En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Will my wildflower seeds reseed by themselves?

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
4 ratings

Thursday - February 11, 2010

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Will my wildflower seeds reseed by themselves?
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I have planted wildflowers from seed throughout the several acres of my property in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Once estalished will they reseed without any help from me? The flowers include Mexican Hat, Indian Paintbrush, Firewheel, Blanketflower, Gloriosa Daisy, Purple Coneflower, Red Corn Poppy, Texas Bluebonnet, Tickseed, Cosmos, Black-Eyed Susan, Plains Coreopsis, etc.. Thanks again for your help!

ANSWER:

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower)  , Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush) , Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) , Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) , Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) , Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) , Coreopsis grandiflora (largeflower tickseed) , Cosmos parviflorus (southwestern cosmos) and Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed) are prominent among the wildflowers that blanket Texas in spring. Papaver rhoeas(corn poppy), is a non-native (European origin) which is widely naturalized throughout the U.S. This is also true of Leucanthemum vulgare(oxeye daisy) and most of the larkspur we see – Delphinium ajacis(rocket larkspur), commonly.  Since popular and scientific names of the plants you mention are overlapping, I've tried to identify species that are found in many seed mixes.

The joy of these plants is that they will reseed and self-perpetuate. I'm sure Lady Bird Johnson is somewhere out there smiling at you! They will perpetuate in their own good time and way, however. To do a little anthropomorphizing, these natives are savvy to their surroundings and seeds often germinate only when the fall/winter growing conditions favor the early survival that particular kind. Thus some years we are inundated in blue; other years are more yellow-and-red-hued. You will probably find that some species are a lot more prolific than others as well. If they return somewhat unevenly or get out-competed for a few years you might end up reseeding a species or two. And in the random cast of seeds, you'll probably find that the species self-sort so that different varieties will predominate in niches that particularly favor their ideal growing conditions.

Some of these varieties can be biennials, depending on the conditions, and  Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush) thrives by growing into and tapping the nutrients in other plant root systems, particularly those of grasses. Thus its success depends on finding a willing partner.

So – yes, you should be seeing the fruits of your efforts for years to come!

 

 


Ratibida columnifera

Castilleja indivisa

Gaillardia pulchella

Rudbeckia hirta

Echinacea purpurea

Lupinus texensis

Coreopsis grandiflora

Cosmos parviflorus

Coreopsis tinctoria
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnet Seeds
March 20, 2004 - Where can I get bulk quantities of Bluebonnet seeds?
view the full question and answer

What insect eats Alamo Fire blue bonnets from League City TX
June 10, 2013 - What insect eats Alamo Fire blue bonnets? Something seems to be eating new seedpods.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers before construction begins
September 23, 2004 - Can wildflowers be transplanted? I'm building a house and wonder what can I save before the builder clears the lot.
view the full question and answer

Deadheadidng of gaillardia
July 10, 2005 - How do I maintain gaillardias? Specially, do I deadhead them?
view the full question and answer

Optimum viewing time for Texas wildflowers, bluebonnets
March 01, 2007 - I will make a car trip from Alabama to Anson, Texas, in the next month or so. I would like to time my visit to see the Blue Bonnets and/or wildflowers blooming. Please advise me as to the best time t...
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