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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 07, 2010

From: Fort Worth , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Time to sow wildflower seeds in Ft. Worth TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When do I sow wildflower seeds?

ANSWER:

There are two more or less standard answers to this question, especially in warmer climates like Texas. The first is to sow them in the Fall, September to October. The second is to sow them at the same time as the plants in the wild are dropping their seeds. Again, in Texas, this usually comes out to be about the same time. If you buy a commercial packet of seeds, they will often have a time to plant, sometimes for various climates.

We do not recommend purchasing "mixed" wildflower seeds. These can not only have non-native seeds, but seeds that might be invasive and become weeds in your garden and everyone's garden around you. Purchase seeds that are native to your area. We sometimes get requests from gardeners in the Northeast and even in England who are homesick for their bluebonnets and want to know if they can grow them there. The answer is, probably not. Plants that grow and do well in Texas are plants acclimated by eons of experience to the soils, climate and rainfall of a certain area. 

Our How-To Article, Gardening Timeline, is written for Texas gardeners, and can give you some good ideas on when to do what in your garden. Since one of our most common requests is for information on growing bluebonnets, take a look at our How-To Article How To Grow Bluebonnets. For more general information on preparing the soil, water, sun exposure and so forth, see our How-To Article on large scale wildflower planting Getting Started. This pertains to large projects, but has information useful for the planning of the smallest garden.

To find out about specific native wildflowers, go to our Native Plant Database. Enter the common or scientific name (if you know it) in the specified box. You will get a page of information on that particular flower, with bloom times, colors, area where it is native, sunlight needed and other information important to that plant flourishing. To use the Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) again as an example, you will find out that this plant is an annual, blooms blue and white March to May, native distribution is in south central and north central Texas, has low water use, needs full sun (6 hours or more of sun a day), and is propagated by seed. 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Identity of sunflower
November 02, 2012 - I am not able to find how to post a picture to help you identify a plant on our campus. I believe the plant I am trying to identify is a rough sunflower. (Helianthus hirsutus) We have zexmenia as ...
view the full question and answer

Reason for small winecup flowers (Callirhoe sp.)
May 25, 2007 - I purchased some winecup seeds from a wildflower seed company and planted them this past autumn. I live in the northcentral Texas area. This spring, several of the seeds sprouted but they had tiny lav...
view the full question and answer

List of native perennial Texas flowers
March 13, 2006 - Good day, I am searching for a list of native Texas flowers (preferably perennials) for a flower garden. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Seeds native to New Jersey from Glendora NJ
April 16, 2012 - My sister is getting married and would like to send out native wildflower seeds to the guests in her save the dates. We want these seeds to be NJ native seeds, but we are actually having some trouble ...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Garden, non-poisonous to Dogs, in Taylor MI
March 27, 2014 - I have a small fenced yard with a patio that my dogs have free access to. I would like to create a butterfly garden and add other plants that are non toxic to my dachshunds. Any suggestions. I am f...
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