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?

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
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

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

How to make a lawn into a prairie in Arlington, Texas
September 15, 2010 - I am removing lawn grasses in order to start a native prairie meadow. After grass removal, I'll put down 1/2" of compost. I will broadcast wildflower seeds on the compost. If I mulch after broadcas...
view the full question and answer

When do wildflowers bloom in the Texas Hill Country
February 12, 2015 - Approximately when do the wild flowers bloom in Hill country? I would love to see them. I know it depends on winter weather conditions. I have a short vacation mid March, was considering a trip th...
view the full question and answer

Does Texas Thistle have any scent from Austin
March 26, 2010 - Does the Texas Thistle have any particular aroma. We are doing a report, and cannot find the answer to this question anywhere. We have also driven all around local Austin, and cannot find any on the...
view the full question and answer

Legal to mow wildflowers in HOA in Royse City, TX
April 21, 2012 - We live out in the country in Rockwall County, Texas. Is it legal to mow the wildflowers on our 2 acre lots? The HOA documents we committed to require the homesites to be maintained, but there is di...
view the full question and answer

Attracting butterflies in Tennessee
July 03, 2009 - What flowers and plants do the caterpillars in Tennessee eat? And do you know what butterflies live in Tipton Co. Tennessee?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center