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
2 ratings

Sunday - September 21, 2008

From: Sattler, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Starting desert willow from seeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it better to sow or start desert willow seeds in pots? If sowing is effective, is fall or spring the best time to sow in the Canyon Lake area of Central Texas?

ANSWER:

According to Jill Nokes in How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest, although you can store seeds over the winter in the refrigerator to be planted in the spring, the seeds lose viability quickly so it is best to plant them indoors shortly after collecting them.  Here is what she says about planting the seeds:

"Soaking the seeds in water for a few hours prior to sowing may improve germination...Scatter the seed thinly in the flat or in individual containers, but do not bury.  Seeds need light to germinate...Seeds usually germinate within 1-3 weeks, and viability averages 40%."

She says that seedlings 4 inches long can be transplanted to one-gallon containers into a well-drained soil mix and grown in strong sunlight.  Apply small amounts of fertilizer regularly, but don't apply heavy fertilizer.  The plants can be transferred to the ground in the spring.


Chilopsis linearis

Chilopsis linearis

Chilopsis linearis

Chilopsis linearis

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Hand pollinating watermelon grown indoors in Denver
July 06, 2009 - Hi! I'm growing watermelon indoors and I was wondering if I had to self pollinate it? Their flowers just started blooming! If so, how do I go about doing this? Thank you so much!
view the full question and answer

Pollination of blackberries in Lake Winnebago, MO
May 27, 2010 - Not sure if blackberries are native, but my daughter got a start of one at a plant exchange at the nature center. Do we need more than one for it to pollinate correctly? We have strawberries growing i...
view the full question and answer

Planting a meadow garden in Pennsylvania
November 16, 2014 - I live in Saxonburg PA near Pittsburgh PA. I want to put a meadow garden in my back yard. We are building a home so there is no established yard yet just trees and weeds. Where do I start . What...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Lupinus havardii seeds from Elmendorf TX
April 25, 2014 - I have been able to grow several Lupinus havardii (Big Bend Bluebonnet) and they are now making seed. Is there anyway to determine if a seed is good or bad for this plant?
view the full question and answer

Recommended distance between blueberry plants
May 21, 2008 - How far apart do I need to plant blueberry bushes?
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