En Espa—ol

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - October 05, 2008

From: Midland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seeds coming up early
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I purchased several wildflower seeds packages. Everything I read about when to plant, suggest planting in September or October in my area. This is what I did. I planted only about 2 weeks ago. Some of the seeds are coming up. Is this what is supposed to happen? Will I lose the seedlings to cold weather? Thanks.

ANSWER:

See, the thing about native wildflowers is that they have adapted, over millennia, to the conditions in which they grow. You planted your seeds, probably watered them, and they thought "Yippee, water" and up they popped. Maybe a few of them will be damaged or killed by cold weather, but most of them will hunker down in the soil and come up later when the sun is out. Bluebonnets, for example, are considered cold weather annuals. They normally start coming up pretty early, have a low to the ground rosette, protected from the cold by the warmth of the earth, and develop roots so they will be ready to start blooming in mid-March. You should always plant a lot more seeds than you think you have room for in your space. Some of them will come up too early and die, others will wait out the cold weather and come up at a good time, some of them will wait in the soil, even for years, for better conditions and some of them will never come up at all.

Oh, and by the way, you should keep an eye on those seedlings. They may be weeds that have just been waiting for the right moment to make their appearance. 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Early spring wildflowers of Pennsylvania
September 30, 2011 - What native wildflower is the first to bloom in Weedville, Pa? (Jay township, Elk county) I am working on a research paper for my Environmental Problems class, and this would be very helpful. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Sowing additional wildflower and grass seeds on steep hillside
January 30, 2006 - Mr. Smarty, we recently moved to Hot Springs, AR. We have about a 1000 sf hillside area too steep to plant with shrubs etc. We had wildflower seeds scattered last May in this area and the flowers we...
view the full question and answer

Need help with a Coreopsis eating beetle in Shiro, TX
April 20, 2011 - Mr.Smarty Plants,(Sorry, I kept messing up with my emails) Anyway, here goes: I usually have a beautiful meadow full of lanceleaf coreopsis blooming by now. Not this year. I found to my horror every s...
view the full question and answer

Strangling Bluebonnets
March 14, 2004 - I have some Bluebonnets that are being strangled by some strange rope-like plant. Whatís going on here?
view the full question and answer

First to Bloom in Western PA
October 02, 2010 - What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom in Butler, PA?
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