Second year of native gardening - what returned

paulsiu(5a)May 25, 2011

This is my second year in the midwest area. Last year I planted the following plants:

Blackeye susans

Butterfly weed

Cardinal flowers


Indian Pink

coneflower'>Purple Coneflower

Toad Lilly

Actually, I am not sure that toad lillies are natives. In any case, the first year wasn't entire successful. The Indian pink got eaten by some animal. The cardinal flower needed way more water than expected. The butterfly weed did not flower.

In the second year, I notice that only many of the plants are returning, though the indian pink and most of the purple coneflower did not return. I am particularly excited about the butterfly weed, which seemed to have return recently and the leaves look way bigger than last year.

Due to the limited success, I planted some additional flowers:

Great Merrybell

Celedine Poppies

More Indian Pink (sprayed with repellent this time).

Wild Columbine (someone has started eating it)

Yellow Coneflower

Pale Purple Coneflower

Royal Catchfly

Like old friends, I hope they will do well and return next year.


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In addition to spraying repellent, small cages can help the first few years too. If it is underground animals (moles/voles), then sharp rocks in the planting hole may help.

Good luck - I hope they all do well.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:57AM
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Congrats! Native plant gardening is fun and addictive.

Most everything I planted last year returned - celandine poppy, sessile bellwort, maiden hair fern, blue cohosh, ramps, trillium, and michigan lily. Many other plants going strong from previous years.

I was disappointed that my goldenseal did not come back. I had it for many years and it was getting bigger, flowering, and really prospering until early last year it was dug up by critters. I replanted the root fragments but no dice. I re-added a new goldenseal plant this year. I've also added yellow trout lilies, white trout lilies, wild yam, and trillium (grandiflorum). I'm also adding wild quinine, rosinweed, cup plant, new jersey tea, as well as numerous native trees.

Winter sowing was in part successful. I have oodles of black eyed susan and Echinacea angustifolia seedlings. It's a great way to expand your native plantings for minimal $$$$.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:58AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

My butterfly weed didn't flower last year at all either. Monarch cats were devouring the buds before they ever opened. Some barely opened, most were in bud stage when the cats ate them. That's alright though, I had beautiful Monarch butterflies when all was said and done!

FWIW, I can't seem to get pale purple coneflowers or liatris to grow here. Liatris will grow the first year and look amazing, but then they all go away and that's the last I see of them. I have beautiful black soil too! I have no clue why they don't want to grow.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 12:58PM
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