En Español

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 - October 08, 2007

From: Santa Fe, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Dispersing seeds for wildflowers in New Mexico
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Here, in Santa Fe, NM, we have lots of beautiful wildflowers. What is the best way to propagate them? Can I just disperse the seed on my acreage after blooming? There is purple aster and sunflowers galore, rabbitbrush, yucca, and cacti.

ANSWER:

First, there are several titles in our "How to Articles" that might be of interest (e.g., "Large Scale Wildflower Planting" and "Wildflower Meadow Gardening"). Some species, such as some of the yuccas (e.g., Yucca glauca (soapweed yucca)), have propagation information on their pages in the Native Plant Database.

The best general plan for planting wildflower seeds is to distribute them when Mom Nature would do it, i.e., when they are ripe and beginning to fall or blow away. If you already have the wildflowers on your property, the annuals will reseed by themselves for next year. The perennials will return where they now stand and, hopefully, will spread from seed dispersal as well. If you have seeds from plants that bloomed in the spring or summer that you want to sow, you've obviously missed the natural dispersal time but they should be sown now to overwinter and germinate when the spring rains and warmth arrive.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012 - I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
view the full question and answer

Planting wildflowers from Wichita Falls, TX
August 24, 2013 - Hi, Thanks so much for the answers you give! You've been very helpful to me in the past. I have two quick questions: 1) I have been harvesting seeds from my wildflowers. I wonder when the best time...
view the full question and answer

Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Texas
September 08, 2006 - My husband bought a large amount of wildflower seeds at the Ladybird Johnson's Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas several months ago, but neglected to ask when to plant them. Some were Bluebonnets a...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Latest time to mow bluebonnets from Chappell Hill TX
February 13, 2014 - The past few years, my bluebonnets have been overwhelmed by tall grass. I could have solved this by mowing later, but I was always afraid of mowing new bluebonnet plants. When is the latest time I can...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center