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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - January 07, 2006

From: Newton County, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Advisability of sowing wildflower seeds in mid-January in Lousiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Newton County borders Louisiana in SE Texas. Can we plant wildflowers now-mid January? The park has recently been graded and many trees blown down by Rita which will make it more sunny. The Garden Club would like to sow mixed wildflower seeds but some members believe it is too late for blooms next year. What do you think?

ANSWER:

Although it is preferable to sow wildflower seeds in the fall, you should still get plants and blooms if you sow them now. I suggest that you visit the Native Plant Library on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web page to find a 3-page article, "Wildflower Meadow Gardening", that you can download in PDF format. This article offers ideas on how to choose species for your project and to maintain the area for several years. One recommendation from the article is that you you also plant native grasses along with your wildflowers. The native grasses fill in between the wildflowers where otherwise weeds might take over. They also offer food for wildlife and texture and color for your meadow. If you also visit our Propagation Datatsheets page, you will find instructions for growing 23 of the most popular wildflower species in Texas.

You can search for seed companies in your area that specialize in native plants on the National Suppliers Directory page. For instance, Native American Seed in Junction, Texas has a wildflower mix called Caddo Mix particularly suitable for East Texas. They also have native grass seeds. Their Native Coastal Prairie Mix contains not only grasses but wildflowers, as well, that would be suitable for your area.

Additionally, you might be surprised by the variety of plants that come up naturally from wildflower and grass seeds that have lain dormant there on the graded land.
 

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