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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 06, 2007

From: Ladonia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Time for planting wildflower seeds in East Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in northeast Texas, and we have had abundant rains here. Can I plant some wildflower seeds now, and if so, what plants would be appropriate?

ANSWER:

We're delighted that you're planning to plant some more native wild flowers. A common saying is that "Nature plants wildflowers in the Fall." That's not always true, although it is true that seeds ripen and fall usually after a Spring or Summer blooming season. The climate is even mild enough that you could plant them in East Texas, where you live, in the Winter, but we would never recommend that they be planted in our hot summers. The reason for that is, the seeds would probably sprout pretty quickly, and the hot sun and possibly small predators would very quickly do those little seedlings in! And the heat isn't too good for the gardener, either.

One advantage of planting in the Fall is that the weather is usually milder. Another is that you will likely get an earlier bloom in the Spring from a seed planted in the Fall and allowed to winter over until the weather conditions are favorable. Considering all the rain we have been having in Texas (which may not happen again for a long time!) you don't want to plant on a slope in the Fall. Heavy rains can quickly erode away the soil and carry off your seeds. If you wish to seed on a slope, do it in the Spring, when the weather is already right for sprouting. Then you have a chance of the seedlings getting up and rooting before a rain comes to wash them away. If you're planting on level ground, Fall is still probably better.

You can read about growing wildflowers in our NPIN Clearinghouse Articles. You can find even more articles on the excellent American Meadows website on Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions that should tell you more than you ever needed to know about the process of planting. Take a look at it and if you think "too much information" just leave it and plant your seeds in peace. They have been coming up for millions of years without a single website to give instructions. You'll do fine.


Callirhoe leiocarpa

Gaillardia aristata

Salvia coccinea

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Raised bed for wildflowers in Kilgore TX
September 29, 2008 - Please give me ideas of how to build a raised wildflower garden in a small back yard with 50% shade all day. I have common bermuda grass with an area of a 5' X 10' setting that will receive the mos...
view the full question and answer

Will wildflowers planted in late December bloom this year?
January 24, 2009 - I have a home near Canyon Lake and seeded wildflowers on the property in late December. I have since read that the ideal time to seed them is before December 1st. Do they have a chance to bloom this...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas bluebonnets in North Carolina
March 11, 2008 - I live in North Carolina and love the Texas Bluebonnets. Can I create my own mix of soil to be able to grow them here? Soil is basically red clay and icky.
view the full question and answer

Lupines annual or perennial in Zone 4b from Austin
November 08, 2012 - Are lupines treated as perennials or annuals in Zone 4b (Northeast) if they are planted in the ground? Will other native species of lupines grow in a region they are not native to? Any recommendations...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in Bertram TX
September 25, 2009 - I have a landscaping job in Bertram, Texas and am looking for all my options as far as full and partial shade somewhat hardy plants. I'm mainly looking for small plants and pretty flowers I can do wi...
view the full question and answer

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