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
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

Plants for a Shady Woodland in MA
June 09, 2013 - Hello, I am looking for natives to plant in full shade or part shade. My house is in the mountain woodland area of Mt. Washington, MA. I am looking for grasses, flowers and shrubs. Also I am looking f...
view the full question and answer

Grass in mixed wildflowers in Gloucester VA
September 02, 2009 - I have a acre of mixed wildflowers which is in its 3rd season. I now have some grass issues. I have sprayed for just the grass but still have too much. Should I bush hog, disk and replant ??
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
May 17, 2006 - I'd like to know if Texas Bluebonnets or even Aggiebonnets (maroon bluebonnets) can be grown in the Phoenix, AZ area. If so, what conditions would you recommend doing this in, as our spring and summe...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for wedding mid-spring in Austin, TX
November 10, 2006 - My fiancé and I are both native Texans, and we are looking to have a beautiful yet simple wedding on March 31, 2007. We would love to use TX wildflowers. Our colors are white, orange, and blue. Wo...
view the full question and answer

Possible tax exemptions for wildlife management
August 07, 2006 - I am interested in finding out whether there are state grants to help land owners grow wildflowers on otherwise unused portions of their properties. Would you happen to know whom I should contact or w...
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