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
10 ratings

Tuesday - August 07, 2007

From: Anacortes, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seed planting time in Northwest US
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the best time to plant wildflower seeds in the northwest United States?

ANSWER:

We always feel the best time to plant anything is in the Fall. For one thing, the weather is usually more pleasant and more predictable. You will probably get earlier bloom in the Spring from those seeds having had several months to prepare themselves. One exception to that would be if your plans were to plant on a slope. In a case like that, where Fall rains could erode away the soil and wash away the seeds, it would be better to plant them in the Spring. Then, they at least have a sporting chance to get up above the ground and maybe some roots put down before the next heavy rain. Summer is never recommended-the seeds will come up all right, but they will be met with heat and critters wishing to have the baby plants for a little salad. And, the clincher to the argument is, there is so much to do in the garden in the Spring. In the Fall, the weather is usually nice, you have less other stuff to do, and you can actually enjoy the process. After all, show consideration for the gardener, too.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Viability of bluebonnets in Portland, Oregon
April 07, 2008 - My best friend lives in Portland, Oregon, and misses Texas wildflowers terribly. I would really love to send her some bluebonnet seeds (or even other native wildflowers) but I'm wondering if there a...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Plants for Chicago
September 13, 2014 - I live near Chicago, IL and am interested in planting a butterfly garden. Not sure when to start, but I want all native plants that would attract butterflies. Can you please let me know which plants ...
view the full question and answer

Information on Texas wildflowers
February 28, 2009 - Does your site (or another site known to you) have a link to provide information on when our Texas wildflowers should emerge this year at various locations in the state, and whether this year is expec...
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Mexican bush sage in USDA Zone 7
September 25, 2006 - I have a Mexican Sage (salvia). I need to know the care of it especially because it is a gift and the plant is about 5 ft. With the weather and the red clay I don't know if I could plant it or just ...
view the full question and answer

Date for visitor from England to see bluebonnets
February 04, 2010 - Hi there I live in England, and I'm planning a trip to Texas to photograph the wildflowers around Austin and the hill country. I especially want to photograph bluebonnets. I can be in Texas either...
view the full question and answer

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