En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Seeds and Seeding Questions

Propagation of wax myrtle from Lafayette LA
December 10, 2012 - Hello, I have a good portion of Wax Myrtle Seeds. How do I get them Started for planting? Have been told to put several seeds in a Jar lid in a very damp paper-towel & leave them there till they ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mexican bonebract in Floresville, TX
November 12, 2008 - My kids and I finally identified a small plant that we found growing in our pasture. There was only one and it is lovely. It is the Mexican Bonebract. What I am interested in finding out is how to tra...
view the full question and answer

Seed for Kosteletzkya virginica, salt marsh mallow
January 13, 2009 - I have a nursery in North Carolina. We are looking for a reliable seed source for kosteletzkya virginica salt marsh mallow. We are www.campbellfamilynursery.com
view the full question and answer

Germination of bluebonnet seeds in Hempstead, TX
April 01, 2008 - We scattered 20 lbs of bluebonnet seeds on our property near Hempstead. Only about 10 plants have come up even though on another part of the property we have thousands. It is well drained and in sun....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center