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

Plants for a Vacant Lot in the Big Apple
June 24, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We have recently gone in to restore a vacant plot in Harlem. This soil is varied, but mostly rubble, old slag, some sand in one area, old fill- pH 7-8.5. We dug a small tren...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a steep slope in KY
March 31, 2011 - We are building a new home and have a very steep hill behind the home. Our highlift operator just cleared it off - I would say about 15 to 20 feet in height and at least 150 feet in length. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Need help growing plants in red dirt in Mount Pleasant, NC.
September 17, 2011 - I live in N.C. and I have had the hardest time getting plants to grow;I have red dirt at my house. Can you suggest a few colorful plants that would do real well in red dirt? Thank You So Very Much!!!!...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
July 28, 2004 - My bluebonnets are still blooming out of season! What is the general season for bluebonnets to grow?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Katy Ruellia
November 08, 2004 - What can you tell me about Katy Ruellia? I need something with color that will take the hot southeast Texas summers and the cold/wet winters that stays decent and will flower.
view the full question and answer

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