Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Saturday - January 24, 2009

From: New Braunfels , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Will wildflowers planted in late December bloom this year?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a home near Canyon Lake and seeded wildflowers on the property in late December. I have since read that the ideal time to seed them is before December 1st. Do they have a chance to bloom this Spring?

ANSWER:

That depends entirely on conditions you can't control. Wildflower seeds usually need some period of cold stratification, which is provided by normal weather conditions, in order to sprout. Germination also involves rainfall (you remember rain, don't you?). In Central Texas, we generally have the best rains in Fall, so if we had any rain this past Fall, your seeds missed it. On the bright side, wildflowers have been existing for millions of years entirely without our intervention and in all kinds of weather cycles. Some of them may very well manage to emerge and bloom. The urge to reproduce, which is visible in blooming to produce seeds, is dominant in all living species, so those wildflowers are going to be trying. In the second place, the ones that do bloom and set seed will result in more plants next year, and other seeds will be dormant in the soil until the right conditions appear. And you can always plant more seed next October or November, and by the following Spring (weather permitting) have a wonderful stand of flowers.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Seeding south Florida native wildflower meadow
March 06, 2008 - Information about seeding a south Florida native wildflower meadow. Have only found information north Florida.
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Shaded Patio Container in Missouri
April 17, 2015 - What kind of native plants would grow well in a pot on a fully shaded patio? I live in Kansas City, Missouri. The patio faces north and doesn't get any direct sunlight, but it gets lots of indirect...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2006 - Hello: We have been told that the sparse Bluebonnet appearance this Spring is due to sparse rainfall at the appropriate times. Were there fewer seeds to sprout and grow? Or are the seeds still ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Iris native to Louisiana
May 19, 2005 - A friend of mine has discovered white iris growing alongside of a swampy habitat in southeast Louisiana where there are blue, yellow and copper/red irises. We presume it is wild because it is in a na...
view the full question and answer

Are there drug cartels on the bluebonnet trails from Lake City FL
February 08, 2012 - We plan to fly to TX to see bluebonnets but do not know if the weather and forest fires have destroyed them. If not, can you estimate the peak bloom time? We are 75 and 81 and move around rather s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.