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August 6, 2016

QuestionI've carried a buckeye seed in my pocket that was given to me by a friend for years. It is dying of old age and I'd like to replace it. I have a native buckeye tree in my yard that blossomed beautifully this spring, and now has unripe seeds. I am afraid if I leave them to ripen and fall off the tree the squirrels will get them as they have in the past. Can I cut them now and let them dry in a place in the house? 


Let them fully ripen, and when the pod opens to expose the shiny seeds, then harvest one to carry around. If the seed is under-ripe, it will deteriorate quickly.  Ripe seeds should last for years in your pocket.  



April 2, 2016

QuestionI have a 2x25 bed which is well drained and gets some west and east shade.  I have not tested the soil.  I would like to plant two buckeye plants.  Do you have a source? I also would like to plant for butterflies. Any suggestions?



If you want to plant buckeyes from seed, you will have to wait until fall, since they lose viability very quickly after harvest. They are also readily available as plants from local nurseries.  I was at Garvan Gardens this week, and they were selling numerous seedlings. There are many plants which attract butterflies.  Some of the more important species include milkweeds, asters, Echinacea, spicebush and Joe pye weed. Butterflies prefer bright red and purple blooms, but will go to others colors.  They like a wide landing area and a narrow tubed nectar flower.  They also need more than nectar plants for the adult butterfly; they also need places to lay eggs, food plants for their larvae (caterpillars), and places to form chrysalides.

 March 2012

QuestionAfter an exhausting search last year, I was finally able to locate and purchase a Red Buckeye Tree for my Mother's 80th birthday. Now I think the tree is dead. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this type of tree and where I may purchase another if needed


AnswerLast growing season was tough on established plants, so doubly hard on newly planted trees and shrubs. Give your buckeye a chance to start growing before you start replanting. Buckeyes form a taproot quickly when grown from seed, which makes them fairly tough. I have not looked at our nurseries for a buckeye for awhile but I would not expect them to be that difficult to find. Check with your local nurseries, and if they don’t carry them, two that carry a wide variety of natives include Pine Ridge Gardens in London, Arkansas and Custom Landscape in Mt. Vernon, Arkansas.

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