En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Large-scale wildflower maintenance

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
1 rating

Saturday - June 14, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Large-scale wildflower maintenance
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We purchased the Texas/Oklahoma wildseed mix from your shop last year and planted them this past fall. The wildflowers came up beautifully, but at the beginning of June, after flowering just one time, they started to turn brown. Between natural rain and manual watering, we have been giving them about 0.5" to 1" of water every week or two. Two questions: 1. Should we expect the wildflowers to naturally fade back/turn brown in June or is it likely that they are just not getting enough water? 2. When should we mow the wildflowers and should I bag the mowing clippings when I mow to prevent a lot of thatch/debris from being left on soil surface - ultimately we'd like to follow all of the guidance so that they come up as nicely next year as they did this year.

ANSWER:

Question 1. Most of the wildflowers are annuals; they bloom, and then begin to turn brown, especially in the kind of weather we have had this year. If you have the resources to do so, they could use about an inch of water a week during the bloom period and again in the late Fall when the seeds are on/in the ground and preparing to germinate. The reason we had such a spectacular wildflower season last year was that the rains fell in those periods specified, but the seeds are survivors, they will fall down, burrow in and wait for the rain.

Question 2. Please see our How-To article, "Getting Started", all of which deals with large-scale wildflower gardening, but the last two paragraphs, under How to Manage Your Site, should answer the rest of your questions, including those on when and how to mow.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA
July 05, 2011 - I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w...
view the full question and answer

Greenhouse bluebonnets for July wedding from Denver CO
August 19, 2013 - Would it possible for my daughter's florist to get bluebonnets for her late July wedding? Are they propagated in greenhouses?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds planted in May for summer in Fairfield, TX
May 12, 2005 - Are there any wildflower seeds which can be planted in May for the summer? I have planted a wildgrass seed mixture I purchased from Turner Seed Company and planted it today (5-2-05). It was supposed...
view the full question and answer

Survivability of Texas wildflower seeds in Zone 5A or 5B
October 13, 2006 - What are the recommended hardiness zones for Texas wildflowers? Could these seeds survive in a 5A and 5B climate? If so, when would be the correct time to plant seeds for zone 5A/5B?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of replacing Bermudagrass with native grasses and wildflowers
November 24, 2008 - Are there any native grasses and wildflowers that can compete with bermuda grass to make a nativ-y wild area without removing the bermuda?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center