En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - December 10, 2013

From: Riverside, CA
Region: California
Topic: Planting, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: When to plant wildflowers in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton


When is the best time to plant wildflowers in California?


First of all, it depends on where you intend to plant the wildflower seeds.   If you are planting in rather small area like a flower bed where you can control the moisture, you can plant them from the fall to the late spring or early summer.   If you are sowing them in a field or meadow where they will be dependent on rainfall, then it is best to plant them in the fall when wildflowers would generally be dropping their seeds in the wild.  If you are planting a large area in wildflowers, please read our How to Article, Meadow Gardening.  There are other How to Articles under the topic of Large Scale Wildflower Planting that you also might find helpful.

There are a couple of articles with information specific to planting wildflowers in California:

The Riverside/San Bernardino Chapter of the California Native Plant Society has Links that you might find useful.

Be sure that the seeds you buy are native to California.  You can search our National Suppliers Directory to find seed companies that specialize in native seeds. Both S&S Seeds in Carpinteria and The Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley have native California seeds.





More Planting Questions

Planting petunias around base of oak tree from Houma LA
March 30, 2013 - I live in south Louisiana and I want to plant petunias. Can I plant petunias around the base of an oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Need a native pine tree for Austin, TX.
December 21, 2013 - Is there a native pine tree that you would recommend for the Austin, Texas area? We're considering the Colorado pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) or the Papershell pinyon (Pinus remota)? Would either of the...
view the full question and answer

Can Habiturf be planted by hydroseeding from Austin?
February 04, 2012 - We are thinking about seeding our lawn with HABITURF. Could you provide any input on whether HABITURF can be planted by hydroseeding? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Brown, dry leaves on weeping willow tree
May 01, 2008 - We live in central TX and have just planted a weeping willow tree. Our back yard has a retention pond and ravine that parallels our property and we were told that the weeping willow will do perfectly ...
view the full question and answer

Why is my 3 year old Redbud not flowering in San Marcos, TX?
March 24, 2010 - My Cercis canadensis var. mexicana, purchased at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is 3 years old, very robust, but has never bloomed. Any explanation?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center