En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - When is it safe to mow wildflowers in Castroville, TX?

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

Wednesday - May 26, 2010

From: Castroville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: When is it safe to mow wildflowers in Castroville, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My yard in Castroville, TX sprouted many wildflowers early in April. By now the Blue Bonnets are seeded and gone. However, I still have a lot of Mexican Blankets. My husband is chomping at the bit to mow and I won't let him. The stalks are tall and lanky, the flowers are big and beautiful. When will they seed so he can mow the yard?

ANSWER:

In regards to wildflowers, the big four in the eyes of some are the Indian Painbrushes Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush), Texas Bluebonnets Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), Indian Blankets Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel), and Mexican Hats Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower), somewhat in the order of appearance.

The Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets have come and gone, but the Indian Blankets and the Mexican Hats are still with us and should be for another few months. Checking the NPIN page for Gaillardia, bloom time is from May to August. For Ratibida, the bloom time can last until October.

I gather that you are interested in reseeding, so it is important to let the seed mature before mowing. However you don't have to let every last seed mature in order to have a good crop of flowers next Spring. The images below show mature seed heads for both iIndian Blankets and Mexican Hats. If you can hold off mowing for about a month until you have quite a few mature seed heads, you should be able to disperse a good crop of seeds. 

Just out of curiosity, does your husband have a brand new lawnmower?


Gaillardia pulchella

Gaillardia pulchella

Ratibida columnifera

Ratibida columnifera

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower gardening for Citrus Co., Florida
March 07, 2008 - I live in Citrus County Florida, on the north central, west side of the state. I hope to start a wildflower meadow in my natural back yard. Can you recommend good wildflowers to grow, and where to g...
view the full question and answer

Backyard bluebonnets in Georgetown, TX
August 09, 2009 - I am growing bluebonnets in my backyard in Georgetown, TX. Even with the drought, I have had blooms all summer and still have two plants blooming. Is this normal? Thanks for all the work you all do ...
view the full question and answer

Peak times for viewing wildflowers in Texas
January 25, 2005 - We are planning a trip to Texas to see wildflowers this spring. I have time off March 17-25. Would you expect to see much in bloom then? What area might be the best to visit? Does anyone put reports o...
view the full question and answer

Toadflax and Baby Blue Eyes occurring naturally in Texas
March 29, 2007 - Does Toadflax/Spurred Snapdragon occur naturally in Texas? My daughter found what I think is it in a field in Keller, TX, but I'm wondering if it is cultivated. The field is full of a variety of fl...
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