Panicum virgatum. I really want to grow Pink Muhly grass too.


    Erigeron formosissimus, I ordered the seed, when I couldn't find seeds for Erigeron pulchellus. Formosissimus isn't native here, but I thought I'd try it anyway.


    Silphium pinnatifidum. Tansy Rosinweed. I only found out it existed recently. It would be nice if it stayed this size.


    Solidago nemoralis. I've tried flexicaulis from seed a couple times, and I don't think any survived. I now have S. caesia, S. drummondii, S./O. rigida, rigidum, S. speciosa. Just need S. flexicalis, and S. ulmifolia.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    19 days ago





  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    Spring is coming










  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    14 days ago

    Ha Jay, one can hope. Doesn’t feel like it. There are still miles of goldenrod roots it seems. Such a pain to get out without pulling up all kinds of other plants.


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    What kind of goldenrod is it? When I dug out my Carolina Grass Leaved goldenrod the roots looked like those. I wish it was warm enough here to thin out some plants. I pulled up some creeping charlie and accidently pulled out a woodland sedum and fox sedge. The creeping charlie grows all winter too. We are going to get snow for about 5 days straight.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    12 days ago

    It’s the Canada goldenrod. Had more rain today, the area I worked on yesterday is flooded. I am having a lot of swamp sunflower growing into bee balm. Not sure what to do about that. No way to get it out without getting the bee balm, too. Maybe I could cut the sunflowers by June to keep them at about the same height as the bee balm? My husband just came home from work. He counted 13 deer in our yard right by the driveway.




  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    I would cut the swamp sunflowers back. They will still flower. I cut my ashy and sawtooth sunflowers back. It snowed about 4 inches overnight, and it's over for now. Every year there are at least a couple vollunteers of Canada Goldenrod. I usually let them bloom, and then pull them out before they drop seeds. Are the deer afraid of your dogs? I can't think of any other way to scare them off. I'm trying to grow only Solidago species that aren't agressive.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    11 days ago

    Jay, the dogs are not any help with the deer. They aren’t really outside much after dark when the deer show up. There just seem to be more and more of them. There are also a lot of new subdivisions going up, so I get it that they need a place. Is there even a predator for them around here? Hearing a lot of coyotes lately, but I guess they would just take the little ones. I have been fighting wisteria today. It’s been years. They just don’t ever give up.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    'Developers' have no concern for all the wildlife they displace. Human greed is killing our planet. I have the plant list for the natives sale starting in April.




  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    I figure if plants are $4, and 3 packs are $10, then what I want from this list will be about $150. They have hoary pucoon. I thought they were impossible to grow? I need to make a planting area diagram and decide if all these plants have a place to go.


  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    5 days ago

    Wow. That’s a great price for plants these days. I doubt I will be going to our native plant sale this year. What a circus last year. And really not enough stock if half the plants are already gone if you show up right when they open. Never mind standing in line for an hour just to pay. Hope you are staying warm!

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    The sale will start online. I will have to order right away. Sometimes there are special pre-sales, and Im sure a lot of people will want the same, difficult to find plants, that I want. I hope that doesn't happen. I have a hard time keeping the lupins alive. I think they need to be planted early enough to get somewhat established. I've scattered some Actaea pachypoda berries, but I haven't seen any. That is a beautiful plant, and I love the doll's eyes white berries. I have 1 Actaea rubra plant that gets too much shade. I'll have to move it and plant a second rubra next to it. I have a pot with False rue anemone, Enemion biternatum seeds. They are supposed to germinate this year, but I have bad luck with seeds that need double dormancy. I've dreamed of growing hoary pucoon for years, but it's supposed to be very difficult to germinate. I'd be happy with either hairy or hoary pucoon. I've tried Hepatica a couple times. I want to learn the secret to growing them. Lilium michiganense is another plant that needs the right conditions. I have 2 pots seeded with them, but they are double dormancy too. I've grown Maidenhair fern twice. They probably died from not enough moisture. Maybe I could plant them at the edge of an inground bog? I planted some ramp seeds and they might germinate this year, which is their second. I had 2 or 3 Asclepias hirtella seedlings that went in the sandy bed, but they often don't make it through winter. They are beautiful when they get big. I think I had 1 Asclepias viridiflora plant, but I'd like to buy a couple more, just in case. I transplanted 2 Blue cohosh plants to a shadier spot. They had shade from the redbud, but they were in too much sun after the redbud was cut down. I have 1 Chelone lyonii plant, and 2 Chelone obliqua plants. I had a Chelone glabra plant years ago, and it was choked to death by the Common mountain mint.


    Hoary pucoon, Lithospermum canescens

    June 5 2020



    Blue cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides

    2020



    Enemion biternatum, False rue anemone. 2020


    Asclepias hirtella


    Allium tricoccum, Ramps


    Actaea pachypoda, Doll's eyes


    Actaea pachypoda

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    3 days ago

    You have a lot with seeds going on even without planting any new ones. Not sure I would have the patience to wait two years for something to germinate. Not to mention the weeds. With my luck I would pull them and have my seeds somewhere stuck to the roots and toss them.

    It would be great to order online for our native plant sale. I think they really didn’t expect that much of a crowd last year. And since it looks like they often just have 10 or so of each plant there, it’s really a gamble if you are still finding what you want. Volunteers get to pick plants before the others can go in.

    Was too cold to work in the yard, tomorrow should be better. I really need to get things ready for Spring. Looks like the narrow leaf mountain mint is on its way to control one of my flower beds.

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    A lot of my double dormancy pots do get weeds in them, and I also worry that the seeds will get messed up when I pull out the weeds. A lot of the time I cant tell if the seedlings are weeds or good plants. I'll have to keep an eye on my Pycnanthemum tenuifolium so it doesn't choke out some nice plants growing near it. Im pretty sure that I did cut it back after it bloomed. It's going to be in the 40s for a few days, so hopefully some chores can get finished. Do these arctic blasts into the south affect any of your plants? I have a bunch of fine mesh bags that will slip over the pots to keep weed seeds out. Im going to put the pots into the garage for awhile after the snow melts.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    2 days ago

    I probably won’t know until April about what is going on with my plants. I do have some borderline ones for my zone, so I am having my fingers crossed. Can’t say that my parsley ever died like this year though. Of course today’s Nextdoor/ local Facebook was all about the Chinese balloon going over our little town :)

    I do have tulle over the pots that have moth cocoons in them, but even they have henbit and speedwell coming up. Guess the seeds were already in the soil though.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    2 days ago

    Weeding is very slow going. So many little ones, I have no idea what a lot of them even are. I do think I spy American carrot and lemon bee balm in these messes, too. And how do I know what thistles are the “good” kind?

    Hope Skip didn’t leave here for good, I am always really interested in the progression of his yard.



  • Jay 6a Chicago
    Original Author
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    Skip is ok. He didn't have a phone for a few weeks and wasn't able to go online. What is the American carrot? It could also be Queen Anne's Lace? What are the plants that the Monarda citriodora are growing fhrough? They look succulent, or Sphagnum or Sangina.













  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    yesterday

    Jay, the American carrot is the Daucus pusillus. At least I hope. Not sure about the weed around the lemon bee balm. Maybe it’s also the German knotweed, or something similar? Way too many weeds to keep track of. But there is a lot of that stuff in the lawn. Miss seeing the bees and butterflies. Especially the bumble bees of all kinds. Did see a mantis fly yesterday though. Cool little critter.

    Glad Skip is doing well.



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