How early can you plant woodland flowers in zone 6?

hchristieMarch 5, 2007


I would like to plant some native woodland plants, such as lady slippers, and bluebells, can I plant now in March as long as the ground is not frozen? Does it matter what state they are purchase from?

Thanks for any input!


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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Should be able to plant as soon as soil can be worked, but it will depend on the nature of the plants you buy. If they are still dormant roots, go ahead and plant; if they are plants that have been growing in a greenhouse then you may need to wait until it is warmer. Check with the vendor.

Plants native to and grown close to your home have a better chance of surviving in your garden. Ladyslippers and bluebells are threatened species in some areas and some unethical vendors collect them from the wild. Please do not buy them from vendors who cannot certify that their plants are laboratory cultured and nursery propagated. The term "nursery grown" can mean that they collected from the wild, then grew them for a while in the nursery.

See below for a link to the New England Wildflower Society FAQ about ladyslippers, they sell ethical plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lady Slippers

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:01PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

I have found that slippers have done their best for me when planted/transplanted in fall after having gone dormant.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 3:15PM
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I agree with above .. the bluebells (Va.?) are actually rather invasive never heard they were threatened.
The Lady's Slipper however will not do well at all most likely unless they have the EXACT conditions they were growing in. They need a certain fugi in the soil to perform well for any length of time.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 8:01AM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Mertensia is threatened in Michigan and New York.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Bluebells

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:17PM
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That is interesting....never would know it by looking at my garden...they are all over the place. LOL

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 3:33PM
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Different plants can be listed as invasive, native, and threatened all at the same time, depending on where the plants are located. If the plant was never in an area it could be considered invasive and non-native. If the natural area the plant had been originally only have a few left the plant would be considered threatened in that area. If a plant is only found on the east coast it would be considered a native there but non-native on the west coast. Listings need to be taken with a large grain of salt as the old saying goes. Always do additional research and be aware that what was true when the listing was originally posted may not be true 6 months from now.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 9:12PM
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