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
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

Student project on Hudson Valley, NY native plants and ecology
January 16, 2009 - Mr. Smarty, Hi I am starting a project with a school group 4th-6th grade, that has a greenhouse. The goal is to teach children about native plants & ecology of the Hudson valley region in NY. We will ...
view the full question and answer

Loss of bloom stalk on Yucca filamentosa from Scotch Plains NJ
April 27, 2013 - We have 3 Yucca filamentosa L. planted together, in NJ. A friend of ours was helping to remove the weeds, little did she know and removed the blooming stalk from the plants. By the time I saw, it was ...
view the full question and answer

Propagating redbud (Cercis canadensis) seeds
October 24, 2007 - Our Red Bud tree is full of bean shaped seed pods. Can those be planted and if so how? I enjoy puttering in the yard.
view the full question and answer

Propagating Eustoma exaltatum from seed in Lucas TX
September 27, 2010 - Hello I know that Texas bluebells Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum are supposed to be difficult to start from seed. Does Mr. Smarty Plants have any helpful hints? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

I have a plant with plantlets on its leaves. What is it?
April 14, 2008 - Pardon my inexperience. I received a plant as a gift, that is quite similar to aloe, yet smaller. It "bloomed" with tiny paired leaves sprouting from each of the serrations along the larger leav...
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