Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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
12 ratings

Friday - July 23, 2004

From: Jenison, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on Germination
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

I just planted wildflowers and I was wondering how long before I know if they will grow?

ANSWER:

Germination of seed is really dependant on the kind of plant; in general, those plants producing seed with hard seed coats have particular requirements in order to break dormancy. This could be weathering to break down tissue that comprises the "skin" of the seed, allowing for moisture to be absorbed by the seed to aid in germination. Temperature, related to a term called stratification, in which the seeds undergo a chemical change due to storage at colder temperatures that provides signals to the seed embryo to develop at particular times of the year. Other species seed will also be dependant on climatic conditions to initiate germination, depending again on the species.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower seeds to be sown on roadway for wedding
September 16, 2005 - My daughter is planning an outdoor wedding reception at a ranch in Granbury, Texas, on April 29, 2006. We would like to sow wildflower seeds along the roadway leading to the ranch. What flowers woul...
view the full question and answer

Arizona centaury near Lost Maples from Austin
November 05, 2012 - I found a clump of Arizona centaury growing/blooming beside a road near Lost Maples State Nat. Area in the Texas hill country last week. Centaurium calycosum is the scientific name. I have 2 questio...
view the full question and answer

Flower sucession for Washington DC
June 18, 2012 - Interplanting to cover up spring ephemerals. When bulbs/spring ephemerals (camassia, bluebells, etc.) are dying back, their wilting leaves don't look so great. What can I plant to minimize the me...
view the full question and answer

Native Equivalents to Lily of the Valley
February 24, 2011 - Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majuscula) with its delicate drooping flowers is my favorite flower. Unfortunately, it's hard to get in central Texas as a cut flower, much less to grow. Are...
view the full question and answer

Define monoculture from St. Croix Falls, WI
May 30, 2014 - What do you call a dense stand or carpet of one species of wildflower? Our botany professor told us but that was 40 years ago!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.